Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nigella Lawson and a lot of yarn

I had fully intended to write a post about the Catalogue for the Whalsay Fair Isle Knitting Through the Decades exhibition tonight but I got distracted by the big box of yarn I posted a week ago (back in Shetland) finally arriving, and Nigella Lawson's 'Feast'.

A friend produced an absolutely wonderful red kidney bean dip pre dinner a couple of weeks ago, which was a revelation to me because I don't normally care for kidney beans. I begged the recipe only to be told it was in 'Feast', which I have. I made it tonight and it was just as good as remembered (the mix of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and coffee smells - the last not actually in the dip - has made my kitchen smell great). Whilst I was at it I thought I ought to have a good look through 'Feast' to see what else I had forgotten or failed to notice in the past.

Lots it seems, so I won't make a list, but it was also a reminder of why I really like Nigella's books. It's full of quick and easy things, some so simple they hardly deserve the title 'recipe' but are exactly the sort of helpful suggestion you want to make things easy from time to time. Balancing those are the full on showstoppers that involve a bit more than an M&S meringue nest, some pomegranate seeds, and a bit of cream - but which are never intimidating, and always reliable. I tend to overlook my older cookbooks so it was good to get reacquainted with one of them.

The yarn apparently took the scenic route from Shetland, taking a very long time to get from the village post office to its next recorded destination in Aberdeen, but finally on Monday (I posted it on Wednesday last and was getting anxious) it started to move again. It arrived in Leicester today, almost made it to my flat, but I was working, so it got diverted to a mystery post office. This is allegedly my closest post office. It isn't, but the much closer ones don't take parcels (I can't tell you how much I miss the callers office in town).

Unfortunately the delivery man's instructions were cryptic. The post office he indicated closed some time ago, the postcodes he put down for both myself and the mystery post office were indecipherable, but as far as I could make out both incomplete and incorrect. R very kindly agreed to go on a trip across town and into a maze of streets in a not particularly nice neighbourhood to help me try and find the parcel. We found the defunct post office, asked directions in a nearby hairdressers, who sort of sent us in the right direction but gave us the wrong name, consulted google (unhelpful), asked another passer by, found a post office, (3 streets away) which luckily turned out to be the one we wanted, and got my parcel with minutes to spare before closing.

My plan for the rest of the evening is to spend quality time with all the Wool. (iPads capitals for Wool, but who am I to argue?)


  1. I did some Googling today because I would like to acquire a copy of the catalog for the exhibit. Check out Kate Davies:

    You'll love what she has written.

  2. That was the peice that made me so cross with myself for missing it last year, and so pleased that it's continued for another season. It really is a revalation - not just seeing the past in colour (something I really like about looking at old clothes is the feeling of black and white or sepia photographs being transformed into colour) which suddenly makes these people's lives (knitters and wearers) seem closer, more vivid, and real to me, but in understanding what 'Fair Isle' knitting can look like.

    Did you manage to find a copy of the booklet? It's available from here if not