Poached eggs for children

As my brother and sister in law are out with my son and his cousins for dinner, I just made dinner for me and my daughter tonight.  This was trickier than usual because we arrived today and I haven’t done a supermarket shop yet.  There is some food in but I’m not sure what my in laws have planned and it seems a bit antisocial to potentially eat half the ingredients.

So I went through the freezer and pulled out some oven chips and frozen corn on the cob.

Poached egg, chips and sweetcorn
Poached egg, chips and sweetcorn

Now, I know the rule of blogging is that all food on it must be awesomely nutritious and fabulously presented.  This isn’t.  However, it DOES include one brilliant thing – a poached egg!  I consider poached eggs to be the saviour of crappy dinners – including a poached egg means that I have made some effort to get my kids to eat something wholesome.  Plus, it may be the only form of protein my daughter gets as she isn’t keen on meat.

I used to think that poached eggs had to be made in a terribly complex way, using vinegar in boiling water and a swirling motion.  Ha!  You just need these.  You can buy them online but I would amazed if they aren’t sold in all kitchen utensil shops – I bought mine at Gill Wing.

Silicone egg poachers
Silicone egg poachers

Seriously, I just rub some butter on the inside of the egg poachers, crack an egg in and put them in a pan of boiling water for around three minutes.  Then you get a perfect mound of poached egg for your child to dip her mass produced oven chips into.

Gold shimmer

Okay, so I’ve just taken off my red nail varnish (it was a bit chipped on the index fingers) and put Chanel Gold Shimmer on.

Chanel Gold Shimmer
Chanel Gold Shimmer

It’s a bit late seventies disco and not particularly neutral but it does cover up the traces of red I couldn’t get off with nail varnish remover.  Apparently this came out in Autumn 2005 so it is unlikely to still be sold.  In any case, gold nail varnish isn’t exactly rare.  If you like it, I’m sure you can find some.

I think it’s probably better on my toenails (in other words, it’s quite ugly).

Missing the ferry

Today, we missed the ferry we were booked on by ten minutes, despite leaving the house at 7:15am with the kids in their pyjamas, having eaten jam sandwiches made the night before for breakfast.  It was utterly pouring, you see, and this really slows the traffic down.  Plus there are some fairly major roadworks along the M3.  There are some proposals to restrict roadworks so that they can only happen for between two and five miles at a time – however, this is a bit late for the M3, which has some of the longest roadworks in the UK.

It wasn’t the end of the world as thankfully they let us onto the 11am ferry.  However, it did mean that I had to bribe the kids with cakes at the Costa at the ferry terminal so they became a bit loopy on the ferry itself.  You know who really disapproves of children running around?  To the point of staring at you?  Very slightly older children, who sit nicely in their seats and have outgrown the running around and crawling under seats.  The adults don’t appear to mind, to be honest.  Unless they have dogs – the dog owners I meet on the ferry are often very worried that my children will upset their dogs.

The ferry was incredibly busy as it is half term.  My son had a nice chat with one of the Wightlink ferry men (who he described as the captain) about how many cars there were on the ferry.

Anyway, we are now in the IoW and it is a beautiful day.  My son has been taken to Robin Hill by his uncle and aunt and my daughter is having a nap.  I am catching up on The Returned – this is a show that I pretend is educational and worthy because it is in French and has subtitles.

Barnyard and James Bond

Today, we went to Barnyard for lunch.  This is an interesting place which I’d never been to, although my husband had.  They now take bookings (they have an area at the back) so you don’t have to wait unless you want to.

Barnyard
Barnyard

Inside it is quite rustic and my husband sat on a barrel (which he said was comfortable).  The staff all have beards and man buns so I think they could comfortably be described as hipsters, although this covers waiting staff all over London.  Basically, it is not a super corporate place.  It also has terrible mobile reception which stops people from shrieking into their mobiles throughout dinner but also meant I had to go outside to call my nanny.  I’ll live.

Menu
Menu

We had some cornbread to graze on then shared chicken wings (delicious – with paprika and lemon) and potted shrimp.  Both were terrific but the chicken wings were more filling.  I do have a thing about shellfish – I love it but if I order it then I have to finish every last bit, otherwise it’s a life wasted.

For our main courses, we shared beef on toast and the black pudding with bubble & squeak, bacon and a duck egg.  Both were great but the black pudding was definitely better (in my opinion).  I had a couple of bottles of Camden Hells Lager which I felt okay with as I went for a run this morning (which I won’t bore you with).

I sat next to a woman who my husband swore was a friend of a friend of his and said we’d been out to Ronnie Scott’s with her, about three years ago.  We did some furtive talking for a bit then he leant over and said Terribly sorry to bother you but you’re not a friend of SG’s, are you?  Nope, she’d never heard of the guy.  That could have been slightly embarrassing but it was okay.

Duck egg and black pudding - what's not to love?
Duck egg and black pudding – what’s not to love?

We didn’t need pudding because we had a massive dinner last night.  So we decided to see whether we could find somewhere showing the new James Bond film.  Thankfully, the Vue in Islington had a 1:50pm showing so we got there in time for the film but missed nearly all the adverts.

I won’t spoil the film by describing the plot.  There are some excellent actors in it and I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond there’s been – he does a good job of portraying the brutality of being an assassin.  It’s a real shame that this is probably his last Bond movie.  My husband told me that he got injured quite a lot on set which I don’t find surprising – by the time men are asked to play James Bond, they tend to be a bit older.

The main bond girl was a French actress who was slightly Rosamund Pikeish.  She had a really excellent blonde dye job – it made me rather reconsider my decision to leave my hair its natural colour.  In any case, perhaps she has more time to spend at the hairdresser.

My only real criticism of the film is that it’s a bit too long (two and a half hours).  By about two hours, my bum had gone to sleep.

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Last night, we went to Hawksmoor Seven Dials.  We usually go to the one in Spitalfields (it’s the original and is slightly closer to us) but it was full at 8pm and we like the one by Covent Garden just as much.  It’s an interesting building – you have to walk downstairs to the basement (which was originally a brewery) so it feels as though you are going into a private members’ club – a bit like something out of James Bond.

Hawksmoor
Hawksmoor

This is a really nice restaurant – they have a smart bar with loads of different cocktails.  As well as the usual stuff, they serve “bridging drinks” which are what the idle rich would drink when lunch had finished (probably around 4pmish) but when it was too early for preprandial drinks.  Basically, they were not too strong so they wouldn’t be too smashed before dinner.  It is a good idea and I had a Tokaji Smash, which was delicious.

To start we had the bone marrow and onions (really good) and then shared a porterhouse steak, buttered greens, caesar salad and beef dripped fries.

Bone marrow
Bone marrow

For pudding, I had the Black Forest sundae and a glass of Tokaji (which I’d never heard of but was very nice).  My husband had the peanut butter shortbread and a glass of tawny port.  By the end, we were tipsy but not completely plastered.  Really full though.

Coats, jackets and finding things I’d thought I’d lost

Lately I’ve been eyeing up this coat in “darkest plum”.  Now, this is a completely impractical coat for London – the description says that it is tested down to -32C (equivalent to about -25F) which is far too warm.  We are a bit taken aback if it gets down to -5C here and I need a coat that I can sensibly walk into the Tube or John Lewis without overheating.  However, it is a very nice coat and if I lived in northern Sweden, I would buy it as quick as anything.

This has rather inspired me to do an audit of my coats and jackets.  This is what I found:

Dark pink Landsend mac - super for this time of year
Dark pink Landsend mac – super for this time of year

I bought this in the summer sale so it was a bargain.

Nike running jacket
Nike running jacket

I bought the men’s version of this running jacket because it fit me a bit better.  I like the bright colour – it means cars will see me when it is pouring.  Originally, I bought the grey one which was more stylish but unfortunately would look a bit invisible on a grey, rainy day.

Barbour jacket
Barbour jacket

Barbour used to be what the landed gentry wore in the countryside to go walking.  Then they became what posh young people in Shoreditch wore to go clubbing.  Now, I think they may be a little bit naff but I love mine.  When I was working, I could easily wear it over my office clothes to go to client meetings.  And it is warm and waterproof, provided that you get it waxed when it needs it.  This, I last got done at the Barbour shop in Regent Street and it wasn’t especially expensive.

Black Landsend fleece hoody
Black Landsend fleece hoody

This one rather breaks my “no black’ rule but I like it a lot.

North Face skiing jacket
North Face skiing jacket

I’ve had this for a few years and it is still good.  I have a black fleece that zips into it – this is too warm for most skiing but if I were to ski in Vermont, I would like to have it with me.

Grey Woolover hoody
Grey Woolover hoody

This I love – but it can make me look a bit like a sloppy tramp.  Comfy though. I have it in a mossy green in the IoW.

NEW orange Landsend coat
NEW orange Landsend coat

I haven’t had a chance to wear this yet (it’s been too warm) but this is a nice, smart coat (I bought it in the summer sale – looks as though orange isn’t all that popular with shoppers).  If I were to go to an interview or meeting, I would probably wear this.

Dark green / grey jacket from Marks and Spencer
Dark green / grey jacket from Marks and Spencer

I bought this years ago from Marks and Spencer.  It is still a good fit but the length is a bit strange with a lot of the clothes I’m wearing at the moment – perhaps would be good with trousers.

GAP denim jacket
GAP denim jacket

I bought this in 2004 in the GAP on Oxford Street after sitting an actuarial exam.  I love this jacket and, IF it still fit me, it would be incredibly useful.  So far I’ve hung onto it in the hope that I will shrink and be able to wear it again.  Seriously, it went with everything.

Now, one AMAZING consequence of my coat and jacket audit is that I have found something I’ve been looking for for ages – my rainbow gloves!  They were in the pocket of my skiing jacket.

Rainbow gloves
Rainbow gloves

My Mum knitted these for me out of rainbow wool when I was 27.  They fit me perfectly (I have short, stumpy fingers) and were lost for ages – I ended up turning the house over and was really quite annoyed that they were lost.  I’d thought they must have fallen out of my pocket but was quite loathe to ask her to knit another pair as I think they took quite a long time to make.

I’d bought a pair of these from Boden to replace them.  These are nice gloves (I’ll take them to the IoW to wear there) but are not as nice as my rainbow gloves.  Which I now have again – yay!

New London cafe and a naked guy at my petrol station

For lunch today, my husband and I went to New London cafe.  This is at the bottom of Highbury and is somewhere I hadn’t been before.

Here it is
Here it is

They have a nice garden, although as it is right on St Paul’s Road, you can still really hear the traffic (which doesn’t bother me).

This would be really nice in summer
This would be really nice in summer

I have the Eggs vs. Avocado which was much nicer than I thought it would be.

Pretty
Pretty

On the way home, we passed the Shell petrol station, which had a bunch of dudes wearing hi vis vests on.  On having a closer look, it was because a naked guy was having his photo taken next to some petrol pumps.

Naked guy at my petrol station
Naked guy at my petrol station

I have no idea why this was, or why anyone would want to make buying petrol look sexy.  Perhaps this was a challenge on The Apprentice.