Sliced and diced

This week I did a knife skills course. No, I am not running away to join the circus. I’m talking about knife skills of the kitchen variety.

I’m a bit of a foodie, have loads of vegetables in my diet and tend to spend a lot of my meal preparation time chopping stuff. I never had lessons in how to do this – I just got stuck in with what needed to be done over the years and it all seemed to work okay. Especially as all ten fingers remain attached and intact.

But when watching cooking television, I’m always hugely impressed and intimidated by the speed and confidence with which chefs slice, dice and generally handle their knives. Every so often they offer a smattering of how-to-chop instruction when a celebrity guest gets involved but do you think I can remember it for application later on?

So I have never filleted a fish or jointed a chicken and terms like Chiffonade and Brunoise are a complete mystery to me. Or used to be.

Continue reading

Pastures New…



    I’m over here!


Now that I have your attention…

Gidday HQ has moved to pastures new.

Last weekend there were keys to exchange, cupboards to clean, movers to step around and goodbyes to say as I farewelled my little front window, climbed aboard the moving van and set off to begin a new chapter on the other side of the river.

As with all good moves, not everything went according to plan but I have arrived and can confirm I am safely ensconsed in the North London suburb of Finchley.

Day 1 – Morning: Many many many boxes to unpack
Day 1 – Evening: Kitchen done!

That’s not Finchley Road peeps (which does not go through Finchley as the name would suggest but rather skirts past West Hampstead in the south). Or East Finchley, lovely though it looks from the tube as it emerges into the night air on my commute home. Or even North Finchley, which is actually one stop too far.

No it’s Finchley peeps. Sometimes known as Church End but really, it’s just Finchley. Bit like ‘just Kym’ (no it’s not short for Kymberley). But I think I will call it Fabulous Finchley for I am determined that life’s next chapter will be filled with all things fabulous.

So yesterday it was time to explore my new neighbourhood (that is the one beyond my easy 5 minute commute to the station….ah bliss!)

Let’s start with a stroll along the street where I live…

The street where I live – look at that Autumn colour!

As I reached the main road (you can just see it in the above  picture if you squint hard enough), I decided to venture right towards North Finchley where, rumour had it, there would be a Carphone Warehouse outlet for me to kit myself out with a dongle. I was having withdrawal symptoms and missing you all dreadfully without internet at home!

Luxury Desserts – what’s not to like?

A little further along I came across a grassy stretch…

An unexpected patch of green right by the road.

…which actually heralded the entrance to local bowls club.

Doesn’t this make you want to kick up the leaves and hear them rustle underfoot?

A bit further on, the spires of the local church pierced the cloudy sky…

The local…church I mean

…and before long, I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of North Finchley.

Desperately seeking dongle (and door stops actually) as I was, I gave a cursory glance to the myriad of fruit markets, continental food stores, factory outlets and tat shops that spilled out onto the footpath. Until a sweet, sweet sight brought a smile to my face…

Mr Simms is in North Finchley too!

Remember this discovery last Christmas?

Mr Simms in Kingston – a joyous discovery last year

Anyway, this is where the photos stop because by the time I bought my dongle, finally found door stops in Robert Dyas, stocked up on a few essentials at Boots and spent £9 on – yes, you guessed it – tat, I was on my way to that English bastion of all things delicious, Waitrose. Where I bought more stuff.

Which meant more bags (supplied by moi of course – we love to reuse) to carry home. 

Which meant the bus – 10 minutes to go 5 stops versus the 25 minute bag-free wander north earlier.

I think I’m gonna like it here.

Aah, Finchley.  Fabulous already!