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Inspired by Michelle‘s Veg Wednesday posts …


Joseph Pennell (U.S., 1854-1926)
Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Thirty-Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue (original location).  c. 1904-08
drawing on brown paper : colored crayons over pencil sketch ; sheet 29.3 x 23.1 cm
Library of Congress
Image via here.

The camera was charging so I couldn’t take a photo of the real thing, so here is a picture of the Waldorf itself.  I love Waldorf salad, it somehow seems classic yet whimsical at the same time, and I am always happy to revisit it when I remember it.  It’s a boon when there isn’t an otherwise cohesive collection of ingredients on hand – I actually prefer some limitations as it often results in more creative menu-planning.  (My Veg Wednesday forays are more about including more vegetables in our diet rather than being strictly vegetarian.)  So this is what we had the other night based on what was on hand.

Oven-baked risotto (inspired by a Donna Hay recipe for pumpkin risotto from The Age years ago)

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1/2 cup water or wine
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • kernels from 1 medium cob of corn
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 30g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan

Combine everything except cheese in a lidded casserole/oven dish.  Overlap some foil over the top of the dish and put on the lid.

Bake in moderate oven for about 30-40 minutes, until all liquid is nearly absorbed and rice is firm but tender (al dente I guess).  Be careful not to overcook or it will be mushy.

Grate in some parmesan, stir and replace lid for a few minutes.  Serve with more parmesan.

Waldorf Salad  (You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but this is what I did)

  • celery, finely sliced
  • red apples, cored and diced
  • walnuts
  • just enough mayonnaise to dress

Combine all ingredients.  Serve in a bowl lined with cos lettuce leaves if you like (I actually used some iceberg).  Stephanie Alexander also includes orange segments in the salad, but I haven’t tried this.

Stephanie also mentions that the salad can be dressed with sour cream.  Although usually one for a chef-approved shortcut, I couldn’t resist the lure of homemade mayonnaise.   I made mine with 1 egg yolk, salt, a small squeeze of lemon juice and 100mls oil (1/2 e v olive and 1/2 peanut as I find all olive oil too strong).  I used about half of this for my salad.

And for dessert, chocolate chip cookies from the River Cottage Family Cookbook.  These were at the behest of my young sous-chef and they were REALLY good.  (And the book is too.)

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As started by Pip, earlier in the week …

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  • Making :  my Ravelry Bendigo Woollen Mills Group swap project
  • Cooking :  kid-friendly chili con carne
  • Drinking :  filtered water, and interested in this new product
  • Reading:  my new copy of Handmade Home, just arrived
  • Wanting:  more consecutive hours of sleep
  • Looking: at nice magazines, like Selvedge (thanks Michelle) and Inside Out
  • Playing: an audiobook from the library, England’s Mistress
  • Wasting: too much time browsing Ravelry
  • Sewing:  only things knitting/crochet-related of late, but would like to get a sewing nook set up one day (or like this one)
  • Wishing:  for more time and energy
  • Enjoying:  sunshine and signs of spring, amongst the high winds
  • Waiting:  for a too slow internet connection to load pages
  • Liking:  browsing Etsy for gifts, now that the exchange rate isn’t too bad
  • Wondering:  how long the babies will sleep and if a routine is possible
  • Loving:  my vintage granny-square blanket on my bed, the gift of a friend and found in a Darwin op-shop, rediscovered in the linen cupboard
  • Hoping:  a large-enough house in a reasonable location could become ours before too long
  • Marvelling:  at the beauty and cleverness of my three babies
  • Needing:  a good old tidy up around the house
  • Smelling:  (until recently) jonquils
  • Wearing: my February Lady (if you’re a Raveller, here’s mine here)
  • Followingthe Uniform Project – inspirational accessorising, for a good cause
  • Noticing:  that clutter is quick to collect
  • Knowing:  that my moments of peaceful pottering will end soon as the kinder run is nigh
  • Thinking:  that the characters populating everyday life in 18th century Britain and Europe was actually much younger than we imagine – people started working independently as young as 10 or 12, heads of state and politcians could be in their teens or 20’s.
  • Feeling:  lucky that I don’t live in 18th century England
  • Bookmarking:  recipes and activities in The River Cottage Family Cookbook 
  • Opening:  my parcel from Fishpond
  • Giggling: at babies blowing raspberries, in unison and at length
  • Feeling:  tired but generally content

Signs of Spring! This weekend’s distractions included:

LUNA PARK 2 collageLUNA PARK 1 collageLUNA PARK 3 collage

  • enjoying a boy’s delight at a visit to Luna Park
  • a big family walk in the sunshine, walking home at sunset by the sea and canals
  • provisions from the boys’ visit to Prahran Market, including fresh basil for pesto!
  • also from the market visit, thrilled by a bunch of jonquils proudly proffered in a small fist.  “Did you buy them for me?” “No, I found them on the road”. Oh well.
  • Brie de Nangis, De Chirico bread and Mt Zero olives at lunch, coq au vin for dinner
  • Lucy’s stars!  I love hama beads and am thrilled at finding (kind of) actual uses for them
  • thinking of more crochet
  • contemplating going shampoo-free like Bells
  • enjoying knitting with luscious Bendigo Luxury for another Ravelry swap 
  • dreaming of lunch here


Hope you had a great weekend …

Today, under the watchful eyes of Delphine and Camille, Rex drew the name of the recipient-to-be of the Kids Knitting book …

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Congratulations Kirsten!  This is very apt, as I have taken advantage of Kirsten’s generosity in making patterns of her fabulous designs available.

Thank you so much to everyone who visited and left comments, it’s been really wonderful to meet new people (and discover new blogs) through this blog.

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… I want to sleep as  long as I like, and get up and do what I like.  I often think of life before we had children, when apart from holding down a job, life could be as undisciplined as you liked.  Eating out, seeing friends and films and theatre whenever we wanted, letting dishes pile up in the sink and leaving housework undone.  Well, the last two things are still happening, but having children makes it necessary to  try and maintain a minimal level of cleanliness…  Now life seems to call for a more regimented approach, to try and fit in with feeding and sleeping routines.  We are forced to turn into, if not our own parents, someone else’s parents.  Grown-ups.  Now of course this is all a very small price to pay for having three wonderful new people in your life, and the myriad joys this can bring.  But it can be very overwhelming trying to meet the needs of these precious little ones, and maintain the semblance of an organised life.  How I yearn for a tidy, well organised house, thoughtfully planned and prepared meals from the freshest seasonal ingredients, cheerful family outings and day trips, time to make things.  But these things are for people who’ve had more than 4 hours sleep in a row at a time.  I know that as the babies get older, time will free up a bit and energy levels will be regained.  And I know that I’m not alone.  Graceful acceptance that things can’t be “perfect”.   A kind of surrendering to family.  I’m trying to look at what life offers without expectations of how things should be and focus on the important things. 

Recently, a choice between helping construct a lego pirate ship, or cook dinner.  I chose the former and ordered pizza.  I know I can’t do this all the time, but it was a refreshing letting-go of (some) responsibility and joyful re-capturing of childish delights.  And that’s one of the great things about having children in your life – sometimes you can forget you are a grown-up for a moment.

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slipper collage

Another quick project finished!  I’m really enjoying making granny squares at the moment, and using up scraps makes me feel virtuous.  Not to mention making rather than purchasing new slippers …

I used some lovely Bendigo Woollen Mills Mohair, which is no longer available, and the sparkly green one gave me such pleasure!  Such a pretty yarn.  The pattern is this one, available free on Ravelry (also here) – thanks so much Maria.  It is only 12 x 4 inch granny squares, so quick to make.  This size fitted me (size 8 1/2; 41) as is when assembled, but I would like to try some thicker yarn and larger hook to make some I could felt.  These slippers feel really warm and comfortable, but I may sew on some kind of sole to make them less slippery on tiles.

And now for the gratuitous cute baby photo (paparazzi pose):


Have a lovely weekend, and remember to comment here by Wednesday to get the Kids Knitting book – only 2 takers so far so the odds of being selected are good …


Small bikkies to more experienced bloggers, but a landmark for me … as of today, over 1000 people have mistakenly stumbled upon visited Chez Pinry in the last 3 months since I started!  As this blog was brought about in response to the spirit of sharing and inspiration fostered by the knitting/craft/creative housewife-type community, I find myself in a position of being able to give something back in a small way …

I recently purchased Kids Knitting and on first looking through it I was reminded me of the thrill I felt as a child when I realised I could make things.  I had a flash-back to one of my earliest knitting projects made when I was perhaps 5 or 6 – a green garter-stitch vest for a doll.  There are some lovely projects and activities that I would like to try (including the simplest explanation of wool dyeing I have ever seen) with or without kids.

Thanks to Fishpond, I also have a copy of Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick to give away!  If you would like this book, please leave me a comment by next Wednesday, perhaps telling me about a knitting or craft project you remember making as a child.  The book recipient will be selected on Thursday via the age-old method of the small-child-picking-name-from-a-hat variety.  This will be stringently supervised by whoever-is-at-home-at-the-time.

I’m sorry that I can only send the book to Australian residents (as o/s postage will be more than the cost of the book), but if a lovely person from beyond our shores is selected first, I will come up with something lighter (perhaps knitted) to send them …

Thanks for visiting …

Inspired by Michelle’s Veg Wednesday posts …

rex party 074

This recipe, based loosely on an Australian Women’s Weekly one, is a regular around here, and a reasonably successful way of upping the vegie intake in the 4-year-old’s diet, especially when he gets to help make them.  I also like to make these to go with soup for lunch if we don’t have any bread on hand.

Savory Muffins

  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • kernals from half a cob of corn
  • 100g cheese (I use a mixture of tasty cheddar and parmesan)
  • 3/4 cup SR flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs* or rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use grape seed)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Grate carrot, zucchini and cheese into a large mixing bowl, add corn.  Mix through flour, then add all other ingredients and mix just until well combined.  Be careful not to over-mix.

Spoon into muffin tin (I get 12 large muffins) and bake at 180 deg. C until muffins are golden and bounce back  a bit when prodded.  (This takes about 10-15 minutes in my oven).  Allow to cool in tin a few minutes before turning out. 

(Despite the picture above, I usually use silicon muffin pans so I don’t grease them or use patty-pans, but you may need to with metal tins).


*The original recipe called for oats, which I used until one day I was out of them and tried the cornflake crumbs instead.  The muffins seemed to rise better and be tastier, so I use them all the time now.  I usually have cornflake crumbs in the cupboard as when I last looked, they more resembled  real food than normal packaged breadcrumbs.

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