Dec 10, 2010

Holiday Plans. Nigella's North Indian Vegetable Curry. The Fear of 'Beige' is Ageless.

It's been a week of high adventure.

I had the exciting midweek outing to see some pearls, drink some champagne and have dinner next to a cabana.

There was a racy note with my finally finishing 'The Initimate Adventures Of A London Callgirl'.  To be honest, I was a bit over all the sex after the first few chapters.  Which didn't leave much else to read about but it was difficult to not finish reading it, if only to find out what happened to Belle in the end and how her work may have impacted on the rest of her life.  I didn't get a satisfactory answer to either of these questions but perhaps these were not the intent of the book.

Fortunately, Allison at Life in a Pink Fibro blogged about the latest Kate Norton novel here.  I've found a new author to discover.  I'm starting at the end with Kate's most recent novel The Distant Hours - got the Kindle version.  A dark, gothic novel which suits the grey skies and rain that are here, yet again in Sydney.

Then I found out I have a week and half of leave after New Years.  Mr SSG and I were online most of last night trying to figure out what to do with it.  Mr SSG was fighting a losing battle.  With each location that Google revealed to us, I would say 'That sound's great, let's do it'.

I had this great short list:
  1. the Bora Bora, in an over water bungalow
  2. Wolgan Valley resort
  3. a yoga retreat in Byron
  4. NYC
  5. NYC
  6. NYC
  7. the Golden Door Retreat
  8. a lodge in Hamilton, New Zealand
  9. whilst we're on the subject 'H' places - Hamilton Island or Hayman
  10. Fiji.
I missed Rake and a blog post last night on account of all the discussion we had about the above.

There can only be one winner, and sadly, it was none of the above.  Planning a getaway this close to the holiday season is ridiculously expensive, the flights are the most convuluted imaginable and there's the small matter of the wet season in many tropical areas.

At this stage, the list is looking like:
  1. aiming for a daily yoga class at our regular school with its ready access to great coffee and cafes
  2. getting a dramatic hair cut
  3. going to Newcastle.
Why Newcastle?  It's one of the Lonely Planet's Top 10 destinations and also, my little brother is supposed to  be moving there.  My current plan is to drive there with Mr SSG, armed with a care package of household items for my brother.  He's been in the UK for years and probably won't be well equipped flat wise on his return here.

I'm getting pretty excited because I've downloaded the excellent Newcastle tourist / visitor guide and it has lots of walks mapped out as well as a beach guide.  Did you know that from a local's perspective, a 'tourist' is someone who invades the area they are holidaying in with their overbearing ways, 4WDs and families?
Whilst a 'visitor' is a respectful person seeking to share in the experience of a  local's home town.  Wise words.  I have 'Heckler' in the SMH to thank for that piece of information.

A Farmer's Wife and I are currently sharing a profound respect for what we like to call Nanna Style,  It defies chronological age.  AFW, don't worry, I have it on good authority (our husbands) neither of us look a day older than the day we first met in uni.
AFW embraced the look with a vibrant dress and silver sandals.

I have interpreted it to involve pearls and fuchsia at the neck.

Dress: David Lawrence, necklaces: Red Phoenix Emporim, the white Coco and the FF Leo

And natty 2 toned pumps.  In Nanna speak, they are not black and beige shoes but black and bone/biscuit.  The fear of beige is ageless.  Every nanna I have known considers it boring to describe anything as 'beige' coloured.  Far more acceptable to use foods.
Shoes: the amazing Mr S Ferragamo

I also did the Nanna movement proud by using up the more senior members of the vegetable crisper of the fridge.

I am loving Nigella's Kitchen series and am doing a cook along based on my favourite recipe from each epsiode.  Publishers, this is the way forward for cookbooks.  Market a book together with a television series and the masses will watch one and buy the other.

Today's recipe is Nigella's 'North Indian Vegetable Curry'.  It basically involves browning onions to make the curry base before simmering your choice of vegetables in this.  Easy, healthy and budget friendly.  And not a slow cooker in sight.  Sorry, I can't find a link to the actual recipe.

Nigella is a great person for encouraging the use of packaged herbs and jars of more obscure products.  I love her for it.

I served these chapatis with the curry.

I also found Margaret Fulton's fruit mince pies at Coles.  On special.  It is just about the time of year when eating these for breakfast with ice cream would make perfect sense.

This is what my curry looked like.  Darker yellow than Nigella's.  I may have poured in too much of the spices and used a light rather than full fat coconut milk to give it this colour.

Here we are some hours later with a bowl of curry topped with fresh coriander. 

It benefitted from having had a bit of time to sit and flavour up.

I've just realized how many fabulous blogs I've referenced in today's post.  Thank you all for the joy you bring to my blog reading time.


  1. You make one very stylish Nanna SSG

  2. Ha ha I laughed out loud about the 'senior members of the vegetable crisper'! I also have some senior vegetables so will have to give this curry a go! I loved the croissant pudding Nigella made the other day - so fattening that I should just skip eating it and pour it straight in my pants and let it settle nicely on my thighs.

    Love the styling of the Coco and FF Leo together! It is ALL about layering at the moment. Nice to see those b/w shoes in action too.


  3. What a delicious looking veggie curry with the 'more senior members of the vegetable crisper' - that made me smile!! And yes, isn't it funny that we cannot use that word BEIGE anymore?! x

  4. I love your shoes SSG.

    Anyway, I am a Novacastrian (well I was schooled there and live just down the coast from it).

    I suggest the Hunter Valley as a lovely getaway destination! There are loads of places to stay. It's just out of Newcastle and is what we call Wine Country.

    Newcastle over New Years is alright - a bit boring. We do have two giant shopping centres now.. hmm.. and an Apple Store; so maybe not all hope is lost. One is Kotara Westfield and the other is Charlestown Square.

    We have lovely beaches, and the best one for seclusion I have found is Bar Beach.

    Some good places to eat include Silo and anything in the Honeysuckle strip (it has views of the harbour) or Darby Street strip.

    David Beckham stayed at the Crowne Plaza which is probably the nicest place to stay.

    :) Also thank you for your lovely comments xox

  5. Aww what a shame about not being able to go overseas. I loved Wolgan Valley and a NZ lodge for luxury. Wolgan isn't a flight away but sadly NZ is!

  6. The curry looks great. And so do you. Not nannaish at all.


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