Monday, September 24, 2012

the profound mystery of airing

For a few sunny September evenings, the shadows, strong and certain, come into their own and Scottish Husband's t-shirts on the line are suddenly beautiful.

Les vêtements de Bartley Aardvark, al fresco.
Scottish Husband says that he is tired of his stereotypifying name
and wishes to be known as Bartley Aardvark.

Jayne asks, in puzzled response to my recent desire for an Aga Airer, how airing works. Is there a stage in the laundry process at which the outside air becomes too harsh, too overwhelmingly airy, and the clothes need to be brought inside for some calming domestic air before they are folded and placed in the armoire? How does one tell? Is it worth the refolding effort?

As I struggled to reply, I realised that I don't really understand laundry at all, and have just been blindly following convention. Does anyone else have an insight into the objectives and intricacies of airing?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

For Jane, who asked about the apple bread

It's a disgracefully long while, Jane, since you asked me for the recipe for the apple bread I mentioned. Finding the cookery book took a lot of rummaging, and the limiting factor of the household efficiency model is that there aren't enough rummagers to cope with the quantity of mislaid items, even though I spend every waking moment returning things to where they belong.

The recipe is essentially for normal yeast  bread made with the addition of stewed apple. Because of my compulsion to tweak recipes, my version has departed from the original to such an extent that I wanted to find the original, correct text for you. Everything I bake always converges eventually towards my favourite food, hot cross buns, and so it was with my more recent incarnations of this apple bread.  Anyhow, the version given here is ever so nice, especially, as is remarked, with cheese.

These pages are from The Student Cook Book: Eating well without mixer, microwave or money by Sarah Freeman. There was a time when it saw me through many a dinner party.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'd like an Aga airer

My heart has been set for nearly twenty four hours now on owning an Aga airer. As it tends to set to a consistency more like jelly than concrete, my broad policy is to purchase nothing, but pursuing my yearnings to the brink of boredom has become quite a hobby.

a lifestyle-rich airer, or should I say lifestyle-riche? from here

This airer looks very appealing, doesn't it?  If employed in real life, however, I suspect my ditsy tea towels would fall into the copper pans of richly bubbling sugo di pomodoro and I'd soon be needing a restorative swig of whatever those intriguing little bottles contain.

from here

This one is more practical, if not quite as Louis Quinze as I'd aspire to. Socks might get snagged by gilt curlicues, so one must be sensible.  Otherwise, all it lacks is folding feet...

from here

... which this one has, but is it a bit ho-hum or merely channeling the ho-humness of the tiles and microwave oven?

I shyly revealed my Aga airer aspirations to Clarissa, a fellow aesthete, at the school gate today after she had admired my hair and I'd admired hers and we'd touched on Goya's later middle period. Clarissa pointed out that using things for their intended purpose is very déclassé, so I'd have to be sure to air the clothes furtively or repurpose the airer as a stand for swallows, hoisted on a high rusting pole in the middle of the south lawn so that the birds could congregate in the darkening evenings, a bucolic vignette to distract me from the discomfort of my slightly damp clothing.

Already the whole airer thing is fraught with hidden difficulty. Do you think I should buy these Ugg Noira sheepskin-lined boots?
Ugg Noira boots from Schuh

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