Monday, 5 September 2011

Magazine Equality

Yesterday, Sunday, my husband and I walked into town to pick up some things we were out of (milk, laundry tabs). I suggested we pick up some things with which to make dinner which earned me a completely blank look from Chris. The previous night's potato and cheese roll served with roasted chicken had been sliced and toasted to be served for breakfast with bacon and apparently that had satisfied the cooking and eating part of his brain such that he was caught off guard by the suggestion that we might need to cook and eat ever again, let alone that evening. We decided to pull out the last lock'n'lock of beef stew from a couple of weeks ago and save recipe-hunting for another time.

Sundays in the UK, certainly in Inverness, are a bit quieter than their counterparts in metropolitan centres in the US, the bay area in particular. The big chains are still open, but keep shorter hours, but a lot if not most of the little shops are closed. Relevant to my interests, the Victorian Market where the three craft stores are located, is closed and the little health food shop I like to poke around in is as well. The only purpose to walking into town, as opposed to the new Tesco which is 0.1miles closer in the other direction, is to stop at Costa Coffee and have a flat white (him) and hot chocolate with vanilla syrup (me). Alas, Chris had just had his second or third cup of the day when we left the house and wasn't yet ready for a Costa visit and there's no point in buying milk and ice cream* and then sitting in a coffee shop while it melts. In a stroke of genius inspiration, I asked if we could duck into WH Smith and look at their magazines.

I love a good magazine. I loath everything the men's and women's interest magazines stand for ("look at this product which will magically solve all the problems with your life and your appearance that you didn't know you had!") but almost every other magazine is brilliant to flip through - even the trashy celeb mags: seeing how a dozen different magazines compete to give the same story a different cover layout and headline spin (seeing all those covers was as close as I ever got to following "pop culture"). When I worked in a bookstore I loved thumbing through magazines and seeing what there was to see. And now that knitting is my main obsession, I need knitting magazines. I got a digital subscription for Interweave Knits (and Piecework is calling my name) but I figure there must be a UK knitting magazine worth getting, whether digitally or in full glossy glory. I flipped through my binders of patterns culled from my stripped** magazine collection to see which magazines published my favourite patterns and...nothing. I found a few UK magazines online, but couldn't tell A) how often they were each published or B) if there was enough inside of interest to be worth buying one. Thus the need to visit a newstand.

I decided on a copy of Knitting Magazine for me and, as a distraction, Delicious (a cookery magazine) for my husband. He was dubious but I know how much he loves thumbing through recipes and Delicious was one I recognized as a Really Really Really Good Cookery Magazine so I purchased it anyway. He loves it. He stayed up past midnight, pouring over the recipes and picking out 10 (ten!) recipes to make this week. That's just the mains - he's decided I should pick out the puddings. He's being very mysterious about it: I'm not allowed to know which recipes he's picked out and he'll be placing our grocery delivery order when I'm not looking so it'll be a big surprise. I am allowed to know what we're having for dinner tonight as I need to purchase a butternut squash, red onions, and carrots so we can actually make it. There was a bit of a kerfluffle about sausage, when he asked me to get some out of the garage-freezer and then said but not those sausages, well maybe these sausages, pick ones that are "meaty" and I made an executive decision that he needs to select the right sausages as I don't understand the criteria.

In other news, I like my magazine if only because it is full of yarns readily available in the UK and the "upcoming events" includes something in Inverness! Another bonus - they have a couple of projects pictured as knit up in alternate colours in the suggested yarn. I may knit a sweater yet.

* I spent the morning catching up with Pioneer Woman Cooks and decided that our two lonely bananas needed to be turned into Bananas Foster which in turn needed to be poured over ice cream. Thus, "double cream" and "ice cream" were added to the list.

** you know how the first page in a mass market (little) paperback says "if you purchased this book without its cover it was reported as destroyed and neither the author nor the publisher made any money off of it"? That's 'cause books that don't sell get returned to the publisher but MM and magazines aren't worth shipping around so you just return the front cover and destroy (or take home) the rest. This was one of the best parts of working in a bookstore until they started a company-wide recycling program and magazines had to be returned whole to be stripped and processed elsewhere.


  1. This was a delightful post. How are the meals?

  2. Each better than the last. We've been cooking out of that magazine for the last three weeks and haven't run out of recipes we want to try. Also, everything has been yummy.