Monday, March 28, 2011

A Lady of P Leisure.

Yeah, yeah, I haven't blogged for a while. This is because I have taken to becoming a Lady of Leisure. Ironically enough, the English actually pronounce "leisure" like "pleasure" but without the "p," when in fact, being a Lady of Leisure is no pleasure at all.

Back home in Colorado I was very involved with my church, work, dog, friends, gardening, book club, the list goes on. I was always busy; I was always happy (with the exception of crazy hormonal outbursts).

Here I am in London, not a part of anything - and it's tough. Earlier in my stay here, I tried to volunteer, but I had to be a UK citizen, etc. I can't get a job. I have one friend, Amy, but we can't hang out every day. I am not a part of any clubs, I'm not involved in church, so what is a girl to do? Well, I'll tell you what I do:

1. Sleep in (I feel like a bum).
2. Watch Gilmore Girls and Smallville almost every morning.
3. Do laundry on Mondays (it takes over 2 hours to WASH one small load, and the drier doesn't really work so I have to hang up everything to dry).
4. Go clothes shopping (amazing story about new jeans Abelow).
5. Grocery Shopping
6. and I have become very close friends.
6a. Plan my friend Emily's baby shower for when I get home.
6b. Plan for things I am going to do to my house when I get home.
6c. Find awesome recipes.
7. Read other people's blogs.
8. Exercise.
9. Clean - except on Wednesdays because the house cleaner comes that day. Really.
10. I have taken a few classes at the Apple store, which have been fun.
11. Walk to new parks.
12. Read - a lot. The sunny days where I am able to read outside in the sun, or even on my bed in the sun, have been delightful.
13. Skype with Mom.
14. Plan for visitors.
15. Cook (see new recipe below)

This all sounds fun, but like I said earlier, it's rather tough not being a part of something significant. I am going home a month from today, but Eric is not :(sad face. But the good news is that April will be full of things to do! This Thursday, Liz and Ian (eric's mom and brother) are coming for a few days! Then Eric and I are going to Germany that next weekend! And then, My parents are coming to visit and we are going to Somerset with them after they see London! Wow. Or as the French say "Extra!" So. Much. Fun.

Picture and recipe time:
I found this gem (yes, the cupcake is sparkly, though you can't really tell) after one of my classes at the Apple Store in Covent Garden at a palce called Ella's Cupcakes. Not extremely tasty (I do have high standards for cupcakes), but really pretty.
I got these at Waitrose on clearance for £3.49 about a week ago, and they are just now starting to wilt.
About my new jeans: A miracle happened. I've been thinking about looking for some new jeans for a while now. Last week, I went to go get my face waxed at a place in a shopping center, but I was about 15 minutes early. Not expecting to find anything, I went to this store called Mango that was right next to the waxing place. I walked around, picked up these jeans, tried them on, and they fit!!! They are a bit long, so I will have to hem them when I get home, but can you believe that? If anyone has ever been jean shopping, they will know that you don't just fit into the first pair of jeans you try on. But the best part is...they were only £24.90. Miracle.

British Fish and Cheese Quesadilla

You will need:
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Cheddar Cheese (or the like)
Cod, Talapia, or another kind of white fish fillet
Lemon Juice
Cream (optional)
Garlic Powder
Fresh Black Pepper

1. Heat up the fish in your favorite way, no need to season though. I get the frozen fillets and just nuke them. If it's a fresh fish, put it in the microwave in a bowl with olive oil, cover it with a few layers of plastic wrap and cook it for 3-5 minutes.
2. Shred fish with fork.
3. Put it all together like a quesadilla. If you have never made a quesadilla, google it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things I like in London: Meat Pies

I have heard about meat pies. I watched Sweeney Todd and did not think that meat pies were a good idea, but since being in London I have tried my fair share, and I love them.

I got this chicken pie from a place right around the corner from us called "Food Hall." It always has really good food for pretty cheap. I also like to get my fresh bread and cheese there.
I concur.
The best pies are from a place in Borough Market at a stand called Pieminister.
So Yummy looking. I really like them from this place because the pies aren't just filled with meat; they are more like chicken pot pies.

This one is called Mr. Porkey. It's filled with pork, bacon, and vegetables. I really love the creamy sauce they mix it all together with.
Typically, pie is my least favorite dessert. I feel like pie crust is not sweet, nor does it belong with fruit. But after having so many delicious meat pies in England, I have some great motivation for learning to make pie crust.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jaime in Edinburgh

This weekend Eric and I went to Edinburgh for a mini vacation. I absolutely loved it! The architecture was magnificent, the people were very friendly, and the mountains and hills reminded me a lot of home. The weather wasn't very pleasant, but everything else was.
Taken from the Edinburgh Castle - rainy day.
Eric from (almost) the top of The Scott Monument.
287 narrow steps to the top.
Me from (almost) the top of The Scott Monument.
Edinburgh Castle.
NE Edinburgh.
Holyrood Park in the background, or as Eric and I named it "The Great Wall." Don't you love the buildings?
Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle, again.
Edinburgh to the South.
Another picture of "The Great Wall"
John Knox was buried under that yellow box. Back in the 16th century, Knox was considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland. His wish to be buried near the church (just behind where the picture was taken), was kept. He also wasn't very well liked, which is why he remained there after the area was not longer a burial ground.
The oldest building in Scotland.
On top of the building are the two symbols for Scotland and France, symbolizing an ancient treaty to help each other when Britain attacked either one.
Edinburgh Castle from the back.
Bobby dog.
Bobby was the dog of a night guard for the Grayfriars graveyard. After His owner had him only 2 years, the man died of TB, and was buried there. The dog came back to the man's grave every day for the next 10 years until Bobby died. He is now the most loved and photographed dog in Europe.
Forsyth - like our last name. I actually ordered an ancient Forsyth tartan scarf that I will be getting in a few weeks. I'm excited.
Charming Victoria Street in the middle of Edinburgh.
We ate at this delicious place called Monster Mash. I had a sausage and about a pound+ of mashed potatoes and gravy. Eric had haggis, tatties & neeps (haggis, turnips, mash). For those of you who don't know how to make haggis, you take a sheep's stomach, grind up its liver, heart, and lungs, oats, and herbs, and stick them in the stomach. Boil it. Eat it. I tried it, and it was okay. I don't need to ever have it again. But I will need to go back to Edinburgh again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jaime in Paris - Day 2

Day 2 of our adventures in Paris:

Eric in front of the Arc de Triomphe and La Concorede
Jaime in front of the Arc de Triomphe and La Concorede
Le Louvre
More of Le Louvre
Eric and the doors to the Notre-Dame. We saw a few sets of Mormon missionaries from Utah here and chatted with them for a while. One said he wanted to go to school at CU in Boulder. Small world.
Loved all the beautiful stained glass in here.
Flying Buttresses in the back of the Notre-Dame
Here I am behind Notre-Dame.
And again in front of the Pompidou Museum.
Here I am again - my feet were really tired. We walked all day.
Paris was beautiful and I loved it. Tomorrow we head out for Edinburgh for more adventures.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jaime in Paris - Day 1

Eric had some business in Paris on Tuesday. We figured that since his ticket was paid for, we would just get a ticket for me and make a mini vacation out of it.

We stayed in a hotel right off the Champs-Elysees - we were surrounded by good food and good shopping. We were just down the street from this: 

The Arc de Triomphe.
A lovely view as I was crossing the Pont do la Concorde Bridge.
The Musee d'Orsay. I absolutely loved it here! It was a beautiful art museum. My favorites were paintings by Matisse and Henri Edmond Cross that looked like mosaics. My very favorite was a paining by Georges Lemmen called Beach at Heist (Sunset on the beach). Unfortunately no pictures were allowed to be taken inside.
It was such a nice day. This picture reminded my of a park near where we live in Colorado (there was some serious frisbee playing going on). It was sunny all day Tuesday - I actually think my face got a little sunburnt.
View from a bridge.
Tour Eiffel
Every hour at night, the Eiffel Tower looks like it has twinkle lights all over it, but it is difficult to capture that in a picture since not all the lights twinkle at once.
"The City of Love"
 It was wonderful. I ate more delicious bread than I should probably eat in two weeks. I had my first experience with macaroons - yumm-o! We ate lots of crepes and pizza from restaurants on side streets (which in my opinion is the way to eat cheap and delicious in any city).

Stay tuned for Jaime in Paris - Day 2.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seeing the Sights

This weekend was nice - we did everything. We took off walking on Saturday afternoon with the end target being a German restaurant called Zeitgeist, and we took lots of stops at typical London sights along the way.

Our first stop was at Trafalgar Square. Eric loved that there was a pirate ship in a bottle that was probably 20 feet long. There was also some kind of feminist benefit show (?) going on, so we didn't stay long.

As we left Trafalgar Square and headed towards St. James' Park, the sun came out. This was the first time, since we have been in London, that Eric had taken a walk in a sunny park. We took our time in the sun. We stopped at Inn the Park (a really tasty restaurant) and got some ginger beer and a crispy apple cinnamon muffin. we strolled along in the sunshine until we got to Buckingham Palace.

Eric and I decided that we would not want the job of a palace guard. They just stood there with their hat strap pressing between their lip and chin, and every few minutes, they got to - very rigidly - walk about 20m, switch the hand their gun was in, then stand back in the exact same position for another 15 minutes or so.

The sunshine didn't last all day.
We walked by Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey; took pictures; and went to the German restaurant, or pub, rather. The St. Pauli vs. Nuremberg game was playing on a German TV channel. We had some delicious schnitzel and went on our way.

Eric is so good at taking pictures, even if it is with his phone.
To get home, we caught a ferry at the London Eye. As we walked under a bridge towards the London eye, it was like we were walking into a carnival. That was the most touristy part of London I had ever seen - there were even bumper cars. The river was nice, we got off at London Bridge, then the second best part of the weekend (besides walking in the sunny park with Eric) happened - I got Burnt Sugar honeycomb candy...for free.

At about 5 o'clock, when Borough Market was closing up, we stopped by the Burnt Sugar stand and asked if we could get some honeycomb candy (even though it was mostly already packed up). After I quickly put some in my bag, and I tried to pay, the guy said, "Na, don't worry about it."

When we got home, I made Eric some Spezi (a German drink consisting of Diet Coke and Orange Fanta), then Eric and I spent the rest of the night bumming around watching The West Wing. Best. Day. (in London) Ever.