Green Goddess Aioli Recipe, Nightmare before/during/after Christmas + Puzzles.

Happy Friday the 13th Honeybunches, and a very sweet & gentle happy new year! I hope the last few weeks were slow & restful, and, to put it bluntly - better than mine (:/)! I feel a little stumped sitting down to write these newsletters - so many new people have signed up to read them (so honoured & overjoyed you have!) and writing personal things feels... well, potentially inappropriate. I've always treated these like old 2010 diary entry blog posts & I don't want that to change. As ever, I'm probably overthinking things - so in the spirit of not worrying about what people want to read and instead writing what I want to write, here's a little (bleak) catch-up.

My bestie's mum passed away Christmas eve, followed by my grandfather on December 28th. My mental health was already a solid 2/10 before that, so you can put the pieces together of how things went from there. Two funerals/memorials later and I'm writing at my kitchen table with a few candles lit on a mild & overcast, still "summer" day - hoping a lil' healing might be around the corner. All the family have finally departed (back home overseas, or on holidays) and Merlin & I are having a stay-cay which is already revealing (once again) that I most definitely thrive if I moved out/lived alone (thank you financial constraints).

I can't really tell you what I've got up to these last couple of weeks, it's been a *let's just survive* themed blur. Sleeping (my one usually trusty mental health/skincare/fatigue etc. support pillar) hasn't been going very well, so no wonder any attempts at productivity have evaporated before they've begun. I have done a little catering, pieced together a lot of puzzles on my bedroom floor, cleaned out my wardrobe, purchased a winter armoury of clothing in the sales, set up a Brodie Lancaster-style mega spreadsheet to track my habits & consumption in 2023, started Adrienne's new 30-day yoga journey Centre, cried a lot, avoided cooking like the plague (stress) and lay down for just 20 minutes to stare into space, many many times. You get the gist.

This week, my gentle stay-cay goals are to...

The spontaneous thing might be getting Yo-Chi (frozen yoghurt - they have vegan options) and the thing I've never done before might be going to a Japanese homewares shop I've been pining to browse around for months now, and that's ok.

some catering snapshots.

a veganised 2-ingredient ice cream ring I made for Christmas day (left) & a fennel frond pesto gnocchi my brother made from Hetty McKinnon's new book Tenderheart (right).

some good meals i made - a poke bowl & mini kimchi pancakes


Wintering, By Katherine May was a timely Christmas present - all about the inevitable periods in our lives that demand stillness & rest. How to live through them and make it out the other side. It was a welcome gentle pep talk when I was feeling pretty out of it. I do think it waffled somewhat towards the end, but that could also be my reduced attention span.

Less, By Andrew Sean Greer was a birthday present I so desperately wanted to love. I thought I would - but (again, consider my struggling mental state in this assessment) I just didn't feel for the main character. I guess I couldn't relate to his predicament & found his international-travel methods to avoid his ex's wedding, a bit unbelievable. I wish I loved it, so many people do - I was bored :(


I've found it hard to give any form of distraction a chance these last few weeks - the only thing I've watched in full is the adaption of Beth O'Leary's brilliant book The Flatshare. I loved it. It stars my fave Jessica Brown Finley and is quite different to the book in tone & plot points, but if you give it a chance - I think it's just as wonderful in its own way. The music is a delight, it's subtly funny while providing top-tier representation around abusive relationships & consent.


What's that, you say?! Yes, you're right! I do have a recipe for you this week & it's sublime. I took a punt at recreating Sable's Herb & Garlic Aioli which is a total fr*th machine. When making it I realised it has firm Green Goddess notes, hence why this recipe is a mix between the two. Put it on tofu, dip things in it, spread it on a bagel, dress a salad with it or pair it with polenta.

Thank you dearly for reading - I know this one wasn't exactly a parcel of positivity!

Phoebe & Merlin x

You can TIP MY WORK or ADJUST YOUR (free/paid) SUBSCRIPTION here 🖋️