Honey and
a food journal

Sunday, 13 August 2017

2 Years On In NYC

Two of us two years later.
And that was two. Two whole years in NYC. There are still a few (we're unsure as to how many) to go, but two felt like a lot. This city sure isn't easy. One minute you're in love, the next it's hell. It goes from uplifting, inspiring, and engaging to punishing, stress-inducing, and far too challenging in a matter of seconds.

We bought a plant. We'll be here for a while.
But, for now, it's home. It certainly doesn't always feel that way. I still spend probably too much time reminiscing on our London days, and we definitely won't be here forever, but it's a special place, with certain welcoming hints of magic jumping out to surprise me every now and again. 

An example of magic.
Looking at last year's list of bizarre UK-US differences, some of them don't seem so bizarre anymore. "How are you?" has become a normal greeting, I always tip, and I've got my egg order down. B always laughs at what he calls my "Americanisms," which I've unwittingly picked up along the way. So, in case you're wondering how American I've become, here's a few things that have changed (without me even realizing):

1. It's an apartment. Not a flat. Having said that, I'm still stuck on flatmates. Roommates hasn't entered my regular vocab yet.
2. Oregano is pronounced orAYgeno. But with a British accent.
3. Cilantro. Eggplant. Scallions. Zucchini. Fries. Soda. I work in food; what did you expect?
4. I have learned to sign for everything I buy. My signature is a random squiggle. Okay, a line. But, in my defense, writing on those iPad pay stations with a finger is hard.
5. Walks are hikes. Always.
6. Bagels are a necessary staple. I can't remember what I ate before them.

A typical breakfast.
7. Specialty not speciality. Why bother with an extra syllable when you don't have to.
8. I get the subway. Even when in London.
9. It's nice out. It's hot out. Not outside. Just out. 

It was nice out on this day.
10. No words have a u. All words have a z. 
11. Z is pronounced 'zee.'
12. I have a suitably annoying, particular coffee order.
13. Wearing sports kit to work is totally acceptable.
14. Ice cream is an important part of life.
15. Driving 5 hours for a weekend away is a normal thing to do.

Or 4 hours for a day of skiing...

But don't worry, I still don't know the words to the national anthem and I don't know how American football works. These things continue to puzzle me, let's see how I feel about them next year...:

1. Apparently I look tan. Not tanned. But tan. Is this a color rather than an adjective? I'm unclear.
2. Vacation. The lack of it. Not the word itself.
3. Erbs. What happened to the h? 
4. Pudding vs dessert. These words are not interchangeable. Pudding in the US describes some specific types of dessert, which, confusingly, aren't what would be described as a classic 'pudding' (I'm thinking steamed, seventies-style) in the UK.
5. I still can't write the date.
6. I don't call my trousers pants. I still don't know what to call the underwear definition of pants. 
7. Sneakers. If I think about saying this word I doubt myself and return to trainers. It sounds weird coming out of my mouth.
8. Fahrenheit. Still clueless.
9. How to hold a knife and fork. It seems Americans hold a fork like they might murder you any second. Also, cutlery is not a word. It's flatware. Nobody can explain why.
10. Cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese? What the what?
11. Parmigian. Taglatiell. They're not spelled like that but they're pronounced like that. I'm not sure if they get bored before the end of the world or what happens here.
12. If the recipe you're using calls for a red chili, you can give up hope of finding it. You will only be able to find a jalapeño. There is no other chili.
13. How the health service works (or doesn't work) is beyond me. I think my visit to the doctor was free. It may not have been. I may be in crippling debt because of a check-up. I don't know.
14. What is seltzer? Is it just sparkling water? Is it soda water? Is there even a difference?
15. Trump.

The Trump thing isn't just me.
This next year's going to bring a lot of running, a little bit of traveling, lots more coffee, hundreds of bagels, a few visitors, and a lot more unknowns and adventures that will be thrown our way, whether we want them or not.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

5 Things & 3 More

5 happy things from the last 5 days:

1. Mini meditations.
2. Summer salad.
3. Marathon training exhaustion.
4. Post beach-day blues (and slight sunburn).
5. WFH Wednesday.

3 things to explore this weekend:

1. In case you ever thought baking a wedding cake would be a good idea, Molly's here to make you change your mind.
2. My friend made this amazing app, just for fun. If you're based in Brooklyn and shop at the Park Slope Co-op, download it now.
3. This article on naming a baby is both amusing and interesting. Who knew there were laws on what you could call a child?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Snapshots from Home

In mid-July we took a week off work and flew back home. Days were filled with long walks (and runs), beautiful food, amazing wine, and so much love, laughter, hugs, and smiles. Being back at home and in our old London stomping grounds fills my heart with so much joy, and inevitably makes me question why we ever moved away. But really I know why, and there's so many opportunities, discoveries, and adventures to be had over in this crazy country too. That doesn't make leaving any easier, that doesn't mean that I miss home any less than I did in our first day in this busy, hectic city, and that doesn't mean that I don't dream of returning one day (not quite) soon (enough). 

But for now, we are where we are. We live in the present and make vague future plans, not clinging to them, allowing them to change, and flowing through the weeks that come and go in the blink of an eye. 

These are just a few snapshots from some of our most adored UK spaces: home (my home), maman's veggie patch, Broadway Market, Regent's Canal (and the Towpath Café), Pavilion Café, Bar Termini (a new discovery for us), and, of course the space and countryside that shone beautifully on a perfect British summer's day.

Sunday, 30 July 2017


I'm not sure where time goes in this city. Days turn into weeks turn into months. Hence the lack of love this blog gets, and the time it took us to finally eat at Olmsted.

Pete Wells gave this farm-to-table style restaurant in Prospect Heights two of his sought-after golden stars almost a year ago. Since then, there's been a webcam on the restaurant's site so you can see how long the queue is. This, as you can understand, is partly why it took us so long to dare to try to eat there.

B's birthday was finally the time to tackle the line. We got there early. The wait? An hour. It may sound like a while, but it was only 6pm, so really it worked out in our favor. We wandered over to the Bearded Lady for a drink, and came back to take the two vacant seats at the bar.

Two glasses of bubbly were ordered. We spent the next five minutes admiring the beautiful details of the space. From the colorful water glasses, to the menu folded like a letter, to the beautiful light streaming in through the windows.

When you have such high expectations from a place, both as a result of the critics' reviews, the popularity, and friends' recommendations, it can often end up being underwhelming. But Olmsted honestly did live up to the hype. The food was bright, delicate, original, and oh so pretty.

Snap pea sushi used snap peas instead of rice, with thinly sliced fish placed on top, adorned with a slither of lemon, and splattered with a zingy, refreshing dressing.

Fried pickles was a bowl filled with lightly-battered, warm, crunchy, tangy fiddlehead ferns.

If I could have the B.L.T. bowl for lunch every day, I would. Delicate salad leaves, baby tomatoes, and squares of pork belly hid underneath a salty, shattering parmesan frico hat.

Then came the dishes of many parts. First the English Pea Falafel: a pile of falafel balls on pea shoots, fluffy peata bread, bright cardamom labneh, and fresh mint. Perfect early summertime flavors.

The pastrami tray was a stark contrast to the other dishes. Everything was still pretty and delicate, but the flavors took a dramatic change of course with mustard coated pastrami, sweet cornbread, creamy potato salad, and crisp slaw. Who'd have thought that serving American barbecue in adorable portions on a pretty plate would actually work out? There's some sort of magic going on in the Olmsted kitchen.

Be sure to ask if you can have dessert outside. The backyard is a gardener's haven, and home to the most adorable pet quails. On this hot summer's evening, this is perhaps the most romantic place in Brooklyn: fireflies dart through the fairylight-strewn space, couples sip on tea, eat soft-serve cherry ice cream and lavender honey froyo, and hope the night will never end.

Olmsted, 659 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
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