a food journal
a food journal
Monday, 30 March 2015
Friday, 27 March 2015
I'm off to ski in the cold, cold mountains this weekend and I cannot wait for a happy, snow-filled few days. But there have been happy moments in this chilly London week too:
2. A long overdue catch up with some of my favourite girls
3. Painfully long yogi ab exercises
4. Ginger nuts
5. Cards, cards and more cards
This article on a promising chef turned bank robber is a fascinating, heart-breaking story; there's even more New York excitement in this flat after reading David Leibovitz's words on Mile End Deli; and excuse me while I get back in the kitchen to bake Claire Ptak's banana buttermilk bread.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
I'd had a fortnight of baking upsets. Sponges were too dry, coconut macaroons didn't hold their shape, dough was too wet, biscuits were too crumbly... I was stuck in a rut and the desire to get in the kitchen and turn the oven on was nowhere near as strong as it normally is. I needed to return to a recipe that I could trust wholeheartedly. Pulling out Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding from the bookshelf felt like the right thing to do.
Finally I had a dough that came together perfectly, filled with ginger and spices and easily rolled into perfect little balls. A little bit of pressure on them before they were popped in to a hot oven and out came biscuits that B thought I had bought and surreptitiously emptied into the tin to hide my mistakes. They were a baking victory. At last.
Friday, 20 March 2015
Is it just me or has this week been dragging by super slowly? I feel like it's been months since the last weekend, not days. But there have been moments of happiness hidden amongst the exhaustion:
1. Friends and family: their support and love has been amazing
2. A determined yoga practice
3. Blood orange juice
4. A brief visit from my brother
5. Dancing, dancing, dancing
This mini video guide on how to be New Yorker has got me excited about maybe trying to reenact that life in a few months; this article on the weakness of human memory, and the danger that that puts us in is scary and amazing; and more New York excitement and inspiration for some home baking came by way of these video instructions for Momofuku Milk Bar's Birthday Cake recipe.
I hope your weekend is full of bubbles and coffee.
Monday, 16 March 2015
B put some sparkles on my finger and I said yes to spending my life with him.
We went to the Clove Club to celebrate. It was perfect.
A glass of Champagne at the bar: oaky, rich Champagne as was required for two smiling, excited people.
The service at the Clove Club is always immaculate: it treds the fine line of being super friendly, but always stays just the right side of formal. Hours spent at the table didn't drag by, instead they dissolved into glasses of wine and more and more plates of food, until I couldn't eat another scrap and needed to surrender to my mattress and duvet.
It all started with salami made from their mangalitza pigs and cured in-house. Far too easy to eat an entire plate of this.
Wood pigeon sausage, buttermilk fried chicken (the classic - and the sole reason the people next to us had come to eat here), Japanese-esque oat biscuits & a light fish broth with chilli and orange zest followed. And that was just the 'snacks to start'.
A delicate, fresh wild irish trout tartare, citron bachès, sesame and chives came as course number 1.
Swiftly followed by walnut wine glazed Cornish cod, jersey royals & white courgette. I need my potatoes to taste like that. I wish I knew how.
Yorkshire suckling pig & south Indian spices. B thought he had gone to heaven when he tried this. A pot of salty-spice mix in the middle of the table, which we sprinkled sparingly on the crispy, tender pork (a little bit of lots of different piggy parts), spinach with a crunch and the most wonderful tasting spiced-mush and the crispiest potatoes that was tying it all together.
A portion of cheese split between two (we were starting to flag at this point): sesame crackers, bright green apple, and thin oatcakes accompanied a perfect mini mix of wonderful fromage.
Then the best bit: Amalfi Lemonde & Sarawak Pepper Ice Cream. Who knew that whipped cream could be fizzy and sparkly and full of bubbles? I wish I could eat this every day. It was like the best Summer holiday had been fizzed up and towered into the bowl.
Because one pudding is never enough, warm blood orange, ewe's milk yoghurt mousse and wild fennel granita fitted perfectly into the Clove Club desert style of beautiful bright colours. Those that always involve a mousse, something fresh, and something bright. Bold flavours working together to make me smile.
A mug of fresh mint tea to help digest was accompanied with more and more treats: barley cakes which tasted like madeleines that had been made with Horlicks; coffee-tainted dark chocolate in a perfectly wrapped bar; and the strongest, but most wonderful Fernet Branca sweets to make the walk home even more cheerful.
Highlight: Amalfi Lemonade & Sarawak Pepper Ice Cream
Lowlight: Too many highlights
The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT
Friday, 13 March 2015
Another week has passed without a minute spent to stop and breathe. Here's hoping the next week will be slightly calmer...
5 things I've been grateful for in the past 5 days:
2. Mint tea
4. Salads in the sun at Route
And this week I've spent happy minutes: reading Ed at Rocket & Squash talk about shop-bought ravioli and spiralizers; thinking about Lottie and Doof's reaction to the Food52 vs Manger debate; and staring at this miraculous photo of a weasel hitching a lift on a woodpecker.
Happy weekend and Happy Mothers' Day!
Monday, 9 March 2015
It was a hungover, sunny Sunday afternoon where lists needed to be made, work needed to be done, and plans needed to be put into place. To make this happen, we needed cake. Spring-like, fluffy, colourful cakes.
My cookbooks fell open on Dan Lepard's recipe for blueberry crème fraîche cupcakes. Bursts of blueberries suspended in the lightest, sweetest of sponges, all draped in crème fraîche beaten with icing sugar: the perfect solution to a more productive Sunday afternoon.
Friday, 6 March 2015
I can only apologise for my radio silence this week. Life has suddenly become a whirlwind of activities, decisions and emotions. I can't wait to tell you all more about it but for now, here are 5 happy things from this crazy week:
1. Post-ballet 'shroom burgers at Shake Shack
2. Sunny mornings
3. Planning and planning and planning
4. This song, which makes me feel powerful and strong, even when I'm at my weakest
And 3 things for you to read over a coffee this weekend:
This piece defending the rude Parisian waiter.
An insight into the life of an Oxford-graduate-turned-patissière.
These irresistibly adorable photos of parenting in the wild. Magical.