Sunday, 27 April 2008

extended holiday

Dear Blog Readers,

Apologies but I am going to have to take an extended holiday as college is currently consuming every waking hour... I look forward to re-joining the land of the living this July.

em x

Sunday, 13 April 2008

On Holiday

My dear lovely readers, I am now on holiday (lucky me). No doubt I shall update you on anything made when I return.

em x

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Grow your own

The idea of growing your own fruit and veg seems to be one of the big things over the past couple of years, what with an increasing demand for allotments and an ever expanding desire to be 'self sufficientish' - encouraged all the more by the Guardian's current marketing ploy.

Of course I'm no different, but my complete lack of a garden for the past couple of years has obviously curbed such desires - until now. We're not entirely sure how it will work out yet, but there has been talk of building some kind of platform that sits on our roof, reached and tended via the skylights. How practical this is I'm not yet sure, but I have already got four fine 'Gardener's Delight' tomato seedlings growing (one of which pictured above) and have even managed to germinate one of my 'Alpine Strawberry' seeds, which are apparently quite a tricky. She is also pictured above in the bottom right hand pot, although yes, you may need a magnifying glass to spot her at the moment.

For the more adventurous amongst you (and not to mention, those blessed with a garden) there is a post on about how you might go about growing your own truffles - which would certainly trump the home-grown lettuce card at a dinner party.

I suppose ultimately I find it quite exciting... even when nothing seems to be happening, much the same as I'll try my hand at homemade ginger beer, or pickled onions. It's all one big science experiment to me, and ultimately, there is a satisfaction derived from eating something you've had a considerable hand in producing that you just can't buy, no matter how delicious. God, don't I sound smug?

NB. alpine strawberry has since taken leave (ahem, excuse the pun)... may have to wait until I get a garden for that one.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

life in the slow lane

Our hob caught fire the other day. I say this in a flippant way like it was funny, but really, if anyone's ever encountered an electrical fire I'm sure you'll understand what I mean when I say I shat myself.

Still, it has forced us back to a slightly slower way of cooking things, one of them being scrambled eggs, which David requested for breakfast this morning. Luckily, we now have a wood burning stove (installed in December, in lieu of any kind of central heating) which has two cooking plates on top. Would you believe it? I even manged to cook some mushrooms to go with it :)

Something worth baring in mind though, before you all wistfully romanticize the possibilities of a wood burning stove - the scrambled eggs were really quite weird, more like creamed eggs... something which I think could be avoided by less stirring. I do like the challenge though - and it's so good for slower things like stews and stock.

Friday, 4 April 2008

The culinary delights of Hackney

It's a while since I've been to Victoria Park - and my, how it's coming on. I was making my way towards the lovely Pavillion Cafe in the park, which I'd heard lots of goodness about. Aside from the swarms of yummy mummys chasing Oscar/Matilda etc. away from other tables I have to say it indeed did deserve such praise. Organic and Fairtrade items feature regularly on the menu, and although I've yet to test it, the food looked good, sourced from the likes of Brindisa and the Ginger Pig, and it is now also a collection point for the Growing Communities veg box scheme. Coffee was the Monmouth Coffee people - my fave! Really, I suppose the yummy mummy comment is a little unfair; no doubt in time I'll be just the same, and really, it's my own fault for trying to seek some solitude there during the Easter Holidays on the warmest day yet!

So... coming back to the culinary delights of Hackney, getting back on my bike I cycled via the roundabout, in the direction of Homerton. On my way I passed a promising fish and chip restaurant/take away called The Fish House (we're trying it out this evening), opposite a branch of The Ginger Pig - set to open April 8th. How exciting! Will have to investigate further this evening...

ps - obviously I didn't quite get it together to post this last night and so can report happily that their fish and chips is good!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Hmmm... bread

I like bread (which I think I've mentioned before) so thought I'd recommend something to you, as have recently been making mine using 100% Wholewheat flour from The Watermill, in Cumbria.

Not only is it organic, biodynamic and every other type of 'ic too, it's also delicious, made from UK wheat rather than Canadian and now available in Homerton at the deli on Chatsworth Road*

*No, that's not a plug - I no longer work there ;)