Forgive me Celia for I have sinned. It has been 3 months since my last confession In My Kitchen. Before checking, I thought I’d missed a month, probably two but gosh, doesn’t time fly by faster than you can shake a stick at, how on earth did it get to three? Lest I mix any more merry metaphors, here’s a big catch up post of what I’ve been eating (and doing) since the last time, mostly courtesy of my Instagram account!
Back in June I reviewed Kate Doran’s Homemade MemoriesKate Doran’s Homemade Memories for my regular column in Good Things magazine. We (mostly Pete) made her amazing bourbon biscuits, a grown up version where American bourbon is an ingredient in the filling that sandwiches the biscuits together. They were terrific (and I really do need to write a review of the book for Kavey Eats too).
The purple rose we bought for our front garden has been flowering gloriously this year, and indeed it’s given us bursts of colour from June right through into September. Sometimes the colour veers towards pink but the bluer purple is the usual colour and what we chose the variety for.
We had another lovely lunch at local Vietnamese restaurant, but the next time we walked by a week or two later, it had sadly closed its doors. It’s not an easy climate in which to run a successful restaurant business, especially in residential neighbourhoods like ours which don’t benefit from tourists or commuters.
The fruits of summer 2016 have definitely been watermelon and British cherries, both of which I’ve eaten inordinate volumes of. And two of those cherries were the first ever fruit from our own little cherry tree, planted in the back garden a couple of years ago. There have been some great strawberries, raspberries and loganberries too, a brief gorge of Pakistani mangoes and the usual fruit bowls full of grapes, apples, peaches and sungold kiwifruits (a super sweet golden variety that I tried for the first time).
My social life in the last several months has been somewhat curtailed by my longer-than-usual commute – my current contract role being down in New Malden, Surrey. But I’ve enjoyed taking some snaps of Waterloo station, where I transfer between tube and train services.
I attended a delicious event on British lamb hosted by Cyrus Todiwala (another post still on my To Do list) and a preview launch at Yo Sushi where my friend Gary and I were able to try the Japanese Hot Dogs (thumbs up), Furi Furi Fries (double thumbs up) and an odd ice cream dumpling caramel dessert (icky thumbs down).
This year has forced us to say goodbye to a number of loved ones, first Pete’s mum in spring, then my uncle (my dad’s younger brother) and then my dad’s own uncle too, and most recently, one of Pete’s brothers. No-one in their right minds enjoys a funeral but at the same time I’m enormously glad that we were able to be there to start the grieving process and say our goodbyes.
Our local pub, The Bohemia, remains a favourite hang out, even if we don’t make it there quite as often as we’d like. Wings Wednesday is a firm favourite, as our Sunday roasts and the regular menu too – the barnsley chop, potato salad and tomato onion salad dish they had on recently was just fantastic.
I will never get bored of boiled eggs and dipping toast. Or my egg cup collection.
And I will never get bored of marzipan, especially the very best marzipan. I reviewed Niederegger here on the blog a while ago but received an additional delivery – a box of their alcoholic flavoured marzipans, which I eked out as long as I could. All fantastic but my favourites were pistachio, mirabelle brandy, apple calvados and plum armagnac.
Pete got me a Minion cupcake kit for funs!
I went to several Christmas in July press previews and made friends with Rudolph, during a visit to Carluccio’s.
HyperJapan was in the O2 this year. For me, my favourite part was the Sake Experience, which I wrote about recently, along with a Beginner’s Guide To Sake. The architecture of the dome itself and surrounding buildings is worth a visit in its own right, of course. Incidentally, that photo of me with my head stuck through the peepboard won me a cute little Japanese cat moneybox from Inside Japan!
My friend Asma has been wowing diners (myself included) at her Indian supper club for the last couple of years, and rightly so. Now Darjeeling Express is in residence at The Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho, where we stopped in for a fantastic lunch a couple of months ago.
Brita invited me to a class on using a Chemex, the iconic pour over coffee device invented by Peter Schlumbohm.
I had a couple more fantastic meals at Yijo, our local Korean restaurant. Just so good!
During the brief reign of summer, we enjoyed a lovely barbeque with local friends, and Pete was treated to some very fine whiskies too.
Our allotment cabbages have done particularly well this year, as have the courgettes at home (as always). The tomatoes are just starting to come through now – Tigarellas, Black Cherries and the candy-sweet Sungold.
I’ve been enjoying lots of picnic lunches (albeit at my desk or in the office kitchen) to try and break my addiction to the delicious Korean and Japanese cooked lunches I’ve been enjoying far too many off.
As well as our lovely purple rose, I’ve been enjoying flowers in the local neighbourhood front gardens.
I’ve indulged my love of the very best chocolate twice this summer (and that’s if we don’t count Niederegger as chocolate!) After reviewing Bonieri chocolates, including their top quality gianduja spread, I bought myself another two bags of their gorgeous chocolate-covered hazelnut nougat.
More recently, I couldn’t resist a box of Paul A Young chocolates – my favourites were the banoffee, the scone with clotted cream and jam and the peanut butter and raspberry jelly.
To bring it back to earth, I also tried a new limited edition kitkat in Toffee flavour, which Pete picked up in a local supermarket. I’ve been trying to track down their mocha flavour to no avail.
I went short this summer – the shortest my hair has been since I was at school *mumble* decades ago! And here’s a recent one of Pete with a pint of Kirin draft, just because!
Me and my mum at a recent family gathering and one of little Kavey – the fashion probably gives the decade away pretty conclusively!
And to finish, a random set! Top row: Minon gifts (and marzipan) from my friend Anne; another minion gift as a place setting at my friend Heidi’s catered dinner party; strange and wonderful crisps from the Korean supermarket next to my office. Bottom row: strawberries, cream and meringue (the ingredients for my Eton Mess Ice Lollies); flowers in the back garden and hipster Kavey.
I’m submitting this post to the very lovely Celia’s In My Kitchen series. Check out her wonderful Fig Jam & Lime Cordial blog. Looking at the length of this one, I really need to try and participate more regularly!