Food

jelly

February 18, 2021

I write everyday, even on days when I have nothing to say. Which lately, is often. I figure the daily exercise will come in handy when I do have something say. Some days, all I can muster is a sentence or two about a kettle or a chair, or the Rowntree’s jelly cubes I used to eat straight out of the packet on the school bus. Even the bus driver looked at me oddly when I’d bring them out of my lunchbox. I think he asked me to put them away once lest my sticky fingers ruined his moquette upholstered seats. “But your hair will shine,” my Mum used to say when I’d tell her about the peculiar looks. It’s funny what we remember. And what we write about. When we have nothing to say.

and around we go

February 16, 2021

Barren beaches and mountains in Lanzerote photographed by SALVA LOPEZ.

TANGUY TOLILA‘s weird and wonderful wooden bird sculptures.

This beautiful tree.

Perfect little guest houses, ensconced high up in Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountains.

Dressing for summer.

ANGELA ALLEN’s monochrome world.

Porcelain hearts by FOS CERAMICHE.

Dried sunflowers.

Italian Sculptor, MARIO CEROLI, photographed in New York, 1966.

round and about

February 9, 2021

Another week, another roundup of swans, summer berries and ceramics.

Artist, Mia Lerssi‘s soft and magical glass pebbles look like therapy in the hand.

This loo, specifically the vintage strawberry wallpaper, in designer, Matilda Goad’s London flat reminds me of an English country garden in July.

I love the the bold, graphic lines in this sculpture by Swedish artist, Tove Tengå.

This boat full of swans made me smile. They’d been removed from the river in preparation for the Henley Regatta. June 1900.

Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley playing I Have Never amused me.

This image by Giulio Corinaldi of children rollerskating on a street in a Venice in the 1960s whisked me back to playing in the back alleys of tiny Greek choras.

This photo, Florida 1973, made me think of aquafit classes at the JCC. And Florida.

And, of course, I am bonkers about these tiles.

around the world

February 2, 2021

Herewith, my first weekly roundup of some of the beautiful, curious and wonderful things that have caught my eye lately.

Freshly washed carpets laid to dry on a mountain near Tehran. Photograph by Thomas Abercrombie.

Christiane Spangsberg at work on her bold, Picasso inspired lithographs.

Multi-coloured houses in Qaqortoq, South Greenland. Photograph by Freddy Christensen.

This fabulous house in  Labastide-Villefranche, France. Just look at the al fresco bathroom!

Grete Andrea Kvaal’s delicate images of the transformation of the Germini flower.

Lichen on tree bark.

Tete-a-tete chairs by Warren McArthur (1930).

A woman hanging her laundry in Glencaple, Scotland. Photograph by Edwin Smith.

Sigourney Weaver’s pearl gloves.

And below, fish, lemons and crab claws at a market in Marrakech shot by husband and wife photography duo, Dylan and Jeni.

egg

January 29, 2021

I heard the other day that 100 pleats in a chef’s hat represent 100 ways to cook an egg. From eggs en cocotte to the classic omelette, there are few things as versatile and essential as an egg. I can count on one hand the times that a friend has prepared an egg for me. Boiled, fried, poached –– it always felt like an act of love. So simple, so noble. My Mum likes her eggs really baveuse which makes me squirm. But I’d sooner eat rubber than an overdone egg. It’s hard to image that there are that many ways to cook an egg. For me, it will always be boiled. Two minutes. Buttered soldiers.

top layer

January 14, 2021

Every time one of my kids stabs through ice with a stick, it makes me think of cracking a crème brulee with a fork. It was one of my favourite things to do as a child, crushing that beautiful, super fine layer of caramelized sugar on the top. My Mum’s boyfriend of many years loved crème brulee. And he’d always let me crack the surface. It’s such a small, and yet satisfying pleasure in life. Like stabbing ice with a wooden stick.

yiayia

January 11, 2021

It’s funny that they’re called English muffins because the only place we ever ate them was in Florida and Bermuda when we visited our grandparents. My grandmother ate a lightly buttered English muffin for breakfast most days. And on days when she drove my grandfather into work (he was blind as a bat) she’d stay in town for a croissant. She was a creature of habit, my grandmother –– white shirts, Van Cleef Arpels perfume, Pinot Grigio with a glass of ice on the side –– and incredibly disciplined. Punctuality was so important. We never brought our bare feet to the dinner table or licked a finger to pick up breadcrumbs off a plate. Denim was for daytime. Decorum and discretion were cornerstones. She and my grandfather had a 17-year age gap. The sun rose and set with one another. I wonder how much of her discipline was a way of coping with his deteriorating health, caring for a man for as many years as she did, and knowing that she would spend a decent chunk of life without him. As it happens, it was more of a soupçon than a chunk. She was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years after he died. In the years in between, my grandmother para-glided off an Alpine cliff, drove her convertible along sandy beaches, took skating lessons, sang 60s ballads at karaoke, air ballooned around Dijon, wore sweat pants, ate a lot of cheese (my grandfather had an intolerance for any kind) and threw herself a big party. “Athinoula, I was in the Meatpacking district today, and I wore jeans,” she’d call to tell me. “Did you get a door for your bathroom yet? I won’t visit you until you do.” Her emails were the same. “Just arrived back an hour ago from new York with Jane and Pary and another Jane Saw Spamelot and DonQuito performed by the Bolshoi which doesnt get better than that. Yiayia.” You’d think she knew all along that her time was up.

fa la pasta

December 24, 2020

I’ve stumbled upon Aimee Twigger‘s exquisite flower pressed pastas many times, and thought, these are just too beautiful to send into a boil. Think ribbons of handmade pappardelle with corn flower petals pressed into them. If the kitchen is your creative place, here is Triggers’s guide to making fresh pasta, and here is her step-by-step tutorial to adding herbs and petals. I love this kind of dedication to something so beautiful, something that will be gobbled up in minutes. It reminds me of land art, mandalas and sand castles; all beautiful, noble and transient endeavours.

our daily bread

December 22, 2020

“In times of great uncertainty, knowing how to make your own bread and thereby feed your family, is palpably reassuring,” wrote Dale Berning Sarwa in the Guardian last spring. “The very act of kneading dough is calming, like Play-Doh for adults.” While I’ve personally had no yearnings to bake bread this year, I’ve admired all of those around me baking baguettes, brioches and sourdough challahs by the loaf. It made so much sense. Few things are as comforting as bread and butter. Both the act of making and eating bread is humbling and reassuring. Linda Sofia Ring’s artful sourdoughs are a true labour of love, adorned with Picasso doves, vases and faces. But for something a little less laborious, Berning Sarwa’s article is filled with suggestions. No knead? No bake? Sign me up.

apple of my eye

October 14, 2020

Apple crumble is one of my brother’s favourite desserts. It was a Saturday staple growing up, served hot with heaps of Bramley apples. Alex used to fully submerge his crumble in piping hot English custard. The custard was never my thing. I’ve attempted the odd crumble myself over the years, but it’s never been as good as the ones I grew up eating. I came across this recipe from James Rich, a British food writer with apple juice running through his veins, (Rich’s family grows apples and owns a cider farm in Somerset) and I thought I might try it. It sounds pretty classic, no doubt Alex would approve.

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