Month: April 2014

Saturday Afternoon: Borough Market

I found myself outside of London Bridge on Saturday with an afternoon to spare so I wandered around Borough Market, a food and vegetable market. A pretty place to people watch: aesthetic displays of fruit and vegetables, stands made of wood, and a rustic colour palette of evergreen and ivory pulled everything together. I found myself walking around contemplating the current trend of turning food into a cultural experience and getting people to spend money.

Organic themed colour palette
Organic themed colour palette
You can walk around with a glass of prossecco and decide on what cheese to bring to your friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Saturday Afternoon: Borough Market”

There are annoying aspects of this trend, but ultimately, the nicest thing about this is that it inspires people to build communities, you know? We are inspired to throw a dinner party, bring some nice bread to someone’s house or give a bottle of olive oil as a present. Whatever the motivations are (showing off some knowledge sparked by some media hype, cultivating an identity as a hip person, using food as another indicator of social status), the trend is still compelling people to share. You wouldn’t want to eat these things alone. When the things die off and capitalists find a new market to exploit, people may still remember what it was like to gather a group together and have something nice to eat.

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A savoury snack in a cone. My kind of icecream.
A savoury snack in a cone. My kind of icecream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick stop to get your beard trimmed after you've bought some truffles.
A quick stop to get your beard trimmed after you’ve bought some truffles.
British asparagus in season. I like the way it makes my pee smell.
British asparagus in season. I like the way it makes my pee smell.

DIY: One Egg for Easter

Colouring eggs for Easter never got me excited and I was happy to let go of that tradition once I turned into a pre-pubescent obsessed with the Beatles.

But my cousin Angelisa in Oregon dyed some eggs with her kids using natural dye and I thought they looked neat. So for this post, I’m getting into a mental time machine and retreating to my childhood. Vroom.

I’m going to dye one egg with one colour.

FYI: The Kitchn has a great post on naturally dying eggs with a list of different dyes you can make using yellow onions, red onions, beets, and others. Check it out here.

Continue reading “DIY: One Egg for Easter”

This is what I did:

1. I went to the farmer’s market just below my flat and I got a red cabbage.

2. I chopped up about a cup’s worth (half a pint) and put it in a saucepan filled halfway with water and turned up the heat. Once it started to boil, I covered it and brought it down to a simmer and left it on the stove for about 30 minutes. I wanted a really nice deep purplish red colour for the dye.

I only needed enough dye for one egg, so I didn’t fill up the entire pan.

3. I removed it from the stove then brought it to the living room in front of the open window to let it cool down to room temperature. I looked outside the window for a little while.

4. Once cool, I strained the liquid into a bowl and added a tablespoon of vinegar.

Look at that purple! I was careful and didn’t splash any on myself.

 

5. I put a hardboiled egg in a jar (which I boiled while waiting for the cabbage to cool) and covered it up with the dye and vinegar mixture. I stuck it in the fridge and then tried to think of something else. I let it stay there overnight.

6. Easter morning I jumped out of bed to go to the fridge to look at my egg.

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And I made a pretty egg! It got a bit scratched from taking it out with the spoon, but I love its banged up body.

 

 

Recipe: Lemon Olive Oil Cake

It’s a holiday weekend, the sun is shining and I feel like doing something special.  I love lemons and I love olive oil, so here’s a neat Lemon Olive-Oil Cake that you can eat for breakfast, afternoon tea or after-dinner.

I looked at some different recipes from around the internet and I decided to use this Lemon Olive-Oil Cake recipe from Gourmet Magazine. But since I’m here in London, I had to convert the recipe into metric measurements. I often use this site for conversions, it’s really useful since they take into account the ingredient you’re using.

Continue reading “Recipe: Lemon Olive Oil Cake”

If you’re in Europe, here are the conversions for the recipe so you don’t have to google the shit out of it when you do it on your own. You’re welcome!

Lemon Olive-Oil Cake by Gourmet Magazine
 
                                        162 g olive oil
                                        125 g cake flour
                                        150 g granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tbs of sugar*
                                        1 large lemon
                                        5 large eggs, separated (reserve 1 white for another use)**
 
*I made a mistake with the sugar and only measured out 125g and I almost collapsed on the floor when I realised, but it was okay. Still sweet.

*I was too in the zone to google what to do with the extra egg white so I just flushed it down the sink. I know. 

What I love about this recipe is that they remind you to not overbeat or over mix the ingredients. They say things like stir or mix ‘until just combined’. I love that! I sometimes get too enthusiastic with the electric hand mixer and I overbeat the batter which then gives me a gloopy mess. (Like chocolate chip cookies that come out looking like crepes). They also remind you to clean the beaters when switching from mixing the batter to beating the egg whites.

I used a hand mixer to get these soft peaks. If I had Popeye's biceps, I'd do it with a whisk.
I used a hand mixer to get these soft peaks. If I had Popeye’s biceps, I’d do it with a whisk.
Look at these colours together!
Look at these colours together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cake is moist and not too sweet. Just the right thing for afternoon tea on a sunny Saturday afternoon followed by a long walk in the park.

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DIY: A messy version of a gallery wall

I have a phobia of blank white walls, so I put up things right away and then I slowly change and add things. Since moving into our own place, I’ve been collecting pictures and frames from the charity shops in my neighbourhood. I like the mix of colours, the dirty, broken frames and the gems that are inside of them. I’m not too picky as long as it’s cheap.

I’ve been thinking of doing a gallery wall for a long time for the wall above the couch.

My favourite find is the needlepoint cock on the right. I love it!

I read about it on various blogs and there are lots of layouts (check out pinterest) and I quickly became overwhelmed. I wanted to make a nice wall, but I’m lazy. Most of the posts I read were about selecting matching frames, cutting mounts for the pictures, taping cardboard mockups of the frames to the wall before hammering in the nails, using a level to make sure nothing is out of place, etc. There are beautiful hangings out there, but I was looking for more of an an imperfect mess.

Continue reading “DIY: A messy version of a gallery wall”

Here are instructions for your own messy gallery wall.

1. Make a sketch of the layout you want on your wall. I had lots of frames and pictures that I had hanging around the house, some already hanging and some perched on the window sills and bookshelves.

2. Get to hanging. You can use a tape measurer for good measure (haha) or you can be like me and do it by eye. Make a lot of mistakes as you realise that you didn’t realise before you started hammering that the frames had their hangings in different places on the backing. So what if you put some extra holes in the wall?  You’ll bitch about it when it comes to patching them all up on moving day, but for now just cover them with your pretty pictures.

3. Make some additions or adjustments. My original sketch didn’t take into account that the pictures were placed slightly to the right so they weren’t centered over the couch. So I added another row on the left, turning a skinny mirror vertically and added an etching and a little painting I did one night when I was drunk.

Et Voila! A little bit mismatched and not totally straight, a pretty imperfect mess. I like how the vertical mirror turns the reflection into another picture. What do you think?

 

 

All Things Yellow

I’m on the prowl for yellow things. If you come over one day, you may find these at home since I can’t get this colour out of my head.  Yellow is waking me up and shaking me out of my boots.  And these things are pretty cheap.

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1. Zebra Bathmat, H&M Home, £7.99

2. Lula Yellow Table Lamp, Habitat, on sale now £20

3. Hyfsad Yellow Bowl, Ikea, £10

4. Cotton Cushion Cover, H&M Home, £3.99