In mid-January my parents came over for a brief visit. Unlike their usual 4-6 week stays, on this occasion it was only for a week. They were meant to have a relative with them, and I was tasked with organising a restaurant for dinner, with the usual ‘just book anything, anything is fine’. At the last minute our relative pulled out of the trip, but mum and dad ended up coming anyway.
I had booked a table at Frying Colours in Kensington Village. When Ma arrived, she asked me where I’d booked, saying suspiciously: “It’s not Chinese, is it?”
“No, it’s Korean.”
“Okay good.” (Yes, my Chinese mother doesn’t like Chinese food, something that she feels the need to remind me, not like I would forget being her daughter and all.) Then this was followed up by: “It’s not Korean bbq, is it? I don’t like bbq.”
Sometimes finding a place to eat out can be very trying!
Guess how many varieties of olives there are in Spain?
50? 100? 200? Keep going.
There are actually more than 260 varieties, and this is only one of the reasons Spain is the WorldLeader in Olive Oil: producing, commercialising, and exporting this wide variety. From all those olives, different Olive Oils can be produced, resulting in a huge range of Olive Oils with different aromas, flavours and uses.
I took the opportunity recently to use Olive Oils from Spain in a dish where a high quality and properly stored Olive Oil is incredibly important as the cooking medium – Olive Oil poached salmon.
This was the cake I baked for Christmas lunch: a black forest chiffon cake (black forest in the loosest sense of the word). The cake itself was a chocolate chiffon (but of course), cut into two layers, and then filled with whipped cream and jarred cherries. The outside was coated with more whipped cream.
In October, Alastair and I will have been living in our place for ten years.
When we first moved in, the cafe scene around this area wasn’t particularly amazing (though to be fair, I can barely remember what I did before Xmas, so maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me) however that’s changed in the past few years with some great cafes opening up.
Despite this, we seem to keep going back to the same places rather than seeking out new ones. I do try and push us out of our rut every now and again, and just before Xmas this meant we ended up having breakfast at Ascot Food Store.
That was a bit of an unintended hiatus. December is always a very full month – for everyone, I’m sure – along with Christmas and New Years, it’s also my birthday month.
This year some friends came around for birthday waffles, and naturally there had to be cake. And since this is me, it had to be some form of chiffon cake. I’d seen this sprinkles cake on Serious Eats the previous month and it stuck in my mind, because what says HAPPY BIRTHDAY more than hundreds of coloured sprinkles?
Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies
The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.
Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.
One of the shore stops on the Alaskan cruise was Juneau, Alaska’s state capital. Even though it’s the capital, there’s no direct road access to the rest of Alaska or the US, and primary access is by air and sea.