Sunday, 28 October 2012

Things to do in London - Sunday - Wellcome Collection


This morning, I woke up to window panes dripping with condensation barely concealing the cold grim Sunday outside. At least the clocks went back, a whole extra hour, huzzah! Made pancakes with batter leftover from last night's ill advised combinations of kale-fried-rice with parmesan followed by almost naked pancakes for lack of having any toppings. Anyway, with that food fiasco behind me, this morning I decided to do something with my day and finally crossed one of the things off of my list, The Wellcome Collection in Euston. After bumping into one of my classmates who was working there I ended up going on a fascinating tour through the The Medicine Man permanent collection. There were hundreds of incredible objects from all over the world but what really caught my eye was the collection of scientific glassware. Huge great flasks and vials, beautiful curves and weird and wonderful shapes. They reminded me of the shapes of some of the neolithic Chinese ceramics I have been studying recently.

Whether glassware captures your imagination or not, however, everyone should tick the The Wellcome Collection off of their lists at some point soon. The collection is free to visit, there is a café and a bookshop and getting there couldn't be easier as it is opposite Euston station. When you next find yourself bored, procrastinating, and feeling bleak on a chilly Sunday you know where to go.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Autumn is here, bring on coffee and cake


   Today I woke up to construction work outside my window and stumbled round getting ready for my Royal Korea lecture at 11 before remembering that it was at 1. Bliss. I bummed around making lunch, this lentil, beetroot and goat's cheese salad which was so so tasty, especially considering I usually shy away from lentils unless disguised by way of soup or stew. Anyway, a fab recipe for a light lunch.
On the way to uni I had time to drop into Bloomsbury Coffee House before getting to my lecture half an hour before it started. I went and sat outside under the almost naked trees watching the blowing leaves with my hot milky coffee and a slab of German apple cake that tasted just like the Dorset apple cake that my Nana makes with the big bulbous Bramleys from our tree. Cinnamon and apple makes me nostalgic and the cold and the colours and the sweet comfort of sweet familiarity made for the best lecture preparation a girl can hope for, screw doing the readings...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

James Ramsden's Salmon with chilli, ginger, and soy recipe.

Mariella, my lovely flatmate, bought a kilo of reduced salmon for £8. Bargain. Only it meant that we had to use it up pronto so I googled salmon marinades and picked This James Ramsden recipe, on a whim. It was fabulous!! And so easy. The other two were in raptures and I kept telling them that they could both easily cook this so here is the step by step recipe to prove it.
Serves 2 (I actually doubled the recipe for three fillets so interpret loosely)

- 2 salmon fillets
- 1 thumb of ginger, grated
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- A handful of coriander, chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- A few drops of sesame oil
- Juice of half a lime

1. Add all marinade ingredients together and mix thoroughly so that the oil and the soy sauce blend.

2. Cover the salmon with the marinade, ideally in a freezer bag or something where the marinade can reach all areas, although I used a dish and then covered with clingfilm and returned to the fridge.

3. After an hour or so and when you have started thinking about cooking whatever you're having with it, start heading a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wide frying pan.

4. Once the oil is hot, place the fillets skin down into the pan - mind the spitting oil.

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5. Turn after a few minutes when you can see the fillets beginning to turn opaque at the bottoms. Fry the the fillets top down next and then turn onto each side to brown them nicely.

6. I put the marinade into the pan with the fillets but this just burnt them so if you want to do this add right at the end. You can then add onto the rice or noodles, or alternatively, add to the noodles and then stirfry before serving.

Pretty easy.
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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

An Autumn palette in Loop Yarn Shop, Angel.

After Maike and I waddled out of The Breakfast Clubthis weekend we dropped into a few of the shops in Camden Passage, Angel. We stroked some pricey furs in the vintage shops, lusted after lockets and brooches on the market stalls and eventually ended up in Loop Yarn Shop. The colours seemed right for the autumn day and I went round stroking everything and making a mental not to go back to crochet/knitting/etc, as I do every time I walk into a wool shop anywhere.

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Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Breakfast Club 2.0 - Introducing Maike!

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So when I went to The Breakfast Club in Islington with Alun last May I knew that it would not be a one off and, sure enough, within two weeks of moving back to London there I was stood in the queue outside the bright yellow exterior of the café with Maike, my new flatmate! It was a chilly early Saturday afternoon after a late night stranded in New Cross Gate and we were wrapped up against the light hazy chill lingering outside the heat of the sun. The queue was long and a waitress brought out shots of hot chocolate that brought a smile to the hungover and fidgety line. Our breakfast, true to form, was fantastic. I'd brought Maike here because she'd never eaten a full english, shock horror! It arrived and was twice the size of her face. I secretly had my doubts she would plough her way through it but somehow she managed to cram in all but the black pudding. This was a true test of whether we could be friends and she passed with flying colours. My poached eggs were glorious and I can never resist having smoked salmon when I'm feeling indulgent. The avocados were, however, a mistake. An extra two pounds and lemony to the point of masking the taste of the avocado itself. Oh well, I have become so fond of The Breakfast Club that I will forgive them a much greater fault than that.

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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Autumn squash brightens up a grey day.

I cut open this squash and was amazed at the colour inside, a bright acid yellow, the photo doesn't do it justice.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Last of the summer sweetcorn

Well I'm back in London after a stressful month and settling into a new routine. The season is turning and when I went up to Islington Farmers' Market the stalls were heaving with squashes and kale and muddy potatoes. Best of all, though, was the crate of sweetcorn, tightly wrapped in their green husks but golden inside. As soon as you put them in the pan the gold becomes a bright rich yellow. They only need three or four minutes in the pan before I whip them out and try in vain to balance a knob of butter on their sides. A pinch of salt and a generous grind of pepper and what an easy tasty lunch that makes. If I'm feeling indulgent I even grate a bit of hard salty cheese like parmesan over the cob, enough to dust the outside. I plan to eat as much sweetcorn as I can before the long nights set in and the essays start to pile up.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Poole Pottery cup and saucer bargain


The house I was looking after was right opposite a charity shop and I spotted this little gem in the window. It's an ice green and seagull (apparently) Poole Pottery cup and saucer, now discontinued. Super cute and just the right size for a little coffee.