When I found out there was going to be a new fishmonger opening down the road from our flat, I was positively ecstatic. As you may have guessed, I have a fondness for any sort of establishment that sells food and I thought we could finally ditch the dreary fish counter at Sainsbury’s and pick up some decent seafood for a change. I had visions of walking in and being dazzled by a counter filled with glistening seafood on ice, and boy oh boy, did those fishies glisten!
Had a certain someone not been there to give me a reality check (I don’t actually cook fish all that often, ok fine, hardly ever) I probably would’ve left with three sea bass because they were only a tenner and a rainbow snapper because it looked pretty. What we actually left with was a few hundred grams of king prawns; not as exciting as the rainbow snapper but still a million times better than the precooked ones from a certain giant supermarket chain.
Now that I have my shiny new ‘not getting kicked out of the UK’ residence card, the weekend jaunts are back on! So far we’ve escaped to Gdansk and Milan for the weekend, have some serious port drinking to do in Porto at the end of the month, and plans to see out the year in Madrid and settle into the new year in Morocco! We don’t have any set rules for choosing our travel destinations – sometimes it’s where the cheap flights take us, sometimes it’s actually somewhere we’ve wanted to go for ages, and sometimes we pull out the random generator and let the magic of an excel spreadsheet pick for us. But there is one thing they all have in common…
Wherever we go, the likelihood of a certain someone and I overindulging is extremely high. Ok, let’s be honest, it’s more like a foregone conclusion. When we’re away, I want to try everything which means by the time we get home, we crave something soothing and nourishing; our current welcome-home-meal of choice is a super simple, but super tasty bowl of dumplings in a chicken and miso broth. The trick to making this snappy dinner? Having a batch of dumplings in the freezer ready to go!
One could make the argument that in the age of the world wide web, there’s no need for reference books anymore because you can just google anything. I’m guilty of this; when my boss and I are debating the meaning of some obscure word, she turns to the Oxford dictionary and I turn to dictionary.com, and I often wonder if the younger generation even know what Encyclopaedia Britannica are?! If they’ve only ever known the internet, why would they bother reading through paragraphs of information in the hopes of finding the answer to their question when you can ask google directly?
Some would say cookbooks fall into this category of defunct reference books because why have only one version of a recipe when the magic of the internet can give you thousands, within seconds. I used to be one of these people but I’ve recently fallen back in love with cookbooks. The internet can give me a million and one versions of a dish but it helps if I already know what I want to cook. Trouble is, a lot of the time, I don’t, and for me, flipping through a cookbook is a lot easier than trawling through the internet. Particularly when the food stylist has done their job right.
If you dare take a look at your social calendar this month, you’ll definitely know the season to eat, drink, and be merry is most definitely upon us! Office Christmas parties are well underway, as are the festive mulled wine nights, the silly Christmas jumper parties… and the occasional early Christmas dinner party! Oh bring on the inevitable overdrinking and overeating. Many occasions will just require you to turn up with a jolly attitude, some might suggest you bring booze but that’s hardly a chore. The real challenge is what to bring if you’re asked to contribute something less liquid.
Between the afterwork drinks, the physical assault of Christmas shopping, and the shoulder to shoulder weaving through Christmas markets, who’s got time to actually make something? You could turn up with a tub of ‘Celebrations’ or the less bah-humbug option of supermarket mince pies, or… you could be the guest with the best and whip up this scrumptious cheesecake!
I can confidently say that most of the omnivores I know start salivating at the mere mention of pork belly, and grin ear to ear whilst licking their lips when crispy crackling comes into view. I won’t insult your intelligence by denying that I am one of those omnivores, and a certain someone? Well I’m pretty sure he loves pork more than I do because he could happily eat ham sandwiches for lunch everyday. If that’s not love…
But let’s get back to the belly- I was day dreaming about that time we had those infamous Momofuku pork buns and decided to make those dreams a reality. Unfortunately Skyscanner was not finding me any affordable flights to NYC, so feeling adventurous I thought the next best thing would be to just recreate them myself. They look simple enough, right?