March 2011


For many Americans, the kitchen has become such an essential room when considering a home. So I could empathize with this lady’s search for a proper kitchen in Paris and it made me think back to my tiny place in the 7eme. I had a kitchen nook, with only a tiny fridge, sink and two hotplate burners. No oven. Even my first Paris apartment in the 13eme, which was adorable and decently sized for Paris, lacked an oven. It pained me that I wasn’t able to take advantage of cooking wonderful things with the aid of an oven. It’s no wonder I never felt cozy at either place.

My quality of life in London has improved dramatically. I’m cooking all the time. I mean, look at this kitchen! It’s perfect for making roasts, tagines and soups. I’ve even started to bake.

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I normally don’t do posts dedicated to one place but I haven’t had a meal like this.

Last night I went to #meateasy, a burger squat by Goldsmiths College in New Cross and had a burger that can only be described as that burger. The onion rings only completed that experience. The one that triggers an involuntary memory and transported me back to my childhood…

But hang on, I never even liked hamburgers as a child, let alone onion rings. Until about the age of 15, I only ate chicken nuggets and if that wasn’t on the menu, then it was a plain burger. If a condiment touched it (because condiments are weird and creepy) I would not eat it, even if my tortured mom offered to wipe it off. And I had zero interest in onions until the age of about 20. To this day I can’t order a McDonald’s burger because the thought of pickles touching yellow mustard and ketchup gives me the heebie jeebies.

No, that wasn’t it. Maybe what it triggered was a meta-memory I had as a child trying really hard to like burgers since they seemed like everyone’s favorite food but as much as I tried, just couldn’t get on the meatwagon. Maybe what I felt was the Inception of burger fantasies, the burger pill in the Matrix or I dunno, maybe I just have a faulty memory that makes things up as it goes along.

Or it could have been that I ate a really satisfying burger.

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Aghhh!!! It’s so hard to concentrate on writing when one’s face and body is itchy all the time. Ever since I arrived in London I’m like one giant itch ball. As I write this, my chin, upper lip, bridge of my nose, hairline and a space right between my back and right butt cheek need a scratch. About a month ago I went running and exploded in hives and had to hide in my room for 24 hours. My skin has not been happy for a few weeks now. Whenever I get into these itching episodes, I think about this New Yorker article. I know all about the torture of an itch.

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It’s been 2011 for over two months now so this announcement is long overdue. I moved to London at the end of January and have been living “sawf” of the river since February 1.

Since I’ve arrived in London, I’ve been to some food talks, cooked for two food discussions, eaten lots of pho and found a very good butcher by my flat. I’ve also developed a new obsession for Jerusalem artichokes to replace my duck habit in France.