iamafeeder.net



Dear Me: Happy Blog-O-Versary


May
20


Chocolate chip cookie recipe courtesy of Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

So I only went and did it again and totally forgot to celebrate my blog-o-versary (I should really put the date in my diary) and I Am A Feeder is now 2-years-old! It’s weird to think that I’ve been cultivating my little inch of the web for just over 2 years – when I started it I don’t think I ever expected to be doing the things that I’m doing in my life right now or, even, still blogging. So a huge thank you to all of my friends, family and readers who have stuck with me over these 2 years, for all of the lovely messages, comments and emails, and particularly to the new friends I’ve made all over the world. You guys were an unexpected bonus when all I wanted to do was write down my recipes and vent at the world (as I do so often) – am massively appreciative to all of you!

And I suppose a 2-year mark is the perfect time for me to make a couple of little announcements. Well. Maybe not so little. Remember how I talked about change in my last post? Well the first change is that the offer we made on our dream house was accepted and so I’ll be moving to a completely different part of London next month, but the biggest change of all is that this October I’m going to be starting culinary school.

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I Am A Feeder Meets Anecdotes & Apple Cores


May
15

Last year I was lucky to be able to spend the first few months travelling around the world and meeting various bloggers and friends, staying with them when they generously opened up their homes (and kitchens) to me, eating out all over their cities and generally having a blast. It was the most wonderful experience and the sheer generosity and kindness that I was shown was overwhelming – friendships that had before this point been only electronic blossomed, Twitter handles became real people and those real people had a wicked sense of humour, amazing creative ideas and fantastic friends and families whom I was introduced to. It really was a fantastic trip and my inner nomad was deeply satisfied (my wallet, not so much).

When in Austin I was supposed to be staying with and meeting the fabulous Monet and Ryan of Anecdotes & Apple Cores, an amazing and talented woman who was my first ever blog friend (!), but due to circumstances out of their control last minute plans changed (as they do), they were no longer able to accommodate me and I instead spent those few days with the lovely Megan of Stetted. Sadly, just as I was leaving Austin with my friend Andres to visit his part of Texas, San Antonio, I had a text message from Monet asking me if I was free to meet that day but alas, it was not to be, we were already an hour outside of town and I promised her that at some point, somewhere in the world we’d connect.

Clearly I have prophetic qualities because this spring Monet and Ryan travelled to Paris for their 3rd anniversary and whilst they were there decided to hop across to London on the Eurostar and stay with me for a couple of days. Even better, London decided to cease its grey, wet weather (apparently it’s supposed to be May over here – somebody must’ve pissed off Mother Earth recently…) and give us a little sunshine so I got to show them my city at its best! Wonderful few days – come back and see me again soon!

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The C Word


Mar
18


(c)Toby Kennedy, 2012.

It’s very easy to hide who you really are online. All that people know about you is what you choose to share, especially in a format like a blog. I’m generally a pretty open book – when I’m happy you know that I’m happy, when I’m sad you know why and when I started feeling that way; I’m a sharer, what can I say. But there is plenty that I don’t talk about because, well, it’s personal, and I like to try and keep my personal life as offline as possible. I’m not saying it’s how everybody should be, it’s just how I choose to be, because I like to protect those who are close to me.

Today I’m going to break that rule because today I’d like to talk about something which has nothing to do with food, is entirely personal and is still a taboo in society. Today I’d like to talk about cancer.

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Holla! I’m 25!


Feb
29


Photo courtesy of Toby Kennedy, 2012.

Hey, how’s it going? Remember me? I’m the girl who disappeared on you for a month. Yeah… sorry about that. Also you may have noticed that my website still doesn’t look quite right – that’s because I’m an idiot and accidentally deleted a vital bit of code a little while ago. Whoops. We’re working on it and it should be back up and running properly soon (hopefully), so in the meantime just ignore the, er, ugly broken design.

So what’s going on in my life since I was last here? Well, lots of cooking and eating, lots of Instagramming, I went to Hong Kong for a short holiday (post to come soon) and then I came back and oh look at that! I turned 25! Holla!

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When in LDN: How to Eat Like a Local


Jan
16


This is Tower Bridge. Not London Bridge. You can tell because it has towers. Duh.

I get asked a lot what the best restaurant in London is and where tourists should go. The former I find a bit tricky to answer (and we’ll get to that in a minute) and as for the latter, I’ve sent out that list of ‘must dos’ so many times in the past year you’d think I’d have written this post long before this point. I hadn’t because I tend to steer away from this becoming a review blog – I review restaurants in my day-to-day so like this to be my own space; this time it’s a plea.

Guys, you have no idea how infuriating it is when somebody visits London and their response is, “meh, it was okay, the food is terrible, though”. What do you mean the food is terrible?! Where did you go? What did you have? Why didn’t you like it?! I usually find out it’s because said individual wanted to “eat like a local” and this meant dodgy fish and chips, watery tepid tea, a big name chef’s restaurant which did not live up to the hype and at least one obligatory pub lunch where everybody around them seemed more interested in drinking than eating; it drives me insane. When I see tourists lining up around the block at Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Cafe I want to grab them by the shoulders and shout, ‘WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF’ and the truth is they do it because they simply don’t know otherwise. We all know that feeling – you’ve been walking all day, you’re tired and you spot a beacon of familiarity amongst a land of grey and people trying to get from A to B: it happens. But did you know that just around the corner there’s a place which is a million times better and half the price? Probably not or you wouldn’t be subjecting yourself to tourist traps.

Well, that’s why I’m writing this, but first take every pre-conceived idea of “London” out of your head and throw it away: we’re not all friends with the Queen, my school life was not a scene out of Harry Potter, we aren’t obsessed with William & Kate’s every move and we don’t drink tea by the gallon… well, okay, we probably do the last one but we don’t go out for afternoon tea all the time. Now listen carefully because I’m about to blow your mind.

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New Year, New Food, Old Ideals: Be A Part of my Project & Help Me Review ‘The Great American Cookbook’


Jan
05


Aaaand we’re back in the room! Happy new year, all – 2012 has arrived with a bang and I’ve found myself thrown back into life with barely a moment to breathe since Christmas. From a fabulous New Year’s Eve spent with good friends eating at Otto Pizza, followed by fireworks on the Thames and dancing in the streets of London with the London Eye behind us, to making new friends and getting to meet fellow blogger and Twitter friend Dan of Dan’s Good Side in London (an evening of not-so-good eating was followed by an awesome night of dancing through the small hours of the morning in one of London’s premier gay clubs with Dan & friends – ironically I still managed to get hit on by the only straight man in the entire club), I’ve been a busy girl and it doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

Want to know what else has been going on? Read on and find out how you can be involved in my project and this cookbook review! (It’s a doozy, I promise…)

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A Snow Story


Dec
23

It never really felt like Christmas unless it snowed. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” the radio crooned every December 1st without fail – the idea was so ingrained in the people’s heads that they were convinced Christmas wouldn’t arrive without it. Sure, it would turn to grit and slush a couple of days later, but for that first crisp, white morning, that first blanket of manna from heaven, only pure childish glee would surround the city.

Over the last couple of days of term school children would gaze out of the window at the grey skies, willing the temperature to drop, for the clouds to burst open and pelt airy flakes onto the eager earthlings below. Dreams of skis and sleds would slip and slide over the teacher’s maths lesson, colliding with the blackboard with a giggle and dissipating amongst the scrawled long division and multiplication. A collective sigh would echo around the room as the children turned back to their school books, scribbling half-heartedly, doodling a sprig of holly in the corner of the page.

Snowmen would pop up on street corners, merrily smoking cold pipes, frost bitten carrots stuck clumsily into their faces (and, often, lower bodies); once surly businessmen would slip and slide on their way to work, dodging snowballs thrown by giggling receptionists who hid behind snow peaked mounds on the common, chasing assistants with handfuls of the cold stuff to pack into clothing, all accompanied by shrieks of high pitched laughter. For those first couple of days happiness prevailed and all the troubles of the year were forgotten.

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A Series of Hospital Eyes


Nov
03


You may be wondering why the beginning of this post has 7 photos of the giant ferris wheel known as the London Eye. Well that’s because these photos mark all of the appointments I’ve had at the hospital since I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease 3 months ago. Since then I’ve traipsed back and forth to the hospital every 2-4 weeks, had my left (and once, right) arm punctured so many times that I’m covered in constant bruises and track marks, befriended the nurses who stab me, rushed into hospital when I fell ill as it could’ve been a sign of my immune system shutting down, taken four different dosages of the same medication and watched my disease chart itself up and down, yet always a long way away from the ranges of “normal”.

Today my doctor discussed the possibility of radioiodine treatment with me.

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Fab Faces, Fun & Full of Advice: Food Blogger Connect ’11


Aug
16


Photo courtesy of Sarka from Cook Your Dream.

“Hi, I’m Jackie,” I told a table full of strangers. “I know, I follow you on Twitter – I really like your blog design,” one girl told me. Somebody else wanted to know how long I’d been blogging for, yet another recognised me from my photo. A tray of canapes went round and on cue the twenty or so women around me pulled out their cameras and started snapping – finally I wasn’t the only one.

The food blogger culture has been one I have thrown myself into wholeheartedly. What started as a whim, a way to pass the time, has become something I can – and have – spent hours on. I’ve connected with people all around the world, tried their recipes and found inspiration from them, spent countless late nights trawling through their food photos and salivating into my pillow; to be a food blogger does not define me but it does make me inordinately happy.

At the beginning of the year I travelled to a small portion of the world, meeting and staying with food bloggers I’d befriended over my six months of food blogging. Now, just over six months later, I got to meet a few more of them in my hometown at Food Blogger Connect ’11 and honestly? I had a blast.

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I Hear You Calling Me


Jun
13

I’ve been feeling restless once again. I find it hard to stay in one place, have difficulty staying in the moment and releasing my ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’. I feel an overwhelming sadness that cannot be cured by friends or the occasional glimpse of sunshine. I know what this feeling is because I’ve felt it many times before, always in London: it’s a sense of not belonging, of being constantly on the fringes of this society – I am the other. My heart yearns to tread the familiar streets of Portland, Canada begs to be explored a little more and the West Coast? She calls my name persistently and insistently, invading my dreams and promising me happiness. I can’t help but be drawn in and believe her – probably because I recognise the truth when I hear it.

One thing that struck me most strongly whilst I was living in and travelling around the West Coast was just how much better at looking after the earth my friends were. The emphasis was on living and consuming locally, supporting business in the area, reducing your carbon footprint, cycling and walking instead of driving, reusing, reducing and recycling. We are a people of waste and excess. With technology has come an increase in food production and survival – I joke with a good friend that without the wonders of modern medicine she wouldn’t even be here, her allergies and intolerance are so numerous; natural selection just doesn’t exist for 1st world countries. But what of those starving around the world? What of those starving in the UK alone? There is an estimated 400,000 tonnes of surplus food that is disposed of each year from supermarkets, shops, restaurants and many others in the food retail industry, food that could go to feed others, food that is perfectly good to be turned into a healthy and nutritious meal.

Living in excess is something I most certainly have been guilty of. It’s very easy to fall into bad habits when you grow up (for lack of a better word) spoilt, but it is equally easy to begin the process of unlearning these bad habits and start to do your part to help – it’s certainly something that I miss about the West Coast, the company of those who hold these values close to their heart. It’s understandable then that when I heard about The People’s Kitchen in Dalston I knew I had to go.

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