Hello all and a big ol’ happy Christmas to each and every one of you! Nom Man & I hope you’re all having a very lovely day, filled with plenty of fun, family, pressies & tasty, tasty nom. My gift to you is that my give-away, courtesy of Tortilla and myself is still running, and you have until midnight GMT (4pm PST) on the 31st December to get your entries in! The winner will be announced on New Year’s Day, to kick start 2011! Go, go, go!
It’s been a good year with plenty going down in the Feeder Lady household. I turned 23, a very nothing age, but eh, it’s another year in the life of Feeder Lady; graduated and am now a proud holder of a degree in American & English Studies from a top UK university; started this food blog back in April & not only increased my readership from me + Momma Lee, to me + Momma Lee + a lot of lovely people all over the world, but also made some wonderful like-minded friends; Nom Man came into creation (he’ll be back soon, promise!); I got to round 8/10 for Project Food Blog; I planned my foodie trip of a lifetime (leaving in two weeks!); and more recently, finished my job and am now officially a freelance food writer. I think that means it’s been one heck of a year. In the spirit of that, then, here is the rest of what didn’t make it onto the blog. All photos can be found in a larger format on my Flickr.
I Won, I Won!
2010 was the year for winning random things. I entered the NomNomNom 10 raffle on a whim and ended up winning a bottle of barrel-aged rum from Elements8, courtesy of Relish PR. It’s delicious, by the way, but don’t try baking with it – I tried to make some rum raisin muffins, took a mouthful and just had rum evaporating into my mouth: yes, I got drunk on muffins. I will, however, be making some of Brian’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix with it over the next couple of days!
I also entered the Christmas Twitter give-away from Octopus Publishing and managed to win a lovely slow-cooker book, courtesy of the Australian Women’s Weekly. Excitement! My slow-cooker hasn’t had nearly enough use this year, so I’ll be digging into this and sharing the results in 2011! Perfection!
Discoveries & Experiments
2010 was also the year for experimenting. These three baked potatoes are (L-R) Bombay, Sundried Tomato & Garlic, and Pesto & Mozzarella vegan patootie boats, courtesy of my very good vegan buddy Alex. He opened my eyes to a whole new vegan world, and I discovered that it weren’t all that bad, innit. In fact, it was pretty tasty. These were a recipe test for him that turned out very nicely – my fave was probably the pesto. I won’t share the recipes, as I believe they’re going into his book (ooOOOooh!) but I’m really excited for him and looking forward to getting my own personal (signed) copy! Hear that Alex? I WANT A SIGNED COPY.
I was inspired by the many wonderful food blogs I’ve been reading this year, as well as some amazing foodie friends. The first photo is a traditional Brazilian dish called Camarão na Moranga, that I found over at Cantina di Dom Fuas. It’s a perfect recipe for a cool night (if you’re not all pumpkin-ed out!).
The second two are of the incredibly delicious apple & blackberry crumble my friend Daniela made during our baking day. It was, quite possibly, the best crumble I’ve ever had. She’s quite the little baker, which I didn’t realise until she came over and showed me up in the kitchen! (Crumble recipe: Peel & cut into crescents 2 large Bramley apples & 4 Cox apples. Combine knob of unsalted butter & 25g golden caster sugar on medium heat and add the apple slices. Place lid on and cook until soft – 15-20mins. When done, add 250g blackberries and cook with lid off for 5mins. Remove from heat and sieve, catching juices. Add drained fruit to baking dish & spoon some juice over the top (no more than half). In large bowl mix together 200g plain flour, 100g golden caster sugar, 2 tsps ground cinnamon & 100g oats. Rub in 200g softened unsalted butter to form a breadcrumb-y mixture. Sprinkle topping over fruit and cook at 180 degrees C until the top is golden & crisp – 30-40mins or so. Serve with hot custard and enjoy!)
Foodie Festivals & London Haunts
Borough Market, London.
Remnants of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in China Town, London.
I actually got my arse in gear and schlepped across town to some favourite foodie haunts, camera in tow. There is so much going on in this vibrant city, and I sometimes find myself missing out on it due to sheer laziness. If you’re ever in London around September/October you must make sure that you schedule these three locations into your diary: the Mayor’s Thames Festival happens annually in the first weekend of September, and features the Feast On The Bridge an event positively heaving with local suppliers of food and deliciousness; the Mid-Autumn Festival happens in early October in China Town, and is a beautiful event; Borough Market is open year round, but there are some particularly delicious treats available in the Autumn/Fall – yay seasonal produce!
Eating Out & Eating Lots
Kulu Kulu Sushi has long been a favourite haunt of mine. I first discovered it when my good friend Rina, whom I had met for a coffee at Sacred on Ganton Street (a lovely little tea shop – recommended!), heard in horror that I had eaten nothing all day and insisted that she feed me that instant. Rina grew up in Hong Kong and has the Feeder gene: her solution for everything in life is to feed the offending party immediately. She hoisted me up, marched me down a few back alleyways and we ended up on Brewer Street where I proceeded to taste the best conveyor belt sushi in all of London (in my opinion). Not only was it delicious, it was cheap and the quality of the sashimi was simply beautiful. I took David there a few months later and he ate about twenty plates by himself. It fast became our favoured sushi joint after that and now every time I have friends in London who want some good sushi I take them there. My favourite is the octopus salad roll – I think I could quite happily eat only that for the rest of my life.
Kulu Kulu Sushi
76 Brewer St
London W1F 9TX
The Giggling Squid in Brighton very nearly didn’t happen. The evening had been fraught with disasters of various multitudes: I had been running around town all day and so nearly missed my train to Brighton, then had a killer headache that lasted all night; Mish, whom I was staying with, had been so ill she had been lain up in bed for three days straight, which made me wonder if I should stay as I didn’t want to impose. On top of this she’d managed to put her iPhone through the washing machine earlier that afternoon, and her hubby Dara was running around the house trying to find various tools to fix it; Steven had just gone through an intense break-up and alternated between deliriously happy and gut-wrenchingly miserable all night; we almost got lost down Brighton’s famed lanes trying to find the restaurant; two of the party got stuck in traffic and arrived an hour and a half late; then the birthday girl, Keely, slipped in the gym bathroom just before we were scheduled to meet and cracked her head open. By all intents and purposes the evening was set to be a disaster. But struggle on we did and boy were we rewarded for our efforts, because the Giggling Squid was a treasure trove of deliciousness. Authentic Thai food mixed with fantastic service, decent wines and prices made for a very successful end to a not-so-successful day. And, more importantly, Keely had a blast.
11 Market Street
Brighton BN1 1HH
01273 737 373
Mon-Fri: 12-4pm, 5.30-11pm
Papa Lee took me for dinner at 101 Pimlico Road which boasts Anglo-French cuisine. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it appeared that the chefs had been somewhat overzealous with our food as it was all ever-so-slightly over-cooked. Still, the flavours and concepts were spot on, and the deep-fried aubergine was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had the joy of putting in my mouth. Light, crunchy and not at all greasy, it was perfection on my palate. The offal-icious starter of pan-fried ox tongue and heart, too, was a delight, if slightly too shallot-y. I still gobbled the whole thing down. My only real complaint of the restaurant is that the bistro style means that tables are rather too close together – I can’t count the number of times I was bashed into by waiters and punters alike – and the service slightly slapdash, though very friendly. At about £30/head (not including wine) it’s not cheap, but it’s definitely a good meal. I also appreciated the personal touch from Chefs Will & Keith, who Tweeted me after my meal to ask if I enjoyed it! Take note: this is how you do social media well, restaurants.
101 Pimlico Road
London SW1W 8PH
0207 730 0202
Mon-Fri: 12.30-2pm, 6-10.30pm
When Richelle, Sam & I heard from Young & Poor that a new branch of the fabulously named Wafflemeister was opening up on Portobello Road and giving away free waffles as part of their grand opening promotion, we knew we had to check it out. We weren’t at all disappointed, either. They make all their waffles fresh in-store (which, understandably, takes some time and therefore led to gargantuan queues outside and many irritated vendors on Portobello Road who kept asking the queueing punters to please stop blocking their shop fronts), and the resulting waffle is both light and crunchy, with a lovely sweetness to it. They also offer a cornucopia of toppings, from fresh fruit to Belgian chocolate and gelato. And the free waffles? Well, they were tiny little baby waffles of wonder, and I do love things in miniature. Bonus.
137 Portobello Road
London W11 2DY
020 7221 1153
Winter opening times:
This pot of lemongrass tea with cashew cookies is the only photo I have of my meal at Busaba Eathai the other day with Richelle because I was too busy eating to get my camera out. I was also slightly embarrassed, because the communal tables which force you to sit opposite total strangers does not warrant much privacy for either conversations or obsessive picture taking. Having said that, Busaba is one of my favourite Thai ‘fast’ joints in town and has long been so since I first discovered it several years ago. Many more branches have opened and the portion sizes have gotten a little smaller in that time, but it’s still one of my go-to places to hit up if I’m round Oxford Street way. On this particular occasion, for some insane reason Richelle and I had thought it was a “good” idea to do some last minute Christmas shopping in December, and had made a hasty escape from Selfridge’s straight into Busaba, where we spent a very happy couple of hours, chatting and nomming to our heart’s content. We then had to face the Christmas crowds again, but our meal made it all worth it.
8–13 Bird Street
London W1U 1BU
0207 518 8080
And so we reach the end of 2010. What’s coming up for 2011? Well, my trip for one, but don’t worry, I’ll still be here, blogging and nomming away; you don’t get rid of me that easily. So friends, have a fab rest of 2010, and an even cheekier 2011. Until next time, peace and love.