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And The Tears Begin: Leiths Diploma, Week 2


Oct
14

This week was the week of tears, for me. It started off well enough – my pastry at the beginning of the week was pretty spot on, despite the fact that I forgot to add the salt to the pastry in my treacle tart (SHOCK, HORROR – in my defence when there’s that much going on and the salt is waaay down at the end of the table it’s easy to forget these things… but I did chastise myself plenty, don’t worry), but my leek and bacon flan was delicious, even though the crust was a tiny bit on the thicker side, but still blind baked perfectly. My teacher even said it, “melted in the mouth” so pretty happy with that!

And then everything went downhill from there.

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Important Announcement: RSS Subscribers? New Feed!


Sep
24

So remember how a while ago I decided to take the leap and switch to FeedBurner because I wanted to monitor my blog readership? Well Google decided to shut FeedBurner down which means that oh yay, I have lost all of my data and subscribers. BIG WHOOP. THANKS GOOGLE.

So I switched over to FeedBlitz and have just finished setting it all up but look! Sad empty little zero over on the left there! So if you previously subscribed to my RSS feed and you’d like to keep up to date again (I do actually update the blog more frequently these days, though what with starting Leiths next week things could take an interesting turn), please do subscribe again and let’s get that sad little zero back up again!

The new feed address is: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/iamafeeder so g’wan, update your RSS readers and sign up to get I Am A Feeder in your Inbox for fweeee!

Until next time, peace and love,

Jax x

The Taste of My Childhood: Nig Nags


Sep
03

When I was a little girl, around 4 or 5 years old, my family moved from our little end-terrace house to a beautiful big house with a huge garden in a very posh area of West London. The new house was everything a young family could’ve wanted – the garden had a pond (!) which over the years we filled with all sorts of creatures (goldfish which were gradually eaten one-by-one by the heron who lived in the park next door; at one point koi who were too big for the pond; and terrapins who killed all the goldfish the heron didn’t eat until one escaped and my father and I “released” the other into the park, whoops – we may be responsible for the family of terrapins who now live there), my brother and I had our own bedrooms which were much bigger than those in the old house, a huge kitchen where my mother dreamed of starting Chinese cookery lessons and two guest bedrooms, one of which became our live-in-nanny’s room then a TV room when she eventually left us, and the other which was later turned into a study for my parents.

About a fifteen minute walk away there was a huge church in the middle of the green by the High Street which my parents decided we should start attending, especially as it was so close by. Both my brother and I were baptised and confirmed there and for the next 13 years or so we spent almost every Sunday there. This church is also where I met my oldest friend Cathy and whilst I have my own issues with religion now, I will forever be thankful that it brought her into my life.

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Fund A Fun Documentary: Good Taste & Gatherings


Sep
01

So by now you guys have all heard of Kickstarter, right? If not then you’ve probably been living under a rock but I’ll give you the Spark Notes – have an idea or venture that needs funding? Kickstarter’s your friend. Simply describe what you want to do and how much it’s going to cost, set a time limit and then see if you make your goal. If you get the funding your project is greenlit and you receive the backers’ money, if you don’t reach your goal nobody gets charged. It’s a fantastic way for artists, filmmakers and alike to get the funding for a project from the people that matter the most – the public, ie. you and me. Previously, Kickstarter has brought to life the amazing Nomiku home sous vide – an affordable and portable device to turn any pot in your kitchen into a sous vide!

A little while ago I was contacted by the folks behind Good Taste & Gatherings, a new documentary web series who are trying to get their project greenlit through Kickstarter. Essentially the documentary follows three different groups of “foodies” who create “extraordinary community experiences” through food – in this current trend of pop-ups and supperclubs, the documentary sounds like a great way to gain insight into why regular folk love to make and share food. In Saralyn Critchlow’s (the associate producer) & Dawn LaMattina Asher’s (the producer) words, they “want to see lives changed as a result of ‘Good Taste & Gatherings'”.

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Salty Piggy Goodness: Chilli Whipped Lardo


Jul
04

If there’s anything I’m really good at, it’s disappearing off my blog for inordinate amounts of time. Whoops. This time I do have a good reason, though – I moved house! Yep, I’m finally out and free of the bedbug-ridden hell hole I was stuck in for a year and am in a lovely little place in SE London with two (new) friends. We’ve been slowly setting up the house (my current project is attempting to build us a coffee table as we didn’t like anything that was available on the market) and it’s coming together, slowly but surely (I still have two boxes to unpack as I don’t have a desk/home office yet). Pretty soon I’ll be able to share some photos but for the time being I’m going to leave you with this oldie but goodie – chilli whipped lardo.

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Dear Queenie: Happy Diamond Jubilee


Jun
06


Jubilee Coffee Cupcakes by Bruce.

My heritage and accent are a great source of puzzlement to everybody who meets me. Born in London but possessing a rather international family (both blood relations and friends whom I now consider family), ten to fifteen minutes of conversation pass before I’m inevitably asked, “where are you from?” or, the (strangely) rather more common, “are you Australian?” Let’s get this straight – I’m British, through and through. I’m not English, I’m not Aussie, I’m not Canadian or American: I am British.

My “British-ness” is something that has taken me a while to embrace – my family are Hong Kong Chinese, with a smidgen of Japanese and Russian blood, my parents both born in Hong Kong and possessing a tinge of an accent (my mother’s a natural slight American drawl, which is where I’ve picked up my own), so that aspect of who I am has always been celebrated and recognised, but this country in which I live has never felt quite where I belong, London too busy, too anonymous, too A-to-B for my liking. It wasn’t until I lived in America that I suddenly felt that this, my “British-ness”, made me stand out a little more, made me special, and at that point I fully started to appreciate the country I was born in, the little points of interest like our (relatively) fantastic public transport, our education system, history and culture, and our Royal family.

As many of you will know, this past weekend was set aside to rejoice everything Royal because we’ve been celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne. I’m not one to go particularly nuts over the Royals (during the recent Royal Wedding I skipped the telly watching and flag waving and nipped off to the hairdresser’s to chop off my long locks for The Little Princess Trust) but I fully admit that I love good ol’ Lizzie – she’s a real gem and it will be a sad day indeed when she’s no longer Queen of England.

So whilst the country engaged in street parties left, right and centre and a good 1.2m people showed up in Central London to watch the Royal Parade on the Thames (and in the pouring rain, typical bloody England; Liz did not look particularly happy as she was rowed up the river), I headed over to my good friends Mowie & Bruce’s around the corner for a Right Royal (Indoor) Picnic. Raaaather.

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“I Wish You 10,000 Camels”: On Visiting Marrakech


May
30

I’ve been meaning to write this post up for a really long time but, obviously, life just kept getting in the way. So apologies, I know I’ve been promising it for a while!

Back in March, when the weather was still cold and dreary in London, I hopped over to Marrakech for a few days with my “sort-of cousin” Allison who had just turned 21 and was taking a little holiday around Europe to celebrate. I wasn’t supposed to go with her but last minute her friend had to drop out and so I slipped into her place – rather happily, I might add! The trip was lovely, it was wonderful to spend some time with Allison who was heading back to the States shortly (she was only in London to study for a semester) and Marrakech itself was great fun… but three days was enough!

You see, as beautiful as it was, there were times when Allison and I were downright terrified to be two young ladies in a foreign country by ourselves. Allison’s French is non-existent and my French is only at GCSE level and hidden beneath years of Spanish (a language I have always found to be much more intuitive), which meant that we were mostly relying on me to fumble my way through misconjugated verbs and wild gestures. By day three I was managing to communicate – my proudest moment was having a conversation with a stall vendor in the souks about traditional Moroccan sweets and where I could find them – but there were times when we thought we were going to either be run over by the ridiculous traffic or mugged down a dark alleyway by gangs of children.

So here’s my guide to Marrakech – we really only scratched the surface and if I were ever to return I’d probably want to go with a male companion, not ever by myself or with another girl.

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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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