Tag Archives: London

Introducing…

3 Oct

The all-new (literally) Thoughtful Kitchen Kitchen!  Yes, it is a corner – but it does contain an oven (hooray) and a four burner stove top (electric, which I will have to get used to!)  Last night we bought a baking tray from a store called Poundland (as you can probably guess, everything costs £1) and so, tonight culinary creation begins.

However – I have made a few things since moving in, and I wanted mostly to show you the very first cooked meal that this kitchen produced (don’t get your hopes up, it’s quite underwhelming):

Yes – it’s pasta.  I also just used a jar of sauce and added some generic veges to it.  See.  Very underwhelming.  At least you get a nice photo of Rupert The Honeymoon Duck as well.

But, I also wanted to gloat a little about how WONDERFUL food labeling in this country is.  It’s just sensational.  I haven’t had any problems at all, and many things even say very clearly on the packet ‘Suitable for Vegan.’  Also, I found out that my local Waitrose supermarket has Rice Dream.  And, it is awesome.

I was actually dreading having to ‘start fresh’ – I mean, S and I pretty much know what we like, what brands are good and can get in and out of the supermarket pretty easily, but that all changes when you arrive in a new country.  However, after realising how good the labeling is, I am quite looking forward to trying everything possible and finding the good stuff again!

So – there will be many more cooking wonders coming out of the tiny corner kitchen, but in the mean time S and I are writing a blog about our time in London, so feel free to read if you wish: W148BD.wordpress.com.

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Kicking around in London Town.

24 Sep

Well, I don’t have anything particularly exciting to say except that S and I got internet back on our laptops!  Hooray – no more internet cafes!

As you’ve likely guessed, we have arrived in London and have begun the arduous process of trying to find a flat, jobs, getting phones, internet, bank accounts, oyster cards set up.  We have been on and off the tube so many times that we’re sick to death of it.

And, of course – I haven’t been cooking.

But, hopefully we’ll move into our very own self-contained room this week and there will be many, many more cooking adventures.  We’re heading off to see one tomorrow afternoon that I have a good feeling about!  Plus, I enrol at King’s College tomorrow so it must be a good day!

Much, much more to come:  just know, I’m still alive and kicking around London town.

The countdown is on…

6 Sep

I have a cake in the oven.  A good old Red Velvet Cake – it’s S’ favorite and I promised I would bake one for his birthday dinner tomorrow night.  I have big plans for the decorating, which I am going to attempt to keep a secret!

We started the ordeal of saying goodbye this past week, and our imminent departure is starting to feel very, very real.

I am feeling very scattered.  I am sad, and excited, I feel full of hope, and I feel full of apprehension.  I am oscillating wildly between consuming enthusiasm and intense terror: but, in a good way (if that makes any sense?)

The next few days, weeks, months and years are going to be hard, they are going to be filled with adventure and sadness, laughter and rage, exhaustion and hope.  I cannot imagine embarking on this adventure without S by my side: my best friend, my soul mate, my lover.  My other half.

The countdown is on… and it is bittersweet.

Stew, stew, and fly away…

1 Jun

Yesterday, S and I booked our flights to London, via Doha where we will spend a few days, including his birthday.  It means that there is a lot of work ahead of me over the next few weeks and months.

I haven’t had the time to do much of anything – beyond working on my thesis – for the last few days (and I fully expect that to continue) so when S said this afternoon that he wanted a stew I breathed in relief that it was really something I could just throw on the stove and leave to simmer away.  As S has Scottish heritage, and as were exactly one hundred days until we leave, I thought I’d do something a bit Scottish-inspired.  While I’m not really sure how well I did with that, it was one big pot of tasty, tasty stew that S absolutely devoured (and that’s always a good thing!)

I started by soaking

  • 1/2 a cup of pearl barley,
  • 1/2 a cup of split green peas and
  • 1/2 a cup of red lentils.

Cover them with just enough water and soak for about an hour.  I had to refill the water twice.

While they were soaking I cut up (honestly, very very roughly):

  • 9 potatoes (for some reason my mum gave me a huge pile of absolutely tiny potatoes – this really would have been 4 alright sized potatoes)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 huge onion
  • 1 huge leek (but, I love leek and I have instilled S with a love of leek – so if you’re not as bit a leek fan, maybe just a small one)
  • 2 medium sized parsnips
  • 3 decent sized potatoes

Once the peas/lentils/barley were ready, and S was on the way home, I heated a big stew-pot with a tiny bit of oil in the bottom, threw the onion and leek in first for a few minutes, before putting in the rest of the veges in for a few minutes, before about a liter of vegetable stock, and the now-soaked-and-rinsed peas/lentils/barley mix.  I like thick stew, so if you wanted something a bit more soupy – you could add up to 1 3/4 liters if you wanted to.  At this stage add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the whole thing up to the boil, then down to a simmer and throw the lid on – with the occasional stir – until the veges are ready and the whole thing is delicious!  Spoon into a bowls, sprinkle a bit of fresh parsley over the top.

Now, look – this is not the most awesome looking dish you’ll ever see, but seriously, what stew is?  (That’s why you got a photo of S enjoying the stew, rather than the stew itself.)  This has made a HUGE pot – enough for us both to stuff ourselves silly and we’re looking at lunches tomorrow and another four serves (probably) in the freezer.  That’s the great thing about stew, though!

This weekend S and I are hosting a dinner party – Tapas style.  While I doubt the entire affair will be vegan (as its us and three other couples, and everyone is bringing food, and we’re the only veg*ns) obviously everything that I make will be – so, now I need some amazing Spanish inspiration!  (My first, and currently only, idea is bean-balls).  So – any ideas, please, please let me know!