Thursday, 29 January 2015

Just because it looks Vietnamese doesn't mean it tastes Vietnamese!

In any supermarket I go to I love checking out the "world foods" section for any interesting snacks or spices I haven't tried before. I've noticed that many supermarkets have really expanded this section in recent years and when I was in Sainsbury's a couple of weeks ago I spotted this Vietnamese Spring Rolls kit:

Nem Viet, Vietnamese Spring Rolls Kit

With my recent sushi success fresh in my mind I thought I'd see if my apparent aptitude for rolled, Asian foods could be repeated.....

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Cranfield's Curiosity Package

When I discovered that there was a man on instagram called James Cranfield to whom you could send money in return for a box of random taxidermy I thought it was hilarious. The idea is that you pay what you can afford and receive curiosities to at least that value. So on Christmas morning my lucky boyfriend received Cranfield's Curiosity Package.

I wasn't that keen on having dead animals on my mantelpiece so I asked James if he could stick to bugs and fossils, but other than that the contents of the package were a surprise to me too. 

The complete curiosity package

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Slovenian Goulash Blog-Fail

If you know me at all, you will know that Slovenia is my spiritual home. It is the most beautiful country with the most sincerely friendly people of any nation I've visited (more than once we've been invited to join people's picnics). Being a tiny country Slovenia is not well known for its food and being surrounded by four larger countries, it is no surprise that Slovenian cuisine is influenced by it's neighbours. Bordered to the East by Hungary, Slovenia has it's goulash game pretty much perfected. I found a good recipe online and decided to cook it for my parents.

All good recipes start with frying off bacon.

Fried bacon bits
mmmm bacon....

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Avery Hill Winter Garden

Recently I heard that Greenwich University is planning on selling its Mansion House site, including its Victorian Winter Garden - which I didn't realise until now is actually the second largest hot house in the UK after Kew.

I have very fond memories of visiting the Winter Garden many times as a child, probably so my mum could get us out of the house for a bit on a Saturday, and being enthralled by the exotic plants - there was a banana tree! Although it's not quite as grand as I remember, I still enjoy visiting it a few times a year.

So last Sunday, on a foggy morning, we decided to pay a visit and take some photos of the Winter Garden in all its dilapidated glory.

Victorian Avery hill winter garden in the fog, Eltham, London

Friday, 2 January 2015

DIY Sushi

For Christmas I received a huge box of Japanese ingredients, condiments, tools and recipe book. I love sushi but have never made it. Knowing how notoriously tricky it is, I was well up for giving it a go.

First to make the rice. After washing, leaving to drain for an hour, boiling for 10mins then allowing to cool, you add a Japanese rice wine vinegar and sugar mixture. I had some "Sushisu" in my kit so I added 3tbsp. Thankfully I also had some plastic moulds for making the nigiri (rectangles) and hoso-maki (thin rolls)

moulds for making blocks of sushi rice