Yesterday was a mixture of future plans and old favorites. It's exciting to think about what's in store, plan ahead for the coming months, have lots of stuff to look forward to. On the other hand, staying grounded is key and remembering exactly where you came from and what you've done to get to this point. In the morning, I signed up to a new course at leiths that I'm sooo excited about. It's once a week for 8 weeks in late spring and it doesn't require me to do any cooking at all! It's a food writing course - run by Lulu Grimes, the director of olive and good food magazines. Swoon!! I cannot wait for this, but have absolutely no idea what to expect. Also, there's a bit of a snafu, in that I'll have to miss 2 of the 8 classes. One of them is the VERY FIRST CLASS too. I'll be in Philadelphia for a friend's wedding, so I'm hoping they can catch me up to speed when I get back to London. The other class I'll have to miss is the second to last, as I'll be in Paris with my family. But even with all of that, I think this will be an extremely helpful course and I'm eager to learn a thing or two from a real seasoned pro. Of course I'll be writing all about that on this blog when the time comes.
On that note, I should probably mention that I'll be away from the UK for almost the entire month of April. Phil and I will be in Boston again at the beginning of the month. Then I'm off to San Diego for a week to visit my Mom and my friends. Then back to Philadelphia for the wedding. BUT this time I'm bringing my laptop with me, so there won't be a massive blog hiatus like there was over Christmas and new years. I'll do my best to keep this up even while traveling. Shouldn't be too difficult as I'll be staying with family and friends the whole time.
In other future news, I'm currently putting together a "London guide" of sorts, that will be a separate page on this blog. It will feature all of the restaurants / cafes / specialty shops I've been to that have plenty of options for those of us with food intolerances or allergies, or who have special diets (vegetarian / vegan / gluten-free / etc etc). I'll keep adding to it, of course, as my exploration of London continues. But if anyone would like to contribute, please get in touch!
Back to basics.
Last night, I wanted to make a recipe that I had cooked before. something to complement the cold weather but still be an exciting and flavorful dish. Hot and sour soup was the answer.
[Side note: that ferocious looking panther glaring at the soup bowls is actually my t-shirt. Do not be alarmed.]
I tweaked the same recipe I used before only slightly - using spring greens instead of pak choi, palm sugar instead of agave nectar, and straining out the chilis before serving (which were chopped in half rather than finely). I also increased the cooking time to let the flavours of the broth really strengthen. Perhaps too much, since I could barely handle the first sip! But it definitely cleared out the sinuses.
The spring greens got a bit over-wilted and lost their color, so I would recommend only adding the greens you choose at the very last minute.
Same with the mushrooms. Don't add them too early.
Other than that, it's still a great option on a cold winter night.