Where 1 drink will inevitably lead to 3, do not come to London without visiting The Whistling Shop. Manager and mixologist extraordinaire Ryan Chetiyawardana and his team are not only concocting the most delicious drinks with the most unique ingredients, they are nice. They will give you a tour of their lab, answer in great length any questions you have about anything, and laugh with you when their homemade fermenting champagne literally starts exploding on the shelf from the day’s heat. (They told us they use vinegar to make their bubbly!) Our friend Kevin was in town from Seattle and after a long day of sightseeing, we indulged. This included: The House Gin Fizz with Tanqueray Gin, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, vanilla salt, orange bitters, and soda; The Tin and Jonic with Quinine Ketal One Vodka, housemade raspberry soda, black pepper and rose; and the Punch and Judy with Ron Zacap 23, housemade walnut ketchup* and malic acid. *The walnut ketchup is a combination of Port wine, green walnut, chocolate, saffron and spice. Photos from The Boilermaker interview.
The Royal Wedding is still very much taking place over here. And tomorrow I (M) am going to tour Buckingham Palace, while the Queen is still on holiday in Scotland and K is out saving lives. As part of this tour, I will even get to see the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress on display. I considered wearing nude pantyhose in her honour, but I just can’t do it. Anyway, all this—combined with my love for souvenir kitsch and our need to buy mugs for the flat—has led me on the search for the perfect Royal Wedding souvenir mug. There are too many from which to choose! Some with royal colours, some where William has more hair, some with varying shapes or additional coasters (see fig. 2.1 & 2.2). Cast your vote in the comment section, voting ends EOD PST on 04/10 and then we’ll buy the winning mug; I know K is just dying to have one! I really want one with their photograph, just sayin’.
Dinner for 1 while Doc’s got the night shift.
INGREDIENTS// a bit of cabbage, cauliflower, and onion: all very thinly sliced / extra virgin olive oil / apple cider vinegar / pepper & salt (I use apple-smoked salt from Seattle’s U. District Farmers’ Market—yes, it’s the single kitchen item I brought to Ldn) / 7 gnocchi balls / a couple slivers of soft cheese
INSTRUCTIONS// In a skillet on med-high, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil, add onions. When onions are getting soft, add cabbage and cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes, reduce heat and add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar plus a dash more olive oil. Slowly cook on lower heat for awhile—this is the part where everything gets perfectly browned edges. Keep cooking, be patient. Add pepper & salt. If you’re cooking this just for 1, no need to even boil the gnocchi in water, just add to the skillet, cook for a bit, and brown. If you’re making more, boil water, cook gnocchi; add to skillet for browning. Plate and add soft cheese slivers to top. Yum!
A bitty peek of where we live. Our second-hand furniture hunting was unsuccessful on Saturday, so we made up for it in plants on Sunday at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Then we painted the dark bedroom wall—3 coats, we had no primer. I bought a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and a pie dish at a charity shop. Had drinks then dinner with Sam, Jo, & Stuart on Friday. Got caught in the rain sans umbrella. Made dinner for Rana’s sister Samar who is in town for the week. Skyped™ with DC, Seattle, and Paris. Watched The Bourne Trilogy (with which I am now obsessed). Bought a bottle of green chartreuse elixir. (Who knew: Made by the Chartreuse Monks since 1737 according to the instructions set out in the secret manuscript given to them by Marechal d’Estrees in 1605.)
Rest of the week: go to the Lego Greenhouse, work, and find a bed frame.
The weekend we had our first sleepover guest Jeff, we did not yet have the internet at home. Having effectively incapacitated all his wireless devices and practically forcing him to spend the weary internet-less days talking and drinking with us, we decided to go to the Borough Market. It was bustling and packed with all kinds of food and people as expected. At some point, it felt too crowded and too touristy, but we managed to stuff our hungry selves with hot duck confit sandwich, rock oysters and all kinds of sample cheese. It was a good mid-afternoon outing. On the way back home, before going to dinner, we caught the beginning of evening rain then the bus and Jeff finally got to sit in front on upper deck. We walked through another little street after getting off the bus and finally found figs, spicy chorizo and salami, which were to be eaten hours after dinner, with a terrible bottle of red wine, but that’s a whole other story.
Funny and new things! Pointed cabbage, also called sweetheart, is one of our new favourites. We also discovered sausage rolls: you pretty much take the best meatball/loaf recipe ever and bake it in a thin dough. Thanks to Kate & Brian’s pals, we tried this one from Ginger Pig butcher in Marylebone—they said it’s the best in the city. Lastly, an English muffin we bought at Borough Market that is so tall you can get 4 out of 1. Sam & Jo said they rarely eat these, they’re a sort of specialty item from the bakery.