Bits and pieces

A quick round-up of things that don’t fit elsewhere:

1. Urban Eco Chic

This is a book that was sent to me by the publishers, Quadrille. I feel bad because I’ve had it for ages without writing about it. I expected it to be a bit coffee-table-ish, with lots of pretty pictures and not much in the way of text. There are pretty pictures but this book is dense. There’s a LOT of information in there. If you’re building, renovating, or even just maintaining your home there’s a huge amount of useful information on things you can do to make your home more eco, ranging from the easy stuff (eco lightbulbs, turn the hot water down, etc) to the more involved (solar panels, building materials and so on).

2. African Kitchen and Gallery, Drummond Street

I first went to this tiny restaurant over a year and a half ago, and loved it. I’ve since moved to just around the corner, but didn’t go back until the other night. I’d just been to a talk at the university about the Creation Museum in Arkansas with my friend Ben (fascinating stuff – did you know that humans co-existed peacefully with velociraptors? Because people and animals were all vegetarian before the Fall) and we wanted a bite to eat nearby. African Kitchen is perfect if you’re on Drummond Street but not in the mood for Indian. Amazingly, they recognised me, even though it’s so long since I’ve been there. I suppose I walk past all the time though. They use a lot of organic ingredients, and somehow even a simple plate of chopped carrots tossed in olive oil (a complimentary appetiser) is absolutely delicious. We also got some delicious sweets for dessert, also unasked for. We had yam balls and fried plantain for starters, both of which were really good. I had a special of chickpeas for my main, and Ben had lake fish, which was delicious but a bit of a chore to eat, with lots of bones.

3. I’ve been eating out a lot but still making time for a bit of cooking. Riverford have started providing way more recipes with each veg box, and a handy binder to keep them all in, arranged by month so in years to come I can just turn to the appropriate month for seasonal recipes. I happened to have all of the ingredients handy for the Braised Leeks with Shallot and Caper Vinaigrette, so gave it a go:


They were super-tasty and I ate them with smoked mackerel fishcakes, which are in heavy rotation although I haven’t posted a recipe for them yet. Must do that soon.

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