Green Tea Noodle Salad
What you need:
shoots/sprouts (I used pea, alfalfa and bean)
Green tea noodles
Pickled ginger (bought or recipe coming soon!)
Squeeze of honey
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water
Optional: egg (hardboiled, raw, poached…)
What you need to do:
Cook green tea noodles to directions
Run under cold water and set aside
Using a mandolin/superior knife skills shred radishes and brussel sprouts
Toss everything together with dressing.
Serve with an egg and a smile.
Am I the only person that finds eggs insanely cute? Is that weird?
Sar’s passionate confessions and food installation
The sensation of taste is deeply mimetic. Consciously or not, we build meals around experiences, crafting dense, overlapping opacities of sensory and emotional associations around the way we perceive certain foods. (Allen McKean, condiment, 40-47) Out of all the meals I’ve ever eaten, those that resonate with me have only a little to do with the faculty of taste alone..
Several Januaries ago, amidst the balmy, unagitated air of high summer, we snuck ourselves with small steps out onto the roof to drink tea and eat cake; Mugs of heady perfume and dense dewy fruitcake, which I ordinarily dislike. Looking to the freshly minted sky, the stars were obscured by the glow of city lights. Droplets of my own sweet sap tacked themselves firmly to my body, with a succulence matching that of our feast. It was so beautiful to be there, in that ephemeral moment by the water with my friend. Everything beyond that moment faded in the sacred pulse of silence. I looked to the expanding soul of the girl next to me. There was something very powerful brewing in the air, in the sky, in our teacups and in ourselves that we did not dare try to communicate. (Davies-what i find amazing about this excerpt is that i have paraphrased Tahlia, as we were both present and both felt the same sense of Yugen, i could not have described it in a better or more appropriate way than her. fyi she is also a super talented creative who has a poetry blog- check it) This moment of lucidity unraveled what it is that I so revel in- the expansiveness of sensation.
“Hygge” is a Danish abstract noun, which defines a sensation deeply embedded within Scandinavian culture. Although there is no adequate translation for it in the English language, it alludes to the art of creating intimacy, tranquility and coziness, a gentle comfort shared with friends, family and food. If there was one souvenir my parents brought home with them from Denmark, it was this. While it has been sixteen years since we were there, come Christmas, a humble slice of cake, stuffed desperately by my Grandmother with spices and candied fruit to disguise its wicked rum content, is unfailingly delicious, cinnamon sneezes and all. Lying below the pine tree telling jokes with my brother in our flimsy paper crowns, the moment embraces me in the same way as that night on the roof; It is beyond special.
These foods are sustenance for the soul, and the senses, with a mnemonic potency that is extremely personal and precious to me. Other than food, there is only one thing that moves me so powerfully, and that is art. Sometimes I feel so affected by art, I find it tactless to condense to words, but such an obsession deserves to be acknowledged.
Like the brilliant Stephen Fry, I like words – strike that, I love words – and while I am fond of the condensed and economical use of them I also enjoy the luxurious profusion and mad scatter of them. I ought to prune, pare and extirpate excess growth, but I will not.I hope you will forgive the unedifying sight of my struggle to express some of the truths of my inner self. (Fry, Foreword.) Like a bowerbird I gather bits of blue, and give to you not a whole crystal, but a slice of agate: a cross section of my unfathomable passion, and its essence.
There is a natural inclination toward fusion of artistic realms, due to their mutual exploration of sensory experience. Food and art are siblings who (as much as they want to deny it) are inherently related by the common expression of creativity, and may as well deal with it. It is no longer that they are two autonomous disciplines. It is no longer that one takes precedence over the other, in a pendulous suspension of mutual exclusivity. Food and art have formed a symbiosis, propelling one another into dangerous and awesome realms of thought. Artists are letting go of their pretensions, and instead examining one another’s crafts with curiosity and esteem. Like a midnight sip of water, something that had always appeared so ordinary is suddenly infused with the sweetness of promise. As Kandinsky states, “The arts are encroaching one upon another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental” (Kandinsky).
A drastic dichotomy has formed between approaches to food in contemporary society. The immediacy of consumer culture has lead to a remarkable dependency upon convenience. Thus eating has inevitably become, for the most part, a matter of business.. This trivialisation of food has been met by an audacious collective of people who embrace the situation as a creative challenge. Eating is undeniably an essential physiological requirement, however it is also much more than that. It is a sensual experience, an expression of identity, spirit and culture. Artists have widened their vocabularies to consider food as a workable medium for expression, and an ultimate material to deliver concepts captured in their visual art to the stomach. United by a passion for making food an experience, they strive to deal with nourishment in a sustainable and innovative way. I am slung with intrigue by this artistic fusion, so it is not a surprise that i have finally reached a point in my own artistic practice where food becomes a medium.
recipe ensues-(adaptation of the japanese shortbread medley)
2 cup organic plain flour
1.5 cup organic wholegrain spelt flour
1.5 cup unrefined fine powdered cane sugar
290 g organic ghee or unsalted butter
6 small free range egg yolks
2 tablespoons ground lemon myrtle and ground wattle seed
- sift flours and sugar together in a bowl.
- dice the butter or ghee and beat in slowly until the dry ingredients have formed a crumb.
- combine with egg yolks, one at a time, until the batter collects and becomes firm.
- divide the batter into two. work the herbs in to the respective batters and cling wrap each individually.
- refrigerate for 30 minutes. meanwhile preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius and grease a tray before lining it with baking paper.
- remove batter from the fridge, roll out and cut into desired shapes. dust the edges with cane sugar.
- bake in batches for 15 minutes. store in a biscuit tin on layers of paper towel.
- final step: MAKE A FOOD INSTALLATION! (joke, but be inspired, be thoughtful, be creative)
What’s that you say?
Tahlia, we don’t need you to tell us about Monmouth Coffee, it’s really famous and we know it’s good already.
Well, shut up, because I liked it there and I want to tell you about it.
We change our minds. We care about your thoughts and feelings regarding Monmouth Coffee and any experiences you may have had within their establishment.
Monmouth Coffee is a teensy, tiny shop that started off as a sampling room for those with an artisan appreciation of the beverage and bean. Whilst it still caters to the connoisseurs, it’s also just a place where you can get rockin’ pastries and rollin’ coffee.
Their selection is diverse, an open gallery you can browse at the counter (added bonus is watching them use the old school scale and scoop to weigh and bag it all up).
I had a single cone filter of their house special. It was bright, subtle, variant. Even someone with a palette numb as mine to the real complexity of coffee could tell this was the good stuff.
I also liked that they keep things simple with the baked goods. You had a choice between a brownie, short bread, brioche or a savoury cheese pastry. This, to me, says they are probably pretty on top of their quality control, no hordes of cakes left uneaten for days.
The brownie was intense, smooth and dense, kind of like fudge with a crispy top.
I enjoyed it, but to be honest, it might have benefited from a couple of extra minutes in the oven. Brownies are just something that need a little bite to them.
Seating situation could be something you really love or hate. The small space and large demand means that you end up sharing quite a crowded table among strangers.
I love this. I love watching people get annoyed at being reminded other people exist. I love watching conversations start up. I love watching people attempt to subtly read over each other’s shoulders. I love that in a heavily populated city, where people pay to keep the illusion of personal space alive…they just don’t give it to you. But that’s just me.
Plus, everyone that works there is attractive…like everyone.
Check it out:
27 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9EU
Monday to Saturday
8am to 6.30pm
Food is tangled in memory and vice versa. Those familiar sensations are deeply knitted into our whole networks and, try as you might, who can escape the faint note on nostalgia forever on their tongue? Today, sipping at Genmaicha, I thought of Sarah, of rice crackle in warm water tanging slightly of bitterness, of the afternoons we sipped away into watery evening.
And these green notes slipped suddenly to memories of tables decked by childhood fancy- crammed with packet cakes and instant noodles, gummy confectionary and cordial. Look at how tacky those syllables are, ce, ka, ke, cracking at the sugar crust over our insides.
And I wonder where we’re going, what meals and times we will come to share.
But there is no way of knowing and I am not really worried because wanting everything to stay fixed is to deny life.
People don’t change. People are change…
Broad Bean and Green Apple Risotto
A little out of cupboard scraping necessity, and a little for the fun of it, I have been throwing together some weird combinations lately. Have no fear, kitchen engineer! You gotta be ambitious to be delicious. (Although, sometimes you gotta be ambitious to screw up and make things that don’t work together and taste totally gross.)
This is actually a very simplified version of a risotto sans butter, cheese and stock.
Feel free to sub any of them back in!
What you need:
1 cup Aborio rice
2 cups of water (at least)
1 red onion diced
1 garlic clove roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup broad beans, blanched and peeled
1 green apple, finely diced
What you need to do:
Sautee onion and garlic on low heat in a good swig of olive oil for about 4-5 minutes
Add bay leaf and heat for a further minute
Add a bit more olive oil, increase your heat, and add rice to the pan, stirring until slightly translucent
At this point start adding water little by little, constantly stirring as it gets absorbed.
Test the texture of the rice as you go and once it’s as you like, remove from heat.
Stir through broad beans and apple and add salt and pepper to taste
p.s. to blanch the broad beans, remove them from their pod, cover with hot water and leave for about two minutes then dunk them in ice water (or just run them under cold water depending how picky you are about it). Once cool enough to handle, remove the beans from their second skin.