Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Leaving London

I haven’t been posting much these days because we’re preparing to move out of London. I know.


I look out of my kitchen and I see the hustle of the street. I see the chefs at the restaurant across the road taking a smoking break. I see little chavs tearing about and people walking their gigantic dogs. I see drug dealers and BMWs, tourists and locals. I see everything from my little kitchen window. I’ll miss that. I’ve never felt so part of the world while still in my kitchen. I’ll be going back to that domestic isolation of looking into the backyard while I wash dishes that I don’t enjoy as much. I’ll be going to kitchen with a ceramic hob. WHO INSTALLS A CERAMIC HOB?

I’ve made some Ottolenghi fritters that Mum made one afternoon, but mine turned out really rubbish. They were rubbery. And my last pizza was not excellent. And I made a butterscotch curl cake on the weekend and it didn’t work out. For some reason the butter and sugar didn’t caramelise, it just crystalised instead. So I feel like I’ve lost my mojo a bit. Not making anything worth sharing and I can’t help but think it’s because my heart isn’t here anymore. It’s already moved to Maidenhead.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself. OK, so I am a little bit. But with kids, an urban existence is rather exhausting. I’m looking forward to the change of pace that living in Maidenhead will bring. Living so close to the city, I constantly feel the lure of adventure and so I constantly feel like I’m being lazy or not taking advantage or worse, missing out.

At least moving away will put that to rest a little. I’ll take the train in once a week and visit the places that I’ve come to love, like Soho and Covent Garden, The British Library and Trafalgar Sq. I don’t know if it’s because it’s in my interest to, or out of genuine exhaustion that I’m kind of looking forward to moving out of London. It will never be far away of course, but it will be far enough that I won’t want to just go in all the time, or feel as if I have to.

I’m looking forward to a kitchen with more room. The little shoe box here is not wide enough to fit even two people. The oven is gas but it keeps coming out of the wall. The bench space is completely inadequate and the cupboard doors are just too large.

I’m looking forward to a dishwasher in the new place. That’s a little bit of luxury I’ve learnt to live without but will slip back into with no trouble. I’ve even bought dishwasher tablets already. I’m looking forward to getting all our things. Our container shipped today. I’ll get my blitzer, my pots, my cutlery and my bowls. Not to mention beds, chairs, pictures and all the furniture we didn’t sell.

I’ve been trying to get out and do all the things I’ve meant to like go out to Tooting with Mum. They have a big Indian community there and we had some lunch and I bought some smoked ribs and bought a pair of £5 shoes. I’m going to the Tate Modern tomorrow. I strolled down Oxford St in the rain today. We went up to Bodeans at Clapham Common for one last pulled pork meal. We’ve got a couple left to do, like go for some Chinese in Soho and have some foie gras up at our little bistro one last time.

It might sound silly, but England doesn’t do ‘ethnic’ in the outskirts. London is a wonderfully vibrant city with everything you could want, but once outside London, things get a little more homogenous. I don’t even know if they have a Chinese restaurant in Maidenhead. I know there’s probably fifteen pubs, but I’m not confident they’ll have much in the way of Asian cuisine or any other cuisine for that matter. I’ll let you know about that one.

At least Legoland won’t be far away. Neither will Lizzy. She only lives down the road. We will be moving to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead you know.


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