Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Hobo Suppers

So I moved out of the first flat  I have ever lived in on my own, after 15 months. Its been a pretty eventful 15 months full of adventure, discovery and learning in every way imaginable. When I moved in to the flat last year, I didn't expect that I would have been cooking for over a thousand people eating in my front room. I also didn't expect to rediscover a passion for cooking, eating and providing great environments for people to partake in these joyous activities. So moving out Saturday I did feel slightly down hearted, but armed with lessons learnt, a new confidence and a belief in the future and for all the new opportunities that the future will bring, I strided off to a Toots and the Maytels gig with a smile on my face once the moving was over.

I now find myself, some what semi homeless at the moment and seem to be doing the sofa surfing rounds in 'Ackney. Sofa surfing isn't as bad as what it was when I was in my twenties. Most of my friends now have all the mod cons - great kitchens, spare bedrooms and most of all, eat good food. Thankfully no takeaways, no sleeping amongst beer cans and fag butts and of course no sleeping on air mattresses in corners of  friends bedrooms.

The up shot of all this sofa surfing is that I have had my first commute in nearly five years ( I may live and work in London , but haven't had to take public transport to work as have lived with in a twenty minute walk to walk). The commute home was made a whole lot enjoyable, as I was able to stop off at my favourite fruit and veg shop  and a new Italian trattoria and deli in Newington Green where I picked up some provisions.

After a hard weekend and tiring Monday at work, I found myself alone at a friends flat and preparing dinner for myself and looking forward to reading the new Observer Food Monthly.

Insalata Newington Green
Serves 1 - 2

Mixture of ripe tomato's
1 Ball of Buffala Mozzarella
3 slices of Parma Ham 
15 Basil leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper

1. Slice tomato's thinly
2. Slice Mozzarella
3. Tear Parma ham over the tomato's and Mozzarella
4. Arrange on plate
5. Season with black pepper, torn Basil leaves and olive oil.

Obviously I felt a bit weird making this and then sitting down to find Nigel Slater's recipe for Insalata Caprese in the Food Monthly. Its true what God like Mr Slater said in his article, this dish is truly at it best when the ingredients are at their best and most ripest. The whole dish is about the fresh tasting tomato's and cheese and the olive oil shouldn't hamper the fresh taste of tomato's and cheese, whilst the flavour of the pepper and basil do the offsetting instead of the oil. The inclusion of the Parma Ham gives a nice salty undertone which complements the salad as well. All in all a refreshing, comforting summer dish which somewhat revived a very tired and emotional homeless lady on a Monday night.


  1. It must be ever so emotional for you!

    There will be plenty great suppers to come and hopefully a new home with new views and horizons will offer wonderful things to come - especially if you're gonna eat so well like this!

  2. Whatever you do, it will be great, as you are a great person. Looking forward to it, especially your inaugural northern dinner.

  3. Thanks Uyen - in fact was a breath of fresh air to leave, a change is as good as a rest and was good to get away from all the crazy neighbours and looking forward to a proper garden where I can grow stuff again as well as a garden shed. Also the prospect of us been neighbours !

    SuperSam - Thanks for the wise and wonderful words lovely. Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend X

  4. Hang on a minute - ive missed a memo somewhere! ive been loving your blog and hoping one day to come to one of your dinners- does this mean your stopping - are you relocating - whatever, you're more than welcome to dinner with us in East Yorkshire - love your writing!

  5. FRG - No we have not stopped have started a new venture called Shacklewell Nights in collaboration with my friend from St John's Restaurant.
    Hopefully we will be having small supperclubs in my new flat but are still slightly unsure as its a long time since we actually looked at it
    Hopefully coming back to York next month to see the folks so maybe able to hold you to the offer of dinner !
    Thanks for writing comments as well