Sharpening the edges

There is something poetic about this September salad of two vine fruits. The last of the tomatoes, heavy with sun, with the first of the grapes, the onion and vinegar sharpening the edges like a heavy pencil outline.

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I’ve posted quite a lot about / from Rachel Roddy recently, but sometimes you just find writing that slots into your head and gets you. I can think of at least two friends I want to give her cookbook too, whilst the recipes posted online with the Guardian satisfy me.

The lemon cream is typically southern Italian, and therefore thickened with a little flour, which gives it an old-fashioned and homely feel, especially if you are used to more elegant, butter-rich lemon curds.

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The mix of lightly-worn food history and anecdote reminds me a lot of Nigella Lawson in her glory days, and she knows how to turn a phrase:

You know how we are often reassured that the fussiness of anchovies will slip away like an obedient manservant, leaving just the wonderful seasoning? This is not the case here. The anchovy flavour remains indignant, its fishy saltiness producing golden crumbs that shout “I am an anchovy breadcrumb!” There no doubt, if you hate anchovies, you will hate these breadcrumbs. If you like anchovies, I suggest you make this for lunch tomorrow.

Naschmarkt Omas

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Just beyond the flat was the Naschmarkt, open 6 days a week and selling wine, fruit, veg, fish, bread, cheese and spices. In the same district, the 4th, were the following eateries (highly recommended):

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– Figar Bao: only the second place to start selling these Chinese buns in Vienna and a small room with two long tables, chilli mayonnaise, watercress and light quinoa in the chicken bao, iced beer and friendly staff.

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– Vollpension: a cafe for all ages, staffed by retirees (Omas and Opas: grannies and grandads) and a place where the generations can hang out together. The roll and glass of milk for breakfast tickled my fancy, but we went for a much more luxurious affair at Demel (chandeliers. orchids. cake.) in the end.

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– possibly the best kebab shop I’ve seen, with the most beautiful tiles behind the counter, a bar that sold bicycles besides the beer, and a wine shop called the Eulennest (owl nest).

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– a couple of Japanese cafes and a hipster burger place with vegan brownies and fries.

(All photos of the market my own, photos of the other venues from their websites.)

Nourishment

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As usual on a bank holiday, I spend a lot of time lying on (not in) my bed, still in my pyjamas, reading and planning lots of meals.

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About 9pm I might start cooking some, getting to bed at 2am the next morning a bit too tired and irritable and completely mis-setting my body clock for the rest of the weekend. I am also very happy for finding new voices and stories.

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This time it was Rachel Alice Roddy, whose tales of Testaccio and Sicily grabbed me (photos from Rachel’s Instagram above; link to blog here). For those of you around, head to Stoke Newington Festival & other sites in London this month to hear her talk about cookbook as memoir and taste her cooking.

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Rachel’s feed then led me to Hanna of  Building Feasts, whose supper clubs look divine, and whose weekly round ups include both makeup and books amongst the food. Both Hanna and Rachel feel like direct links to Nigella Lawson, whose writing and sheer enjoyment of food can’t be faulted.

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Finally, here is the great idea of Kino Vino, pairing a cuisine and a film. Little Vera and Russian dumplings are still to come, as is a pairing of I Am Love with Rachel’s cooking. Full circle.

Top two photos my own; Building Feasts & Rachel images from their Instsgrams.

Blog of the week – chocolate

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Sometimes you just need chocolate. Lots of chocolate. I first saw the recipe for this double-chocolate brownies here, and then searching for the image I also came across this blog here and thought I’d better link that too.

Try both, make lots: buy *all* the chocolate, and then come and see me. These are so getting made this weekend. I like the comment that they last 5 days. Um, more like one?

Anyway, the blog…after a recent trip to a Venezualan cafe (delicious, by the way), I was definitely intrigued by My Colombian Kitchen. There’s a spicy (savoury) orange salad, stuffed potatoes and hot avocado sauce. And chocolate. What’s not to like?

Spring fancies

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Top to bottom: Hera by George Washington Lambert (image from paintings.daily Instagram feed), lemons from thelittleran Instagram feed, LK Bennett’s sash pink court shoe, gingerbread house in Savannah (image from wanderwonders Instagram feed)