Saturday, October 11, 2008

Catching up with food, poetry and a great big cold

Time has been slipping by and a bout of flu stopped me from catching up earlier.

Here are a couple of pictures from a French market which sprang up out of nowhere in the N1 Centre in Islington one chilly day. This one's for the Prosciutto di Parma consortium sleuths to track down... These certainly didn't resemble any Parma Hams I'd ever seen.

Nice looking garlic though.

I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to one of Islington's more sought-after culinary hotspots, chez Nancy et Mike, where I dined on a Moro-inspired paella

and an Ottolenghi tart (reminds me I must go and worship in his temple of goodness before I leave town)

a Torta Especial Almendra, from Brindisi

and a nice bit of fruit and Manchego.

I was at a housewarming party last weekend, for a neighbour of this property. Big houses are hard to heat in the chilly sea winds they get on Sheppey and the small but beautiful fireplace I huddled near was apparently not enough to protect me from cultivating an ominous sore throat, which I took along on Sunday night to Tammy and Leah's reading at Torriano, hosted as ever by John Rety.

I then succumbed to a brutal cold/flu thing which laid me low until Wednesday, when I dragged myself into the dusk to attend the Forward Prize do, which was - by spooky coincidence, Georgian properties occurring rather often in my life lately - held in the Georgian Group headquarters on lovely Fitzroy Square. Overcrowding (a superfluity of poets?) led to a dramatic incident - one person fainted - and was tended by paramedics, followed up by an ambulance.

Afterwards we wandered down Charlotte Street in search of a food type that our Lake District companions would be unlikely to find (passing along the way Passione, the restaurant of Jamie Oliver's now slightly eclipsed mentor), and settled on Phillippine cuisine at Josephine's. Although I wasn't fully in control of my taste-buds at the time, I'm inclined to agree with the "not bad, not great" review of the place that I read later. We had the set menu which included a kind of chicken soup with green beans (and one green chili hiding on top)

and a pork dish which looked good

but was a bit sweet for my taste. I ordered it because it featured annatto seed; when I asked what this was, it appeared to be untranslatable: "from a tree" was the answer. I still don't know what it tasted like; maybe next time.

And that, other than the previously reported efforts to exercise my civic duty, is it... for now.


Post a Comment

<< Home