I’ve spent the last ten months working at an Australian style cafe in East London. Surprisingly, one of the most common questions I’ve been asked is, “What are corn fritters?”
The reason I am surprised is because surely, even if you’d never eaten corn fritters (God help you), surely you could work out what they were based on the name?!
Hence, my perhaps too-attitude-filled response is generally, “uhh, they are fritters.. made with corn?”
Yes, I am a jerk. And maybe this example isn’t the best to use as I guess they are clearly an antipodean thing.. But I want to take this opportunity to have a bit of a rant.
People’s lack of food knowledge and appreciation in this city troubles me. There is a problematic culture of pre-packaged, processed, quick to prepare “cuisine” all across the United Kingdom, despite being surrounded by European countries that are worldwide food pioneers. Food is not cheap here, particularly when seeking quality produce, but it is an expense I am willing to deal with in order to eat something that doesn’t taste like dog-food and that wont eventually erode my insides.
This is not to say that everyone over here is caught up in lazy food culture. I have a lot of British friends who love food, and not in a “OMG MCDONALDS INNIT!” kind of way. But taking a stroll through the major supermarkets here is an incredible reflection of the food habits of this country. Back home, I am so inspired by grocery stores. The fruit and vegetables are so vibrant, robust and full of colour. Here, I have to force myself to stop in this same section because everything looks dull. Here, aisles are loaded with pre-packed and pre-prepared everything (seriously, pre-hard-boiled eggs?!)
It is sometimes hard to not fall into the lazy food trap. And sure, I have eaten several frozen pizzas and supermarket sandwiches. But thankfully I was taught to cook and eat well by my parents, and as I have grown older I see food as something that is enjoyable and exciting, rather than just a necessity.
Food is an adventure, people! Look up recipes! Explore! Make mistakes! And have a load of fun!
And for those of you who still don’t know what corn fritters are, please enjoy my version in the above photo and try making your own. They’re quick, cheap, easy and delicious.
Recipe thanks to Taste.com.au
A salad, you say? On this blog? A strange post, I know, but I just had to say…
Since purchasing Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook earlier this year, I have been absolutely obsessed. So far every recipe I have toyed with has turned out beyond perfectly, regardless of its complexity. My favourite go-to during the week, however, is his Na’ama’s Fattoush. Living in London often means too much beer, too many kebabs, and nowhere near enough vegetables so I find this dish is a great way to “cleanse” while still eating something you enjoy. I am lucky enough to live in an area that is loaded with Turkish supermarkets, where you can buy ingredients for this recipe for around£6. It is quick, easy, and everything is raw (so it must be, like, reaaally good for you, right?)
I don’t think my housemates realised what they were getting themselves into when they put me in charge of dessert for our Christmas dinner.
The idea was inspired by a similar concept found on Taste.com.au, however the pavlova was made using Jo Seagar’s butterscotch meringue recipe, which my mum and I have been using for years. You can find the recipe here: http://cattaylornz.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/butterscotch-meringues.html
For my best friend’s birthday, I felt the pressing need to create something marvellous. This little gem sure was a crowd pleaser, although it was almost too pretty to slice up!
The cake itself was a two tier chocolate buttermilk cake, the same recipe used for my own Oreo-heavy birthday cake (see earlier post). The preparation for this involved purchasing 16 Kit Kat bars from Coles… I have never been more grateful for self-service supermarket checkouts.