March 29, 2010

Final Few

As we venture back to the new frontier, back to the wilds of America, here are some of my favorites from the past 2 weeks:

View of London from Tate Modern

Ginger & White - favorite local bean in Hampstead, place-of-sighting for Ricky Gervais AND purveyor of the most devilishly good homemade peanut butter.

Pretty building. Nuff said.

One of the many delights to be found in & around Spitalfields (East End). These dapper little men were very tempting...

Bread man, Borough Markets

Bricklane, East End.

Finally, reason #1 why I love London & it's surrounding Hamlets: the people. The warm, friendly, generous & insanely polite people that make our visits wonderful - old & new friends alike!


March 26, 2010

My love said, do you fancy a Friday outing?

My love said, do you fancy a Friday outing, perhaps a wander to St Pauls? Then off to London we go!
[I only just refrained from singing a full rendition of "Tuppence a bag". I can't explain what comes over me every time I see St Pauls...]

My love said, would you like to try some food, a market stuffed full of all that's tasty & fresh & fanciful? Then off to Borough Market's we go!

My Love said, do you much enjoy Andy Warhol, some colors to make your eyes pop & a space that makes you feel like an ant? Well, off to Tate Modern we go!

It was a splendid day in Old London Town with my love!


March 25, 2010

Picture of the Day

Thursday @ Taylor St Baristas
[Located on New St (go figure), nr Liverpool Station]

Aussie baristas and Lamingtons! This has propelled Nathan into a new obsession to find / create / bake a Lamington once back in Nashville.

Perhaps a new baking challenge... x

March 23, 2010

Why I love London... Reason #136

Old, historical buildings, mingling up-close-&-personal with new shiny ones.

The stories that make-up London fascinate & enthrall me. The layer upon layer of life that has transpired here; the generations that have placed their mark on the city; the success' & failure's that define an area; the intrigue & mystery still to be unearthed; and the changes that point to an eclectic & diverse city that doesn't stop.

St Helen's Bishopsgate

Most notable to me are the churches, alive & active at the center of such a pulsating city. There is a vision & passion within the walls that is unexpected. And a love for the city of London (& it's inhabitants) that shapes how these deeply historical churches exist in the world surrounding them.

St Andrew's [part of St Helen's]

We catch a glimpse as we pass through & are continually excited by the heart of the people inside. As city centers are regenerated & populated I'm so thankful for the communities that bring Light!


March 21, 2010

London Weekender

This blog is bought to by the letter C. And the number 1467.

C for.... Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday. Be still my beating heart. SO lovely, lovely.
1467 for... the number of people also at the Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday. Or so it seemed. Be still my claustrophobic brain & body. Breathe in, breathe out.

I took a little awkward video so you could fully experience we what experienced! The chuckle you hear is me letting Nate know not to fret, I may pass-out but I'm still having fun. And I hope that's his hand on... Just kidding... It was all very family friendly.

Squishiness aside, it is a fabulous market. Packed full with row upon row of gorgeous (& cheap!) flowers. And lots of little permanent stores along the side too, with food & homewares & garden-y things. Since we neither live here nor garden much, we stuck to filling our bellies of the tasty fare.
Ahhh, and what better way to end the afternoon than with a latte & a little bench & some space & air around me to breathe out. Splendid!


March 16, 2010

Picture of the Day

[Rees Family Fun Times, Sheffield UK]

How many men does it take to build an All Terrain Tactical Enforcer?
Or, if you're up with the lingo like me - an ATTE.

2 men. Plus 1 boy...
And yes, that is the kitchen floor. IDEAL, if you ask me. Right at dinner time.

I stayed clear & kept my ATTE expertise to myself. I didn't want to shame them with my tactical enforcing brilliance.

Truthfully, if it's not pink & fiddly & involving some form of barbie paraphernalia in sticker-form, I'm useless.


March 11, 2010

Sour Cream Pancakes

The coconut disaster of 2010 was still fresh in our bellies & on our tastebuds, so I was not up for taking risks this week. No faffing around with exotic ingredients! No multiple instruments of cookery! Back to the basics; time for something simple.

Enter Sour Cream Pancakes. It sounds a little random, I know... Sour? Pancakes? Eh? But these are simply a light & moist version of regular pancakes. Super easy (read = FAST!) & very satisfyingly tasty.

[If your sour cream is headed more for the sour side, than the creamy, then plain yogurt can be substituted to no ill effect.]

The lil' something extra, added for character & interest, can be credited to my brother-in-law Shane. He questioned us via video chat recently - "surely chocolate chip pancakes would be on the list??! C'mon - it's America!" (or something to that effect, forgive my paraphrasing)

How could I have been so blind & overlooked one of the fundamentals? I am thankful for Shane & his culinary insight. And so it was so...

Being short on actual "chips" I chopped-up some dark chocolate (which I can highly recommend!) & for the sake of feeling healthy threw-in some sliced pear.

Peeerfection. Simple. Light. Mild flavored, with a kick of chocolate.

And we're BACK in the game :)

The original recipe for Sour Cream Pancakes can be found here - Pioneer Women Cookbook. I heart the PW.


[Public Announcement - The Pancake Challenge will take a short 2 week hiatus while we haul our butts around London & up to Sheffield.]

March 9, 2010


What I wish I could pack & take to London this week...

Not just because it's fabulously warm. And furry. And cinched at the waist.

Nor because it's the most tasty, toasty, luscious color of burnt orange fall leaves.

No, I wish I could take this to London because it was my mum's. She owned it & wore it & loved it before I was even a thought. It's a little of her here with me. And a shout-out to something daring & wonderful before we all got sensible & started wearing black.

As Nashville turn's it's face to Spring, this coat will have to wait till next season. I'm sure it's used to being patient after 28+ yrs in the wardrobe.

Still, it would've been dreamy in old London town...


March 7, 2010

Where ARE my tap shoes?!

I need them to go with my new "bob" -

Just sharing the mundane & day-to-day...

Cause you're my friends...

And I live with a boy.

The End.

March 5, 2010

Ode to the Ryan's

Two of our very favorite peeps set sail for the homeland last month, leaving London a little bit chillier & grayer & sadder than before. With another UK trip just around the corner for us, my aching little heart is taking time to reflect on their absence.

And I picked the absolute best picture too. I think they're really going to like it.

Soph.. Pete.. Why did you have to leave? Didn't you like having your laundry in your kitchen? Is it because you had to attend costume parties?

Was it us?

Was it something we did?

Was it the towels we ruined? Or the squeaky floor we kept walking on? Or the fold-out bed we clanged shut every morning, slow & creaking like the sinking of the Titanic?

Was it the boxes & boxes of CD's we got delivered to your door? Or the piles & piles of clothes & shoes we spewed-up all over your living room furniture? Was it the crumpets Nate kept buying that took-up half your fridge space? Or the boxes of your cereal we ate?

Was it the stressful no-show pickup that you patiently waited for with us, as the sun came-up & the rain came down that frigid-cold morning we departed?

I mean, honestly, I can't really see it. I don't really know what it could be. I can't imagine it was something we did.

We are going to miss you desperately. And not just because you took care of us, & were so generously kind & hilariously funny & understanding of our unusual existence.

We will miss you because you are amazing friends & we love you lots.

So, I suppose, Armidale here we come!! Hide your best towels & maybe put a lock on the cereal cupboard.


(they didn't actually sail....)

March 4, 2010

Coconut Pancakes

Two words - Pancake failure.

Oh, the dry, bland taste of failure.

I have dragged myself away from the data-entry dredge that is our accounts to report on a not-so-successful pancake challenge - a topic I have been trying to avoid alllll week. The fact that I would rather balance our books, than write about it, is very telling.
I knew it was coming... There is always a slump, a snag in the pancake perfection. I could feel it brewing in my bones! Four weeks of scrumptious pancakes had taken affect on my confidence & I entered the kitchen for round 5 with not a hint of concern. All fool me!! So I will impart my experience for the betterment of future pancake endeavors.

Error #1 - I decided to jump the pond & include an Aussie chef in the challenge. He [who shall remain nameless] has always proven to be a sure-thing on all cookery fronts. But in the area of pancakes, it seems best left to the professionals (psst! that would be the Americans)

Error #2 - Coconut. Big mistake. Big. HUGE! (name that movie?). It sits there mockingly, in all its dry, scratchiness. Coconut & batter don't play well together in my kitchen.
Error #3 - dismissing the maple syrup. Here was my greatest downfall. I should have known the sugary goodness of syrup could not be usurped by fruit compote. The bland taste haunts me still.

But - like a welcome splash of cold water, the failure serves as a freshen-up for this weekends challenge. Onwards & upwards my friends! (which is precisely what I should be doing on the stepper as this challenge takes hold).