Friday, 27 November 2015

Persephone and Curious Incidents in London








A ghostly St Pauls




Hi all, thank you for your birthday wishes on my last post, you are all stars :)  My last post was all about birthday food,  this post is birthday book related.

 I had read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time several years ago and wondered how it would transfer to the stage.  We went along to see the play while in London at the intimate Guelgud Theatre and loved it, I laughed, I cried and was sad when it ended, I could have watched it all over again.  It was very cleverly done with an ingenious set that made you believe you were on a train, on the tube, on the streets of London with very few props.  The small company of actors were playing multiple parts, as well as being part of the scenery, a special mention has to go to Sion Daniel Young who played Christopher.  The whole play relied on the right person playing Christopher, a young autistic boy.  It was a very challenging part which he played to perfection.  If you get a chance to see it I would highly recommend it.










As we were sitting waiting for the play to start, the woman in front of me got out her knitting and was knitting socks as she chatted away to her friend.  I love that.  Yes we were there very early, I am always early, the theatre was full by the time it started.






After being too ill to make it over to Persephone Books on our last trip to London I was determined to  get there this time.  What a lovely book shop, what I would call a 'proper' book shop, books piled on tables and shelves in a tiny little shop tucked away on a lovely little street.  I made some purchases which will sit proudly on my bookshelf, each with their matching bookmarks.





I often ask for books for my birthday, in preparation for all the growing I hope to be doing when we find our new home I asked my son for this, Abundance by Alys Fowler.   I have already been dipping into it and dreaming of all of the lovely food I will be able to preserve.  A dehydrator is something that is mentioned, and would also be useful for my raw food experiments so will go on my Xmas list, any recommendation for which one to buy?



Celeriac puree with spiced cauliflower and quail's eggs



a little bit lumpy but tasted delicious





As I mentioned on my last post I received Yotam Ottolenghi's book Nopi as a birthday gift.  When we got home my veg box had been delivered and contained a large celeriac, it has a very distinct taste which I like in small doses.  I found this recipe in my new book, it was delicious and didn't actually taste like celariac, just very tasty. I will be making this again, as I know I will be getting regular deliveries of celeriac in my veg box and by the end of the season will be getting fed up with it's unusual taste so this will be the perfect way to use it for me.  Yotams recipes can be complicated, time consuming and involve lots of ingredients and in this book even more so as it is the recipes from the restaurant.  But you don't have to make the whole dish, you can make parts of it as I did with this recipe, I just made the celeriac puree which was easy and used ingredients I already had.  Instead of the cauliflower I had it with roasted carrots and sweet potato and salad.



Celeriac Puree

60ml olive oil
1 large onion roughly diced
2 garlic cloves roughly chopped 
2 bay leaves
1 large celeriac peeled and cut roughly into 2 cm pieces (600g)
500ml vegetable stock
2 tblsp tahini paste
2 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
course sea salt and black pepper.

Place the oil in a medium saucepan on a med high heat.  
Add the onions and fry for 5-6 mins stirring often until soft and starting to caramelize
Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for another minute before adding the celeriac.
Fry for 8 - 10 mins, stirring often so that all sides are golden brown.
Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer on a medium heat for about 15 mins until the celeriac is cooked through.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves and transfer to a blender or food processor.
Blitz to form a smooth puree before adding the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, 1  1/2tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Serve at room temperature or warm.

I found mine was a little runny so next time I will drain off some of the liquid and set aside before blitzing then adding as needed.  Mine was also a bit lumpy but tasted delicious.

This has been my first week off since last March and the last couple of days I have been feeling really under the weather.  I'm sure bugs wait until my annual leave to pounce on me, or is it that you slow down enough for them to catch up with you.  I'm sure a couple of days curled up on the sofa reading and crafting will see me right.  Anyway I will leave you with some photos I took as we walked along the southbank, the camera did something weird in some of the photos but I like how they turned out, other-worldly.
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Chickpea xx

20 comments:

  1. I would love to go to the Persephone bookshop but it's probably a good thing ( for the purse) that I will never get there!

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    1. I know what you mean far too tempting

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  2. We saw Curious Incident for L's 18th. The set was amazing wasn't it? Such a great production. I envy your trip to Persephone books too. I'm gradually developing a list of all the places I'd like to visit in London - yarn shops and the like. Sadly, I can't see my family wanting to see any of them! If there are celeriacs at the farmers' market this weekend, I shall definitely be trying that recipe. Hope you're feeling better soon. xx

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    1. We usually compromise and go to a few places I want to see and a few places 'himself' wants to see, or we split up and do our own thing for a few hours, I'll go to an art gallery and he'll go to a museum.

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  3. Lucky lucky you. What a beautiful trip.
    I love all the city lights and I especially liked and want the little square lights at the Fairy Light Stand.
    One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is drive around and look at all the lights.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I did like the look of the light as well but had to be sensible, I could only carry so much on the train and was already wondering how I was going to get all the books back home!

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  4. Sounds like an amazing trip I usually meet up with 2 of my daughters in London for a Christmas shopping trip but with both of them expecting babies we haven't bothered this year. I would love a browse around the bookshop.

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    1. What an exciting time for you with 2 new grandchildren on the way!

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  5. Ooh lovely. I have seen and very much enjoyed the Curious Incident. You might catch Imagine on iPlayer about it as it was on TV fairly recently if you haven't already seen it. The book shop looks great as do the books and the yummy celeriac. :-)

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    1. I started watching it and then decided not to spoil any surprises and saved it for after we saw the show. Very interesting to see the work was involved to bring the show to the stage.

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  6. the recipe sounds delicious. hope you're felling better soon x

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    1. Thanks driftwood, took a sleeping tablet and feel better for a better nights sleep, I think I'm probably 'run down' due to insomnia and fluctuating hormones!

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  7. I love the pictures they are lovely, what a super get away! I know what you mean about the bugs waiting for you to be on leave, I always get ill as we break up for half term, it's a combination of working with children and relaxing from the fact that you have to get up and go to work I think. The recipes look interesting, have you looked at the blog Naturally Sassy? She has great gluten free recipes and I was wondering whether to order her book with my birthday money. xx

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    1. Just had a look and downloaded the free booklet, looks good!

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  8. Firstly belated Birthday greetings! You look to have had a lovely time. Yes those bugs grab hold as soon as you relax, it happens to me every year at Christmas so I am battling on and not relaxing until Boxing Day!! I do love Alys Flower and have her book on my Christmas list, I love her laid back ways. The recipe looks very yummy. And, as for London, it always looks good no matter what, especially the South Bank at Christmas! Take care of yourself xx

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    1. Thanks Chel. I do love walking along the South Bank, especially at night and seeing all the lights. Hope you manage to keep the bugs at bay this year :)

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  9. I must try the recipe. it sound scrumptious. Any news on the house move or a new house for you? what lovely pictures of the lights.

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    1. We haven't found anywhere yet Sol, hoping more properties come on the market in the new year.

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  10. This recipe looks really delicious. I just have to try it! I'm a huge cooking lover and I'm in love with all the cooking literature, so I do understand you totally. Hope I'll have one new as a X-mass present)

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  11. Isn't the Persephone Book Shop lovely? I was able to visit last time I was in the UK. I keep a running list of all their books I have read, and have done book reviews on Greengates and No Surrender. I have yet to read the other book you purchased.

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I love reading your comments and will try to reply to all you lovely people xx Spam will be deleted so don't even bother!