April has come, gone and now we are well into May – say whaaaaaaat? Honestly I feel like everything/one is on fast forward at the moment. So before we find ourselves in June; below are a few favourites from last month.
I hope your April was full of good things to do/eat/read. Oh, and in other news… tomorrow morning I’m getting on a plane and going to Italy to cook for two weeks – oh my goodness it’s all a bit exciting and scary and there’s just too much to get done before morning rolls around. But…of course…it’s Italy! And it will be really so great to return to the country where I lived there for three years in my twenties. Not too sure if I’ve remembered any of the language and a bit overcome today with guilt about leaving the kids and Tim for two weeks and being sooooo far away. But it will be cool to actually have the chance to shop, cook and live in one small town again, albeit for a brief time.
I’ll be posting pictures from this trip over on Instagram and live videos from our adventures in Tuscany and the kitchen over on Snapchat (localislovely).
Also – the project I’m working on as part of the Rural Woman of the Year Award process, My Open Kitchen, has it’s own website now! It’s a holding page really, with some introductory information on what it’s all about but most importantly the option to sign up to a mailing list that will tell you when enrolements open for the first course and other news, including launch dates for the My Open Kitchen podcast. So please hop on over and sign up if at all interested.
Favourite things to cook
And A thought for Food is a great new find as is Tending the Table, who’s creator Sasha attended our most recent food styling and photography workshop and is so so so clever.
Am adding this asparagus and tarragon soup to the menu plan for Tuscany next week…
Really enjoyed this post from Three Little Halves; a calm wander around London, including some spots I loved when I lived there some 20 years ago (wowsers that sounds longer than it feels) and a recipe for white pepper and cardamom shortbreads that I’m very keen to try.
As far as I’m concerened, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen can do NO WRONG. At all. I’ve loved every one of her recipes I’ve cooked and am busting to try this chicken tikka tray bake thingy. Yum and so easy.
Rhubarb fritters? Oh yes.
Desert Island Discs
So as always, I’ve been listening faithfully to my favourite podcasts but am particularly into the BBC program Desert Island Discs at the moment. I first found and fell for this show while living in the UK in my early twenties and would spend many an hour polishing beer glasses in the stinky pub I worked at for three pounds an hour thinking, what would the ten songs I’d pick ‘when’ invited on to the show. Anyway, just because I’ve got nothing better to do…I spent last week in the kitchen updating my mental top ten songs that I could happily listen to over and over if ever stuck on a desert island. If you happen to be interested, (I can’t imagine many will be…) they are over here on Spotify. Each one is a moment in time and is dripping in significance. You might think they’re just a bunch of weird old shouty tracks, but I luff them. And if you like putting together the present day version of a mix tape as much as I do, this is a fun little exercise – what’s your top 10 desert island tracks?
Another favourite of mine this month is Snapchat. Yes, I’m on board, or trying to be – with what apparently the next big thang. And am actually really enjoying this new platform. And here’s why; it’s very instant and easy and I don’t have to think too hard about making the image super perfect or the caption super catchy, there are very limited filters which I don’t bother with in any case, so it takes all of five seconds to post something on your ‘story’. And because I have very few followers, I feel a bit more relaxed about just posting stuff without thinking too much about it. Oh, and the other thing – photos and videos only stay on your ‘story’ for 24 hours before disappearing forever (or so I’m told) so again, you don’t need to think too much about it.
If you are thinking of having a go with Snapchat then get stuck in – just take ten minutes to figure out how the platform works (it’s not as intuitive as others out there) and have a play around. And much as I love this comment/cartoon from the New Yorker (thanks Beth for the heads up on this one!), honestly it’s not hard to figure out.
Here are some people I think are doing Snapchat brilliantly at the moment, it’s pretty fun to see these little snapshots of daily life from some of my favourite creatives. And if you like, you can follow me on localislovely (I’ll be snapchatting the schiaciatta out of my upcoming Italy trip).
Cherry Bombe Mag – cherrybombemag
Local Milk/Beth Kirby – localmilk
Abbie Melle – abbie_melle
Hedley & Bennet – theapronsquad
Michelle Crawford – myjamempire
Luisa Brimble – luisabrimble
Skye McAlpine – skyemcalpine
Marta Greber – marta.greber
Molly Yeh – molly.yeh
Favourite things we did last month
Last month was Orange Food Week and as part of our contribution to the program Mandagery Creek Venison hosted two really brilliant pop up lunches in the paddock with chef Daniel Backhouse. Here are some pictures below. We are in talks for more events like this with Dan so watch this space for dates!
And also during Food Week – there was Forage, a 4km walk through the vineyards and orchards of Orange’s Nashdale valley with six courses from local chefs to sample along the way. Honestly this is one of the best days ever, if you are able to come to Orange next April, snap up tickets early as they sell out within minutes of going live and for good reason. Here are some pics from our day.