Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

I have maintained relative silence on here for a little while, mainly because I have been distracted by a new job and move to London. Having said that, my new job includes the added perk of access to a kitchen garden so I have been pilfering lots and cooking lovely things to be blogged about later. In recent weeks, the garden has exploded as everything comes into bloom. Most exciting for me was the flowering of all the different herbs that punctuate the garden. I had never tasted chive flowers before but the punch of onion in these tiny purple flowers really surprised me.

Another great thing about being back in London is the amazing green grocers that is within walking distance of my house. If you are anywhere near Newington Green and searching for a particular ingredient, head straight for the imaginatively named Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables, the range will astound you. I chose from their vast array of mushrooms, to go with my chives, but unfortunately had to steer clear of the girolles as a whole week’s salary spent on mushrooms seemed a bit of a waste. Those that I did get were delicious in any case, served simply on some crusty bread with ricotta, olive oil and the chive flowers.

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Trove, Levenshulme

trove2Recently, I have made a pact with myself not to waste my days off. Rather than indulging in a 10 hour netflix binge and emerging in a cloud of self loathing and social media-induced jealousy, I want to spend the few golden hours a week I get to myself immersed in the kind of laissez-faire activities worthy of an amaro filter and 35 likes on Instagram. (Incidentally I have never had more than 10 likes on Instagram for anything so this is highly ambitious).

It was in this vein that I spent my Saturday a few weeks ago perusing the Antiques in Levenshulme. The cavernous Levenshulme Antiques market holds a wealth of treasures, none of which I parted with money for. Antiquing isn’t really about spending money it is more an imaginary, life sized game of the sims where one party points at an object and says something like, “if we didn’t live in a tiny, mouldy one-bedroom flat and had £200 I would definitely get that”, and the other replies “yeah, or if we had a billiard room”.

antiques marketIn order to make up a morning of truly sickening, rom-com montage-worthy perfection, my boyfriend and I grabbed “a bite” at nearby Trove. We chose Trove because of course it is more trendy than a soya flat white drinking vegan with a beard but also because it is directly opposite the Antiques Market and pretend can be extremely hunger inducing.

Trove is primarily a bakery and I believe it stocks a large number of Manchester’s independent cafes, if the ubiquity of their tiny overpriced croissants is to be believed. However, at the headquarters of their enterprise they have set up a tiny, bustling cafe. The atmosphere is not comfortable, it is not a ‘wile away a sunday reading the paper kind of cafe’. The space is minute, as are the tables, many of which are furnished with stools, not the epitome of dining comfort. Having said his, you do get the feeling of eating inside an engine, the steam from the coffee machine fogs the windows and the space s filled with the chatter of conversation. It is exactly the type of place one hope to stumble upon in the pissing rain.

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As to the food, the menu at first sight may appear unremittingly pretentious, as if its creator were awarded points for the number of super-foods he could stuff into one dish, but this is unfair. For the most part, it is not pretension for pretension’s sake. The food tastes good, really good in fact. My salt beef bagel was just what it should be, beautifully soft, pink beef piled high on mounds of puckeringly sharp sauerkraut and pickles served in a soft chewy bagel. My boyfriend had poached eggs and bacon on toast. Unsurprisingly the bread was the star of the show, a yeasty, crusted slab of sourdough riddled with holes and crisped to perfection.

My only gripe was that the earl grey tea I ordered came not as a cafetiere of beautiful dancing tea leaved but a Twinings bag dumped in a mug. This is indicative of a wider trend of coffee triumphing over tea, however, an issue into which I should not delve here. Furthermore, I am reliably informed that their coffee is some of the best.

Cost: £9 a head for brunch and coffee (or tea).

AMAZING Eggs for Brunchers

P1030168If you are anything like me, Saturdays call for lazy mornings in the kitchen accompanied by good food, great music and even greater dance moves. Saturday breakfast is one of the best things civilisation has given us, but in the last few years it has morphed into a new strange, unplaceable meal called brunch.  The reasoning behind brunch is as follows: we are all either fucked from the night before or just unashamedly lazy and can’t call this meal breakfast because we’re eating it at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I am usually not a fan of portmanteau words in the vain of “kimye” or “frenemy” but I am pretty chillaxed about this one because it has become so much part of our culture that it has adopted its own space in our language.

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I like brunch, it sanctions laziness and it tastes good. You can do anything you want with brunch, it is the perfect combination of amazing breakfast things, that we wish we could eat all day, and more substantial lunchy stuff that properly fills you up. Take these eggs for instance, they are far to rich for early morning fare but they taste amazing and are, therefore, perfect for brunching. They are also really quick to make, unlike a full english, so you can get on with your day. Today my music of choice was Jimi Hendrix, the god that is, but I was barely half way through the album by the time I had cooked eaten and cleaned up!

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