Sunday, 27 February 2011

Hot salt beef

"Josef walked quickly and Thomas had to hurry to keep up with him. Cold air burned his cheeks. They stopped several times, for reasons that were never clear to Thomas, to lurk in a doorway or shelter behind the swelling fender of a parked Skoda. They passed the open side door of a barkery, and Thomas was briefly overwhelmed by whiteness: a tiled white wall, a pale man dressed all in white, a cloud of flour roiling over a shining white mountain of dough."

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Secular Eruv


This week I am all about washing lines, launderettes and greasy spoons. Bagel shops and bakeries can be glad to have made it to a close second.

When I say bakeries I am thinking of the ones you find in places like Leeds; tiny, crummy, a little bleached looking with wide open windows and sorry looking displays, bags of buns and eccles cakes. Nothing costs more than twenty pence and you can get instant coffee while you wait. The women wear pastel and oddly shaped tabards and sometimes, if you're lucky, there will be a bin of out of date Space Raiders or Monster Munch.

I am a bakewell girl myself but I was always tempted by the sturdy looking budnt cakes or even a cheesy scone. Bakewells come in silver foil caselets, cakes and scones in paper bags. Everything is labelled with a jagged flourescant price tag and at the end of the day (which if I remember rightly is lunch time) you can come away with a baked bargain. Oh Northern bakeries I miss you!

Thursday, 10 February 2011


This story, by my new favourite author, has inspired me to write about bagels. Please read it and enjoy.

'The Portrait of the Bagel as a Young Man'

Don't call me baby

Practicalities (a story in parts)

I had not thought before
About what it might have meant.
And if I had,
In the vaguest of ways,
It took place indoors
In a Bexley kitchen,
Lace at the windows.

But you drove to the woods.

You drove to the woods,
Parked your car
And walked
Tracing fungi secrets,
Bright pebbles in your pocket,
With wary fingers.
Amanita Muscaria,
Red cap.
Peeping tomahawks
Edging at your fingertips,
Scalping at your skin.

You drove from the chemist
With his small leather smile,
And from your husband
Who never smiled at all.

You drove from your daughters
Who you had cultivated like oyster mushrooms
Little, wide skirted things
In the dry and arid heat of Rhodesia.
They would lift their sticky hands
And sallow faces to you as though you were
The small cervices of light
Peeping through gaps in the shed walls.
Their skin was mushroom flesh,
And their voices crept.
You loved them
But they followed you like the moon,
Turning ever so slightly,
On stalks around the room.

They drove you to distraction.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Party Snacks

Port and pistachios in Camberwell.

Pizza on Columbia Road

Coffee on Boundary Street

Cupcakes in the kitchen