Hey July. Sunny in parts with many many days of good old English summertime. (These monthly updates might ostensibly be about food but I can't help but open them with a weather reference.) It's been a mixed bag at KP HQ. We've been making the most of a quieter London to visit a few favourite haunts and trying to sample some new recipes at home, re-stocking some favourite products and lining up a whole raft of new suppliers to hit the shop in autumn. Lots underway and some exciting new things in the pipeline. This month we have been mostly...
1) INTRODUCING Saunders to Padella Pasta. We couldn't quite work out how he had managed to miss out on this. I've been several times, he is a fan of Trullo and all things Italian, but had never quite made it through the door. I put this firmly down to his devotion to north London and a general unwillingness to leave Hackney, let alone head south of the river. Anyway, he went, he ate and he is very much a convert. Below is their beef carpaccio - I would happily bathe in and drink that olive oil (and even go as far as to drink the olive oil I had bathed in).
2) COOKING ACKEE AND SALT FISH - this is a staple of Caribbean cooking but not something we had tried at home. It is delicious but oddly so. It tastes hearty but fresh, despite the main ingredients being either salted or out of a can. The ackee looks like scrambled eggs. In short, it shouldn't perhaps taste as good as it does.
3) RESEARCHING shop fit outs. What works? How deep do you need your shelves? How do you stack, tag and merchandise your products? More or less? Is only the eye line the buy line? Minimal chic or maximalist luxury? A rather convenient way of justifying a good retail therapy trawl. Rather awful photo below of an anthropologie window - whether the anthro-schtick and interiors is your thing or not, you can't deny that their product merchandising is truly top notch.
4) DOLLOPING cream then jam (sorry Cornwall) on delightful scones in the setting of The - even more delightful - Ned. The Ned is definitely worth a trip (go on the weekend to avoid any braying city clientele) to gawp at the simply cavernous and opulent space of the type that you don't really get in many London locations. The afternoon tea is really very good and, compared to other slightly eye-watering offerings out west, a pretty good deal with various options available from a tenner to thirty quid for the full monty with champagne. Oh, and this is definitely a place not to leave without having visited the loo.
5) HUNTING down some more Danish rye bread slicers. These beauties are absolutely amazing at doing the thin, even slices of rye bread which are essential for open sandwiches, or any consumption of rye bread unless you have an incredibly muscly jaw and constitution of a horse. We have been cleaning up a few of these (pre-clean pictured below) and, with a little elbow grease, they look great and work like new. Having consulted a Dane, it turns out the key to getting a good slice is a swift, firm downward movement of the handle when cutting to avoid crumbling. You heard it here first.
6) RESTOCKING - the beautiful pickle jars. I can't tell you how much I love these pickle jars, even more so now we have been stocking up on shades of green. Essential.
Unfortunately we have also been taking some quite shocking photos this month - our photographic instinct has been on holiday and these shots have all the compositional flare of the Argos catalogue. Apologies - we'll try harder in August, or at least get back on the filters!