Friday 17 April 2009


We're nearly there.

The record shelves are up, the kitchen is unpacked, I need to sort out my books and we need to buy a bed but then our minds can turn to nicer things. Things like buying folding outdoor chairs and plants.

Apart from Easter in Edinburgh food for the last couple of weeks has been quick and easy. Soup with good bread, bowls of pasta, lamb burgers in pita. I'm looking forward to discovering the kitchen.

Last night we had a break from unpacking and went to a Bill Granger evening at Divertimenti. A talk, some questions, a few glasses of wine, and canap├ęs cooked using recipes from the book. I only have a couple of his books but now I want them all. He was a warm speaker with opinions that had me nodding in agreement all the way through. He answered questions honestly (I hope), cooks for his family, and quipped about his wife needing to buy another pair of Louboutins, how could you not be charmed? And, best of all, he has decided to move to London with his family and open an outpost of Bills. He was asked about locations and just said central London but that he had seen spaces in Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Clerkenwell so far. I'm pushing for Clerkenwell or Islington and keeping my fingers crossed that the famous hotcakes with honeycomb butter are on the breakfast menu.

One more highlight of the week was finding a free copy of The School of Essential Ingredients. I first read a rave review of this on Tea & Cookies and promptly popped it into my Amazon basket. I read another, equally glowing, review on Gluten-Free Girl Recommends and wondered why I hadn't bought it yet before remembering that I already had quite enough books to box up before moving and that American price tag had me hesitating each and every time I went to press checkout. So when I spotted the freebie I pounced. The book is a quiet exploration of a small group of people taking a cookery class. It inspires small smiles of both joy and sadness and had me holding back tears on the train. It drew me into the lives of these people and reminded me of a few of the reasons that I love to cook. It made me wish that the restaurant in the book were real so that I could add it to my list of Seattle places to visit one day in the future and it made me keen to find my new essential ingredients this summer. I think eating with friends, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face while I drink a cold beer on the balcony, and using freshly picked herbs that leave lasting scents on my fingers will all form some part of that.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Until I started blogging I'd not really heard of Bill Granger but I love him now and any recipes of his I've tried have all been a success. Sounds like he really is a nice man.

Good luck with the new place and finding just the right folding chairs! x

Alicia Foodycat said...

I don't have any Bill Granger books - but I know so many people at home who swear by them!

Anonymous said...

Where are all of the recipes? We are going hungry up here! :} x

Gemma said...

Hi Amanda, thanks for the good luck wishes. He also won me over by saying that he is a huge fan of female writers and cooks - sensible man!

Foodycat - you should have a browse, it's very easy to be seduced by all the pictures of people eating in the Australian sun.

Anonymous - Martine, is that you? The kitchen will be fully functional again this week, in the meantime I suggest a Saturday lunch at Spoon.

Gemma x

Sam said...

I saw Bill Granger on Saturday Kitchen yesterday, his food certainly looks good!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you knew it was me ;) x

Clarity said...

I went to one of Bill's evenings too and then interviewed him, must blog about it later when his book promotion expedites.