Saturday, 29 March 2008

Gorgonzola The Great

A wedge of this wonderful cheese, in all its stinky finery became my third 'cheese of the week'.

It came to me from Piedmont, Italy, via a man with many gestures at the Borough Market -London's finest and oldest food market. It has been at its present location for over 250 years. My new cheese did smell as if it had been there for a fair few too, but that old shoe stink never put me off a good cheese experience.

As the kind man of many gestures carved me my wedge off the massive, gooey round on his table, I asked him how I should eat my new Italian friend. He suggested with fruit, or just by itself.

And so I wandered over to a neighbouring stall, purchased some quince paste (not as good as my mum's, but you can't have everything) and some oat biscuits.

Another wonderful 'cheese of the week' experience.

Wednesday Night Football

Number 8 on the list of things to do before you die is......

A football game in the UK
What better thing to do on a slightly showery Wednesday night than to go and see some of the world's greatest footballers play at the best stadium in London with 60,020 other people. All of them in a good mood.

Brazil took on Sweden in front of thousands of vocal Brazilians, and a lot of quiet Swedes. Oh, and three slightly awe-struck New Zealanders.

The atmosphere was fantastic, and because it was a friendly held on neutral territory, we also missed the usual street brawls and stabbings.

Brazil won 1-0 for anyone who cares.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Mozzarella Madness

My second 'Cheese of the Week' was a big blob of mozzarella, direct from Italy.

I lay slices of it on a slightly warmed piece of ciabatta, with vine-riped tomatoes, basil care of Ivan Smith in West Sussex, and a generous slosh of aged balsamic vinegar.


Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen! Introducing to you all..... 'Cheese of The Week'

After many minutes of wandering vacantly about Sainsbury's last Sunday I realised something. I need to make the most of the wonderful things this great country has to offer before it is too late.

My time here, unfortunately, will be far too short. And whilst my next destination will have many splendid attributes; there are many things it will lack. One of those is good cheese.

Therefore I have decided to introduce a whole lot more of this fine dairy product into my life. And so I introduce to you 'Cheese of The Week'.

This week's cheese is haloumi, in all its salty, squeaky glory. Straight from Cyprus.

Last night I cut it thick, placed it on pita bread and grilled it. I then lovingly smothered it with houmus. Symphonic.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Born of the National Disaster Isle

Apparently the earth moves over here too. There was rather a large earthquake up north last week, scaring the life out of a fair few people who didn't grow up with classroom earthquake drills like New Zealand children.

I managed to shock my colleagues the other day by telling them my mother has the crockery on her sideboard stuck in place with 'earthquake glue'. It then totally blew their minds when I told them the sideboard was actually fixed to the wall to stop it falling on your head as you run to the doorway during the shaking.

This led me onto a 'thought tangent'. This is where I sit at my desk and stare at a 45 degree angle, head tilted vaguely towards the ceiling. Everything around me blends into an office haze, voices quieten to a low burble, and my thoughts wander off on a mental soliloquy of sorts. Happens quite a bit when the most exciting part of your job is trying to identify mystery items as they bob their way down the Thames.

It is quite a natural disaster country I am from. And it always seemed quite normal. Volcanic eruptions that spoil ski seasons, rivers that are 40 degrees, the occasional geyser erupting in someone's backyard, the phenomenon of 'earthquake weather'; even the odd cyclone and tornado thrown in there for good measure....

They certainly do live a sheltered life over here in Old Blighty. Just man-made disasters like terrorism and London Underground to keep life interesting.