Archive for November, 2007

New Year New York

These are my plans for New Year:

26th Dec: Fly to New York
27th Dec: Daytime: helicopter ride over Manhattan, trip to Century 21 to buy underpants.
28th Dec: Daytime: Sopranos Tour. Evening: 1) Front row seats at the Moscow Cats Theatre (when I first wrote about this extraordinary outfit, back in 2001, on another website, it was called the Moscow Cat Circus. I wonder if the name change was a PC decision). 2) Dinner at Peasant.
29th Dec: Daytime: Train to Philadelphia, traditional cheese steak lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, afternoon browsing body bits at the Mutter Museum. Evening: back to NYC, on to New Jersey for American Football – New York Giants vs New England Patriots.
30th Dec: Afternoon: Basketball – New York Knicks vs Chicago Bulls, Madison Square Garden. Evening: Ice Hockey – New York Rangers vs Montreal Canadiens, Madison Square Garden.
31st Dec: Daytime: Open to suggestions. Evening: Seeing in 2008 with Gogol Bordello, live at Terminal 5.
1st Jan: Recovery
2nd Jan: Fly to Buffalo, travel on to Niagara, book into jacuzzi suite at the Oakes Hotel overlooking the falls. Continue recovery, spend night in luxury.
3rd Jan: Fly back to New York, evening meal (with a little luck) booked at Babbo.
4th Jan: Fly home to London.

Phew. Anyone care to suggest things to fill in the gaps?

Larder Panic

I need to clear some space.

My larder is getting to the point where I can no longer add new food to it, so I need to eat my way through what’s there. Apart from all the regular herbs/spices/condiments/baking ingredients, here’s what I have to make things with:

500g semolina
100g ground almonds
100g pine nuts
200g sultanas
1 jar preserved lemons
150g tin foie gras
1 jar stem ginger
Black beluga lentils
Jasmine rice
Basmati rice

And in the fridge:
500g jar foie gras
2 x jars goose fat
Large box of quince jelly
500g mascarpone
250g cream cheese
250g butter
1 bottle Veuve Clicquot
3 2 bottles lager
Some Parmesan cheese
Small block of lard
1 jar Jersey Black Butter
7 pots rhubarb yogurt
1 jar tomato passata
1 jar of black cherries marinating in kirsch
Half a dozen hundred-year-old eggs

Plus a freezer full of beef.

Hmmm. It strikes me that my diet appears somewhat richer than it probably ought to be. Still, any suggestions?

Loose Ends

I’ve been a busy boy, hence the lack of updates. So here’s some updates.

1) I wrote a nice thing on Outsider Music for the Word Magazine Website. Go read it, and look at the lovely videos.

2) I cooked and ate some spiffy crocodile gumbo for The Observer. Hmmm, what shall I do for the letter ‘D’? What’s that? Down boy!

3) I finally put pictures from my April trip to North Korea online. The downside to taking photographs in the DPRK is that because the tours are so strictly timetabled, and because the organisers are keen that you see precisely what they want you to see, pretty much every tourist comes home with a series of identical snaps. It’s hard to capture those unguarded moments when they occur so infrequently, and most of the time it would be rude to try. Having said that, I like this couple.

One day I’ll actually get round to writing up the trip, honest. And the one to Turkmenistan. And the one to Serbia.

4) New blog alert! My friends Bjorn and Kristin have a blog. Sadly, most of it’s written in Icelandic (apologies to Bjork if she’s reading), but the English bits are good. Bjorn is the kind of traveller I admire, rolling up in Muslim Istanbul and heading straight off to the cinema to catch some nun porno.

5) New blog alert! My friend Ladyshambles has a blog. That’s obviously not her real name, but there’s sound reasoning behind the anonymity. Why? Because if you knew her name you’d track her down and hide outside her house waiting for a glimpse. Why? Because a) she’s much better looking and talented than you are. Really. Think of the best-looking person you know, and double it. Seriously. Amazonian? Check! Brains? Check! Curves? Yowsa! Then there’s b) when she’s on fire, she writes better than you do. Just accept this. Finally, c) one day she’ll probably be famous for doing something really spectacular, and we should all respect her privacy until this inevitable moment arrives. In the meantime, just read the blog, so you can tell people you were there at the beginning.