Take a Breath

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I’m not a very organised blogger. I like to take photos, but it feels like things are rarely complete. I currently have 17 drafts in my posts folder. The pressure, self-inflicted of course, to produce well-rounded posts with a beginning, a middle and an end, has increased tenfold over the past few years and a thousandfold since I started blogging for the first time in 2001. But I’m trying to shake that off. Forget about it. Have fun. This isn’t my job, after all. I’m making like this is the mid-noughties, and for this post I’m taking a breath. This is a round-up of what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been going and what I’ve been eating (naturally).

Up top there is a picture of my tea on Wednesday night. An impromptu dinner at The Reliance, there was rabbit loin, chorizo and peas. I also shared pig cheeks with pomme puree and it was glorious, with the sunshine blazing in through the huge windows. Add Moules Marinere for a main, with a lake of silky, garlicky sauce and chips to dip in and I could’ve been in a cafe with gingham table cloths, on the back of a beach somewhere. True seasonal grub. I left full and dizzy with love for the summer.

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A few weekends ago I got to spend some time at L’Eroica Britannia, in the Peak District. I was there in a Street Food Wife capacity, sampling all the delights and snapping pictures – but, weirdly, it filled me with a huge enthusiasm for bikes. The vintage outfits, buzzing atmosphere and the lady who had come all the way from Canada in a full 80s power suit to take part in the 30km ride on a Pashley, were all extremely lovely and made me feel like I wanted to be part of their vintage cycling club. Instead, I ate my weight in street food and watched everyone else burn calories. It was fun! You can tell we were in Derbyshire, they served their bacon in “cobs”. It’s a breadcake where I come from, love.

(No it’s not, I’m a southerner… please don’t tell anyone).

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The guys over at @BodegaOlives sent me a few boxes to try this week. I’m going to be making Gin Martinis and antipasti platters for the foreseeable future. The Alfonsos are my favourite.

Other action from this week – I’ve been getting to grips with my new camera lens. The change has made me keener to use my DSLR on manual, so I’ve been reading up on aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and looking at some of my favourite blogs for inspiration. Working with a 50mm is different, and it’s hard to be lazy. The whole “zoom with your feet” thing is starting to sink in and I’m looking for opportunities to shoot everywhere I go. The slightly more compact lens also means I’m more inclined to carry my camera in my bag, so hopefully I’ll be taking pictures a lot more regularly. I’m having a lot of fun playing around with the f-stop, which has produced a lot of out of focus, super ugly pictures, but I think I’m learning. The photo below was taken the day I got my lens, sitting outside the Corn Exchange with a tray of ribs from Reds.

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Oh yeah, there was a big cycling race too. The Tour de France came to town, and it was pretty fun. Most of Yorkshire turned out and apparently there were over 200,000 people lining the streets of our fair city. I was lucky enough to watch Le Grand Depart from up high, out of first floor windows at The Light, so I saw the whole thing – giant Fruit Shoot and all. After I saw the start I headed over to Ilkley on the train for the day for more street food and street parties. For about 20 minutes I thought I might invest in a road bike. #cyclefever.

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I also got to treat myself to some excellent cookware this week, thanks to my prize money. I added a 30cm Le Creuset Casserole to my kitchen collection, a set of measuring spoons, a KitchenAid ice cream maker and a waffle iron! So tomorrow I’m treating myself to a rare Sunday off to test a few recipes. Watch this space!

In the meantime, let me know what you’re up to down in the comments section or come and chat to me over on Twitter @WhipUntilFluffy. Remember you can keep up with me over on Facebook, too. See you soon!

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