Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

Hello! This time I'm lucky enough to be greeting you from none other than London :D And although my opportunities to cook here have, of course, been few, I figured I would share a couple of my culinary related adventures with you anyway. I didn't take pictures of the yogurt and cereal I've been eating for breakfast or the "grilled cheese" sandwich I threw together in a small kitchen apartment, but I did snap a few photos while Anna and I were exploring Notting Hill.

Yup, the same Notting Hill in which Julia Roberts' and Hugh Grant's characters fell in love in the 1999 movie. We ventured down to wander Portobello Road earlier this week and indulged in a little bit of shopping. Although Portobello Road is littered with unique shops selling everything from antiques and home decorations to vinyls and funky clothing I had my heart set on visiting one place in particular...

When flipping through Anna's guidebook I found a page that recommended a bookstore called Books for Cooks. Obviously, I HAD to go there. I was thrilled when I found the shop, hidden on a side street, and nearly died when I walked inside. There were books on vegetables, books on vegan cooking, baking books, chocolate books, Spanish cookbooks, French cookbooks, Italian, Thai, Mediterranean... I nearly cried.


Anna camped out on a couch, admitting she expected this stop to take quite some time, while I tried not to be overwhelmed by shelves and shelves of books. Somehow I managed to only pick out one book, a beautiful book on baking that has everything from recipes for a traditional croissants to Bavarian cake recipes that have me fidgeting for a kitchen. Unfortunately, upon closer examination I realized the book, Tartine, is from a bakery by that name in San Francisco... not a very English purchase. But the fact that it has a divine looking recipe for fresh eclairs has let me adore it anyway!

Besides, I made up for my incredibly American purchase when I wandered into another bookstore across the street. I was exploring a travel bookstore, looking for a book on London to use as a scrapbooking medium for my many photos, and a book on display in the middle of the store caught my eye. It was a recipe book written by the owner of a bakery on Portobello Road called the Hummingbird Bakery.


Where I, of course, convinced Anna to get a cupcake to share. Isn't it cute how they wrapped it up like Chinese takeout? And those awesome cupcake sporks? The place was packed, which wasn't hard to do as small as the place is and as delicious as the cupcakes are! Anna and I shared a carrot cake cupcake that was an excellent choice. Fortunately now I have the recipe for those and others like lemon curd, red velvet, black bottom, and strawberry cheesecake cupcakes (just to name a few).


I'm having a wonderful time in London with Anna, but now I have an incentive to come back home! Spending a few mores days in Europe and then I'll be back in Indiana to start working my way through a bunch of recipes :D