Monday, 16 January 2017

Butter - just butter.

I had an early morning meeting and as I finished earlier than expected I went to the supermarket and it was blissfully empty.

Empty enough to be able to take pictures without people in front of the goods but also so people wouldn't think I was nuts taking pictures of butter.


I love butter.
I absolutely adore it.
My childhood was when margarine was meant to be healthier so there was no butter in the house.
Plus I grew up in Korea before globalisation so butter wasn't really stocked readily nor was it considered a staple for every household.


But I always choose butter. 
It tastes better and while the medical studies are not yet unanimous, it seems it is most likely healthier too - in doses.

My aunt though has been prescribed by her doctor to have these spreads and she says her cholesterol has gone down so obviously you must take advise from medical professionals.


I remember the days when you used to have salted or unsalted.
Those were NOT the good old days of butter.
My grandmother even in the 80's would always note than her own grandmother would have loved supermarket shopping and would have marvelled at the choice and range of food.
That is exactly how I feel when I see the butter section these days.


While we are inundated with so much choice and 
I tend to complain about short circuiting the brain which I have discussed in this post I wrote years ago.

President slightly salted was at one time considered revolutionary!
Organic was only procured at farmer's markets.
Goose fat was only available at the proper delicatessen.
This aisle is the best end result of capitalism.


I would prefer my own dairy cows and churn my own butter in an ideal world.


But I have different butters for different purposes.

There is one butter that is not shown here that I used to use a lot on toast.
It was a white, Italian, alpine butter that was so delicate that even for my chilli scorched and undertasting palette, I would enjoy it on its own on toast.

Now I get really poncy and butter whacky.

I have President salted with jam on toast.
I have the really salty Normandy unpasteurised butter with honey on toast.

I cook veggies in Ghee which is a clarified butter.

I add regular butter to steak or chicken at the end in the pan for extra flavour.
I do try and initially use coconut oil for health benefits but find that goats butter does nothing for me and distracts my tastebuds.

Goose fat if I am doing proper roast potatoes.

But I have no opinion on baking butter as I don't bake.
Although it seems people do use Anchor or Countrylife for that specific purpose.

I think the market stock Echire butter for people to buy for display at dinner parties but personally I think standards of butter has improved so much in the U.K. that unless you have an overtasting and very delicate palette then it might not be worth the money.



I used to hate anything "spreadable" as it seemed unnatural and 
I was sure they must have hydrogenated the butter but it seems technology has advanced and I buy the President for my husband who couldn't stand butter for the reason it would always be the wrong temperature to spread on bread.


You may have a completely different butter range where you live of course!
But this is a snippet of the butter aisle in my local supermarket for those of you who like little snippets of ordinary life.


Are you butter, margarine, coconut oil or "other"?

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Tatler January 2017 and December 2016 issues

I stopped subscribing to Tatler for years and only read it at the salon until last year when I realised that they had brought back the tongue in cheek and British humour that it had back in the 90's.
 That was the decade that brought you the IT girl who had everything but internet connection.

But who is she?
Back then people thought you were a bit self obsessed if you  used eye cream before  the age of 30.
The good old days -  yes, that applies even to things like the narcissistic index of socialites.

The cover girl who naturally had an editorial inside the issue is...

Now get this Andy Warhol,
 if you're reading this, 
she is on the periphery of quasi famous by virtue of having dated someone famous.

But most Londoners would just know her as their plastic surgeon's daughter.
She is the sister of Suki Waterhouse, 
who if she hadn't been on the arm or beard
 ( depends who you are asking ) of Bradley Cooper, 
would be another private school educated girl hanging about town.
In fact, she does look like most girls hanging about west London skiving off school.

I  like it when Tatler gets a young British  beauty who is a friend of a friend of someone in the editorial team to pose for the jewellery  feature.
Isn't she a beauty? 
Great bone structure, skin, hair, and colouring.
So refreshing.

Gosh, it seems one of the effects of selfies is that no one streaks anymore.
It's true.
Think about it.
When is the last sports match you saw that had a streaker?
People would miss it because they would be preoccupied with taking selfies anyway.

This is an arbitrary photo of a chicken with a tiara.


There was a  gazillion page editorial about this girl who has a long backstory but I couldn't be bothered enough to even read about it.
But while I am sharing.

Tatler did its British dolce vita propagation with a gorgeous family with a country home complete with horses and dogs.


Not my idea of dolce vita but then if it were the British countryside would be crowded so it all works out.

I can't think of anything further removed from the British countryside than Gucci.
And yet it was the backdrop to its ad campaign.

I love the picture of the two ladies because their lack of intimacy  and disconnection just seems like a family portrait of a  grandmother disapproving of her granddaughter who better marry well because she won't be included in the will.

I love this picture. 
But not for the fashion element.
It just seems like it was a photo taken with some anecdote told during a monthly editor's meeting.
"Oh mummy told me that when Camilla and Charles were dating, he told her to  go and slip on something sexy and she came back with a slip  over her jumper!"
Sounds like something Camilla would do too.

Diamonds go with everything  -  including tartan.

This is a purely British thing that I laugh about mostly because 
I am not a local so local cultural eccentricities entertain me 
as much  as bowing in Japan amuses westerners.
Don't know if you know but the word "toilet" is considered a bit  naff by some in the U.K.
I don't know why but I have a feeling it is the disdain of any word derived from French which is odd because chances are they would be of Norman stock.
Pronouncing restaurant  -  restaurang  - is also very naff. 
That applies to even French people pronouncing it that way while speaking English.
I personally like loo bc it is quick and  easy to say and 
bathroom seems like an elaborate charade to mask the real reason why you are leaving the  room/table.


The only other time I took this subject seriously was when Oprah  did a special about what to do if you get abducted.

I  don't read the horoscopes much anymore after Jonathan Cainer died.
I liked how equivocal he was and how everyone's horoscope seemed to apply to everyone.
It was always positive and good old fashioned sense.
But I know some who think the Tatler horoscopes are a reasonable replacement.

 Russia is in the news a lot lately.
But let's talk about fun Russian stuff.
There is an instagram hero ( Tatler's words not mine ) 
who uses her fame to fight a few noble causes she can while she bares her bum and all that pole dancing doesn't go in vain.


There is another Russian who has been in the social media /publicity circuit.
He is a Russian who immigrated to the U.K. after making a fortune and has fashioned himself as a quintessential British country gent.
He works his PR team hard. 
He also has a company with his namesake, Leon Max.
I just remember from the BBC show that his fellow Russian wife didn't really appreciate the huge country house and running it.
I  think she would be happy with a 2 bed flat in Knightsbridge.
She should speak with Melania and give her tips on how to handle getting a poisoned chalice one never dreamed about as a little girl because all she probably wanted was the usual monetary trinkets but none of this responsibility that has legacy attached to it.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy new year!

Happy new year all!

I am happy that it is a new year but everyone makes it like 2016 was the year of the plague.
When you think about it - 
it was nowhere near as bad as 1666.

But I am excited for 2017.

Did you have a good holiday season?
I finally decided to do a Xmas tree for the first time in ages and got a 2 foot tree and decorated it with some decorations that were left in my mother in law's attic.

It's nothing to write home about but small steps for me.
I put it on our coffee table as a gesture.


I decided to finally get a tree because I saw that even a car mechanics garage was decorating and realized I am such a scrooge sometimes.


Then one afternoon, I went over to a friend's house and did a jigsaw puzzle with Christmas carols in the background.

Churches are so welcoming this time of year.


My life in December has been so centered around dogs as I was dogsitting for my brother who was away for most of the month with his GF so we were looking after Millie.

Christmas day was spent with friends and 5 dogs - the Italian greyhound is not pictured.

Millie was rather jealous of this rich bitch's hair blowdry.

#hairgoals

A friend ordered a stuffed bear but didn't realize it would be lifesize.

I took Millie to a new groomer's before my brother came back but most groomer's were booked out like they were Nicky Clarke or something so I took her to a pet cafe/groomers.
The place was such good entertainment value.

I really didn't get out much except for the park.
Aren't these 3 trees so in sync?
Did you know that trees talk to each other?
Long story but they do have their own language it seems.
Sounds hokey pokey but once you read about it - 
there are millions of articles.
Try googling it.

This was New Year's eve day with horses and dogs getting along and demonstrating interspecies peace. 
And yet some people think they are THE best species...

This dog's eyes haunt me because she was a spaniel who was recently rescued because a couple had a baby and wasn't interested in the dog anymore. Apparently she is still a bit sad.


Then I started doing what my parents would tell me but I didn't believe them which was telling Millie how lucky she is.
She ignored me and did the canine version of Netflix and chill which is sit and watch the squirrels taunt and tease her. 
So close but so far away.

I love the east end of London because there is a certain living history there that is not all memorialised.
When the east end was being bombed in the war, some churches moved some items to be safeguarded but was never put back in place.
So they languish around Shoreditch unappreciated and incognito.

I don't really eat much meat but I had proper southern style ribs at this now very formulaic masculine restaurant decor.

Many people still ignore graffiti as angry and frustrated verbal nonsense but I tend to agree with those people with spray cans.

In the spirit of Faviken and Swedish chefs, the same crew who went with me to the restaurant decided to try out Hedone restaurant that is run by a Swedish chef.

This was on their drinks menu. 
I didn't really look through it because we did the wine pairing and let the sommeliers do their work.
I really don't drink so much but that makes up for my eating.
I don't know if my taste buds are changing but truffles didn't really do anything for me.

When do you think they will stop with the spuma on oysters thing?
It was a lovely restaurant and as it is in Chiswick and not central London, it tends to be neglected but apart from us everyone was from out of town at the restaurant.

This was Robert Kime's window.
I took a picture of it because there were some alabaster candle holders for sale which were exactly like the ones I bought from Restoration Hardware 10 years ago.
I miss the old RH.
Opposite Robert Kime is this pub that normally is covered in flower baskets most of the year.
They are so festive and a treat to the eyes.
They serve the usual ales and mediocre Thai food in case you are wondering.

Hope all is well and wishing you all the very best for 2017 x