Thursday, November 25, 2010


Having moved to South East London a few months ago, I was beginning to wonder where in Peckham I might buy some decent meat. There are reams of Halal butchers along Rye Lane that serve a community, but aren't really for me. I've tried the lamb countless times, and it doesn't matter how long I cook it. It always comes out tough and flavour-low. There WAS a tiny butcher on Peckham Park Road but I thought it must have gone. Last time I lived down here, was a long long time ago, and the call for good meat seemed unlikely. My father alerted me to Buntings again, promising me it was still there and even sold rabbit, and so I headed down today, in search of Pheasants for Sundays lunch. It was a real treat. The two brothers that run the joint (third generation) were friendly and more than passionate, almost religious, about butchery (which is always attractive). We talked for ages and I managed to spend a mere £16 on 3 different meats. Their selection is admirable and inexpensive.

And like a really good butcher, they had lots of advice for me. Going meat shopping in a place like this becomes an event in its own right (and although I love a good bean supper, makes me very sorry for vegetarians). And recipes are allowed to evolve and change with a good butcher's advice. The shop is more Old Kent Road than Peckham town, and I am told that their customers come from all over London. Buntings has the compulsory nostalgic awning and the window is piled with all sorts of meats: venison (I'm already thinking what to stew with this), french hens, their own sausages (the lamb and mint looked really fat and good) and most of all, it's piled high with atmosphere. An old guy came in after me. Obviously they all new his name. He ordered half a dozen eggs and some lamb chops. The three men chatted away about the football and he waxed lyrical about the eggs ("Jumbo! Once you've had these love, you'll never want a supermarket egg again")

So, in the oven I have a hunk of Buntings Belly pork (though we had a good debate about whether to use belly or shoulder) slowly cooking, to make Nigel Slater's Rillettes. And in the fridge I have a massive British Chicken, quartered for me by the brothers, ready to make a moroccan casserole on Sunday for Mark and Lucy. And also, inspired by the egg man, I have a couple of lamb chops for supper tonight, nestling in oil and salt and pepper with a little near frozen garden rosemary. Supporting places like this means they will be there next time you go shopping. The nights are drawing in, lets eat meat!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hello hello,
It suddenly occurred to me that christmas is coming. It must be the shock of the cold that reminded me. So, I thought I'd better get my icy-skates on and organise our Rosie's Deli Christmas Hamper. I've decided to go along a more permanent route this year, including not just food, but all the other lovely stuff we sell at the deli: a Stuart Gardiner tea towel (he's now doing a season fish design too) and also -obviosuly- a copy of Spooning with Rosie. Added to this, there'll be the classic best sellers from the deli, including chilli jam and cassoulet to name just a couple. I'm aiming to charge about £60 a pop, and have it all in a lovely seagrass basket. We will deliver (with in reason) around South London, so please give me a shout if you would like to place an order.

Monday, November 1, 2010

No. 67. The South London Gallery triumphs

I've been meaning to get to No. 67, The South London Gallery's latest cafe, for ages. Finally, with a little hangover, we headed down the hill and found ourselves wedged in, ordering from a beautiful waiter, and I for one was feeling really excited. It all boded well: lovely soft lighting, and fantastic shell of a building, a really tempting menu, and that particular cafe noise which combines steam and noise and clatter of plates. It always makes me feel at home.

We ordered a chorizo sandwich and pork rillettes. Both really hit the spot. The chorizo came as an open sandwich, and I am pretty sure they were the Brindisa parilla chorizo that we sell at Rosie's. Wet and hot, they really are the ticket. The rillettes was coarse and tasted of bay leaves, just as it should. Both plates came with really nice chewy slightly burnt bread, which -very much in fashion- tasted like sourdough. The other dishes on the menu all looked a bit too big for our lunch, but definitely made me want to return and eat more some other time.

What really set this place apart was the coffee. Not that it was totally amazing. I am one of those really annoying customers (who I myself hate) who can't just order a coffee. Instead I feel the need to give strict instructions, as what I like to drink is not a named coffee... "please can I have an espresso, in a double espresso cup, with exactly the same amount of warm milk". It's not a macchiato, or a capo or a flat white. It's a mini something. And our dish of a waiter, got it spot on. I respect him, not only for making it, but that he didn't appear to have spat in it either.

All in all, I can't wait to walk back down the hill and patronise such a lovely local cafe. Honestly faultless.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I feel a special coming on at Rosie's. The Russet jelly appears s- far- to have worked! It's got a really delicate nature and I think will be delicious with the Monte Enebro goat's cheese that is coming tomorrow from Brindisa. I really can't wait to try it, but must wait for it to set.

And while we are talking jellies, this is Magz' one, with grape and chilli. It's delicious with eggy bread, and I should think that's what we'll be eating on Sunday morning after a night on the town. It's sweet and has the perfect after-tingle from the chilli.

Lord, Preserve Me!

I was really inspired last weekend by my dear friend Steph. Not only is she beautiful, AND clever, but she is a really passionate and ever evolving cook. She was making crab apple jelly. For some reason I thought that jelly making would be hard, so always steered away from it, in favour of chutneys and packed preserves. But Steph made hers look so easy that when I saw Russets today, I thought I'd give it a shot.

And having consulted Jams, Pickles and Chutneys, Best-kept Secrets of the Women's Institute, it seems that the mathematics of making a jelly are quite simple: once you have boiled your preferred fruits and flavours (mine are bay leaves, ginger, rose hips and sage), strained the liquid, you measure out each pint and equal that with a pound of sugar. Once boiled you remove the scum and get it to setting point. It sounds pretty simple... I wonder whether it will work!

And by the way, I thoroughly recommend that Women's Institute book. I've used it countless times as a consultant, and found mine at the Battersea Sunday Market, for a few pounds. The market is also a fine way to spend an afternoon, rummaging through books, records and cheap bleach. My favourite of past times.

So, I've boiled the russets along with the jazzy garden findings and have placed the pale mix in a muslin. It's swinging from a precarious nail with a saucepan underneath to catch the sweetness. At the moment, it tastes pretty tart, but once I've added the sugar and reboiled, it should be perfect. Watch this space.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I've spent a bit of time in Kent over the past couple of years. I love it. Earlier in the summer we went down to stay in James Endeacott's static caravan. It was BLISS. Here are just some of the reasons why I love it round there.

Wheeler's fish soup with rouille. This was delicious and really full on. Like a concentrated sip of the sea.

Wheeler's AGAIN. A smoked haddock chowder with a quails scotch egg.

Broadstairs formica cafe for tea, cake and gelato.

JoJo's lovely warming soups at lunch time on a blustery day.

Caravan supper. A bake with pumpkin, potato, tomatoes, Rooke's bacon and eggs.

Supper at JoJo's. This was a special - Sardines with Chorizo and Black Pudding. JoJo's is the perfect eating experience. Especially if you get a place on the bar, and see Nicki in action.

Mutton Koftes.
Please don't all go at once, because I like it just the way it is!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I love eggs. They are magic fast food. But I do scramble a lot of them in the Deli and so sometimes when we are having a lazy breakfast, I want to do something a bit more with them. The other day I made an accompanying fry of onions and garden tomatoes, chunky and browned and very nice with some pure scramblers.

And today, I've done my usual. I work and work and then forget to eat. Suddenly my hands are shaking and I can't understand why nothing is making sense. Food! I need food! This usually combines with opening the fridge and seeing that there's not a bean in the house. But there is a garden.

So today I've fried up a few (ropey) courgettes, and an onion. I've found some ripe tomatoes in the garden, cracked 2 eggs over the top and chopped off a load of chervil (a very delicate aniseedy herb). It's delicious and now I can get back to the toil.

What ever you've got growning in the windowsil would be good here - a chilli plant? Some thyme or basil? The world is your oyster xxx

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Our lovely new "Glove and Hate" oven mits from Stuart Gardiner. Come check them out in the shop, and even buy them. They are hanging above the window for you all to see.

Friday, September 17, 2010


After spending the weekend at Harvest @ Jimmy's, I've come home fueled with ideas and tricks and a buzzing heart. I was on stage for 2 days, hosting the chef's demo stage. It was AMAZING (and terrifying) and I feel like I've now had a master-class with all the big wigs: The Hairy Bikers, Angela Hartnett, Atul Kulchhar, Mark Hix, Oliver Rowe, Tommi Miers, to name just a few.

The main lessons were:
1. Always use sharp knives. I'm now sharpening mine each time I start cooking.
2. Season food at the beginning of cooking, and then you will need to add less at the end, and it will be more rounded.
3. Use FRESH whole spices, not stagnant dusty spices from the back of the cupboard.

This has come in perfect timing as we are going over to some friends tonight armed with supper as they've just had a baby. I've spent the day cooking, not for the deli, not for a supper club, but just for good friends. The pressure is off, and the juices have been flowing. Here's what I've been cooking....

I bought the baby aubergines from Choumert Road Market in Peckham, and the apples and plums were off the market in Brixton. Now we've just got to jump in the car and head up to Green Lanes. A day well spent.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS and a harvest festival.

Today, we welcomed a new addition at Rosie's. A lovely church pew that my Dad introduced me to. It was kindly donated to us by a man called Julian (a friend of Daddy's), who arrived bright and early in a van, deposited the prayer bench, and swiftly departed. What a nice man! As the floor outside the shop is bumpy, to put it mildly, I had to call on my dear old friend Patrick to come and do some DIY. With the help of the lovely Neri, they sawed, glued and bolted the pew, so that not even a crack-head could run off with it. And then Stav generously came and sat on it! Aren't I lucky?

This generosity has put me in really good spirits. Which is good, because this weekend I'm venturing up to Ipswich to host the food stage at HARVEST AT JIMMY'S. If any of you are going, come and say hello, and moreover check out the incredible chefs that will be there. And when I'm not wittering on over there, you can find me watching Kitty, Daisy and Lewis over on the music stage. Toot toot. xx

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MACAROONS. The dilemma.

I had a load of egg whites left over after making a mountain of Dark Chocolate Ice cream. The inevitable thing to do is make meringues but I didn't fancy that this morning. Macaroons came to mind. Those lovely Laduree sorts with bright deep colours and cream fillings and perfection written all over them. But they are just not me. Not at the moment anyway. Mostly my food isn't perfect. It's more the mountainous sort. And I'm also contrary so tend not to want to make things that everyone else is making. It just seems to faddy. Sometimes I cut off my nose with this attitude, but there seems no joy in reading the book that everyone else is reading on the tube. So I'm making the North American sort to serve with coffees at Rosie's.

It's not complicated. Think of it like an action packed meringue and it's easy.

120g egg whites (4)
200g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
400g sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in a large bowl over a saucepan with a little water (a bain-marie). Whisk this constantly over a low heat until the mixture is soft and aerated and warm. This will take about 10 minutes, and I used my Kenwood mixer. Now take the bowl off the heat and fold in the vanilla and coconut. Chill for 2 hours to firm up. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with oiled grease proof paper and heap little mountains of macaroons, allowing space between each. You should get about 12 out of the mix. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are tinged with brown and gold.

Maybe one day I'll pluck up the courage to make the pretty sort.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I've just hacked down all the basil and with the help of Jamie Oliver's Pesto recipe made a lovely pot of joy! I followed his recipe exactly, which is rare for me. It never ceases to amaze me though, how little you get for your leaves. My bowl was piled high with pickings and I've managed to make one solitary pot. That aside, it's bloody delicious and tart and tangy and tastes of Peckham (in a good way).

On a seperate note, I ran a competition last week. The prize was a £50 voucher and the game was to tell me your favourite food blog. There were loads of great ones. I particularly liked Kimberly's Homesick Texan and also Buster's The Spice Spoon, but the winner is definitely Nikki's The Recipe Rifle. I can not tell you how much I laughed, reading Esther's posts. No swear word is spared and the food looks delicious. I thoroughly recommend a peruse. Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. It was a great read. If you want to check out the competition entries, click Here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I've had the most peaceful day today. Plodding around at home, tinkering in the garden and making more Sailor Jerry ice cream. So I wanted a simple supper with health and greens to set me up for the week. It proved delicious. The capers give a sharp shock and the herbs and garlic throughout are real tasty, so soaked in lovely olive oil. Here's how to do it.

Par boil some dwarf beans. Cook some penne. Fry 4 crushed garlic cloves in loads of olive oil with 3 anchovy fillets. Add the beans and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add a tin of tuna and some fresh herbs from the garden (mine were thyme, chives and basil). Rip a dried chilli in two and toss in. Finally add the pasta and coat in the mix. Squeeze over half a lemon and serve up a bowl, topping with some juicy capers. Add a little salt to taste.

Now, I must get back to 101 Dalmations. xxx

Friday, August 13, 2010


We've been eating corn all week. Lovely fresh ones off the market, still in their coats. And they are dead cheap, which is convenient. They've been proving very soothing to my intense cold. (Going to Standon Calling without a tent is a very bad idea.) Corn is delicious just as is it, boiled and golden with dripping pepper salt butter. But tonight calls for something different. I need chillies and ginger and a wet warm bowl. Chowder!

It's super simple. Dice 3 potatoes and slice a large onion. Fry in oil with some ground turmeric. Add some shredded ginger and 2 birds eye chillies. Make some stock and add, along with a can of coconut milk. Simmer for 20 minutes. Now add a handful of green beans, the corn off of one cob and a tin of crab meat. Give this just a moment to warm through and serve up with some coriander leaves and a little toasted sesame seed oil on top.

Now, if I don't feel better after this, I'll eat my foot.

Monday, August 9, 2010

FREEBEES! Spread the word...

I'm going to run a competition, after buying a load of wicked stuff from a website called Cookware CSN. There are a load of other sites too. They sell everything from lights to whizzers, and I got a perfect Kenwood mixer from them, which has come in very handy in my recent ice cream craze. The prize is a £50 voucher to spend in any of their online shops.

So, to enter the competition, just leave a comment below with your email address, telling me what your favourite food blog is. The person who selects the best food blog will win the voucher. I'll pick these 7 days from now.... SPREAD THE WORD, FORWARD TO FRIENDS, AND RETWEET AS YOU LIKE! GOOD LUCK XXX

Thursday, August 5, 2010

NEW PRODUCTS! Stuart Gardiner Seasonal Stuff

We've just got a batch of Stuart Gardiner's lovely aprons in the Deli. They show what's in season each month and are dead pretty - perfect for present. Come check them out, try them on, and have a good look at the lovely design. You could even buy one too!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I found fresh coriander seeds in my garden today. I had already noticed that it had gone to flower, and had been using the flower heads in salads, which are really pungent and pretty too. And now more spoils - the seeds are big and juicy and pale green and have been the source of much excitement this morning. I'm going to dry them and then toast them for more salads. It's brilliant how various and much you can get even from a the smallest of plants and what pleasure it brings.

And today's plat du jour is for Daddy, who's coming over for a spot of lunch.

Par boil some new potatoes.
Fry a fennel bulb with some dill and caraway seeds and an onion.
Add the potatoes.
Boil an egg.

Then I'm off to the the Brixton Splash for a spot of the Blacker Dread sound system.

Friday, July 30, 2010


This week we did a late night opening with Salad Club. It was great fun, and we were washed up and packed up by 10pm which is very unusual, and makes me think we must be getting a little bit better at our evening suppers.

Salad Club is made up of Ellie Grace and Rosie French. Rosie is on maternity leave at the moment, but still managed to make it down with little Alfred (pictured below in all his glory, post nappy change, and much happier), which was a real treat. The evening was rounded off with the attentions of one of Coldharbour Lane's tramps, and it wouldn't have been Brixton if something like this hadn't happened!

Both Ellie and I loved the atmosphere, and it was great to have loads of tables laid up outside on a cool summer evening. Everyone chatted away and had a long dinner without the usual rushing of a restaurant booking. The joy of supper clubs is that your plot is all yours for the evening, not just your allocated slot. So it's more like being at home really, just without the washing up.

The Menu:

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup.

Chickpea, Chorizo, Mint, Feta and Roast Squash Salad.
Red Thai Rice with Coppa and Roasted Fennel.
Butter Bean, Courgette and Parsley Salad with lots of garlic.

Mango and Rose Water Ice with Stewed Berries and Lime, Cardomom & Almond Shortbread

Pots of Mint Tea to polish it off.

For Future events contact Salad Club or

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


After this mornings catastrophically disastrous ice cream attempt, I've taken on a much more simple and immediately gratifying task: honeycomb. Having seen this on one of my favourite TV shows, Come Dine with Me (WAG's special) I thought I couldn't go wrong. And sure enough, it's looking perfect. It's super easy. Fool proof even. As mine is setting I'm trying to work out how I can encorporate it into a pudding or even ice cream, with out ballsing it up!

3 tbsp golden syrup
150g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder

Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Measure out the golden syrup and sugar into a large wide saucepan. Place this on a low-medium heat. It will gradually all incorporate and melt together. When it has been bubbling gently for a few minutes it should start to turn golden. At the point where it is a red brown at the edges, swirl the pan a few times and then take it off the heat. Now quickly add the baking powder (or bicarbinate of soda). Use a whisk to swiftly beat together. It will bubble in a very satisfying way. Then tip this out onto your baking paper so that it can set immediately. Leave for 2-3 hours to fully set and then go at it with a hammer. I can't wait.


Today I tried my hand at a new idea I've been brewing: ice cream with berries and meringue (like Eton Mess). The reason why it's been on my mind is that when you make ice cream you have loads of left over egg whites. The natural thing to do is make meringues in this instance, and then I thought, why not use summer fruits and make it like a frozen Eton Mess. Only it really did turn out a mess. When I added the meringue, it stopped freezing, and also churning in the maker. I've deposited in the freezer, and can only hope that magic will take its course! Watch this space....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I just bought some sardines on a bit of a whim, and then didn't really know what to do with them. Moments like these, I usually turn to a handful of cook books. Whilst my office is packed to the brim with recipes and books, there are some that I return to time and time again. The Moro books are a constant source of inspiration, and so this is where I found the guide lines for tonight's supper. The recipe appealed to me because I love the combination of fish and vinegar - roll mops and boquerones are two of my all time favourites, mostly because of their hangover soothing qualities. Try either of these on buttery toast and you will feel whole again!

6 Sardines, gutted and scaled
some gram flour (because that's all I had)
2 tbsp olive oil
80ml red wine vinegar
1 fresh bay leaf
some dried thyme, on the stick
1 tsp of green pepper corns
1 dried chilli
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 head of dill flowers (off my gone-to-seed-dill plant)
a generous pinch of salt
a generous pinch of sugar
1/2 a red pepper, very finely sliced
1/2 an onion, very finely sliced
2 tsp capers in vinegar

Pat dry the sardines and then dust with the flour. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and then fry the fishes until they are golden. This will be about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a shallow serving dish.

Using the same pan, place on a medium heat and add the vinegar, and then in close succession, the bay leaf, thyme, the pepper corns, chilli, fennel seeds, dill and sugar and salt. It will simmer and the delicious sharp flavours should slightly catch the back of your throat. Now add the finely sliced pepper and onion and simmer for a few minutes to soften but not totally cook. Immediately pour the mix over the sardines, and then scatter over the capers (another of my favourite vinegar related ingredients). Leave this to sit for a few hours before serving. It's good to note that Sam and Sam Clarke, of Moro, recommended leaving this to melge for up to 48 hours. I'm too hungry though, so haven't got the patience for that!