Last weekend, I was with my mom in Boston, walking through the wintery cold, covered head to toe in snow like abominable snowwomen. It was a fully packed weekend of exploring, of eating delicious food (Spanish tapas at Barcelona, dim sum at Myers+Chang, soup and sourdough toast at Coda, meatballs and kale salad at the Oak Long Bar & Kitchen and pastries every morning from Flour and the South End Buttery), a bit of shopping (blog post on a cool flower shop we discovered coming soon) and a night at the cinema.
I came back with sore throat and uber-long to do list, so it was back in the swing of things all week, working on a new project for my Etsy shop and thinking about some plans for our first trip to Africa in August – exciting! This weekend is up in the air, open to spontaneity or just curling up with a good book and plenty of tea and catching up with all of your blogs I’ve missed on feedly over the last week.
Hands tucked into coat pockets, I walked quickly down Vallance Road toward Columbia Road Flower Market.
I passed by tower block after tower block of flats, the grassy expanse of Weavers Fields, the area where the Kray Twins (English gangsters of the 50s-60s) grew up, a few corner shops closed on a Sunday morning.
Whenever I go home, I ask my dad to make some of his famous spinach and rice recipe, inspired by many trips to (and many meals eaten in) Greece. It’s healthy and it’s delicious. Over the holidays, he showed me how it’s done so I could make it here in London and share it with you.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 kilo spinach
3 medium onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 cup fresh dill or 1 tbsp dry dill
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
Parsley to garnish
Lemon wedges to serve
*The olive oil and oregano we used came from my dad’s friends Jehny and George at The Spartan Table. Highly recommended!
It’s chilly here in Boston, but no snow yet. Fingers crossed. I’ve been here all week, working, falling asleep way too early and waking up at 4am… Ah jet lag.
It’s a beautiful city though and despite the cold, there’s been a lot of sunshine. It has been a week of eating too many delicious pastries, enjoying the quirky wallpaper and the welcoming barks of Skye at my Airbnb host Gerald’s house and filling my suitcase with as many bags of Goldfish crackers as I can cram in to take back over the pond.
My mom arrives tonight to spend a few days with me before I head back to London, so I’m excited to see what sort of adventures we’ll get up to.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Photo: Some new bird feeders/houses my dad was working on for his Etsy shop while I was home. Doesn’t the middle one remind you of Liberty in London?
Jorge and I were invited to indulge in an elegant afternoon of tea, finger sandwiches, scones and decadent deserts as part of Malibu’s Best Summer Ever campaign. (It is, of course, long past the summer, but it took us five months to book a table.)
From running her own agency creating content for magazines to managing not one but two Etsy shops to creating her own lip balm and raising chickens, Swedish photographer and vintage aficionado Caroline Henkelius is full speed ahead. Below she talks a bit about her background (all this with only nine years of education!), gives us some insight into the products she promotes like traditional Swedish rag rugs, and tells us about life in a small village with a beautiful river running through it.
LO: Tell us a bit about your background. CH: I was born 1984 in Småland – in the dark woods of the middle south of Sweden. Not far from where the founder of IKEA started.
When I was 12-years-old, I moved with my mother to Göteborg /Gothenburg. I went to a Waldorf school that gave me a lot of free space to develop my own lust for art.
I worked as a bartender for a very short time and then took up casino work for about three years – black jack, roulette and poker – learning a lot about service and being a great seller. Gambling is very simply “selling dreams” in my opinion. And in a way that is what I always have been doing and still do – sell a dream – a feeling of something “more”.
The difference from then and today is, that I do not want to sell an unreal dream or an illusion of happiness – as in gambling, the rush of winning – in real life I feel that it is the greatness of “just being”.
I now live in a tiny little village about two hours north of where I was born. Here the land is more open, not so much dark woods, and the lands have a powerful history of old wisdom.
How has your week been? It’s been pretty ordinary around here. I’m excited to have dinner and cocktails at Bumpkin with some friends tonight. On Saturday, Jorge and I are headed to Claridges for a fancy afternoon tea before meeting one of his friends from Spain. Sunday is for manicures and packing. Monday I head back over to the States for a working week in Boston full of strategy creation, brainstorming and hopefully some delicious treats from that lovely little cafe, Flour. I’m staying at the same fabulous Airbnb I stayed in in September with Gerald and his dog Skye. Then I’ll spend the following weekend with my mom who is coming down from New York, but more on that later.
What are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans?
Photo: Organ music & carousels at the Carrousel Museum of North Tonawanda, New York
A five-minute walk from the house where I grew up, you can look down along the banks of the Niagara River as the current sweeps it over the Falls in the distance. A cloud of mist constantly hangs in the air.
Up close it feels like rain, but a 15 minute drive away and it almost blends in with the puffs of steam shooting out of nearby chemical factories that romantically referred to as “cloud-makers” when I was a kid.
My parents have been travelling to Greece regularly for years now, often choosing to re-visit some of the same villages where they’ve had the pleasure of meeting some lovely locals. Last year, they took a few weeks holiday and spent some time in Chaniá. While there, they took a cooking class with a woman called Koula Varydakis-Xanialakis (aka The Cretan Cook – in red below).
Koula has published a book with some of her recipes, a copy of which made it back to their bookshelf in New York.
My dad and I thought it would be fun to try one while I was home last month. We paged through the book and settled on “Meatballs with Potatoes” which looked pretty straightforward. Turned out to be tasty and even better the second day after the sauce thickened up a bit. We found that in the beginning it was more of a broth, so if I made it again I might add a bit of tomato paste to thicken it up some.
It’s been back to reality this week, but feeling refreshed at least and ready for all of the adventures 2015 has in store. It’s been a pretty quiet one for me, with Jorge away in Spain for a week. I’ve been getting a headstart on some projects for this month, brainstorming some new ideas and trying to cut down the pile of magazines I didn’t have time to read in December.
I have been and will be sharing some photos and stories about the two weeks we spent in New York over the holidays. It was the longest I’d been home in quite a while. Of course it still went by too quickly!
What have you been up to lately? Any fun plans for the weekend?
Photo: In New York, catching up with my aunt, uncle and cousins I hadn’t seen in 6 years.