Friday, February 8, 2013

Markets and gifts

Last Saturday, Kenz and I went back out to Borough Market. For the past two months, Kenz has developed a habit of getting there whenever she can. For good reason, though. It's pretty awesome.

These days, Kenz and I are doing a lot more cooking together. As a result, we've started going to the market for actual food, rather than for just a voyeuristic jaunt. We still get most of our groceries at the grocery store, but the market is good for specialty items.

The market is a collection of food stalls. There are several that provide the same types of food, so they each do their own thing to stand apart. Some focus on providing ready-to-eat food as their primary source of income while others prioritize selling goods to take home. There are a few florists, but most everything else is food.

Those that aren't selling ready-to-eat food often have carcasses hanging from the stall. (to show how fresh everything is?)

The long lines are usually found at the ready-to-eat stalls

Kenz has gotten into chilis and powders


Of course she got cheese. Who do you think she is?
The irony is that we could go during the week. It's open every day except Sunday, but we always find ourselves fighting the crowds on Saturday. It's the only time both of us are free, I guess. Problem is that it's the only time everyone is free, so it's easy to lose her in the crowd. Seriously - I have to constantly search for that red earwarmer/headband to find her. I'll get distracted, inspecting some variety of cured meat or selection of nuts or something and she'll be gone. She knows exactly what she wants and where the stalls are, so when she's there she's on a mission. I'd rather stroll. I can't be bothered to try and rush when I'm in a crowd that big anyway - it's like traffic: the faster you try to go, the more you realize how slow you're going. It's altogether frustrating. Better to just chill and go with the flow. Besides, I got pictures to take!

Kenz got mussels and scallops this week

This guy!

We had Owen by for dinner last weekend as well. I introduced him to my new favorite combination snack: cured boar, cured venison, and unsalted cashews. I also hipped him to another new snack I've found: Inspiralled's Kale Chips.

There's a lot of different flavors. My favorite is Wasabi Wheatgrass. Wheat, Dairy, Gluten, and Sugar free - the only ingredients are dried Kale and whatever the flavor is. Kenz and Owen aren't sold, but I like them!

We had tuna, swordfish, and BEANS!
My buddy, Jason, invited me out last week for dinner and a catch-up. We went to a place I'd been eying for a few months that specializes in sushi hand rolls. I'd never been in, but was intrigued at the idea. We found out that it wasn't really a restaurant per se - you go to the counter, order the hand rolls you want, and sit at whatever table you want. The rolls were much better than expected (and cheap!). 

I made it out to Covent Garden on some errands and found that they're taking a page out of Paris' tourism handbook. In celebration of Valentine's Day, they've got cages that spell the word 'LOVE' set up near the street performers. You can purchase a lock from an attendant that is apparently standing there all day, write you and your lover's name on it, and lock it to the cages. This practice is regular along the bridges in Paris. However, those bridges will stay in Paris - I dunno what's going to happen to this exhibit once February's over. I guess true love isn't eternal in Covent Garden?

I also saw this shirt for sale.

Should we get tickets?

2. Do your thang...
Kenz and I had a dispute over the 'good' mug one morning. She found out that I had 'resolved' the issue later that afternoon. Writing on this mug with a Sharpie was much more thrilling than I expected it to be. I couldn't decide whether it was a release of the age-old, repressed 'don't draw on the walls' Super-Ego voice I've had since childhood or if it was simply the idea that I'd 'won' the argument with this sneaky move. Either way, I got lots of suggestions from teachers on Facebook: if you bake it in the oven, it really becomes permanent. I thought permanent markers were, by their very nature, permanent. Either way, I'll pre-heat the oven later today. I don't want to take any chances.

"Let there be no question or confusion: this is David Ethier's mug"
Last week, five minutes after posting pics about the leak to this blog, I had a visit from the self-proclaimed 'leak inspectors'. We've still got one, in case you were wondering...

My computer finally arrived on Tuesday; I'd been so disappointed that it hadn't arrived earlier that it was almost a non-event. See, I had to special order it because I wanted an American keyboard. Yea, they're different. I had told some friends that by the time it arrived, I'd have 'the thousand yard stare'. I was sure to send them my face the day it arrived.

At least I could restore all my information. It only took about two hours.

My best impression of the 1000 yard stare
Kenz picked up some beef jerky for me at the cornerstore. It reminded me of a theme one of my old professors always talked about: the politics of culture.

This is how the UK sees us. 
Walworth Road continues to be a source of amusement for me as I walk back from the gym in the mornings.

Just some milk by the dumpster. No big deal. 
Kenz's school BFF, Alejandra, has returned from her semester abroad. They celebrated by wearing comically oversized scarves.

Since I'll be gone next week, I'm missing Valentine's Day (which, apparently is a bigger deal than I'd remembered; I booked the tickets before I realized I'd be missing that day; I blame my buddy for scheduling his wedding on the 16th). Kenz and I exchanged gifts yesterday; I had a poor showing. I'd gone out to the Johnny Cupcakes store to get her the newly-released, Valentine's themed t-shirt. I thought that'd make a great gift. You know, because I'm a dumbass.

Kenz, on the other hand, had ordered me a package from Athleat. She had seen how often I had been going to the grocery store to re-up on foods that are in line with the type of diet I've been sticking to and found this website. The focus of the site is to provide folks with locally sourced, free range, grass-fed meat - all principles tangentially related to the 'paleo' diet, which is what CrossFitters advocate. It may be that I've drunk the Kool Aide; we'll see. Either way, it was pretty awesome to see her struggle/stroll into the house, carrying this huge package filled with meatstuffs. There were chicken breasts, sirloin steaks, beef steaks, mince, and enough jerky to keep me satisfied for over a month! We laughed with each other as I pulled bag after bag after bag out of the box - it felt endless. We struggled to find enough room in our little freezer! She also hooked it up with a new batch of serious coffee from London's premiere coffee shop.

Methinks I've got some making-up to do!

"It's from Guatemala - I figured you'd want to try it before you go visit." - Kenz, the best gift-giver

Look at all that meat!

As you know, I'll be out of town next week for a friend's wedding. I'll likely not post next Friday, so check back in two weeks. I'm sure I'll have a slew of pictures to update.

Thanks for reading; have a great weekend!