Hi lovelies! Hope you all had a fabulously foodie Food Revolution Day (or a good regular Friday the 16th of May, if you didn’t take part ;) ). I “cheated” a little again this year and celebrated FRD in numerous ways over multiple days (not that Jamie would mind, I am sure).
My week began in a cooking frenzy when a dear friend, The Green Brunette, popped around for a Poh’s Kitchen-inspired afternoon. We had to juggle fixing the remaining mis en place (I had done as much as possible in advance), cooking Poh’s divine Chunky Cream of Mushroom soup, making her delicious Parmesan Croutons, baking her version of Potatoes au Gratin, settling/feeding Baby Cupcake, eating lunch, picking L up from nursery school, organising snack time for the kids, remembering to take some pics and hastily snapping away for late posting on Instagram (lol) AND baking Poh’s perfect Chewy Choc-Chip Cookies. We had an approximate time frame of around 2.5 hours… for all of this :P. A potentially hectic/stressful afternoon was made thoroughly enjoyable because, simply, we all love food, chatting, playing and experimenting! And of course, we had wonderful guidance and inspiration direct from Poh’s Kitchen* ;).
On FDR itself, cooking with Jamie Oliver was on the agenda. I happened to be close to my computer as Jamie, DJ BBQ, Cupcake Jemma and a great gathering of school kids and teachers went live to air on Food Tube for Jamie’s live cooking lesson. When little L came home from a visit at his grandparent’s house, we watched the video again and cooked together. It was honestly one of the loveliest kitchen experiences we’ve had together. L, who is 3 years-old, was no doubt excited to see the big kids cooking and to have Jamie talking “directly” to him (he said “Jamie Oliber loves me.” Bless! <3 ).
At one point, after assembling our first wrap, L started running in circles around the kitchen singing “Rainbow salad wrap! Rainbow salad wrap!” :D. He loved using a grater for the first time (with supervision, of course!), shaking the dressing jar, pouring the dressing, helping with wrap assembly and eating the finished product. Actually, he couldn’t get enough of those wraps. I assumed we’d have lots of salad and tortilla breads leftover, with only 2 adults eating the food plus a toddler hanging around who’d already eaten dinner with his grandparents. Not so. After all three of us got stuck in, there was enough remaining to make only one wrap the next day. I must admit, I was a little sceptical about how tasty these wraps would be, but they were clearly a success!
Oh, and for those of you who’ve wondered if Jamie managed to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ attempt for the ‘Most participants in a cookery lesson in 24 hours (multiple venues)’, it was done! Congrats to Jamie, his team and all the participants worldwide!
I had barely scrubbed down my own kitchen and stacked my dishwasher at the end of FRD when, the very next day, I headed off to the professional kitchen at Restaurang Akademien to attend Maximillian Lundin’s vegetarian (vegan) cooking workshop. After 4 hours of broken sleep (ugh), I was not in the best form to tackle a full day of cooking/knowledge-absorbing (let alone in Swedish), but the day was exciting, my partner was thankfully super-lovely, Maximillian was hugely inspiring, his team were encouraging and the food itself was absolutely delicious. Maximillian’s food philosophy is much like my own and the theoretical side of what he shared with us resonated with me very much. He has been at the pre-“hipster foodie” forefront of the contemporary organic food movement in Sweden and now aims to promote veganism amongst chefs, restauranteurs and the general public here. No mean feat, given Sweden’s meaty history! But if any man’s up to the task, it’s Maximillian Lundin. Even his name is impressive.
There were some real high points of the day… and the menu.
Lunch was delicious and featured some seldom-seen-in-Stockholm-but-wonderful flavour combinations (orange and corn, for example). It was lovely to chat casually over a glass of chilled Jus de Pomme Pétillant with Maximillian and two of the ladies who shared my kitchen work station. When the conversation turned towards South Australia, my heart sang. The beyond-favourable impression my home state has made upon these Swedish foodies was wonderful to hear about.
Back in the kitchen, my cooking partner encouraging/trusting me to hastily create a vinaigrette based around whole spices- for the first time- was an enlightening experience. I am starting to recognise certain strengths I have in the kitchen, in conjunction with the areas that require improvement. An intuitive understanding of flavour combinations is something I have working for me. My love of pottering around the kitchen, taking my time reading and rereading recipes, chatting, etc., would make me, in my “raw state”, a potentially disastrous addition to a commercial kitchen environment!
I was thrilled to get a copy of the Årstiderna cook book that Maximillian collaborated on and proud that we were some of Årstiderna‘s very first customers, way back when their business began… and before trendy “Eko Stockholm” was in full swing. We were encouraged to take food home with us which I, of course, did … and I loved the fact that Baby Cupcake could eat any of the dishes without me worrying about her getting ill (she seems to be dairy protein intolerant, although test results have been inconclusive thus far).
The raw cake was a particular hit with the little ones (ok, the big ones too). I now have my own swanky Restaurang Akademien apron and diploma… and a name badge which, I realised upon returning home, had been upside-down all day. Ugh. The perils of chronic sleep-deprivation**, people. I need to take my own advice :P
Last but not least, my Sunday morning began with a quick baking session to prepare cookies for a friend who offered me technical support via a comment on a desperate Facebook status update (back when my computer was dying on me). I promised that, when he visited Sweden again, I’d bake something to thank him for his assistance.
He flew in from LA on Sunday morning.
He was eating my cookies that afternoon.
Now, you can’t say Miss Marzipan’s not a woman of her word ;)
Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend. And if you celebrated FRD 2014, please drop me a line to let me know what you got up to! :) xx
*Poh’s new book, Same Same But Different, has just been released in Australia! It looks amazing and I plan to have a copy smuggled into Sweden for me ;)
**Perhaps “chronic” is an exaggeration, but I have not had 8 consecutive hours of sleep (the amount I used to rely upon daily!) since pregnancy insomnia kicked in around July 2010 when I was pregnant with L. Despite Baby Cupcake currently weaning herself, my body seems to still brace itself for nursing on demand throughout the night, and I wake repeatedly as a result. Oh well, this too shall pass…