Yes, I recently gave The Dusty Knuckle a glowing review. But that was all about the bread baked in their East London converted shipping container surrounded by flowers. Now I need to discuss their Apple Turnovers. These perfectly flaky half moon pastries filled with apples and custard satiate my sugar cravings any time of the day. Thankfully I no longer need to trek to sunny Dalston for my fix as they are available Tuesday’s - Saturday’s at the new Panzer’s coffee bar (shameless plug). All you North West Londoner’s can thank me for the tip. But you really should visit their new bakery/cafe space in the building opposite their old site. And at lunchtime there is not only the full range of baked delicacies, but their award winning sandwiches, and of course great coffee to boot.
Scissors pose one of the greatest challenges to the left hander: the act of cutting anything in a neat, straight line is virtually impossible. Particularly difficult when I was young, to boost my spirits my Grandmother sent all manner of LH tips from the States. The best? My 6th birthday present: The Natural Superiority of the Left Hander, a book extolling special leftie qualities and illustrations of famous left handers. It did not help much with the cutting dilemma, but it did make me feel better about life. Thankfully, my right hand dexterity improved with age, but my prize stationary possession of the year is my beautiful left handed scissors from Labour and Wait. No more cutting frustration. And in my house, they really are one of the few items that are unarguably mine. Not forgetting all you right handers out there, Labour and Wait stock the finest scissors for you too.
Books that encourage us to be more efficient in the kitchen have a very special place in my heart and on my shelves. Every writer has their own nuggets of information that can transform how you cook or how you eat. Often, the challenge that faces people is an organisational one - mainly in the ingredients department. But a well stocked (and by that I don’t mean huge) larder or pantry is a your best weapon for throwing a meal together, even when the main stars of the dish are all fresh out of the fridge. Claire Thompson’s latest book The Art of the Larder illustrates how to clearly shop and cook in a discerning and more methodical manner helping to combine larder basics with anything in the fridge. Beautifully laid out with lists of suggestions and tips that you wish someone had shared years ago, this book will encourage less waste and better meals out of your kitchen.
To counter the somewhat excessive amount of coffee I consume in the first two thirds of any day, I drink herbal teas. In an almost excessive equal quantity. Despite my clear lack of any yogi qualities at all, my love of the tea comes from the warm crisp spices in every bag, never leaving a bitter or over brewed taste in your mouth. The flavours are perfectly balanced, and as a result leave you feeling calm and warm, with a wide range of useful and effective blends for digestion and sleep. The ideal companion to cold, dark winter afternoons when the hours of the safe coffee consumption have passed.