Yesterday, something unexpected happened. My morning was uneventful. I walked, as always, to the Catford train stations. We have two, with different routes into Central London. I check which has the first train into town, and then choose which of the two I go to. Both involve crossing what is known as Catford Bridge. It had nothing to recommend it. Non-descript, brick, painted black.
I completed my day of work, and made my way home. Initially, I was peeved. We had a number of delays. Southeastern blamed Network Rail. Nobody asked Network Rail who was really to blame. So my train crawled and ambled its way back from Central London to Sunny Catford.
Whilst feeling increasingly annoyed at the delays, I idly checked my social media networks. Basically, killing time. Something caught my eye. A picture of a spray painted butterfly. “How pretty!” I thought.
It took a moment or so to twig. But then, I did. The picture was on Instagram, and was geo-tagged to Catford. New street art in Catford!
I then started looking forward to reaching Catford Bridge station and disembarking my train. Seeing a brand new piece of street art was an exciting prospect.
We arrived, I swiped my Oyster card, and ascended the stairs to the Catford Bridge…
The beautiful butterfly was there, among other, equally gorgeous butterflies and moths. Somehow, in the time I had been at work, something magical had happened. Something wonderful, involving the dreaming, planning, craft and hard work of an artist who imagined Catford Bridge as an entity nicer than a mere road bridge over the railway.
My pictures this month are of those wonderful works of street art. Making my neighbourhood a little prettier, more colourful, more loved.
I hope you like the pictures and the food and drink links and cultural pickings below.
Never cooked quinoa? Here's how! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-cook-quinoa
What to expect from the food of the Loire Valley: http://www.butterfield.com/blog/2013/05/03/cuisine-101-loire-valley-cuisine/
If you have not yet discovered the Gallery of Regrettable Food, it's the cure to mid-afternoon hunger pangs. The foul looking food from ancient cookbooks will make you wonder who bought these books, and who cooked any of the dishes. Here's their "Meat! Meat! Meat!" gallery... http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/meat/index.html
How long can you keep a bottle of wine, once opened? Advice from a master of wine. http://www.winemag.com/2017/01/10/openbottle/
Is Prosecco's time over? Should we move to lower sugar sparkling wine? Personally, I love Cremants, Cavas, Champagne, Petillants and other bubbles. Surely in moderation, it's all fine? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/drinks/prosecco-party-try-superior-sparkling-wines-instead/
What would your supermarket look like if every foreign food product was taken off the shelves? A German supermarket shows how racism and protectionism makes for very dull gastronomy. http://evolvepolitics.com/supermarket-just-removed-foreign-goods-prove-ridiculous-racists/
I'm always on the look for simple salad suppers - here's a Citrussy Moroccan Lamb one: http://www.tastyeasylamb.co.uk/Recipes/moroccan-style-lamb-salad
A chocolate fridge cake recipe for those who aren't great at baking, like me! https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/01/chocolate-fridge-cake-recipe-jeremy-lee-king-of-puddings
During this Summer's Loire Valley trip, nearly everyone we met grew their own veg, courgettes being a particular favourite. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/flora-sheddens-star-courgette-cake-glorious-bakes-vegetable/
Georgian cooking could be the latest "big thing", with two major cook book releases. The strong use of herbs such as tarragon, basil, mint and coriander is different, original and delicious. Here is a recipe for "kebabi", the Georgian version of minced lamb kebabs: https://searchingforspice.com/2017/08/29/kebabi-georgian-lamb-kebabs/
Using rice vermicelli and fresh vegetables rather than freeze dried ingredients, you could pack this in a Kilner jar and take it to work for a hot packed lunch! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/hacks/easiest-ever-instant-noodle-pot
King prawn curry, full of spice and all things nice: http://goodthingsmagazine.com/prawn-curry-willibald/
Pissaladiere is a Southern French classic, this is Thomasina Miers' version: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/25/tomato-olive-anchovy-pissaladiere-recipe-thomasina-miers
A fruity cocktail for the last moments of Summer: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/rose-punch
A vegetarian, vegan salad with the flavours and punch of Indian street food. Quick, easy and very, very adaptable to your individual taste. Personally, I'd rinse the chick peas rather than use the tinned liquid.
What you might have missed at Snig’s Kitchen:
A fresh tasting, vegetarian and vegan salad, full of colour – Snig’s Quinoa salad: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/snigs-quinoa-salad.html
My other writing:
Not food, but e-learning. My Learning at City blog post on virtual learning environment Moodle and how to get more out of it. https://blogs.city.ac.uk/learningatcity/2017/09/21/how-to-get-more-out-of-moodle-bring-your-own-lunch-webinar-september-2017/
Top Of The Lake – China Girl
I Know Who You Are (Se Quien Eres)
The Kate Bush Story (BBC documentary)
Portishead – Dummy
The xx – I See You
Easy Star All-Stars – Radiodread
Love – Forever Changes
Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.