Food nostalgia

I’ve been reading a few food blogs this evening:

And I was thinking of how much I’m going to miss having a decent sized kitchen, not that there’s even enough space in it now. I’m given to understand that apartments in LA are über-expensive to rent, and we’ll probably have to downsize a lot. I’m going to miss my baking tins/trays, my two drawers of kitchen gadgets and utensils that have taken me 10 years to accumulate, my crazy but effective fan oven, our collection of all sorts of different flavoured alcohols (for cooking, not drinking), a pantry of hard-to-find dried and bottled food, and a whole host of other cooking things. The upside is that there will be plenty of ‘ethnic’ food stores in LA. Whether we’ll be able to find them or get to them without sitting in traffic jams, and polluting the air, is another thing.

I’m sure the restaurants there will be good, but will we have any money to eat out? We’ve not eaten out much in Edinburgh recently… Quite a few of our favourite restaurants have closed in the last year. Among the much-missed are:

  • Fitzhenry’s – replaced with a Smokestack, of all things (sacrilege),
  • JM’s – a honest-to-goodness French bistro run by one man and a rotating waitress, where we spent many a happy evening getting stuffed, and
  • a Chinese restaurant on Inverleith Row – never knew its name, but it had good dim sum (for Edinburgh, that is… still can’t compare to Glasgow/London, let alone Singapore/Hong Kong).

There are still plenty of excellent joints in town, but those places held special memories for us. JM’s in particular was a real find. We’ve had a whole host of French bistro-like places that excel in ‘Scottish-French’ cooking (even though the demise of the Pierre Victoire chain cooled the field a little), but none had the true atmosphere of a man/woman in the kitchen, sweating over several hot stoves to feed a small, but crowded room of regular customers. I wonder where he is now…

Was left to my own devices tonight, so I baked a sole (don’t know which type) with some lemon zest and juice squeezed into a little dashi (Japanese fish stock), with a very wee dram of random alcohol (Martini this time), and a knob of butter. How is it that when I cook, the kitchen looks untouched when I’m done, but when a blokey cooks, it looks like a wee tornado passed through the kitchen?

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