But I did, and I was in heaven. Hey, the kitchen has windows over the sink, so I had a lovely view…
With a bag full of the freshest possible veg from Painter Ridge Road farmstand, I set to work. A strange zucchini, half green, half yellow? Check. The firmest possible head of garlic? Yep. Scallions, a juicy red onion, butter-and-sugar corn picked this morning… several glugs of the best olive oil, the sparkly zest and juice of a lemon. Stir it up with just the right zeal, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper flakes, and you’re home free.
(serves 4 as a side dish)
1 large zucchini, diced
1 red onion, diced
a bunch scallions, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced with lemon juice and sea salt
4 ears corn, cut off the cob
4 tbsps olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper…
In the continuing saga of Photographs on the Blog, here’s an experiment… when you click on it, does it enlarge? John’s mom, this is for you!
Simply lay out a nice big piece of heavy-duty foil. In a big bowl, place all your vegetables: especially BEETS which are a revelation grilled! But heirloom potatoes too, and onions and garlic (squash is boring, in my experience), then lots of fresh herbs. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and pile onto the foil. Cover with another sheet of foil, pinch the edges together to make a parcel, and grill on a medium grill for about 20 minutes. Heavenly!
And you can spend those 20 minutes with your kitty…
My brilliant husband has saved the day! The blog seems to be accepting photos now! I’ll inundate you…
This last was the platter of toppings for our LUSCIOUS and crazily piled-up pizza last night: sausages with provolone and parsley, a superbly juicy red onion from the local farmstand, hot poblano peppers, baby portabella mushrooms, a sweet red pepper, some slightly shrivelly cherry tomatoes who needed to be eaten, Moroccan cured olives, and a really good local mozzarella… HEAVEN.
Sigh of relief, sigh of gratitude to Foxy Tech Support for solving my photograph problem!
Here’s the thing about blogging. It starts out as a little experiment in keeping your family and friends informed about your life. Then slowly, insidiously, it becomes a manner of self-expression as necessary as breathing! And when you try to take a deep breath and all you get is a little message saying, “fatal error, out of memory,” you collapse in a sort of toddler-ish mess of frustration. How dare you not be able to show the world your new kittens and your peaches and cream?
Sigh. More soon. But one more kitty picture, just to whet your adopting appetites…
Well, every newborn thing has its growing pains, I suppose, and my new blog is going through one… I cannot post photographs now. My brilliant designer is working on it in faraway London, in a different time zone, trying to convince the mysterious powers that be who control my blogging that it isn’t enough for me to tell you that Avery has invented the best dessert of peaches and fresh cream with vanilla. I also want you to SEE the dessert.
And I want you to see a beautiful thing that happened two evenings ago: the sight of Avery through the kitchen window, across the dark terrace and through the lighted bathroom window, cajoling, caressing, spoiling each kitten in its own way. That’s right: we have kittens! Three of them, adopted on Monday from the Danbury Animal Welfare Society in a pouring rainstorm. These kittens were described as “nearly feral,” and if only I could post about one of the thousand and a half photos we have taken of them, you’d see the magic that Avery has wrought. Right now two of them are on her lap and the third beneath her chin. Nearly feral? Not any more. Two of them are long-haired gray and white striped, one with a white mask over her nose and mouth, and the third is short-haired and dark gray, with the same white mask and white socks. Jessica, Jamie and Jessamy. We have five weeks to find homes for them, so considered yourself informed.
I want you to see Avery atop Red Baron, the retired thoroughbred she’s been riding on these hot, still, humid days. It’s a funny mother thing with me: I always can pick her out of the crowd in the pool even without my glasses, or in a big group of girls on ponies, by the straight set of her shoulders, the proud curve of her back. Her instructor was due to have a baby last week, but was teaching the morning she was scheduled to be induced! Now that’s dedication. She finally had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the horses, having left them in the capable hands of a school friend of hers, who comes to the lessons complete with Hudson, a massive golden retriever.
“He is gorgeous!” I say, stroking him, I who normally does not gravitate to dogs. “He smells so good!”
“Yep, shampooed him just last night, he needed it, I can tell you, after swimming in the pond.”
“That pond, the one covered in algae?” I ask, pointing.
“That’s the one. Loves it. Can’t get enough of it, gives him a break from the heat.”
And as we watched, the super clean dog trotted out of our sight, up a hillocky path and down again, and we heard a splash, saw him go under the scummy surface. Whereupon he emerged, ran back to the stable, dug a hole in the horsey sand surface of the riding ring, and lay in it.
“Guess we’ll be back to the shampoo tub tonight,” Lynne said resignedly.
Avery’s been having such fun jumping! Even dripping with sweat! Honestly, it’s been nearly a hundred for days and days. Then there are massive thunder and lightning storms, alleged to break the heat, but it’s back in punishing intensity within hours. Today, however, the sky has been threatening all the late afternoon, a darkening purple menace in the stultifying heat, but no rain has developed so far. If only it holds off long enough for us to head up the road to Rich’s Ice Cream with Anne, David and Katie from across the road. Katie has been a miracle with the kittens: quiet as a mouse, her eyes big with their Victorian charm, gentle hands, a delighted smile on her upturned face. There is nothing like a baby animal, unless it’s a baby person, and the sight of both together is quite impossibly touching.
The heat has not kept us from our mammoth tennis games, trying to strategize our arrival at the courts to get one in the shade, holding our arms out in the instant of a breeze, shielding our eyes from the glare, deciding “one bounce, or two bounces?” Sometimes it’s just better to let the ball bounce twice than to race heedlessly into the sun to get it in one. I shudder to think what would happen to my weight if we stopped playing, because I’ve been cooking like mad! Of course the luscious fried shrimp, produced today for Anne, David, Katie and also Joel and his two angelic girls, Jane and Molly. And a super-light cole slaw of red and white cabbages and fennel, with a dressing of the oil from a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, plus lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, a goodly dollop of mayonnaise and a ton of fresh black pepper. And potato salad, little red guys still warm from the steamer, piled with celery and a dressing of chives suspended in yet more mayo!
Have you been enjoying the recipe index? And the random recipe? I find that so inspiring, that random recipe. Why can’t I get motivated on my own, without that little push? After all, I wrote the recipes myself! But it takes that little reminder, not necessarily to MAKE what pops up, but to think out of the fridge, out of the rut. How about a hot , dark-green pablano pepper stuffed with goat cheese? Season that goat cheese with my all-time best seasoning friend, Fox Point from Penzeys, and grill them for 15 minutes or so… runny hot cheese, a crisp little spicy bite of pepper, that’s a winner. Wouldn’t you like to see a photo of it? I know I would…
Grilled Stuffed Peppers
4 peppers, as hot as you like (my brother in law assures me, “the smaller, the hotter”)
1 long log goat cheese
4 tsps Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning
sprinkle olive oil
Simply cut the stem out of each pepper, as you would a Halloween pumpkin. Reach inside the pepper gently, taking care not to rip it, and pull out the white membrane and shake the pepper upside down to get the seeds out. Place a good big dollop of goat cheese into the pepper and sprinkle in a teaspoon of Fox Point. Cover the seasoning with another good slug of goat cheese. Pour a little olive oil into your hand and rub it all over the pepper. Grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes. A pepper per person!
We’ve indulged in an orgy of house-cleaning, believe it or not, unwilling to pay the lovely Maids who come just before we do at the beginning of the summer, for a repeat visit. And yet, if you had seen John’s t-shirt when he finished vacuuming the entire house… he looked like he’d taken it straight from the washing machine without benefit of dryer, poor man! The three of us decided, after a few hours of backbreaking labor and with the lingering smells of bleach and Old English polish in the air, that we’d rather not be professional housecleaners. But the house looked great, for a few hours, until daily life took its toll almost immediately.
I may have to roll up my sleeves one more time, before the big party in August to celebrate the 200th birthday of the house!
Can you believe it? For some reason, my blog allowed me to post this ONE photo! But not any others so far. We’ll keep working on it. Every summer, when we first arrive, one of the first things we do is to run inside, get the sign from the shelf where it lives while we’re away, and hang it on the fence. It’s our signal to our little stretch of America that we’ve arrived.
For the party, we’re inviting all the members of the Southbury Land Trust who saved our land and the house from being cut up and sold to developers. And all our friends and neighbors who’ve been dinner guests and lunch guests. We are investigating renting a marquee, which an extremely sober fellow at the hardware store informed me is called a “tent” in this country. OK. It’s hard to be fluent in both English and American. I’m madly thinking what to cook for maybe 30 people. Stuffed grilled peppers! Peaches and cream! Sticky chicken wings with homemade peanut sauce, my brother-in-law’s luscious orzo salad with salami, Parmesan, peas and roasted red peppers. And, if it won’t give him too swelled a head, his amazing hot artichoke dip with mayonnaise and Parmesan. Spread on a bit of toasted baguette, you’ve died and gone to heaven. Recipe in the index of course!
It’s back to fondling a fluffy kitten for me. And here’s hoping for photographs of them soon, if all the blogging wizards can give me a hand…
You know, dear readers, of my struggles in the past to reconcile my occasional wish to let somebody else do the work for dinner. It’s understandable, isn’t it, once in awhile, to want to pay someone else to cook? I don’t mean a luscious fancy-restaurant meal that you think about for ages after, making it OK that you parted with an insane amount of money. I mean, food in a box, or a paper bag or a plastic wrapper, or a little cardboard boat. You know what I mean here.
It’s your wish for a pizza, a burger, fish and chips. Drive up, order, and slink away with your guilty treasure.
But then it happens. I decide to try to make the dratted thing at home and then the guilty treasure is no more. I want my own version, from my own kitchen, made my own way .
So perhaps it was only a matter of time until my all-time favorite summer “let’s have dinner at the fried-food shack on Main Street” treat took its place in the Pantheon Of Things That Are Even Better If You Make Them Yourself…
(serves 4 as a generous appetizer)
1 pound raw deveined shrimp, shells off but tails on
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps light cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups homemade breadcrumbs, rather fine
¾ cup cornstarch (cornflour in England)
2 tbsps Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning
3 cups rapeseed or canola or safflower oil (or enough to come up 2 inches in your high-sided skillet)
I do not have a deep fryer (although I’m tempted now, what with the haddock, fries and now shrimp on my menu). So I choose a wide, high-sided skillet for frying.
Mix the buttermilk, cream and egg in a wide, shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs, cornstarch and Fox Point in another wide, shallow bowl.
Dip the shrimps fully in the buttermilk mixture and then lay them in the breadcrumb mixture and turn over and over until they are as well-coated as you can get them. Lay on a cookie tray or platter in a single layer.
Heat the oil until a breadcrumb dropped in fries instantly. Place as many shrimps as will loosely fit in a single layer and fry on one side until nice and pink (perhaps 1 minute, depending on the size of your shrimps), then with a wire-mesh spoon, turn over each shrimp and cook on the second side, perhaps 30 second. Lay on a thick layer of paper towel. Continue in batches till all shrimps are cooked. Serve, for total decadence with:
Spicy Creamy Dipping Sauce
¼ cup each: hot chilli sauce, mayonnaise and prepared horseradish sauce
juice of ½ lemon
fresh-ground black pepper
As my nearest and dearest (as well as everyone I know on Facebook) will tell you, I was not in a cooking mood the night I prepared these divine little guys. I was sick of cooking, it was hot and humid, and I felt heartily annoyed that every single night, the task of feeding my family falls to ME. Couldn’t we just go out for once? But pretty soon the therapy of playing with ingredients, of getting messy with creamy, battery shrimps, of watching as they turned magically golden and crisp in the oil, took hold.
“Come see how cute these are!” I cried, and John came right away.
“I was worried about you, not wanting to cook,” he said, “but now you look happy again.”
And that’s the rub. I am happiest in the kitchen, turning the afternoon’s haul from grocery and farmer’s market into something sublime to eat, listening to my family say through a mouthful of food, “This is so good,” and knowing that 99 times out of 100, whatever you produce yourself, with love, will please you more than taking the evening off.
And guess what? We treated Avery to ice cream later on, and I was thrilled to see that the “shrimp basket” at the food stand was $13.99! Why, I had paid only $7.99 for the whole pound of shrimps! Granted, I didn’t get a bed of limp iceberg lettuce and a dried-up pickle slice, and my dinner didn’t come in a plastic boat. But you can’t have everything.
Since Avery doesn’t do shrimp (cheap date, any teenager boys who might be reading), the same batter and breadcrumb mix (with a bit of Parmesan added) worked perfectly on chicken tenderloins. I don’t know if I had to, but I dipped the shrimps and chicken into separate buttermilk bowls. Then the battered chicken went into a 425 oven for about 15–20 minutes. Lovely
I think the only thing left on my truly “Someone else make this for me” list is sushi. I quail a bit at the idea of knowing whether or not I’ve really got sushi-grade fish, preparing special sushi rice, learning to roll it all up. But it’s probably only a matter of time.
Here I am, at home in Connecticut, and it’s just as we all dreamed as we were struggling through the last insane weeks of London life. Gary the Groundhog is eating all our overripe fruit (mangoes are this summer’s surprise favorite), John’s birds are scattering sunflower seeds over the ground for the chipmunks to carry away in their manic way, the horses are snorting in the back meadow, Avery has jumped on the trampoline, little Kate across the road has charmed us with her Victorian fluttery eyes and appetite for lemon muffins.
My perfect nieces Jane and Molly have come to jump over the horse jumps and conquer the teeter-totter (once I dragged it out of the barn and scraped a dessicated bat off it, yuck). We’ve gathered around the supper table wearing a variety of moustaches, just to mix things up.
All is normal, in fact.
We’ve eaten our way through an enormous platter of baby-back ribs, endless ears of bi-color corn dripping with butter, steamed lobsters, bison burgers and slabs of juicy Connecticut tomatoes.
Tennis in New England heat and humidity is a whole ‘nother ballgame from the temperate games we play in London! But a quick dip in the pool afterward cools our faces and makes it possible to jump in the car and go for a new adventure. We got a message on the phone yesterday, delivered in Jane’s typical breathless prose, “Do you guys… want to go… pick blueberries… with us? Call us back! OK! Thank you! bye!” So we did.
My God. How anyone on earth makes a living picking blueberries in 90-degree heat, I do not know, and I have enormous respect for anyone who can. It was so HOT! But an adventure, especially as our satnav took us to Belltown Orchards in Glastonbury, Connecticut by way of a most unexpected route.
“Why is there a little boat icon on the satnav?” John asked in perplexity, as we drove along merrily.
“What water could there possibly be?” And then we saw. A ferry crossing, over the lovely Connecticut River, in fact, the oldest running ferry in all of the United States of America. Who knew!
It’s a four-minute ride. It costs $3, just so you know (I felt the satnav should warn us of this impending expenditure before we actually landed on the ferry dock with no way to back up, but that’s just me carping). A completely beautiful ride, with all of us clean and fresh on the way there, and then sweaty and exhausted on the way back.
We had barely recovered from our berry-picking when it was time for Avery and me to pack up a little bag or two, hop in the car, and drive into New York for a reunion with two sets of old and wonderful friends. We slipped into Tribeca as if we’d never left, left the car at a blisteringly hot parking lot where, if there were no eggs actually cooking on the pavement, it was only because the attendants were between meals. Unbelievable! The heat in New York is a unique experience. It’s something to do with the height of the buildings crouching over you, holding in the humidity, the peerless energy of everyone around you, the excitement of being “home,” and the combination wonderful and awful smells: exhaust, pee, hot dogs, asphalt and sun. You have to love it, to endure it. And we do.
Both Avery and I are unrepentant New Yorkers, no matter our love for our adopted home of London. New York seethes. Strangers who do things for you, like park your car, or sell you a bottle of water, or drive you in their taxis to the theatre, are amiable enough, and always good at their jobs, but with an underlying potential for… dealing with anything, a sort of “whatever you might throw at me, it’s happened before and WORSE” kind of shrewdness, and a promise of being able to dish it out as well as take it. New Yorkers are indomitable, incomparably friendly, ready to chat about a newspaper headline or the weather or a certain basketball player abandoning the city for Miami of all places. But there is a hardness, too, and an energy level ratchets above that of any other people I have ever known. “We can take what the world dishes out, and we’ll even enjoy it, and we’ll find a way to reinvent it and make money from it,” is the cheerfully grim attitude of New Yorkers, and Avery and I both simply love it. We forget what it’s all about until we’re there, and then we can’t stop smiling foolishly, in our happiness at being back.
We checked into the slightly dire but charming Cosmopolitan Hotel just a stone’s throw from my old art gallery, from Avery’s beloved primary school, from the World Trade Center site, from so many memory-laden places and people. Avery and I stood in the heat on the sidewalk talking about what restaurants had gone out of business. or moved into someone else’s restaurant space, a favorite occupation of New York institutions, when suddenly someone said, “I recognize that voice!” and it was Avery’s old dance teacher, the fearless Loretta who shepherded our tiny girls, aged 3, in pink tutus for their first forays into “listening to their bodies.” It was such a joy to see her, and to see the disbelief on her face at the grownup young lady with me, hardly recognizable from the plump, uncooperative but adorable little thing from 10 years ago.
From there it was up Greenwich Street to meet with Avery’s first friend, Cici, and her mother Kathleen, for a glass of iced tea and a delightful catchup, talking all over each other about everything that had happened since we last saw each other at New Year. Schools, boys, music, vacations, jobs, Kathleen’s painting, my writing, London, New York gossip. It makes me so happy to see bits of Avery’s childhood reappear and be just as beloved as before.
We walked in a leisurely way, wading through our own sweat I hate to say, up to their new loft, in the building where we all spent the terrible morning of September 11, 2001, watching buildings fall and other tragedies. It was their office at the time, and they’ve since decided to turn it into a home, which I think it a marvellous way of exorcising the ghosts of that unforgettable day, when we walked uptown from the girls’ first day at kindergarten, trying to shield them from the sights and sounds. A happy home will be the best thing that could happen to that space.
From a quick tour of the loft, then to a fabulous dinner at Giorgone on Spring Street: tuna tartare with avocado and arugula (arugula! sorry, rocket, that’s your name here), then a softshell crab on a bed of slivered green beans and smashed new potatoes. Avery had tortellini with ricotta and Cici and Kathleen a glorious-looking crispy pizza.
And uptown in our first yellow cab of the visit, in air-conditioned splendor! “I can’t believe this, it’s FREEZING!” I burbled to the Tunisian driver, who smiled benevolently and said, “Sweetheart, if an undercover cop gets in your taxi and it’s not running cold air, you get a ticket.” I think I must have known this, but it seemed a miracle of modern American life anyway.
The play… the play! We none of us had any idea what it was about, but it was David Mamet’s “Race” and a MOST challenging piece of theatre. Be warned! Massive cursing, sexual content, over-the-top in both really, but thought-provoking and well-acted, with Eddie Izzard doing a passable if uneven American accent, and Richard Thomas from “The Waltons” lending an air of creepy self-importance to his role as perpetrator/victim. It was a wonderful theatrical experience, but as I’ve been the victim before of people telling me how wonderful a play/movie/exhibition is and then watching my child’s mouth open in utter shock and horror, I thought I’d give you a heads-up. Teenagers at the youngest, I’d say. And maybe not your mother. At least, not MY mother.
And my first-ever nighttime visit to Times Square, if you can believe it! New Yorkers are like that about tourist sites, refusing often to go to the Statue of Liberty in a lifetime of living in the city, and proudly announcing this fact to anyone who will listen. But it’s SUPERB. Pedestrian only now, for several blocks of traffic nightmare shifts, I imagine, and EVERY SQUARE INCH in sight covered with moving, gloriously complex, HD neon images. Just absolutely stunning. And most mesmerising: a video display, an ad for the trendy clothing store Forever 21, of a live feed of the crowd, with another video of a beautiful girl superimposed over the live feed, and then she takes a Polaroid of a portion of the live feed, blows in it and waves it about, holds it up so the crowd can see it and try to pick themselves out of the image! Am I explaining it at ALL?
Here it is. So bizarre!
Finally it was time to head back downtown to the hotel, to collapse with a nightcap and a good book, and try to absorb all our adventures. I’ve said it before: it’s good to get OUT once in awhile, do something new, something independent, and really enjoy life in all its variety.
Up in the morning to meet my darling best friend Alyssa at Avery’s old haunt Gee Whiz, across from her school! All the same waiters! The same menu! (But a new, cool black coffee mug, so they aren’t entirely stuck in a rut). A cheesy egg sandwich, Avery plowing her way through chocolate chip pancakes, Alyssa and me trying desperately to fill up the last six months with frantic gossip and information exchange of the sort that cannot be accomplished by phone, email or Facebook. Must Be In Person. It’s almost too painful to be with her, because I immediately begin thinking how much more I will miss her when we part.
We met up again with Cici to head for an orgy of shopping in SoHo. Sephora for the girls, JCrew for me, a pass through Dean and Deluca where I performed the necessary task of any longtime New Yorker of bemoaning how Joel Deluca’s famous handwriting on spice jars has been turned into… a FONT. Unbelievable. “I remember when ALL the price signs for the meat were in his REAL handwriting!” I say tiresomely, and Alyssa nods sagely. finally into Forever 21, where the girls shopped in abandon, picking up t-shirts of incredible cheapness and unknown fiber content. Alyssa looked around and said, “If someone lit a match in here, the merchandise would go up in an instant. It wouldn’t so much burn as melt, and what would be left would be this big” — she made a gesture the size of a baseball — “and it would outlast the universe.”
And that was our New York adventure. Surely not the last of the summer, but the first, which makes it… the best.
That is one of my favorite phrases in the English (as opposed to American) language. “Be you upstanding,” intones the music master at Avery’s school, at the end of the Summer Concert (I shall leave it to you to find Avery in this photo!), for all of us to clear our throats and sing “I Vow To Thee My Country.” Now, at times like this, I put aside the small feeling that “my country” is not this one, because at moments when I am at my child’s school, celebrating the beauty of her English education, it IS my country. I’m more than happy to vow to it.
This country has given us so much: Avery’s place at her two blessed schools, our friends who find our Americanness a beloved trait, the pageantry of Avery riding in Hyde Park, the gorgeous English produce in our grocery stores, the people who have made our lives here a complete joy. Rocco, my darling tennis instructor, who loves nothing more than for me to bring him an apple and banana cake, and then spend an hour teaching me to heal my tennis elbow. Tony, my fishmonger, who was happy to wave me off to America, but said he’d miss my “custom.” Brooks, the snack place of choice, with its piles of delectable brownies, lemon tarts and cookies for Avery’s after-school treats, glad that I came to tell them we were leaving for 52 days… “We’d have thought you stopped loving us!” they said, laughing. “See you in September.”
The suitcases are packed: lacrosse sticks for a certain someone who we are sure will LOVE them, red china tea sets for a couple of other small people who will clap their hands in glee, birthday presents for my mother, my cherished apron folded carefully in anticipation of many, MANY celebratory meals to be cooked for American family and friends, favorite novels we can’t live without for two months, bathing suits for the POOL, recipes I’ve put aside all spring and summer, planning to cook them “when I have time for something new that might bomb.”
The last gifts have been given to teachers, the last hugs to friends leaving for boarding school, the last trip to Lost Property to sort through some unexpected junk, including a first for me: a packet of cigarettes? Come on, girls, you are too bright for this! The last sweaty game of tennis, the last filled dish of cat food… all those funny milestones that mean the end of our London life, the never-neverland of travel tomorrow, and then… HOME.
So… Be you upstanding. Give your vows to those who love you, whether it’s America or England, or BOTH. That’s the glory of our lives! We get both. See you in the States.
Drumroll… the inaugural photo and recipe for my darling new blog. This is nothing more than an experiment, really, in order to post a link to Facebook, the quickest way I could think of to get everyone to visit and ooh and ahh over the changes.
Thank you again, dear Julian, for your brilliant expertise in bringing my new, improved “Kristen in London” to fruition, and most of all for the RECIPE INDEX! Somewhere in there is a potato salad already, but then, as Abraham Lincoln said (or should have), “You can never have too many potato salad recipes.”
Fourth of July Potato Salad
1 large waxy potato per person, quartered
6 spring onions, sliced right through to the green bits
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 stalk lemongrass, outer skin peeled and the stalk minced fine
1 part lemon juice to 3 parts mayonnaise
drizzle hot chilli oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. Satay (peanut) sauce
juice of 1 lemon
handful tiny English watercress
Simply steam the potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces, then set aside to cool. When cool, mix everything else but watercress together, tossing gently so as not to break up potatoes too much. Sprinkle watercress on top and serve. Perfect with pierrade, grilled burgers, barbecued chicken, spicy wings… you name it.
Gracious, it’s steaming hot here in London. It was hot at the Lost Property sale, hot in the kitchen preparing macaroni and cheese for an early supper, and it will be HOT at school in the Great Hall for the year-end performance of “My Fair Lady.” But unbelievably, one week from today will see us stepping, hot, off a plane at Newark Airport, ready for a summer of fun. So I can taken another week of London fun, and will probably spend it all playing with my blog!