Evocative design at the Warsaw Rising Museum

The story of the Warsaw uprising in the summer of 1944 is fascinating, horrifying, and moving – but I cannot do the story justice re-telling it here (though I will give you a quick summary). Instead, I want to share photos of the museum exhibits because I feel that it really does do the story justice. The design of the museum was thoughtful, evocative, and even at times immersive, and it employed a diverse range of exhibition techniques in sensitive and tactile ways.

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Supermarkets are lying about their opening hours, and we want the Prime Minister to put a stop to it!

Tesco supermarket sign: We're open 24 hours

This is just brilliant. I took this photo last year at the Tesco’s in Hackney central, which (since moving this summer) I gladly don’t have to see on my way home anymore. Every time I cycled passed this sign I couldn’t help have an inward rant about the sheer nonesense of its message. It clearly says, “We’re open 24 hours”, which I knew was a lie because I’d seen them closed of a Sunday evening. And sure enough, in the small print, it gives their opening hours – they close early Saturdays and Sundays. So OK, they don’t say “We’re open 24 – 7” but that’s what they’re leading us to believe right?

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What and where to eat in Montreal

A friend of mine is going to be visiting Montreal on her honeymoon soon, so I thought it was a good excuse to get my recommendations for where to eat there out in the open. Though I moved back to the UK in 2003 so I’m afraid they might not all still be there, but from what I’ve seen online, they mostly seem to still be going. (Please add comments with any corrections or further recommendations you have!)

There are many wonderful things about Montreal, that would require several posts here, but what I tend to focus on most is the food. Eating out in Montreal is cheap, easy and absolutely delicious. I think it is quite impressive that I only went up one clothes size in the 3 years I lived there, because the food is irresistable!

On “the Main” or St. Laurent, just south of Duluth is Schwartz‘s Smoked Meat Deli. I’m afraid my friend’s vegetarian husband is going to have to close his eyes and nose while she indulges in this most delightful sandwich. Mounds of steaming tender smoked beef quivering between two slices of sour dough bread. STUNNING.

Just next door, at Mondo Fritz, is something for meat eaters and veggies alike. If you like chips and gravy, you will just adore this Quebec speciality, Poutine. Poutine from Mondo Fritz Poutine is chips served with gravy and melted cheese curds, which are like lumps of cheese. You get this dish at all fast food joints in francophone Canada but Mondo Fritz has a gourmet version which I’d say is unbeatable. You might want to go for the Gardinier version which has some green vegetables like peas or brocolli in it. Their gravy is vegetarian, but they also do Poutine au Steak and other meaty delights. Or you can just go for their chips straight up with a choice of about 6 different mayos. All this washed down with a nice big pitcher of beer! YUM!

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My stunning singer cousin, Jem Cooke, in session

Big up for my cousin Jem who just came out of the studio where she sang and recorded 16 songs in front of video cameras to promote her talents on You Tube.

“It’s bluesy-smokey pop with a vocal that draws on the sensual laments of Dusty Springfield”

While her music is not a style I usually choose to listen to, her amazing voice is worth checking out and she’s not bad to look at either 😉 !

You can hear more of Jem’s music on her Myspace page Jem Cooke.

Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac winter salad, with braised mushroom

Photo of winter salad
Blanched jerusalem artichoke and celeriac with toasted sour dough bread and pomegranate seeds, in a tahini and lemon juice dressing. So GOOD! Antother one of Yotam Ottonlenghi’s fantastic recipes in his The New Vegetarian column for the Guardian, which you can read following this link below.

I’ve been cooking big field mushrooms like this for a long time now, since finding the recipe in Robert Carrier’s Great Dishes of the World cookbook. Its really easy: just saute the mushroom in a little olive oil with some chopped garlic and a sprinkling of marigold powder (veg stock). Then add a good glug of red wine and let that simmer down to a syrupy jus. To serve, add a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped chives and some freshly ground pepper.

Cibelle Rocks Out!

Cripes I’m crap. This article was drafted yonks ago. For some reason I hesitated from publishing it… well Cibelle is still fantastic and still not got big enough a profile for my liking so here she is. Cibelle is one of the most underated artists out there, I know there are a lot of them, but this gig i went to, below, was f**king brilliant! And i just checked Cibelle‘s website and she still doesn’t have the kind of size gigs I’d be hoping for her. Bardon’s Boudoir in April, tho’ there are plenty before that not in London. GO CHECK HER OUT!

Cibelle did a fantastic set at the Jungle Drums party last week. Its a shame so few people actually stopped talking to listen – they’d have discovered some real magic and we would’ve all been able to enjoy the music a lot better. But still, it was better than not seeing/hearing Cibelle live at all… her live set is really something special.

If you only know her albums you’ll be surprised at the experimental / electro / rock twist to her live sound, but it makes seeing her play so interesting and engaging. The live show is heavy on the electric guitar, which is coupled with the use of a sampler to effect, and set backing sounds with, her voice. The drums were an important player too, setting down some really great rhythms.

The Best Bagels from the Hot Bread Shop

Hummus and Feta bagel with fried onions

I just have to sing the praises of this fantastic north London family bakers, Grodzinski. For a year I lived a short walk from this wonderful bakery’s Stamford Hill branch and I’m not sure I appreciated just how good it was, but now I’m a little further away in Lower Clapton I’ve started to make a point of cycling up there once a week.

My usual shop includes sesame seed bagels, a handful of doughnut balls and a big loaf of granary bread. I only just noticed that it has Hot Bread Shop written on the sign – I’m not quite sure if that is some confused translation of baking or what it means exactly, but it does add to the charm!

Fresh or toasted bagels are probably the best lunch ever, in my mind, and there are just so many different things to do with them. One of the more elaborate ways I like to eat them is toasted, spread with hummus, thin slices of feta cheese, lots of crispy fried onions and a good sprinkling of parsley. You might also throw a slice of tomato into the mix but this idea was quashed when we made them at home this week.
Find your nearest J Grodzinski and Daughters store!