It has been an age since my last post, I am well aware. However, this is not without good reason. And in this instance that reason takes the unmistakable shape of a house. After five years of living in our beloved East London flat, we upped sticks to the sticks…. well, South East London.
Our little corner south of the river is blissfully quiet – we may even be among the youngest residents on our little street. We’ve been getting used to more space, bright light streaming in from all sides, a kitchen with potential, having a garden and… a leaky roof, windows that need replacing, ceilings that need to come down, a wasp problem, the cold and treacherous floors.
This is all, of course, before I get on to the plastering that needs doing, the bathrooms that look like a cross between a sauna and ship cabin (wood on the floors, walls and ceilings?!) and that kitchen… my kitchen of dreams is some distance away. And that distance covers some major building work tearing bits down and building other bits out and up.
Don’t get me wrong, these are definitely good problems to have. These are my diamond shoes are too small problems to have. However, they are undoubtedly time consuming, particularly as we have never done anything like this before. Making decisions takes research and becoming fluent in builder-banter takes some practice.
Moving to a brand new area is also always a bit scary, not least because I had a well-established links to our old neighbourhood – friends around the corner, suppliers I had made friends with (essential in my line of work) and well trodden cycle routes into town, to choir rehearsals, to appointments.
So we’re starting from scratch, with the house and with the location and I think the key is to be patient. It took years before East London truly felt like home and I expect our new area will take time too, not least because it is possibly a more mature move than we were anticipating. Perhaps we’ll grow into it?
There are still a number of boxes that will remain unpacked until bits of the house are totally finished (the husband’s studio kit, my less frequently used kitchen bits). But the other day, I opened a box marked ‘misc kitchen equipment’ and found my waffle maker. I’d forgotten I had it and so had to fire it up as an excuse to use up some leftover sweet potato mash. Here’s a breakfast dish for moving in days.
Sweet potato waffles with spring onion, chilli and a fried egg
You will need:
150g plain flour
2 tsp golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, mashed
Fried egg, avocado slices, coriander and chilli flakes – to serve
1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cayenne with a pinch of salt. Season with black pepper and add the spring onions.
2. Whisk the egg, milk and sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
3. Fire up the waffle maker and cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions. I like to use a cooking spray to make sure the waffles don’t stick. Once the waffles are crisp and golden, transfer to a wire rack and keep warm – leave plenty of space between them so they don’t steam and go soggy.
4. Serve with a fried egg, avocado, coriander and chilli flakes