Monthly Archives: July 2014

Hudson, New York

Sometimes you need a break from work. An afternoon exploring a tiny hipsterville town on the edge of a river. Sometimes you need a bookshop with a bar. And really good coffee. And possibly a wine store. And antique stores with ballet skirts and rad 70’s furniture. And a sustainable diner. On such afternoons, when you’re staying in what sometimes feels like the town at the end of the world, Hudson is only a 45 minute drive away. And who doesn’t love a place that has a bookshop with a bar?!

hudson streets a secret garden hudson streets 2 food trucks

ballet skirts

1970s vibe

bookshop bar

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bacon cheeseburger

shop fronts



So, the whole reason that I am in upstate New York with minimal phone signal and hardly any wifi is because I am interning with cookNscribble. cookNscribble is an online food writing community that also runs a food scholars programme in Rensselaerville in the summer, which is where I am currently living. The town looks thus:



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The scholars arrive in August and until then, I am busy helping with prep work to get the kitchen(s) in working order so things are not all chaos and confusion when there are many people to feed. We’ve been working across three different sites, the kitchens of which all have their own quirks. At one site, for example, the ovens heat only from below. At another, there are no working ovens at the moment. At the third, there are hardly any storage shelves so we have to be ridiculously clever with boxes and stacking. And feng shui-ing the fridge. (Oh for a walk-in one!)

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I’ve been baking a lot of cake. And cookies. And pie.

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I’ve made a fair few staff meals.

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And I have made a lot of granola. (More on that experience another time.)

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It’s basically five weeks of anti-thesis work. Almost all practical, with some blog posts thrown in for diversity. Unfortunately I have to leave before the scholars programme ends – that pesky thesis needs rewriting and I have to move house at the end of August – but I will be cooking for them for the first week that they’re here. So far it has been hard work – I’d forgotten how exhausting it is being on your feet, running about a kitchen all day long – but it’s not all work. When things get too much, there is this swimming hole:

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More stories (and recipes) will follow soon!

Newport, Rhode Island

Greetings dearest ones! It turns out that being in upstate New York means being in a signal dead zone. Who knew? But I’ve got some working wifi today so I thought I’d post this photo series from Newport. Newport, as you can see, is rather beautiful. We happened to be there on an idyllic summers day so drove around the ocean road, hung out drinking cocktails on adirondack chairs, wandered the streets sipping lemonade and later, listened to a band whilst sipping wine. Days out from thesis writing don’t get much better than that.

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July 4th, Rhode Island

Greeting dearest ones, from the USA. And happy 4th of July!
At present I’m in a place called Barrington, Rhode Island, visiting friends. From Sunday I’ll be in New York State but more on that later.

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So far, RI has been awesome. Yesterday was beautiful, hot and sunny, a glorious 29C. It felt like proper summer. Today hurricane Arthur has hit, bringing rather a lot of rain. That didn’t stop us from cycling 15kms to Bristol to see the longest continually running 4th of July parade. The USA is 238 years old, the parade is 229. There’s nothing quite like cycling, soaked to the bone, through pretty towns, to watch a parade. We came home dripping water. Also, the view from the bike track ain’t bad. Jesus made an appearance at the parade (he wasn’t officially in it though) as did a load of war vets, some original baseball players and marching bands who set the mood.

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Yesterday my friends had what is called a ‘porch party’. Basically everyone gathered on their porch, ate, drank and made merry. There were fireworks everywhere – we wandered down to the bay (all 2.5 seconds away) and watched the bonfires and fireworks on the other side of the water. Everyone kept apologising that there weren’t that many fireworks this year but I thought it was pretty impressive nonetheless.

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I’ve been eating, obviously. On Wednesday night we visited a place called Julian’s, in Providence. I had the most amazing zucchini flowers stuffed with lobster, corn and mascarpone. There’s something to be said about a place that puts lobster in zucchini flowers. Their cocktails were pretty good too.

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I was thoroughly entertained yesterday too as we visited a wholesale store to buy wine. Oh the things you can buy! In bulk!

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That’s all for now. Hold thumbs the hurricane moves off and the rain stops so I can spend tomorrow morning on the beach! In the meantime, I leave you with these. They’re totally making it into my suitcase.

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