Ok I know that you can buy jam for like three euros in 2 minutes. BUT there’s some Martha-Stewart-is-my-Spirit-Animal type magic about making your own, and the freedom to mix some incredible, unique flavours (French Brandy and Orange Marmalade, anyone?). I am obsessed with Turkish rose water in everything from cakes to face spritzer, strawberries are super abundant right now and sometimes I just want to spend a damn afternoon making jam.
So my blog has been a little quiet recently, but there’s a really good reason for it. After about five years of having it as a goal (twenty years of daydreaming about it), and getting lost in Germany, Canada, Italy and Prague on the way – I moved to Paris.
I arrived for New Years Eve with a friend of mine under the guise of translator (turns out he greatly overestimated his knowledge of French, but did know the metro), it was grey and wintery and cold as hell, but it was Paris and I am so damn lucky. We’re just heading into Spring now (and Frank Sinatra is singing my theme tune), I’m studying French, I’ve made some friends who are amazing and managed to go to some writing groups at Shakespear and Co (bucket list), and am now dreaming about enrolling in pastry school for the New Year. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped (hello Parents, and all my friends who let me live on their couches). Croissants for Everyone!
I’ve got a new instagram for all my life and travel pictures @KateDownTheRabbitHole, come say hi!
Homemade tomato sauce is amazing. There’s a freshness and an earthiness that comes from doing it yourself and a fun bit of smugness from whipping out a jar of the homemade stuff and pouring it over some pasta with an air of ‘here’s a little something I prepared earlier’. But if we’re going to be frank about it, it does also make a bit of a cluster-fuck of the kitchen as it can be messy and time consuming. But I’m all about that life. This is the kind of thing I’ll do on a Sunday afternoon (read: Friday night) and enjoy spending the time tweaking with an extra pinch of salt here or a splash of balsamic there. I love it because you get a perfect jar (or two) of something that can be added to huge amount of dishes and just ups the delight factor in eating them. Whenever I make this I feel like it’s just extra preparation into becoming a fabulous Nonna who grows her own tomatoes and makes wine. I blame Italy for that dream.
So after Canada I was lucky enough to go on holiday with my parents in Italy. A place which has now become my absolute favourite country (so far). I can’t decide if it’s the weather, the food or the people but Italy was just the kindest, warmest and most beautiful place and I hope to go back and improve my scruffy Italian soon.
There was so much I loved about it: art, architecture, food, wine and good company (that’s you, Momma and Padre). Rome is filled with fresh water fountains built by the Roman Empire that you could just wander up to and fill your bottle. Which is astounding (and delicious) when you think you’re using the same aqueduct systems built in 500 AD. Wine and food is beyond incredible, and the people are so lovely I was nearly married off to a charming family running a beautiful trattoria. (Sorry Francesco). And the amount of sass in the Vatican is ridiculous and hilarious.
The amount I learnt about food in those two weeks is incredible. Italian food seems to have the philosophy that quality, simplicity and flavour are the foundation on which a good meal is built. And there wasn’t a corn dog in sight. I was completely spoiled for seafood (we were on the seaside in the South) and Amalfi Gamberoni might be just the best damn thing I’ve ever damn eaten. I’m now obsessed with putting what I learnt into practice – so look forward to a bunch of homemade Italian recipes.
Here’s some photos from the fun, but there’s more on my instagram: @KateDowntheRabbitHole xxxx
After a brief summer hiatus and learning more than I’d ever want to about canoeing, I’m back.
Canada was amazing, baffling and a huge learning curve when it comes to all things bears. Most notable was the lesson “How much can you hate a Corndog?” (lots.) and “Best Tactics for winning a mexican-standoff with a Racoon” (loudly.)
I met some wonderful people and had some great times, but I’ll admit to being happy to be back in bullshit-cold Germany. Can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and try our all the things I learnt on my Italian holiday.