April 10th, 2013

Sunshine?

(pic taken end of March)
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Hello~! How’s things?
We’re now in April, & I write this on, believe it or not, a sunny day!
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And it is so unbelievably quiet in the house, it is just me & the humming of my laptop. The kids are out for the day to their friends’. And I thought I’ll steal a moment to write to you here. Despite the sun, outside is still a bit nippy, & it feels similarly cold in the house too, as the Edwardian house of ours never gets really warm. My father says we ought to change to those double-glazed type windows, but we love our old sash windows, & we can’t bear the thought of stripping away the original features, so I suppose there’s no point in complaining?
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Instead, I have a hot mug of tea by my side as I write. I’m recently playing with the way I make tea, after reading about how Joël Robuchon makes his, I had to try it – milk (preferably room temperature) in the (pre-warmed) cup first, then pour brewed tea on top. Although I see that there seems to be a bit of a debate to which goes first, at the end of the day, I think there is no right or wrong answer (do as you please, I say!). I think ‘milk-in-first’ (MIF as some call this),  seem to make the milk & tea become ‘one’ better, & that the milk smells less dairy-like. This probably has to do with how MIF version doesn’t break the proteins in the milk as opposed to MIA (Milk-in-after). I’ll try the MIF method for a while I think! ^^
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Things at the market for me is good, good, then bad, good, super-good, good, bad, super-bad, good. (Lol!) The weather has been truly atrocious. So cold & so windy. It’s been snowing a fair amount too. On one of the Saturdays there, I have possibly & probably done the worst-ever too. And that’s something of a record after seven years of trading…!
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At times like that, I wished to be not doing this anymore.
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But, there are customers of whom I am blessed to have, especially the dearest ‘regulars’ & locals who visit my stall & drop their money my way. I think some of them are doing so out of a support-consciousness, to keep me & this cake stall going. I feel so, & that’s why I feel blessed. (And actually I know so, as one of them actually told me! ^^) When customers come & tell me that they make a point of purchasing cakes from me every-time/ every year there is a celebration or a cake-need, & when literally dozens of people come up & say they have been missing my cakes in the beginning of the year (I took the whole of January off), I think to myself, maybe…, maybe I can carry on pushing the boat out a little longer… So thank you Broadway Market goers…!
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(Pic from last month. My daughter S’s birthday cake. Every year it is the same – Japanese strawberry shortcake!)
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www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco and Me - cookie cutters from Weitz, Hamburg
(Newly purchased cookie cutters from Hamburg trip last week. I can’t wait to try them all! Perhaps I can use the carrot cookie on top of my carrot cake? It’ll be a great alternative to those marzipan carrot shapes that I absolutely detest!)
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I’ve recently been playing around with apple-desserts, so next time I write to you, it will hopefully be a recipe! ;) Stay tuned! ;)
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HAPPY DAYS TO YOU ALL, T xx

May 9th, 2012

Coco&Me stall images

Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - heart tarts - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UK

Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - lemon tarts fruit tarts - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UK

Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - fruit tarts - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - sign - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - strawberry cupcake - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - flourless chocolate cake - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - fruit tart lemon tart - Tamami - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Tamami - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UKCoco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - chocolate cake cheese cake - Tamami - pictures from the cake market stall - Broadway Market E8 UK

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So sorry that I’m posting events in such a non-chronological way, but here are some pictures that photographer Andy Andrews took back in July 2011.

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I’ve known Andy from about 6, 7 years ago. We used to take our children to the same playgroup run by the local church! He’s taken these for an image library – so if there’s any of you out there who want to use these, please contact him for usage rights! :)

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April 30th, 2012

Calorie marathon visit

Last week, I visited my head pastry chef friend F at his new workplace. – Head chef M kindly let me stick around before, during & after the lunch service.
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First, before the lunch service started, I enjoyed a bit of cheese tasting as I listened to the Maitre d’ explain the week’s cheese selection to the waiters.
– Then back in the kitchen, I ate this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
(wild raspberry & strawberry with some sort of foam (!)(I have a bad memory…) with piatachio syrup. Plus freeze dried strawberry sprinkles.)
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and this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
(Caramelized banana tatin with (was it) rosemary icecream, banana chip & crumble.)
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and this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
and this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
(hm! pork belly…!! My favourite.)
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and this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
(Beetroot cured mackerel… perfectly executed!)
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and this…
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
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… and EVEN MORE as chefs kept handing me more things to try. Left, right & centre. Was I in food heaven? You kidding me? Yeah, no question. Like ice-creams, quails egg that was poached in a very unusual way I never heard of, a slice of beautiful terrine, cut-offs of Sachertorte, & some more that I can’t remember…, oh yeah, a beautifully presented mango parfait that I just couldn’t finish… There was even a glass of wine on offer (that I didn’t take up).
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Whilst I was there, I ate something like 1 starter, 3 main courses & 4 desserts in just one lunchtime…!!! Needless to say, I was full after eating 2 or 3 days worth of calories. Lol!!
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Thank you chefs!!!! xxx
IT WAS ALL SERIOUSLY AMAZING.
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com
(So beautiful…)
Coco&Me - Coco and Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com

March 12th, 2012

One year on

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Yesterday was exactly one year on from the big earthquake & the subsequent tsunami that struck North East of Japan.

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I pray for the 15,854 people that didn’t make it that day, the 3,155 people that are still missing, & offer my heart to their families & friends who are still coming to terms with their grief. Not only that, my heart cry for the poor residents of the affected areas going through such a tough, tough time. There are more than 330,000 people living in temporary accommodation (including those staying with family & friends or in hotels), many of them unsure of what the future will be like.

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Living is extra difficult after the triple meltdown at Fukushima plant. As well as the debris, the soil within large vicinity has been polluted & the current news/ debate in Japan is where to dispose the millions of tonnes of polluted soil that’s been scraped up. Understandably no town wants to agree to placing the temporary storage facility the government is proposing.

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The discharged nuclear pollutants has also plagued the residents with health fears. And worries are abound, especially for the children, as to how this would affect them if atall eventually.

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Ever since when the disaster struck last year, I have a small donation box on my stall table at the market. I would like to take this opportunity to report to you that this little box has so far raised £365.53. Isn’t it amazing!? Thank you Broadway Market goers!!! The generosity you have shown is truly touching… I have been donating this money in batches to Red Cross Japan. – Yes, in recent days the donation amount has been really low (2 weeks ago, it only collected 50p…!) but every little counts as they say! ^^ Arigatō.

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Ps: The Japanese government has designed a campaign to express gratitude for its support for the Japan Earthquake. As part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival on Sunday March 18th in London, Japanese performers including maiko, geisha & traditional instrument performers will take part in the ARIGATO parade. – There is also “Tasting Japan” experience at Westfield Stratford with Japanese food & alcohol!

December 24th, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

cocoandme.com - grinch - Christmas - Coco&Me
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss
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Hello dearest blog readers~! How are you enjoying your Christmas weekend? :) What are you up to? (Or if you’re reading this post-Christmas, what did you get up to??)
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I’ve decided to not work this 24th despite the market itself being open. Instead I’ll be at home, it’s Christmas Eve afterall & so I’ll hopefully reward myself to a long-ish sleep-in in the morning (until the kids jump my bed & annoy me out), then go for a walk, perhaps stopping over at the new ice cream parlour in my neighbourhood to top up on calories lost! Lol. (my current fave flavour is pistachio – what’s yours?)
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And yes, before you say it, I know, I know, I’ve been slack with updating on this blog. Time marches on quicker than I’d like it to & I rarely have a moment nor space in my mind for creative writing.
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Yet so many things have happened this year, so many blog posts overdue. I’ll try my best to fill you in before long – I’m not working at the market for a whole month, first market day in 2012 is 28th January, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to write lengthy ones! I especially want to write about the first ever baking class I taught – it was so exciting! And about Mrs T from Japan, and the thoughtful Christmas gift from G, and about my twitter, and and and… also hopefully write a recipe too!!
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But for now, a little bit about the text from Dr. Seuss above. As seasoned blog readers know, I like my Christmas blog posts with a poem/ quote every year. This time it’s a nice bit of text about the “little bit more” that Grinch finally became conscious of. – This year I am also aware of this a little more than ever before.
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May each & every one of you have the very Merriest of Christmas!! Hope the holidays bring you lots of reasons to smile.
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Warmest thoughts, love & appreciation,
Tamami xxx

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