Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nuts coconuts

One of the positive aspects about living in a beautiful town like Edinburgh is the amount of visitors. This year's visitors' season has definitely began, and I'll be hosting various friends from home and abroad quite frequently for the next few weeks. My first visitor this spring is a former colleague of mine, Hille. We used to share an office back in 1999-2000, and we had another colleague at the head office who was called Sille. Imagine the confusion:)

Having guests is great - especially if they bring you some rye bread, cheese, salami and chocolates from home. However, having guests will have probably a somewhat detrimental effect on my blogging. Acting as a tourguide and a B&B hostess (as well as trying to do my paid day job) can be exhausting. I tend to stick to tried and tested favourites as opposed to spending too much time trying to come up with new dishes. Since Hille's arrival, I've made penne alla vodka again, using smoked pancetta (note that I've replaced the original picture in that post and edited the recipe slightly - so go and re-read it:). This kept us suitably warm for the couple of hours we spent at Calton Hill enjoying the Beltane Fire Festival. On Tuesday night I made haggis, neeps & tatties again, followed by cranachan a la Sue Lawrence, with caramelised oats instead of oatmeal and mascarpone cheese to make it creamier.

We have also been out and about a bit, enjoying various cuppas at Peckham's and BeanScene, and great smoothies at Centotre on George Street to recover after some window-shopping. On Monday we feasted at Nile Valley, a Sudanese restaurant near the University. A spicy lamb stew for Hille and a delicious okra dish (okra, cruncy carrots and soft mushrooms in a slightly spicy sauce) for Pille, whereas we both devoured the coconut icecream above. I dislike both Bounty bars and Raffaello chocolates, but this creamy and overly coconutty ice cream I liked. It was a perfect pud to kickstart a long salsa night that followed:)

* The title refers to a rather unusual show I saw at the Edinburgh International Festival last summer, "nuts coconuts: the story of the 'Gibraltar Follies' variety theatre company" . The programme for this year's Edinburgh International Festival is out now.


Fergus Ray Murray said...

For what it's worth, the Nuts Coconuts gallery is still online here (though it's no longer linked from the main EIF site).

amyjames said...

Mmm. Nile Valley. Love the flat breads . . .

That coconut ice cream looks pretty tasty too.

And guests bearing food are definitely the best sort ;-).

Pille said...

Fergus - thanks for the link! It brought back lots of vivid memories of that crazy show. I was totally fooled until they served us jam sandwiches!!! Silly - and very slow - me:)

Amyjames - I agree about the guests. My friend Hille left this morning, but not to worry - another friend is coming next Wednesday:) Didn't have any flat bread at Nile Valley this time, but will certainly order that next time.