Entries from March 2012 ↓
March 30th, 2012 — Orange, Urban family
I’m feeling all special with renewed love for my iPad (even though it’s a hand-me-down) now that it has a limited edition orange smart cover on it! I seem to be using it more.
It’s thanks to Keith who visited us last week – I may’ve suggested strongly that an Orange Girl would like an orange cover more than he would … we bribed him with a brand new clean green cover … in the end he said he was bored with orange (what?!) so it was handed on to me. Yipeeeee!
Always nice to see Keith, and the coffee he brings from Supreme … and the orange cover. Mwwaahh!
March 28th, 2012 — Orange, Random thoughts
I’ve never had a bunch of tulips stand up so straight for so long before! I’m beginning to wonder if they’re genetically engineered, but they’re from the organic WholeFoods so that can’t be true.
There was a recommendation to cut the paper wrapping and put them in the vase of water with the paper still around for a few hours, then remove the paper. I wonder if the stems needed to fill up with water and become all strong? Anyway, I did the paper thing and they’ve been standing tall for a few days now. Good trick!
March 28th, 2012 — Work
Woke up this morning to this lovely tweet. For all the hard days, this made me feel great, for one day at least!
March 19th, 2012 — Orange, What I've been doing
Forgot to post this picture of the awesome Manhattan coffee map that The Mister found for me – we’ve been to loads of the places too! Must get it framed for the kitchen wall.
March 19th, 2012 — Reviews
Last weekend in New York we finally got to Third Rail. It’s a place that many people mentioned to us when we lived there a few months in 2010, when we said we only went to small independent coffee shops they’d say something like “oh you obviously know about Third Rail then?”. Except we never made it there, not quite sure why!
But we did this time after brunch in the West Village where I wasn’t game to chance the coffee – suffice to say I was pretty desperate by the time we got there pretty late in the morning. It was another tiny pokey sunny spot in a fairly residential street – room for about 10 people standing inside. Not sure if it was Village people that had told us it was a must visit spot or not, was waiting to see if the coffee was out of this world based on the numbers who’d told us to go there.
The coffee was pretty good though. Strong but a little raisiny that day. Obviously I was desperate as well so that might’ve clouded my judgement. Really well made.
It’s a spot you’d go to if you were poking around the Village I think, it’s quite tucked away.
Third Rail Coffee, 240 Sullivan Street (Bleecker/West 3rd), New York, NY 10012 @ThirdRailCoffee
March 19th, 2012 — Reviews
This cafe was on my list to visit as one of my peeps at Coffee Supreme in Wellington had noticed it opening a few months back and tweeted me that they’d love me to visit and report back. Well, I felt like a proper official Supreme Ambassador so put it on the list for our recent visit.
I’d read some reviews of Toby’s Estate online and the reports were of good coffee by an Australian owner and a very trendy space. However perhaps too trendy for some because some of the comments went as far as to say it was really pretentious and expensive, just like Blue Bottle down the road and if they wanted to look like a plastic person, all happy and trendy with a life like a sitcom then they’d go there, that Brooklyn didn’t really need 2 places like this being rather more organic with plaited hair! It was a pretty trendy place I must say, but very cool trendy, not uncomfy trendy … or perhaps I’m just so trendy I felt at home there! They have a cupping room and espresso lab behind the counter which I think you can sometimes tour, and where they hold classes and public cuppings.
The wall shelves had many Australian goods on display, rugby balls and trinkets from Mum’s kitchen and they had quite a decent small menu with sandwiches and a cabinet of pastries and the best granola bar I’ve ever had (dammit forgot to take note of it!) – a bit more than you typically get but the size of the cafe meant people might stay longer than normal.
The coffee was OK – I wouldn’t rave about it but I would go back if I was in Brooklyn again … if I could avoid the lure of Blue Bottle that is! It had that quite strong flavor with a slight sour edge but that might’ve just been the espresso/milk ratio in the tulip cup. It’s becoming my experience in the US that despite the politically incorrect request for a paper cup (and creating more waste) I do actually prefer many of these independent roasts in a paper cup – I think it’s just that extra ounce or 2 of milk that mellows the edge. I haven’t yet had a tulip cappuccino here that I just love.
Sitting in the cafe looking around we could’ve been in San Francisco – the groups at tables didn’t seem particularly New Yorky but that might be because they were the more hipster locals from Brooklyn (their website gives bike directions for getting there). There were the usual few Japanese tourists taking photos of their coffee from every angle and each other pretending to take a sip. Always entertaining.
Toby’s Estate, 125 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, New York @TobysBrooklyn
March 18th, 2012 — Wannabe chef
Key Lime Pie is quintessentially American to me. Along with the likes of apple pie, whipped cream in a can and pick-up trucks. Key Lime Pie is in diners on the telly and in Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books. So when Kara made a recent trip to visit family in Florida we asked her if her mom knew how to make Key Lime Pie – she did! While we were in New York last weekend we got a couple of tweets from Kara reporting that she had a recipe and had procured some limes.
The limes and a lovingly written-out recipe were on my desk on Friday.
I grated a couple.
Squeezed a few million!
Baked the shell and filling until it ‘jiggled slightly’.
Piled whipped cream on top.
Cut a slice to take to Kara.
YUM! It was delicious, although not green as I was expecting. I thought it would be lime green! Thanks Mamma Kara!
March 18th, 2012 — Out and about, Reviews
Well well aren’t we getting all citified and metropolitan … just realized the last 3 Sundays in a row we’ve been out for brunch. Mid-morning is my ideal coffee and a cookie time of day but it’s not when I like eating breakfast: as a reasonably early riser, it’s way too long after I wake up to wait for coffee, brunch places don’t usually have toast and peanut butter so you’re forced to have something large like pancakes or eggs however, the silver lining is that by having a ‘large’ late breakfast, I don’t need lunch! The meal I actually hate most. The late coffee headaches haven’t been too bad either so perhaps it’s a trend that will continue.
3 Sundays ago – we went to a new neighborhood for us in San Fransisco, Noe Valley, where some other fairly recent New Zealand arrivals have set up their home, people we knew in Wellington, but not that well. We went to Zazie where our friends had to arrive before 9am to line up and wait for a sheet of paper on a clipboard to be hung on the cafe window, at which time everyone milling on the sidewalk lined up to write their name and number in their party on the list. When the cafe opened at 9am (by then we’d arrived) the owner came out and called good morning to everyone, took down the clipboard, and read out each name in turn, escorting them into a table until the cafe was full, then he crossed the first 20 names off the list, shut the door, and went out again to call the next name when the first set of diners started leaving.
The system worked! I had pancakes that time, and orange juice. Wasn’t going to trust the coffee, and a sip of the Mister’s told me I’d made the right choice. However, being New Zealanders, they knew we’d need a second stop for decent coffee pretty quickly. We walked along Haight Street and got some Blue Bottle in the Haight Street Market before spending the rest of the morning strolling through Golden Gate Park. Very nice.
Last Sunday we were in New York – yippeeee! Upon Cousin Grant’s recommendation we found our way to Market Table in the West Village for brunch – he was out on a 4-hour bike ride through New Jersey while we were eating. Unlike San Francisco, when we got there at 10am when they opened, there was no line around the block and in fact we were the first to arrive. Turned out it was a combination of daylight savings starting the night before so lots of people thought it was 9am, it was pretty cold and New Yorkers are late to rise, late to bed. However the place started filling up pretty quickly after we went in.
Again I didn’t trust the coffee so had some freshly squeezed juice which was fresh and this time poached eggs on grain toast. Man it was good. I can’t remember the last time I had a poached egg and this one was organic and almost cooked hard through, just perfect. And the toast, was toast. Not strange sweet bread with white butter. I was very impressed. The coffee stop following was Third Rail nearby in The Village, a spot I’d heard much about but never visited, great coffee.
And today, back in San Francisco we headed over to North Beach to meet Kara to stand in line for brunch at Mama’s. Famous in these parts. We’d stood there a couple of years ago with Bev and Dan but gave up after not moving much for 45 minutes.
This time we were there earlier and an hour after we arrived, we were at our table waiting for our brunch, after standing at a second line inside where you order at the counter before sitting down. A rather strange system. The place was mostly full of tourists, a very small L-shaped cafe. The food was a bit more diner-style which I didn’t enjoy that much – this time my poached eggs were floating in water in a side dish on a plate of plastic-bag loaf sweet white bread toast, a pile of chopped fried potatoes and a decorative slice of orange. The eggs weren’t quite cooked enough for my liking and I could still taste the vinegar they were poached in. However we were there for a long overdue catchup with Kara not having spent much time with her because of trips to New Zealand, Florida, New York and a bit of a cold. We also had a few sips of house coffee from large green mugs, but did go for the coffee seconds at Trieste in Little Italy not far away afterwards.
Not sure if we’ll be out for brunch next weekend or where we might end up – New York is the winning brunch so far!
March 15th, 2012 — Out and about
March 14th, 2012 — Orange
Looks amazing. Photo sent by a colleague in Wellington.