Monthly Archives: March 2012

Review: Nonna’s kitchen, Morningside

This time last week I was sitting enjoying a macchiato with perfect creamy foam at Nonna’s Kitchen in Morningside, . I had an errand to run at the post office and this was my indulgence for the day – a ‘three course’ Italian lunch.

I have to be in the right sort of mood for pudding, so my three courses included an order of fresh oysters. It was my dad who taught me to enjoy these as a child; and oysters, mussels and giant sweet prawns were on the menu almost as soon as I was on solid food.

I’m the first lunch customer of the day. In fact, I was so early they were still writing the specials on the board!

The waiter here is amazing – the family who own Nonna’s also ran the Patio on Hanover street (though I’m not sure if it’s still there) and the older of the two waiters has a incredible memory. There are usually about twenty specials, starters and mains, and his ability to remember and recite them is pretty damned impressive. This is old-school waiting, none of this ‘I’ll have to check with the kitchen’ nonsense when you ask what the soup of the day is!

As always I decided to go for one of the specials…it seems such a shame not to when they sound so lovely.

I started with half a dozen delicately salty oysters, with just a squeeze of fresh lemon and some black pepper.

This was followed by an intriguing starter of baked avocado with mixed seafood bound in a creamy sauce. I’d never tried baking avocado before, but it was pretty good (may have to try doing this at home), skin and all. Melt-in-your-mouth sweet creamy avocado flesh with savoury, garlicky prawns, clams and scallops with a touch of cream and mozzarella.

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Then came the giant prawn linguine in all it’s glory, with sweet tiger prawns that were truly massive and a fresh chopped tomato sauce garnished with whole roasted cherry toms. None of that oversweetness of a a ready made sauce full of tinned tomatoes, this beautiful stuff was made of fresh tomatoes chopped minutes before the plate came to my table…

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My dog: some amazing news

My beautiful, loving, gorgeous dog.

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Today I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for since before Christmas. From the police. As of today, this little angel is officially mine. I can’t even express how happy I am!

I love my little guy so much I can’t bear to be apart from him.  He’s had a hard life and I get horribly upset when I think about what he’s been through in his short 2 years on this planet, but he’s mine now and he is going to be the most loved, pampered, spoiled pooch in the world!  xxx

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Crazy Chinese School antics (from my livejournal archive 2007)

I thought I’d have a wee read through my old livejournal today whilst eating lunch…the account has been largely inactive for years, and I can’t even remember the last time I posted something there.  I did however fin this little gem of a post, which now my memory has been jogged, I can dimly remember writing.  Wow.  And here I thoght I was ‘good with languages’!

Thursday 19 October 2007

Last night’s Mandarin class – hilarious. Intention – not so much. Due to my complete inability to write a sentence in Chinese, I was plopped in the beginners group with Bonnie (aka Ng Kai Ying) and Liam. Bonnie is from the Isle of Wight, and just about speaks Cantonese. I think she can write the characters for her name, but that’s about it. Liam can carry a basic conversation in Mandarin, but his writing’s a bit sketchy – probably 20 characters or so. So the conversation went like this:

Bonnie: Dyou think we should give him a Chinese name?
Me: What, out of the 2 characters I know, other than my own name?
Bonnie: What characters dyou know?
Me: This one [people], and this one [mouth].
Bonnie: Mouth people! Mouth people!

(we then piss ourselves laughing for about 15 minutes, whilst our teacher begins to wonder what possessed her to teach a beginners Mandarin class)

Teacher: So, what are your Chinese names?
[me and Bonnie both point to our papers]
Teacher: Do you know the meaning of your name:
Me: Um…Yellow Liquid?
Bonnie: I have no idea.

[Cantonese bloke across the room introduces himself as something that sounds like “Tsoung”]

Me: Onion?!

Teacher: What’s so funny?
Bonnie/me: Mouth people! Mouth people!
Teacher: What?
Bonnie: His name [points at Liam]. Is Mouth Person.
Teacher: That says population. Those characters together mean population.
Me: Really? Why on earth would I know how to write “population”?
Bonnie: Your mother must be so proud. 3 whole English words you can write!
Me: And my name! And my name!
Teacher: Kill me…

Me: What does this read?
Teacher: Wood.
Me: How do I know the character for wood?
Liam: Your mother had a strange sense of humour?

Saturday 20 October 2007

I’ve christened my lovely hand-folded Japanese chef’s knife, which is the most beautiful piece of kitchen equipment I have ever had the pleasure to drop a ridiculous sum of money on.  So worth it.  I performed what can only be considered a mini-autopsy, or a dissection of a pigs liver.  This goes beyond the realms of cooking, I tell ya!

Which reminds me; I had a conversation with my parents earlier today…

Me: The butcher gave me a [word that I think translates as pigs liver] today.  As a pressie.  How should I cook it?
Mum: He gave you a what?
Me: A pigs liver.
Mum: A pigs what?  Hold on, I’ll get your dad.
Dad: The butcher gave you a what?
Me: [getting impatient] A pigs liver.  The liver of a pig.
Dad: On purpose?
Me: YES!  As a present!  Why?!  Whats wrong with pigs livers?!
Dad: I think I don’t understand.  Say the word in English.  A pig’s what?
Me: [in English] LIVER!
Dad: OH!  The word you said before?  It means…bladder.
Me: Oh.

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Pet tags have arrived!

My new pet tags have arrived from The Copper Poppy! My little angels are appropriately accessorised now!

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Parent stress

I don’t make a habit of bitching and moaning here, because I am generally a happy person.  I smile a lot.  I love life, my animaux, my friends.  Stuff just tends to make me happy.

Which is why I hate being a miserable git right now.  And I hate the fact it’s my own parents that have made me feel this way.  See the thing is, like most non-Western parents, they have some pretty set-in-stone expectations, and they can be pretty relentless in getting their point across.  It’s been this way since I was a kid, and it is really stressing me out right now.

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