Tag Archives: food

Food: A Universal Language

IMG_5060 2 With the warm summer months quickly coming up Justin Stathers, the Cafe Supervisor at Deptford Lounge, thinks about the importance of food, and even suggests a yummy smoothie to try out at home:

As I write, the birds are singing and the blossoms are heavy on the trees. Bees and butterflies meander aimlessly across azure skies, and the warm rays of the sun hint almost too optimistically at the summer to come, like a trailer that gives away all the best bits of the film. With this sudden turn for the bright and glorious has come that most mouth-watering of summer’s harbingers, the smell of barbecues wafting over neighbourhoods throughout the land. Indeed, it seems that if we want to celebrate something, our first instinct is to fête it with food.

Wakes and weddings, partings and homecomings, high days, holy days, and rainy days at home all feature food and drink as an essential ingredient to proceedings. What would birthdays be without cake, leaving without drinks, or dates without dinner? Sad and unsatisfying, that’s what. But why is feasting such a universal language? The obvious answer is that it’s essential to life. Our everlasting battle against our oldest enemy, the proverbial wolf at the door Mr Starvation, compels us to spend much of our lives either earning our food (whether by hunting the mammoth amid the frozen taiga or by hiking the margin amid the frozen assets) or consuming it. Indeed, the average UK resident is estimated to spend an average of 31,200 hours eating and drinking in their lifetime. If it takes a mere 10,000 hours to completely develop a skill, then no wonder humans are, as a species, are the ancient Shaolin masters when it comes to the art of food-fu.

Collectively, we are a hungry Paganini playing a Stradivarius made of delicious grub. Whatever the cause of its appeal, food’s been a big focus this month at the Albany, with a grand sprucing-up of the main café, a swathe of delicious new treats for every time of day at the Deptford Lounge, and, last week, Selina Thompson’s moving and hilarious show about our relationship with what and how we eat Chewing the Fat. We’ve also just had the first round of our very own Great Albany Bake-Off, which has already resulted in some truly spectacular creations that, after the judging was completed and the winner declared, were demolished almost as quickly as the loser’s pride. With summer barbecues, brand new dishes, and the inimitable work of pioneering foodie group In A Pikkle all on the Albany’s agenda for the coming months, we and all our visitors will be eating, drinking and making merry to our heart’s content. Oh, and one more thing – just in case the summer turns out to be as good as the trailer, here’s how to make the best cooler ever.

Tropical Iced Smoothie (serves 4)

You need:

1 medium pineapple, chopped or 1 tin pineapple chunks

1 large mango, chopped or 1 tin mango pieces

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

200ml orange juice

Ice

Vodka or gin (optional)

Method: 1. Peel and drain the fruit. Place them in a bowl and freeze overnight. 2. Take a blender and pour in the fruit juice and optional spirits. 3. Add the yoghurt. 4. Add the ice. 5. Pour warm water over the fruit to separate the chunks, and add them all to the blender. 6. Blend thoroughly, pushing the frozen fruit right down into the blades, until the mixture is perfectly smooth. 7. Pour into glasses, garnish with a pineapple slice and cocktail umbrella. 8. Sip, trying to avoid crippling brain-freeze while imagining yourself languishing on a tropical beach somewhere.

Justin Stathers, Cafe Supervisor, Deptford Lounge

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New Year, New Resolutions

It’s that time of year again where ‘new year, new me’ is the phrase on everyone’s lips, and here at the Albany is no exception. But if you’re struggling to figure out what you want to do differently this year, our Marketing Assistant Rachel McCall has five simple suggestions for you.

1. Be good to yourself

It’s so easy to get caught up in the fast, furious pace of London and 2015 is the year that you shouldn’t let it get you down. Mindfulness is a great way to take a little time out of each day to assess how you are feeling, what you want, and to figure out how you will achieve it. There are many apps for iPhone and Android that guide you through Mindfulness and take as little as 15 minutes out of your day.

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2. Start a new hobby

2014 saw the come-back of knitting, so we think that 2015 should take this one step further and see the rebirth of crocheting. If this takes your fancy then click here to find out how to get started. crochet

3. Eat adventurously

We’re so over left-over turkey curry and we bet you are too! A fun and easy resolution to do this year is to try new food and flavours. If you’re looking for an opportunity to do so then you can come along to our Bajan Dining Experience by In a Pikkle Pop-Up Restaurants on Friday 6 February and 6 March.

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4. Try something that you think you won’t like

It’s so easy to get into a rut with how you spend your free time, whether it’s binge watching Netflix, reading books by the same author or consistently seeing plays by the same writer or director. If you want to mix things up a little then we advise doing something or seeing something that takes you out of your comfort zone. For some ideas have a look at our new season. What have you got to lose?

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5. Volunteer your free time

It’s a classic one, but there’s a reason for it. Volunteering your time can be one of the most rewarding things to do, not just for you but for those who you are helping. At the Albany you can volunteer at Meet Me at the Albany, or find your local charity shop and see if they need help each week.

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If you decide to take on any of these resolutions then tweet us and let us know on Twitter at @TheAlbanySE8.

Good luck,

Rachel McCall

Marketing Assistant, The Albany

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Follow Granny Dumpling down Deptford High Street…

Actress Sui-see Hung transforms into Granny Dumpling, taking us on an interactive culinary adventure through the shops of the high street, fetching ingredients along the way to prepare her signature dish! Yellow Earth Theatre‘s Granny Dumpling- Ba Banh It will be performed this Saturday only at 11.30am,  1.30pm  & 3.30pm.

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Written and directed by local writer Thanh Le Dang, Granny Dumpling follows the best dumpling maker in all of Deptford as she reveals her Vietnamese culinary secrets on a unique trip down Deptford High Street.

Thanh Le Dang grew up in the Vietnamese Chinese community in Deptford and Granny Dumpling explores the idea of ‘home’. It’s about a lost old lady trying to establish a home for herself. With little social benefits, she makes a humble living doing what she knows; making dumplings to sell to the local community network in a street corner and to the local supermarket ‘Lai- Loi’ (this unofficial economy actually exists). The journey is about an old lady trying to find her way home without her only daughter as she talks to her ‘little dumplings’.

This marks the second collaboration between Thanh and actress Sui-see Hung; they worked together previously on a piece called Theef that was developed for Yellow Earth’s new writing showcase Dim Sum Nights, and was voted audience favourite the night it was performed.

Find out more about Granny Dumpling- Ba Banh It and book tickets here. Ticket price includes food at Deli X.

Check out more production images (by photographer Lee Dang) below:

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On Thursday 13 February, true storysmiths Tales of Whatever will be joining us for a delectable night of food and love themed true tales, told firsthand by the people that experienced them. Find out more about the event here.

To get you in the mood, here’s a bonafide yarn from Nija Dalal about an unusual encounter in a Taco Bell.

Founded and presented by writer-performer Mark Powell and now in its third year, Manchester-based monthly storytelling event Tales of Whatever places first-timers alongside more seasoned performers to share a 10-minute, experience-based true story, told live without notes in front of a public audience.

Speakers to date have come from as far afield as Buenos Aires, Gauteng, Salford and New York City, and ToW has been approached to host special sessions and workshops for a wide range of organisations including Festival No.6, Cornerhouse, The Albany, BBC Radio 3 and Manchester Science Festival.
Find out more about them at www.talesofwhatever.com, or follow them on Twitter: @talesofwhatever

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February 3, 2014 · 3:53 pm