Monday, February 07, 2005

love peckham

I've often wondered if the graffiti was meant in the descriptive, as in we love peckham, or requestive, imploring you, commanding you even to love this place which my spanish housemates used to call "pecan". This ambivalence is part of why it works, for me, when i cycle down and up Rye Lane.
Pete once said how he always has to bring oneself to the right state of mind before setting off to Rye Lane. and it is one of the only spots in london resembling a city which is crazily alive. the computer game feel, when at any minute anything can jump in front of your bike - a take-no-hostages bus driver or a man with unkept beard dragging a Neto shopping troley full of onions. it's the kind of place where shops are named "bit by bit" and "unity". it's the indian music from the shops and the police can-you-help-us signs on the pavement. peckham, for me, is a place i cycle through to go to town, to come back home. i think i'm beginning to love it.
i cooked today for my house mates (after a long time) - made Guivech, Tubelah salad and Tahini dip. Guivech or Giuvetsi is turkish/greek word, i think it originally means simply "cassarole". I had it in the Pilyon in Greece 13 years ago, it's the local speciallity there. the night before we walked the streets of nowhere town, and everybody was wearing Dead Kennedies T-shirts. anyway it's a really nice dish. Here's the recipe, slightly improvised to make it vegeterian.

Olive oil 1/2 cup
one onion
4 garlic cloves
one pack of 'rice' pasta (find it in Greek/Cypriot shops) - 500 gr
250gr Soya chunks - soaked in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes
1 kg fresh tomatoes or two cans if you're a mink like me
500gr Feta cheese (or less)

a nice heavy cassarole pan; earthenware pot as well would be excellent never tried

Action Poetry
Fry one onion and 4 chopped garlic cloves in lots of olive oil. Add soya chunks and fry for 10 minutes or so. Add tomatoes, pepper, salt, cinnamon bark and bay leaves and cook for at least half an hour.
Heat the oven to 180 celsius. Heat up some marg/butter in a separate pan, and add the pasta, cooking it for about a minute until it becomes brown. Now add the pasta to the cassarole dish with enough water to cover. Cook in the Oven for about 30 minutes. Check occasionaly to see that it's not drying too much and if the pasta is ready. Then sprinkle Feta cheese on top (heaps of it - 500gr is good) and leave it in the oven for another 15 minutes.

No comments: