Platform 7 Coffee is my go-to coffee spot for when I’m out and about running errands on weekends in the city. It somehow always manages to be just there right when I need a break.
A one of a kind café, it envelops you in cosiness, the space has a vintage feel with the interior designed distinctively to look like a train station – it reminds me Paddington Station.
It’s so easy to while away time here, there’s even a secret garden at the back which makes a perfect hideaway in the summer.
Now that we’ve had a proper winter, I’m really looking forward to spring; I hope it’s just as spectacular. Without any warning, we got our first taste of spring on Friday. Birds sweetly chirped in the morning, a gentle air blew through and the sun warmed up the day nicely. We haven’t been as fortunate this weekend, though. The rain is here and it looks like we shan’t be seeing the sun again for another week! This is disappointing but not terribly, I’ve been meaning to practise moody grey food photography anyway. Perhaps another batch of peanut butter and marmite rolls is in our future.
My first visit to San Francisco almost a decade ago was so brief, I ended up just collecting a list of places to see for next time. It took me almost a decade to go back and my list grew in the meantime. I added a few more places – parks, coffee shops and wineries in neighbouring towns and my wish to tour Alcatraz sort of waned. SF MoMA however remained at the top of the list.
The museum shut for renovations for several years, reopening last year with 170,000 square feet of galleries and an extension designed in a wavy white façade embedded with silicate crystals from Monterey Bay that shimmer when caught in sunlight.
Things have been quiet around here, haven’t they?
We fell into winter’s lull; cold short (mostly) sunny days merged into weeks and just like that a whole month passed.
After my last post, I spent the rest of February keeping cosy and planning my travel itinerary for the year – I’m glad to report that it’s all sorted now.
On the food front, we’ve been making mostly comfort foods, warm and cosy, and not always pretty to photograph. I haven’t shot a food photo in almost a month. Last week, while unearthing baked lentil falafel from the freezer to make a wrap, it dawned on me that I had these photos from another time and that I’d never shared the recipe.
I don’t think I’ve ever purposely made mashed potato before. I’m not a fan of “mushy food”, I like my food with a bit of texture. The idea of mashed potato waffles, however, intrigued me, except every recipe I came across called for leftover mashed potato. As if these waffles are an afterthought, a clever thing you can make with day old mashed potatoes. The good news is, you don’t need leftover mashed potatoes to make these waffles; you can make mashed potato from scratch for the sole purpose of waffling it. Also, there’s chickpea flour in the waffles, not actual chickpeas – I feel it’s important to mention this before we move on. There’s nutritional yeast as well, and a host of beautiful spices, making this mashed potato and chickpea waffles deeply savoury. They’re similar to these, except in waffle form.
On the spice front, I added a tablespoon of pilpelchuma spice the first time I tried these waffles. A blend of garlic and chilli, pilpelchuma, a vibrant and warming Libyan condiment, adds a bold rich kick to dishes. It’s wonderful in these waffles but when my stash ran out, I found out through experimenting that a dash of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika and cumin also works brilliantly. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference, if you make these. I think it has just the right bout of heat and spicy aroma, but then I’m African and I like spicy food.