I had the best day today. It was simple but it made me very, very content. Since being here in London, I've been absorbed by school and trying to make the best out of my time here. And it's made me learn a lot along the way but I haven't been this content for a long time, or maybe if I ever felt this feeling before. But today was something different.
I finally met Shu. Her passion towards food, and where it comes from while sharing it is admirable. And while I've had very good days in London, aimlessly roaming around the city with friends, stressing over which restaurant we should next dine at or just simply enjoying me time, today really warmed my heart. She had invited me to join her and her friend, Sean, to go foraging for wild garlic in Hampstead. I had zero clue about anything. I just knew that this lady loved to cook, and she is amazing at what she does and have done and that I wanted to meet her. I didn't even know what wild garlic was. Turns out it's a leaf. Looks like nothing close to an actual garlic but you bite into it and magic happens. IT IS GARLIC. I am so amused.
I really wanted to pursue cooking this year. Not professionally, but I was considering seeking food-related opportunities like styling and photographing. I've always loved food. I'm passionate about it but in a different, more simple way compared to how Shu sees it. So it's true - I know nothing about food. I can make my friends very happy by feeding them but we all know I don't know anything about where it comes from and how if it was ethically sourced. So I wanted to try to learn more about food this year. Nope, haven't actually gotten around to it yet. I can't say I've been having the best meals in my life since being here either.
But what I experienced today was finding peace and contentment in the simplest of things. I don't know how foraging in the forest and getting my sneakers all muddy makes me so happy but it did. Great company which then proceeded on to cooking and talking, a bit of learning. Today I sat back, simply documented, helped a little along the way but what I did was watch and let it all in. It felt good to be in a kitchen again, even though I'm in mine a lot. Seeing how much life has taken over it was comforting and I knew that whatever that was going to come out of this kitchen was going to be pretty damn good. Sean and Shu both belong to an admirable bunch, all who are passionate about taste and getting people to eat right. But that's not all. In fact, I never really know what they're capable of except that I will probably love it. The food they made today was simple and down to earth but it was one of the best meals I had in the past 2 months. It filled me up and I can't promise I won't be asking for more. Thanks for the great adventure.
*Ps- Wild Garlic is a relative to the garlic and chives family tree. The smell is overwhelming at first, just like an actual garlic but once you cook it you realise it is a lot lighter. And that it is delicious. She tossed it over some stir fried vermicelli today and also recommends that it can be used in pasta or made into pesto. Mhmm. Delicious!