The period before Christmas always brings a calm trading in the London streets: a soporiferous combination of passers-by intentionally saving up for the coming holidays and dark,rainy, cold weather.
Unexpectedly, we had a positive week , which would pay off for the days spent in food preparation, for all the early starts & lack of sleep.
In Greenwich on Friday our soups were very popular. A beef goulash made from a Slovak traditional recipe sold out immediately. It was a very super warmer, thanks to the rich sauce including more than a touch of paprika. Obviously all served with handmade soda bread or 100% sourdough rye.
Some people are skeptical about the success of an artisan bakery in a decadent area of East London like Roman Road... on Saturday we were there &, almost contrary to popular belief, we won ; our bread disappeared in just few hours. When high quality joins beauitful handcrafted presentation, the temptation is too powerful to be defeated. It's a fact.
And then... after few days spent coooking soups for several hours, laying hundreds of madeleines on tables to cool down, rising at 5-6 am, here it comes almighty Sunday with Brick Lane market; a human show, bigger than a circus, larger than a theatre with thousands & thousands of participants walking in a crazy,crazy street.
It's a bit of a day of physical & mental struggle for us. Getting up at 4 am, in East London at 5 am setting up the stall, collecting the bread at 6 am when the huge round loaves of rye sourdough are still hot from the oven and ready to trade at 7 am. After that, you stand up & wait till 5 pm,in the meantime, your stock disappears little by little; you see every character of la comedie humaine walking in front of you... rubbish men, prostitutes, bike thieves, fashion designers, photographers, junkies, models,artists, Chinese tourists.....
while you are making a huge effort to keep your eyes open and focus on.