Some of my favourite memories of London are set in winter. When the air is so cold that at first, it almost hurts to breathe. Where you go from coffee shop to coffee shop so you have something warm to hold. Where the air is blue and cloudless, you wear a hat and scarf, coat and gloves, and it’s just warm enough. When you almost forget the feeling of your husbands un-gloved hand in yours. But you can’t help smiling.
My memories of Borough Market are like that. Coffee in one hand, Craig’s hand in the other. Cobblestones underfoot.
Past the Tate Modern, past the Globe, past Pizza Express, past The Anchor, past the remains of Winchester Palace, past the Golden Hinde, right next to Southwark Cathedral, and we were there.
We went there on a Saturday morning. The market was always madness after 11 so we would try and get there early. Rarely did we make it before 10:30.
Sometimes we would each get a bacon and egg butty or Craig would get a roast sandwich, and I’d get the venison burger and a coffee from Monmouth (the best, consistently the best, coffee I have ever had). Sometimes we would walk and eat, sometimes we would sit in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral – depending on how strong the sun was that morning.
Always we would buy food for home as well, pies from ‘Pie Minister’, handmade fudge, the best brownies I’ve ever purchased, artisan bread, and mushroom pâté.
I miss our market routine. Even when the weather outside and the warmth of our bed got the better of my robot-husband and he stayed home. I miss that little routine more than anything. So much sometimes that it hurts. So much that I can barely bring myself to try the Wellington version – I know it won’t live up to the original. But I have tried to recreate some things.
And it was good. Not Borough Market good, but pretty damn good*.
Mushroom and Walnut Pâté
1 medium white onion
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried basil or marjoram
1 clove or tsp garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Chop the onion and fry in butter until translucent.
2. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the herbs, garlic, and seasoning.
4. Blitz the walnuts in a food processor and add to the mushroom mixture.
5. Return all the ingredients to the food processor and purée.
6. Turn into a bowl and chill. Serve with bread, toast, or crackers.
It may not be a secret family recipe like the original from Borough, but it’s good enough for me.
* It was good enough that when I made it on Christmas day my mama sent me away with a bag of mushrooms and instructions to make more for Boxing Day.