Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Forgotten Corner

My work engagement has taken me across town to the tranquil Belgrano R (R stands for residencial) where I discovered a charming bookstore named KEL. It sits quietly in a leafy corner of Conde y Echeverría facing a small park.

The store is located in a traditional house painted a handsome French blue. When I first set foot in the store, I was instantly reminded of Rizzoli in Mid-town New York. Of course, the almost too glamorous Rizzoli is the Bergdorf Goodman of book stores but both places exude the same feeling of being an oasis of calm, a sanctuary, in the midst of a teeming city.

Kel is an "English Bookstore for Everyone" as its sign reads. I observed that they stock a lot more English classics than other English bookstores, probably because of the number of prestigious bilingual schools in the neighbourhood. Its children section is particularly impressive; not one Barney picture book in sight, just children's modern classics such as Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Eric Hill's Fun with Spot series. They also have a good selection of hardbacks for adults.

There is a Maru Botana cafe a few steps across the street, it is quite a cute space but I'm not a great fan of her baking and since it was another scorcher of a summer's day, I'd rather had an ice cream.

Thanks to Saltshaker's tireless effort in sampling ice creams across the city, I now have it on good authority that Persicco is not all jazz and I can attest that Scannapieco at Córdoba 4826 (entre Armenia y Gurruchaga) is a real gem. So between now and when Guillermo and I could lick Pompei's sublime fresh white nectarine gelato again, we are very happy with this new find.

Then, there are times when I yearn for flavours a little more exotic, like a green tea ice cream which I'd search, in vain, in Japanese restaurants in this city. The answer which I go back to time and again seems to be DIY.


Green Tea Ice Cream:
100ml milk
2 egg yolks + 4 eggs (beaten)
175g castor sugar
400ml heavy cream
2 tbsp Matcha green tea powder
100ml hot milk
Lightly whisk egg yolks and eggs in a pan. Add 100ml milk and sugar in the pan and mix well. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and return to a fresh pan. Put the pan on low heat and heat the mixture, stirring constantly.When the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat. Soak the bottom of the pan in ice water and cool the mixture.Mix the 100ml hot milk and green tea powder together. Strain for milk solids.

Add the green tea in the egg mixture and mix well, cooling in ice water. Add whipped heavy cream in the mixture and mix well.Pour into a container. Freeze till side harden, take it out and whisk to break up ice particles. Refreeze again. If you have an ice-cream maker, skip this and just follow manufacturer's instructions.

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