I love fall.
The British don’t celebrate fall.
And that makes me very sad.
No pumpkin or apple pastries.
No sweet potato dishes or abundant roasted root veggies.
They don’t even know what pumpkin butter and apple butter are.
Even the Starbucks pumpkin bread is awful.
How is that possible?
That almost rhymed. Not intentional, I promise.
So, when my pumpkin pancakes fail and I need to get some pumpkin in me stat, what do I do? Well, let’s make a pumpkin spice latte. Heck, I’ve been so deprived of iced coffee, let’s make it an iced pumpkin latte. And you know what else? I’ve got almond milk on hand—let’s make it vegan. Sound good? Good.
Feel free to adjust this for desired pumpkin-y spiciness.
Extra perks? Your kitchen will smell awesome.
Also, this is healthier than the Starbucks version.
Maybe not healthy, but definitely healthier.
Vegan Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp (heaping) pumpkin pie spice
½ cup strong brewed coffee, chilled
Non-dairy whipped cream (optional)
Combine all ingredients (except coffee) in small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until just before boiling, stirring frequently. Pour into jar. Chill in refrigerator.
To assemble, put chilled coffee in large glass filled with ice. Stir pumpkin spice milk, then pour ½ cup into glass. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!
Apparently I can’t pour coffee without spilling it. Ah well.
My goal is to have only jars for glasses when I move into my first apartment in NYC :)
TRAVEL & UPDATES
In the past week, I’ve been working hard to figure out my schedule for my last semester at Cornell. A final semester class schedule is not one to be taken lightly—after all, if you’ve organized yourself properly, you should be able to pick only classes you actually want to take. Fortunately for me, that is exactly what has happened. I’m finishing my Sociology major here in London, and I’ve only got one more theatre course to take, so I’m free to do pretty much whatever I please! So far I’m taking a Shakespeare Out Loud course, creative writing, screenwriting, and hopefully advanced acting, if I have a successful audition into the course. If not then I’ll be studying Renaissance drama, which would be very fun and interesting as well. Either way, I’ve got a fantastic last semester filled with theatre and shenanigans laid out before me.
Back to London goings-on :) On Thursday my only class was cancelled, so I resolved to go do some work at the library. Upon arriving on campus, I saw the weekly farmer’s market and bought an adorable broccoli, walnut, and stilton tart, which was quite delicious (although I’m certain it would have been even better warm). I did manage to get some work done in the library. This has been quite an issue as of late, but I think I’m finally starting to get into the swing of doing homework and studying and such. It’s very different here in the UK, because really you get to choose your own adventure. So, given the limited amount of time I have in the country, I’m going to implement an essay-focused study strategy. I’m going to spend most of my time reading and researching for the essays, which, other than class participation and a couple of small presentations, are the only graded items in my classes. It’s going to be a breeze, I’m sure. School in the States seems much more rigorous, in my opinion.
Anywho, also on Thursday, I met up with some lovely ladies to plan a grand tour of Paris and Italy during reading week. Unfortunately due to a lack of wifi, we were unable to make definite plans, but the place where we met was absolutely adorable! It’s called Foxcroft and Ginger, and the people there were really, really kind. I was short 20p and they gave me a beautiful cappuccino anyway. It’s that sort of kindness that really goes far in attracting loyal customers. Here’s my drink–isn’t it pretty?!
I walked home from the café in the rain, and couldn’t help but reflect on London a bit. In London, the rain is a symbol. It has charm. There is something about it that is not somber or invasive as it is in Ithaca or Maine. The people are so used to it that it has become almost a part of the culture. To get caught in the rain is to be a Londoner—there is laughter in the rain, and the clicking of shoes amidst the pitter patter of the drops is the anthem of the city. Back home, the rain is a barrier to adventure. Here, it is its backdrop. It rarely rains for more than a couple hours in a day, but there is always the possibility that London could change it’s mind and sprinkle a little bit of soaking magic on its inhabitants. The sun shines a bit each day, and it rains a bit too. It is a staple of London life.
On Friday I met the girls at Costa to do some more pounding out of our Italy schedule, and then I went to get my hair done! It’s been a while since I’ve been a brunette, and I was just aching to get back to my natural roots. Here it is!
During my appointment, a friend of mine texted me about a free ticket to see Timon of Athens at the National Theatre! It had been recommended to me a couple weeks prior, so naturally I jumped at the chance. I decided to meet her at the theatre, and went to get an affogato at Gelatorino in Covent Garden before. I’ve been wanting to try one of these for at least two or three years. They have it at Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick, Maine, and I just never really had the right moment to try it. It’s a couple scoops of gelato with a shot of espresso poured over it. The verdict? It was good, but I probably wouldn’t get one again. The reason? I’ve discovered that I just don’t care for gelato that much. Compared with a really phenomenal ice cream, gelato just seems very icy. If I’m going to commit to a large calorie consumption, I want to enjoy it to the fullest, and gelato just doesn’t cut it for me. Gelato Fiasco is also better ;) Hopefully real Italian gelato will be better? Here’s the little guy I had:
After indulging in this little treat, I saw Timon of Athens. And it was PHENOMENAL. A modern interpretation of the Shakespeare play, it was splendidly acted and the tech was just exquisite. The set and the lighting and the whole coming together of actor and environment were simply gorgeous. It was so brilliant that even though I didn’t understand the ending, I could easily say it was the best Shakespeare I’ve ever seen. And, the guy who played Dean Thomas in Harry Potter was in it. He’s really tall.
On Saturday I walked to Borough Market (a couple of miles, about 45 minutes), and it was really lovely. It’s the best-known food market in London, and for good reason. There is so much to taste and look at. I tried wonderful flax flapjacks, an absolutely unforgettable dark chocolate brownie, orange-scented olive oil, and other delicious morsels. What did I leave with? Coffee spice, which is the closest thing to pumpkin pie spice that I have been able to find; the best hummus I have EVER tasted—it’s “authentic Arabian hummus” and I literally can’t eat it without a sigh of delight; and an almond croissant that was crispy and sweet and beautiful with a cup of coffee. I was quite pleased with my lot. I then went over to the Globe to see Richard III. I didn’t know anything about the play beforehand, but had the impression that it was a tragedy. Clearly, I was wrong. It turns out that it’s a history play, and despite all the death, the way that the company played it, it was absolutely hilarious. Richard could barely be on stage for 5 minutes without getting the crowd to erupt into laughter. Brilliant. I got a bit closer to the stage this time and wore some warmer clothing, so it was much more comfortable than last time. Here’s a picture of the last time, and me sitting down at intermission this time.
Anywho, I finished off the day resting my feet and indulging in a bunch of Modern Family episodes. I’ve never been a big tv watcher, but Modern Family and The Daily Show are my shows. I may or may not have watched an entire season of Modern Family in two days. They just make me laugh so much, and considering the culture shock that Europe has been, it’s nice to have that little bit of America to get comfy with.
In other news, I’ve been working on maximizing my grocery efficiency lately. I cooked a bunch of lentils and quinoa for easy jar meals this week, which has really been working out nicely. I find that a lot of my money is spent on food, so eating lots of inexpensive, protein-rich grains and beans and veggies (topped with that amazing hummus and some currants) really helps keep food costs low. Here’s a jar of mine!
I’m a bit obsessed with sweet potatoes right now as well. Last night I roasted one, and tonight I made some amazing sweet potato quinoa cakes. Have I told you I love being a vegetarian? Love it so much.
Another observation: it’s not only the American foods, but the brands that I miss. I miss Silk Pure Almond milk, Ezekiel english muffins, Stonyfield Farm plain whole milk yogurt, and real Starbucks pumpkin bread. I also miss almond butter immensely–if you think it’s expensive in America, think again my friend.
Also, I bought a new sweater to replace the one I lost. It’s a baby blue color and it’s super cozy:
I’m also leaving for Paris in just 3 DAYS. I’m going crazy with excitement. It’s just insane.
And, I’ve realized with wonder that, for the first time in many years, I’ve accumulated a sort of Christmas wish list of sorts. Granted, I can just buy a lot of the things myself, but maybe it will be good to have a list this year? I also listened to Christmas music last night. Judge me.
So that’s my life! And, for a bit of a bonus, I’m going to let you guys in on some blogs that I’ve fallen in love with lately. Reading my food blog subscriptions is one of my favorite daily routines.
I’ll leave it at that for now :)