Sunday, 17 May 2009

Lakeland Plastics

A porridge spirtle
A porridge spirtle.

A teabag squeezer
A teabag squeezer.

Popcorn that pops off the cob
Popcorn that pops off the cob.

microwave popcorn


Several years ago, I was the photographer to a food writer Miriam Polunin. She was a very kind and thoughtful woman, a good writer who was knowledgeable about food. She was also brave, deciding to have a child on her own at the age of 40. She had this very modern arrangement (Woody Allen with Mia Farrow style before it all went so horribly wrong) with the father, who was her next door neighbour. I really admired her for that. I use the past tense because I've just discovered that she died in a fire in 2005. A man who was drunk thought it would be funny to set a house on fire. Miriam was looking after her mother in the house and died of smoke inhalation.
One of our trips was to Lakeland Plastics in the Lake District. I was absolutely entranced by the shop. They also had a decent little cafe attached. The area is of course, beautiful. The shop sold an array of Kendall's mint cake, a speciality of the region, energy food for long walks.
There is a branch of Lakeland plastics near to me in Brent Cross. I can spend hours there. Some of their products are ridiculous, the culinary equivalent of the National Enquirer. Does anybody really need a teabag squeezer?
I tried the popcorn. It tasted pretty good. Don't be tempted to put it back in the microwave to pop the last few remaining kernals. The plastic bag melts and makes the whole house stink of chemicals.


  1. I do love Lakeland but I don't think I've ever used anything I've bought from there, it's like cheap red wine that you bring home from holiday in France: tastes great while you're there but foul when you get home.

    I'm obsessed with those klippit things for sealing bags mind you, not that there's ever many half-used bags of stuff in my house.

  2. but a spurtle makes the best Porridge ;-D

  3. We were in the Brentcross Lakeland only yesterday! Wonder how far apart we live? I'm in N12. Maybe we can meet for local meal sometime?

  4. Yes! One place I want to try is the pay what you can afford restaurant nearby. Can't remember the name.

  5. Oh I love Lakeland! I've bought some brilliant things from there in the past, although I have to agree that they do stock a lot of overpriced and useless stuff too. I am thrilled to read that we have a store at Brent Cross... since when I wonder? How exciting, now I can go and spend hours browsing at kitchen and storage things I don't need and can't afford - :) !

  6. Absolutely Scarlett, hours of bliss there and their cafe is good too.
    The staff are so nice and helpful.
    One of my fave products is a little jar full of copper balls that you can use to clean out bottles. You tip the balls inside with water. Rattle it around. Bottle is clean.
    They have many unusual cleaning products.
    I also adore going to French Quincaillerie, or hardwear shops. Loads of old fashioned products with vintage packaging.

  7. Oh yes, Magic Balls! I have those brilliant.

    I didn't know they were at Brent Cross either. So I can go and have tea there, more shopping, then dinner at Carluccios in Debenhams.

    Sounds good, yes!

  8. I met Miriam in the early 80's when I did a 2 week placement on a food show she produced (On the Market). Even then she was a charismatic woman with ideas ahead of her time (her lifestyle and food) - I still remember her over 20 years later! A senseless waste of her life by a dreg of society.

  9. Thanks House bunny for your comment. It's nice to hear what others think of her.
    Miriam was a lovely woman, very kind to me (I was going through some heartbreak at the time) and I was so sad to hear what happened. I can't believe it actually.
    (Also just took the opportunity to slightly edit the post. I really ought to go through my whole blog (s) and check for repetitions and sloppy writing!)


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