I have to be honest with you, I’ve been feeling rather fed-up with life, the universe and everything of late. But my spirits have been buoyed significantly by several cooking adventures, one of which I’ve managed to document. It was probably also the most extravagant.
My friend Phil hosted a Shrove Tuesday feast for around 25 friends. I was in charge of producing the savoury menu: Blini with six different savoury toppings. My favourite was the Chorizo with Rhubarb and a fine sliver of Pickled Walnut on top.
But first things first: batter.
I made 90 Blini with yeasted Buckwheat flour, then panicked and made another batch just in case.The best thing about making a Yeasted dough/batter is that you can stalk about the house shouting ‘IT”S ALIVE!!! ALIIIIIIIIIVE’. I must get around to making Sourdough starter… she will be beautiful and her name shall be ‘Bride of Frankenstein’.My brother and I share a love of random film quotes, which we use as a kind of Secret Sibling Communication Code. Seeing all these Blini reminded me of one of our favourites from “Made in Collinwood”. I just had to change the word ‘Bellini’ – “This Blini is starting to look like a real Kapuchnik” (Ie. what looked like a plum job is turning out to be a dud – thankfully not true of my Blini)! This kept me chuckling to myself for a good few hours although I can’t tell you why… that information is privy only to members of the Secret Sibling Communication Code Club.
Recently I’ve gotten a little obsessed with Instagram – hence all the 70’s stylee washed out colours in my pictures. Here are some of the ingredients for the savouries: Figs, beetroot, Horseradish cream, Caramelised banana, pears, cheese, créme fraiche, etc. I took this afterwards, so all the bacon, Bresaola, Smoked Salmon and Stilton had been polished off.First rate 1st Mate. Here’s Duncan focusing his energy on yet more Blini production. He has flipping good skillz. Apologies for the lame joke, but Duncan was also MC for the evening and shared a fair few clangers with us. This is my revenge.Plated up savouries – a vege plate with: Beetroot, pear, Stilton and Emmenthal, gherkin, roasted tomato and spinach, lemon, ricotta.A little bit of South London Lovin’. Poetry was read, guitars were strummed and songs were sung, but I missed them ‘cos I was in the Kitchen rolling these babies (see below).Thai Pandan Pancakes with sugared coconut, coconut ice-cream, lime, condensed milk. I made the ice cream the day before and had to get up in the night to break down the ice crystals. I am now firmly convinced that I *need* an ice cream machine. This one, please, if anyone is compelled to bestow a generous gift upon me.Margot was in charge of crépe production, her being French and all. Fillings included Dulce de leche, Nutella, Maple Syrup and good old Lemon and sugar. ’nuff said.Those who had any room left in their bellies also enjoyed American pancakes. Here pictured are Choc chip with sugary stars & syrup, but there was also Raspberry & white chocolate, and Blueberry & Maple syrup.Guests and hosts, probably laughing at one of Duncan’s ‘jokes’. Note the blaze of candles on the table. It’s a miracle nothing caught fire! What a joyous time. The glow from the candles was matched by the warm inner glow that comes from time spent celebrating and communing with friends and strangers alike.
And I can tell you, boy do I need it.