June 19, 2010
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I am happiest when the sun is out and the grass is underfoot. Throw in some good company and good food and it’s heaven, right?
My parents came to visit today, and we cooked a barbecue – and the slightly offbeat menu really worked wonderfully together!
Foc-quiche-a (the recipe has been perfected… watch this space tomorrow!)
Walnut and beetroot Hugh-mous (it’s a Hugh F-W recipe and I can’t stop playing with food names now)
I would definitely recommend this as a barbecue menu, it was so filling and everything went together – the earthy, cuminy beetroot and walnut houmous was gorgeous slopped on top of the lamb. Mouthfuls of fennel and cumin spiked burger, dolloped with minty yoghurt, alternating with leeky and rosemary scented focaccia were simply divine!
With four sets of eyes available to watch for mischief, we thought it would be the perfect moment to allow adventurers into our little walled garden.
i can has cheezburger?
For pudding we had Eton mess. And boy, did it live up to its name! I cooked some rhubarb down with a little bit of orange juice and strawberry jam and left it to cool. I then folded it in with cream, broken meringue and fresh strawberries. The rhubarb cut through the sweetness perfectly, delicious.
Hope you’re having a lovely weekend too, it’s cider time now!
June 15, 2010
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TLM and I are no longer the newlyweds on the block, and last weekend we had the first opportunity to go all misty-eyed as old marrieds. Not only our first wedding as guests, but our first wedding in London town. And what a magnificent wedding it was!
We went up with some friends (who are also getting married this year!), and before the ceremony we found a little pub (The Old Red Cow in Smithfield) where we played Jenga and had a quick pint or two. When we arrived at the church, my bride-to-be friend and I could barely keep our jaws off the floor when we saw the amazing flowers. I’m sure you’ll agree they’re something special?!
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful – choir, incense, the whole shebang. The bride looked like something out of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting: all flowing hair, cascading flowers and floaty dress. The vows had me choked. Afterwards, we were taken to the reception venue in old Routemaster buses. I’m ashamed to say, it’s the first time I’d been on a double-decker bus in London! We got top at the front (yesssss).
The reception venue was incredible: Wilton’s Music Hall a peeling, stately old pile.
The food was delicious, a ska band played and the bride and groom had their first dance to Lou Reed’s ‘I Love You’. And instead of a wedding cake, the finest jellymongers – Bompas and Parr – had created a stack of wondrous, wibbling delight. They then brought round individual jellies (I had absinthe, and TLM had summer fruits in white wine).
We had SO MUCH fun, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I officially LOVE weddings.
June 14, 2010
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A long, lonesome weekend often leads me to culinary experimentation and this weekend I was particularly bold. Seeing as I’d never cooked focaccio before, I don’t know what led me to try out focaccia with toppings. The first was chick peas, tomato and rosemary – as inspired by this photograph by Parla Food.
The second was inspired by a bread-based flamiche I tried at The Bertinet Kitchen (a cookery school in Bath that has a bakery open on Saturday mornings).
Now, the chickpea looks good but didn’t taste very special. Could have done with a lot more garlic and, I suspect, an obscene amount of oil. I’ll leave that one. The leeky, cheesy focaccia on the other hand was DELICIOUS. I hereby dub it ‘foc-quiche-a’. More space for toppings would improve it immensely. I will definitely be trying this again, very soon, and aim to give a proper recipe!
I’ve written this on my lunch break, having just polished off a couple of slices of the cheese and leek foc-quiche-a with tomatoes and cucumber. I think it would be utterly lovely for a picnic!