Tuesday, 29 June 2010
(More photos to follow)...
Phew, wow and blimey is the best way to describe Saturday night and our inaugural supperclub.
With a hazy shochu hangover and too little sleep, the prospect of spending the day mooching around my range was exactly what I needed (genuinely, nothing better for a delicate head). So then shopping, baking, soaking, steeping, fridge-packing, freezer accidentally defrosting and last minute ice buying (imagine a blonde in a frock and sandals dashing down to the supermarket on a vespa with seconds to spare) made for a lovely day, topped off with an even lovelier evening.
Poor Sophie was running late after having been to an all-day hen party (and graciously remained sober enough to waitress!), but quickly whipped on her pinny and poured cucumber gin coolers for the punctual punters, who forgave my name brain drain and even brought flowers!
As the guests mingled in the garden I prepared a watermelon, green bean and halloumi salad with fresh mint dressing. Through my nervous cowering behind a fridge door I was unable to gauge any reaction but the plates came back clean and that was good enough for me.
Onto the main, and having forgotten that ten duck breasts (I had vowed also to cook for my shy housemate camping out upstairs), wouldn't fit in one frying pan, a last minute shuffle ensued and I managed to get the crispy skinned poultry in the oven for baking.
More cider was added to the lentils before serving with watercress and pomegranate, the lot was then topped with the sliced duck and served in a hurry.
Dessert was a test of panna cotta wills, as I had only the day before purchased the vintage pudding moulds to serve, and ultimately guessed at how to safely and appropriately remove the set contents. With a couple of small exceptions, they popped out like a dream. I topped up the berries with more offending booze (a tipple of which the night before had contributed to my hangover), and served with mini lemon and poppy seed biscuits (forgetting the dozen or so extras I had left in the oven to burn).
The cheese course of strictly British cheeses; blacksticks blue, somerset camembert, saint giles soft, gervick goats and good old scottish cheddar were accompanied by homemade spelt biscuits and homemade apple chuntney.
Finally, coffee and time to sit and meet the guests, who I was glad to only know afterwards were almost all food-bloggers or supperclub aficiandos (the pressure!), but were without exception, friendly, fun, unendingly kind about my house and genuinely interesting people. Phew. Having started the evening with a panicked text to the beau that read "what the hell am I doing", it turned into a lovely evening and warmed the already over-heated cockles of my feeder's heart.
Bring on July 17th and the singles event. We still need men, so don't be shy, come on masse if necessary, but don't leave the lovely girls waiting!