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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Intentions


When we first contemplated December and all things festive, we knew we wanted some time with family and friends. We did not think that it would all be quite so overwhelming and had many good intentions. Ideas were scrawled on scraps of paper and in notebooks, about blog posts to be written and hopefully interesting snippets to share with our readers.

But, before long, December was here. We were both working at day jobs, snow fell, temperatures dropped, friends and families gathered, food was prepared, menus planned, presents were made, and wrapped, cards written, our bags and car packed, brimful of goodies and travels were made. Christmas was here and now is gone.

We are still enjoying our holidays but wanted to say we will be back, to fulfil our good intentions (and some new ones besides) by the end of January. There will be news and dates for suppers, and, at last the announcement of our competition winner.

Wishing you happiness, good memory making, and of course delicious food, made with love.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Supper Twenty Five

Our birthday. Our last supper of 2010. Charlie and Evelyn's Table proudly presents Supper Twenty Five in pictures.

Wellies and Winter boots were lined up at the door and a toasty warm welcome provided to delightful guests. We served:

To start {for our vegetarian friends}
Jewelled winter leaves, fennel.
or
Jewelled winter leaves, fennel, pheasant.
To follow
Duck, prunes, chestnuts, parsnip puree, petite roasted carrots.

or {for our vegetarian friends}
Wild mushrooms, prunes, chestnuts, parsnip puree, petite roasted carrots.

To finish
Sticky toffee pudding, vanilla cream shots.

or {by special request}
Spiced orange, fig and cranberry salad.

We were joined by lots of new faces including this fabulous Edinburgh blogger and this lovely lady who gave us a special mention on her charming photo journal here. She also posted more pictures from the evening here (including a rare one of us with our diners - well, it was our birthday).

A huge thank you to all our diners for making our first year such a happy and memorable one for us at Charlie and Evelyn's Table.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

One year


One of the wonderful things about keeping this blog is being able to look back on memories made and milestones past. I have always wanted to keep a written diary and usually failed after writing just a couple of sentences over a few weeks. But, we have actually kept this blog going, fairly regularly, for over one year. And, if you need proof, you can click here to see our very first post.

So, snowy Saturday was our birthday of sorts and, to celebrate, we hosted our final, supper of 2010 and welcomed more beautiful strangers to our home. We also want to celebrate with you, our readers and supporters.

The lovely Sally and Dave at To Dry For, are stepping in to help us mark our birthday and the end of mountains of washing up (we reckon at least 500 plates over 25 suppers) with a special giveaway (subject to stock availability).


For your chance to win, please visit the To Dry For website, select your favourite tea towel, and leave us a comment on our blog which includes:

1. The name of the tea towel you'd like to win (we can't enter but if we could, Chris has chosen this one and I've chosen this one, or this snowy one, or this one).
2. Your least favourite thing to wash and dry up (our award for worst item to wash and dry goes to the sieve).
3. Your email address.

Winners will be randomly selected. Competition closes at midnight on Sunday 12 December.

*Perfect frost captured here

Monday, 6 December 2010

Supper Twenty Four

We were blessed with festive magic for this supper as eager diners made it from as far away as Cambridge, Stockton and Edinburgh's South side. We also welcomed two lovely and well informed ladies. The heating was cranked up and the fire roaring as we served:

Charlie and Evelyn's Table.

To amuse Celery, apple, chestnut veloute.


To start
Venison carpaccio, beetroot relish.

To follow
Salmon, sauteed cabbage, speck, red wine.

To finish
Spiced winter loaf, honey and rosemary roasted figs, creme fraiche.

Fittingly, as it was about to be our birthday, diners stayed long after the plates were cleared, wine continued to flow and we celebrated with until the early hours, officially making this our longest lasting supper!

You can also read a review of this supper here.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Menu Twenty Five

Despite the falling flakes, our final supper of 2010 will go ahead.

Our lovely diners, making it through the snow, will be rewarded with:

To start
Jewelled winter leaves, fennel (v), pheasant.

To follow
Duck or wild mushrooms (v), prunes, chestnuts, parsnip puree, petite roasted carrots.

To finish
Sticky toffee pudding, vanilla cream shots.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmas Wish List

Advent is here and to show our excitement for the festive countdown, we've put together this wish (big) list, which is really more of a gift guide to share some of the top gift picks we've discovered (and currently covet). We'd love to know any of your inspirational gift discoveries too, so please do tell...

We're a bit late to put this together for 2010 but we're full of good intentions for next year. Imagine filling your own jars or boxes with home baked goodies finished off with these pretty tags and dotted around your home.

Beautiful birthday flags, or anything really, from this fabulous seller, we know it's almost Christmas but before that, we'll be celebrating one year of Charlie and Evelyn's Table. More on that soon.



A festive tea towel of course, from this charming husband and wife team who have a truck load of beautiful tea towels here.

We're lucky enough to already own several amazing pieces by this lady, but of you're looking for a unique and stunning wooden gift, large or small, you really must get in touch.

It's probably no surprise but we think recipe books make a great gift and being big fans of the Good Food Guide, we're keen to see the selection its editors have selected to celebrate 60 years of the UK's best chefs and restaurants.


Sophie Dahl may be The delicious Miss Dahl but we're tempted by the contents of Felicity and Roald's cookbook.


Avid readers will know that we like to create a different look for our table with every supper and we think this collection of tiny vases could work well throughout the year.


I saw this treasure months ago but it's still on my mind.

And, even without the box, these recipe cards are both practical and beautiful.


As this is a wish list, there's no harm in hoping for a lottery win to justify a long shop for art at Sarah Dallas' Gallery. The window display alone always stops us in our tracks. How sweet are these ceramic doves?


And now we're really dreaming, why stop? An apple tree and this apple rack would be perfect for our dream garden. And, a few chickens too.


Finally, to finish all the gifts, this bright raffia would come in useful.


And this giant stamp please. Ideal for cards and gift bags.

Oh, and maybe this twine, with some brown paper packages...

Looking to next year, surely something as stunning as this would help us to keep track of our journey, ideas and recipes.

And, last but not least, as 2011 is the Chinese year of the rabbit, this adorable spork and spoon set, to celebrate precious new arrivals.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Menu Twenty Four

The last month of the year is here and so are the last two suppers of the year. For our penultimate 2010 gathering, the menu is:

To start
Venison carpaccio, beetroot relish.

To follow
Salmon, sauteed cabbage, speck, red wine.

To finish
Spiced winter loaf, honey and rosemary roasted figs, creme fraiche.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Five tips from a Michelin starred kitchen


It's Chris here, taking a break from our kitchen and a step into a very different kitchen, that of Martin Wishart's Cook School.


Recently, I had the privilege of attending a Martin Wishart Cook Course specialising in fish and shellfish. A wonderful gift from past colleagues, I arrived, slightly daunted and unsure what to expect but keen to learn and enjoy what was in store.


While it was an amateur course all the attendees were, as you might expect, pretty seriously into food and the standard was high.


First the chef gave a rough description of the exciting dishes we’d be cooking: pan fried scallops with leek and water vinaigrette, crispy hake galettes and sea bass with fennel and warm tomato vinaigrette.


Each dish was then clearly demonstrated and we were left to our own devices to copy what we saw - preparing then eating our creations. Some of it was new, some of it was familiar but it was great to have the luxury of time to think through and enjoy each stage of the process without the pressure of a table to serve. And, I left with some hints that I thought you may find useful and interesting:


1. It sounds obvious, but use plenty salt when cooking shellfish - cook in very salty water to make sure you get the taste of the sea.

2. When making galettes or fish cakes, shape the mixture then freeze before frying to ensure the cakes keep their shape.

3.When frying a fillet of fish with the skin on, cook on the skin side only for the majority of the cooking time then finish off for 30 seconds on the other side – this will ensure the skin is crispy, not soggy.

4. When pan frying fish, season and oil the fish – not the pan.

5. When seasoning shellfish only use salt, not pepper. Pepper is too strong a flavour for the delicate flavours of shellfish.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Supper Twenty Three

Unfamiliar guests gathered at the Table on Friday as the snow sprinkled from the sky. Fitting then, that the Table was set to echo the deep and crisp and even, with white linen, candles and paperwhites.

The fire was lit, the red wines briefly warmed by it and the diners seated.

It may have been our twenty third supper but it was the first time we have knowingly hosted a chef (yikes). We were again delighted with positive feedback and clean plates all round and especially when "the chef" later commented:

"Fantastic food. I have worked and eaten in many high end places and believe that Chris could hold his own in any one of them. Beautiful place, food and hosting!"

The Table.
Paperwhites.
Wines warming by the fire.

To welcome Pea and pecorino on homemade buttery oat biscuits.

To amuse Chestnut veloute.

To start Kale, fontina risotto.

To follow Red wine braised duck, winter vegetable crumble.

To finish Caramel, sea salt brownies with caramel soured cream.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Menu Twenty Three

Blogger has come back to life and finally allowed me to post this menu, so sorry for the delay.

On Friday, we will be serving:

To start
Kale, fontina risotto.

To follow
Red wine braised duck, winter vegetable crumble.

To finish
Caramel, sea salt brownies.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Supper Twenty Two

More charming guests, including the return of this enthusiastic fan and the first visit of this sensual mind, gathered at our table on Saturday to enjoy our dishes and pray silence (apart from a chorus of mmmmmms) for our melting chocolate risotto.

To welcome Hot smoked salmon mousse on homemade buttery oat biscuits.


To amuse Colcannon soup...

with individual soda breads.

To start Chestnut veloute, fois gras, celariac, smoked bacon.


To follow Pheasant, potato, cabbage pancakes, prunes.


To finish Melting chocolate risotto.



To complete Open cranberry and orange pies.

You can read a review of the highlights here.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Supper Twenty One

Supper twenty one was a special gathering of delightful diners from The Sunday Brunch Club brought together by founder Stephanie for an evening of free flowing wine and chatter punctuated with our winter warming menu. Thank you all for joining us to mark our 21st.

Charlie and Evelyn's Table set with chrysanthemum and cala lillies.

Plain and honey and walnut soda bread.

To amuse A taste of Colcannon Soup.

To start Cured salmon, onion confit, smoked bacon.


To follow Beef casserole, rarebit, broccoli, red cabbage.



To finish Apple, cinnamon brulee, green apple sorbet.

All gone.

We even got a wee try of this fine and unusual Lithuanian wine at the end of the night! Thanks Steve.