Looking for food for thought?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Supper Nineteen

Yesterday was finally one of those Autumn days requiring both sunglasses and a scarf. It put a definite skip in my step. It was a great day for a brisk morning walk to three of our fabulous suppliers, George Bower (for streaky bacon), G Armstrong (for seabass) and Herbies (for the most deliciously scented vanilla pods - the last two in the jar).


Back home, it was a great day to watch the sky from the window and warm up with some cooking. The preparations produced the following feast for a group of old friends, and, we met some new friends too, hello Lesley!


Charlie and Evelyn's Table with anenomes.


To amuse Munchin pumpkin with pumpkin, sweet potato and apple soup.



To start Roasted beetroot risotto, parmesan crisps.


To follow Seabass, creamed cabbage, bacon, crispy potatoes.



To finish Warm chocolate pudding, ginger, vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Supper Eighteen

For this colourful supper we returned to flavours of italy for inspiration and welcomed a wonderful group of friends from south of the border and a couple of almost neighbours from Leith!

To welcome House selection of crostini

Pea, mint and pecorino.


Mozzarella, fig, mint and chestnut honey.


Canellini beans, garlic and rosemary.


Tomatoes, olives, chilli and basil.


To amuse Petite pizza, mozzarella, tomatoes, roasted baby peppers.


This was so successful on its first outing, we decided to serve it again.
To start Pumpkin, sage, pecorino open lasagne.


To follow Schaicciata di manzo con aglio, rosmar ino e funghi, zucca al forno{Flash roast beef with garlic, rosemary and giroles, roasted squash}.


In our opinions a superior and delicious alternative to bread and butter pudding:
To finish Panettone pudding, softly whipped cream.

Menu Nineteen

To start
Roasted beetroot risotto, parmesan crisps.

To follow
Seabass, creamed cabbage {bacon}, crispy potatoes.

To finish
Warm chocolate pudding, ginger, vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Perhaps the world ends here

I just took a quick break from tonight's preparations to look online. This poem, shared, with love, here, stopped me in my tracks.

It's by Joy Harjo.

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

"Perhaps the World Ends Here" from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., www.wwnorton.com.

Source: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1994)

Supper Seventeen

A gathering of lovely ladies left their children and husbands at home to enjoy:

To welcome Mozzarella, basil and tom berry tomatoes.

Charlie and Evelyn's Table, all set.

To amuse Sweetcorn soup, truffled popcorn.



To start Pumpkin, sage, pecorino open lasagne.


To follow Venison stroganoff, sweet potato straws.

To finish Toffee apples, frangipane, apple sorbet, Earl grey syrup.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Menu Eighteen

To start
Pumpkin, sage, pecorino open lasagne.

To follow
Schaicciata di manzo con aglio, rosmarino e funghi, zucca al forno{Flash roast beef with garlic, rosemary and giroles, roasted squash}.

To finish
Panettone pudding.

Wanted: one orchard

We haven’t won the lottery (sigh) and we don’t have garden space for a coppice but that doesn’t stop me dreaming about blossom and fruit. And, this desire for a handful of trees has only been made worse by Nigel Slater and his recently published Tender: Volume II. With its detailed, fruit by fruit sections and many ideas, it’s especially handy when you find yourself with a glut of something; a situation I had recently with plums (and apples). Let’s face it, love crumble as I do, there’s only so much you can take.

I found this book as I was browsing for another plum recipe (more specifically for plum chutney) and this immediately caught my eye, with its simple ingredients list and ability to complement pork, beef, game or cheese. Sold. Well, not quite. I hurriedly snapped the ingredients list on my phone (below) and dashed home to make the delicious, mellow recipe (it's a heavy book, I didn't want to carry it all the way!).




Feeling smug but guilty, and convinced that this recipe would not be the only success story on the pages I bought a copy online. And I’m still captured by the introduction, I mean, how idyllic does this sound?

“The leaves are turning from green to gold, amber and rust, the last fruits hang crimson and smoky blue on the trees, the pumpkin-coloured dahlias and Michaelmas daisies have collapsed like drunks across the gravel path. The garden darkens to the colour of ginger cake, here and there a shot of saffron, brilliant ochre or deepest crimson…”

OK, dreams aside, in reality, the plum chutney was the perfect addition to our house chutney trio for Sunday’s individual cheese boards which shaped up like this:






With cheeses selected from this fine list in Herbies:


And completed with our buttery oat biscuits (recipe coming soon) and this homemade trio of chutneys (courgette, onion jam and sweet Perthshire plum), presented on this fabulous handmade board:


For now I’ll have to be content with delicious flavours, even if I didn’t grow my own!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Menu Seventeen

Here's what's in store for the first of this week's diners:

To start
Pumpkin, sage, pecorino open lasagne.

To follow
Venison stroganoff, sweet potato straws.

To finish
Toffee apples, frangipane, apple sorbet, Earl Grey syrup.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Supper Sweet Sixteen

This supper really brought big smiles to our faces and to those of our guests. You see, it was a surprise gathering to mark a birthday and it worked like magic.

We were able to welcome some of the early guests and hide them in our living room, introduce a couple of diners to the taste of wood pigeon, incorporate some of the birthday boy's favourite foods on the menu, offer an additional cheese course (of our long-standing favourites from Herbies) chat to some charming individuals and, balance a birthday candle in a blackberry.

Charlie and Evelyn's cosy Table.

To welcome Fig and gorgonzola.

To amuse Rich onion soup, gruyere crutons.


To start Wood pigeon, salad leaves, hazelnuts, apples.

To follow Beef fillet, mushroom gratin, watercress puree, crispy potatoes.

To delight {By special request} Charlie and Evelyn's house cheese selection, homemade oat biscuits and celebratory chutneys.
From bottom to top: Spanish Mahon, two year old Gouda, Brie de meaux, Bleu de causses.


To finish Petite meringues, warm berry compote.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Supper Fifteen

Munchkin pumpkins brought a splash of orange and a premature glimpse of Halloween to this table. Champagne set the scene for this sophisticated girls' night out.


Charlie and Evelyn's Table.

Charlie's chair, recently re-upholstered by the lovely Holly.

We served:
To welcome Hot smoked salmon mousse, homemade oat biscuits.



To amuse Rich onion soup, gruyere crutons.



To start Squash and sage risotto, pine nuts, parmesan crisps.



To follow Seabass, caper, lemon rosti, creamed spinach and leek.


To finish Chocolate soup, toasted brioche.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Rich Onion Soup and Parmesan Crisps

First up, the rich onion soup is bubbling away


And, the parmesan crisps are cooling. As it says here, "...This is one of those things where the process is so simple that it barely merits being called a recipe, and yet so delicious that the end result can stop you in your tracks."
Before




After

Next up, chocolate soup...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards

We're big fans of the beautifully packaged, delicious tasting Dorset Cereals and are thrilled to be nominated for a Little Blog Award (thanks Tina) and if you've time to vote, you'll also be entered into a monthly FREE prize draw to win a case of Dorset Cereals.

We're also pretty pleased that we managed to add a vote for me widget to the top right of our blog - simple pleasures!

Enjoy your breakfast.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Menu Sixteen

A birthday celebration deserves a rich, indulgent menu like this:

To start
Wood pigeon, salad leaves, hazelnuts, apples.

To followBeef fillet, mushroom gratin, watercress puree, crispy potatoes.

To finishPetite meringues, warm berry compote.

To delight{By special request} Charlie and Evelyn's house cheese selection, homemade oat biscuits and celebratory chutneys.

Sunny side up

We don't really need an excuse to celebrate the wonder of eggs but, as it's National Egg Week (5-11 October), we thought we'd give them a special mention. And, we're adding meringues to our next menu, by way of celebration.

If you're among the 33% of people surveyed who said they found it difficult to poach and egg or the 26% who apparently can't make an omelette, now's as good a time as ever to try a new method (love this series) or recipe.

Our favourite way with eggs for breakfast are probably poached or scrambled with indulgence like this; boiled, chopped and mixed with tomato in sandwiches for a perfect beach picnic or, sweetly whisked into something like this dessert or maybe this one.

And finally, a great big thank you to these lovely chickens and their characterful keeper, Uncle Joe for supplying us with simply delicious eggs all year round.




Happy egg week and happy egg eating. What's your favourite way with eggs?

Menu Fifteen

This menu has been devised for a long-standing booking by a group of colleagues. When they take their places at the table they will dine on:

To start

Squash and sage risotto, pine nuts, parmesan crisps.

To follow

Seabass, caper, lemon rosti, creamed spinach and leek.

To finish

Chocolate soup, toasted brioche.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Supper Fourteen

A busy October weekend at Charlie and Evelyn's Table concluded with this relaxed Sunday supper:

Our new salt and pepper dishes, found in among the old and curious at Unicorn Antiques made an appearance.

Diners were welcomed and amused in a similar fashion to those attending Supper Thirteen (below) followed by:

To start Scallops, Borlotti, chestnut soup, parsley oil.

To follow Beef, spiced cocoa, vanilla scented beans, saddleback potatoes.


To finish {By special request} Charlie and Evelyn's cheese selection and homemade oat biscuits for one guest.


And, perry poached pears, blackberry-rippled cream for the others.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Supper Thirteen

Rain and rainbows gave way to blue skies, crisp, clear Autumn air and gentle sun for Supper Thirteen. The table was set with sweet roses and teacups while the colourful menu featured pink beetroot, orange, deep red cabbage, pale pears and rich blackberries and apples. Friendly guests gathered from across the city and just streets away to share in the feast and merriment.

Charlie and Evelyn's Table.


To welcome Hake galettes...

...and Tandoori mushrooms

To amuse Beetroot, orange, mustard.

To start Hot smoked salmon stack, beetroot, homegrown rocket, pumpkin seeds.

To follow Caraway roast pork, pear puree, mustard, onion mash, braised red cabbage.

To finish Apple and blackberry crumble, cinnamon ice cream.