Saturday, September 5, 2009

Martin Stephenson

Well, we have reached our summer break and I don’t think any of us are actually using it. I’m caravanning (is there really an extra n?) and watching the rain fall outside, tony is probably walking somewhere and leanne is probably sleeping until 7 every evening. We almost booked a late holiday to Greece (kos) but were thwarted by somebody else doing the same thing at the same time; ergo when we started there were enough flights, when we finished there weren’t. many tears (all mine) later and several more fruitless hours of searching (discarding a Turkish option along the way) we were packing to go to west wales. I am in the process of putting some recipes together from the last menu because we thought that it was one of our most successful yet. Being able to change things in an ad hoc manner, keeping most of our options available whilst fiddling with one or two starters and the occasional main course or dessert, has been quite fulfilling. The real advantage is that it’s easier and I’m quite lazy but it has also meant that we can push the boat out in ways that we would otherwise not do, for example the Parisian gnocchi or the gougers. These dishes are a little more tricky to do than our normal fare and would represent a bit of a headache if included as part of a full menu. (you’ll already be aware that I’ve used up the ‘headache’ menu title as well, so that would be another headache)

I think that that may well be the path that we travel in the future, with a more fluid menu and more regular changes but with some dishes staying on longer than the normal three weeks. The next menu is still up in the air, particularly if kate books for Sardinia (things are moving fast even since I started this newsletter), but this is the current version.

A soup, possibly African peanut
Butternut ravioli with lemon, sage and butter sauce
Not duck rolls

(update, hotel in Sardinia is gone, we’re back in the caravan watching the rain)

autumn cassoulet
buddha’s delight
thai green (free range) chicken curry
a risotto

coconut and cardamom pannacotta with kiwi and lime salsa
sticky toffee
chocolate fudge
possibly a fruit strudel (blackberry and apple?)

sound pretty nice and shouldn’t be too taxing.

It was at this time last year that we were reviewed by the veg soc people and, to our horror, they chose all the experiments on the menu. Now they’ve either been already, and I’d be pretty happy with what we’ve done, or they’ll be in during this menu, which looks pretty strong.

Is anybody interested in a party?

I noticed that martin Stephenson is playing Newport in January but it’s on a staurday night. I am a long time fan of the daintees and probably saw them seven times between 1986 (keele university) (picure below)


and 1992, when I saw them at bristol university on crutches (I was on crutches). Both times we went for a drink with them back stage. Anyway I appear to be rambling, the point is that I can book martin for an appearance the night after the Newport gig and was going to do it as a canteen Christmas party (albeit in the middle of January). Anyone interested in coming, please let me know and I’ll set the wheels in motion. It really would be a great opportunity to hear one of the country’s best songwriters.

My pop picks for this month

Boat to Bolivia: martin Stephenson and the daintees
Magic touch: the golden silvers
Seagull - Half Sleep
The Foxes - Bill Hicks
New Rhodes - Come Into The Room
The Wedding Present - I Lost The Monkey
The new noah and the whale album that I’ll be getting as a present to compensate for no holiday

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