Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remember the rosehips experiment?

Well we got back to work and the weather took a turn for the better. That’s two consecutive years when the pick of the weather has been june and September, maybe we should start to re-classify the seasons. As I’ve blogged, blackberries are out in abundance at the moment and, as this is the last week before lecturing starts once again, I shall once more be treading the back-lanes of the vale in search of free fruit. I’d better be successful or one of our desserts will be a disaster, a cannoli with elberberry ricotta (cashew ricotta for vegans) and blackberries. I started this dish last week by cutting some elderberry stems and making an extreme amount of jam. I’ve also started the year’s vodka production and currently have elderberry and blackberry on the go. I’ve plans to defrost some of my saved raspberries and also to experiment with rosehips, although the horror story reported to me by one of our regulars is making me think twice.

The undoubted disaster of the last menu was the pannacotta, not in terms of flavour but in terms of set. I’m glad to say that by the last night we had got it right.

To what next. We’ve been playing our game of spot the critic as we’re due, or have already been visited by, critics from the vegetarian society. I thought I’d picked them out on saturday, a most unusual service, but unless the lady was extremely quick on her feet and an accomplished liar to boot, it was not them. I do hope that they came for this menu because it was a rather nice one. Our only problem was with the cassoulet, and that is because we roast the vegetable first and then add them. If I cook it in too large a quantity the veg can tend to disintegrate and you lose the essential unctuous tomato taste. That said, it and the buddha’s delight will be on the next menu.

I’ve just emailed this off to a guy who is bringing in 18 on Thursday and I’ve just received an email explaining who they are. It turns out that we’ve 18 inspectors coming in to visit and the organiser is none other than simon wright of y polyn fame, ex-AA guide editor. It looks like we’d better sort ourselves out better than we do for most first Thursdays. I’ll also have to consider my final dessert with a little more care and attention than I was planning.

I think that we have finally booked martin Stephenson on the 17th January, a Sunday night. It will be £22.50 a ticket and will include a three course meal; an easy one so that I can do more watching than cooking. It should be a great night and we have only a limited number of tickets still available.

That is another effortless segue onto the subject of music. Our resident pop-picker vino has these recommendations.

Friendly Fires - Kiss of Life 
David Bowie - Oh! you pretty things 
Magazine - Shot by Both Sides 
Blur - The Universal 
Editors - The Racing Rats 
Dodgy - Stayin out for the summer 
Elbow - One Day Like this 
Eels - Novocaine for the soul 
The Fall - Touch Sensitive 
Martin Stephenson and the Daintees - Wholly Humble Heart (couldn't resist putting this one in) 

Bon Appetit 

I’d like to add to that list a US band called Hockey, last week featured in the Sunday times, all around good guys who bought everyone who went to see them at clwb ifor a drink a couple of months back.

Blackberries are only with us for another week or so, and with the nice weather set to remain, get out there and do those blackberries proud. Maybe I’ll see you out there and we can fight for that elusive, perfect blackberry.

Love and light


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