For those of you not interested in food this may be a good time to look away as that is pretty much all this post contains apart from my usual rambling witterings served as a side dish. I cannot imagine not being interested in food. I love eating it, cooking it, thinking about it and reading about it. My usual question to friends when at University was 'what are you having for tea?', not what is this essay about or what is Melville trying to say in Moby Dick (!!!!) or shall we study Silent Film next term (which we did and it was brilliant). No, my thoughts slipped all too frequently off the agenda and evermore toward food. To be fair I did have four children to feed at the time, but this is really a trend I have followed since childhood when I seemed to be permanently in a state of near-faint through lack of sustenance.
Anyhoo, the above pic is a rather yellowy shot of some of the delicious strawberries grown this year by Isabella. She is only six and already highly interested in food and the growing of it...hurrah! From strawberries we move toward the glorious soft coral colours of this beautiful lobster which was part of the most amazing seafood feast I have ever been lucky enough to eat. Should you ever plan to visit Falmouth and have a real love of shellfish then please try to book yourself in to The Wheelhouse, though make sure you book well in advance as it is very hard to get a table.
I asked for the carcass of our meal to be popped in a bag so that I could make stock for the freezer. Just look at the beautiful colours and shapes of the lobsters combined with mussel and scallop shells; the spiky beauty of a spider crab lies underneath, the whole infused with the flavours of each dish we had consumed: garlic and chilli; Thai rich coconut milk, basil and lemongrass; white wine, ginger and coriander. Oh how I wish I could eat it all again, fingers sticky and fragrant juices dribbling down my chin to be mopped up with copious amounts of the kitchen roll so thoughtfully provided. Sighs deeply in blissful remembrance.
Six pints of shellfish stock stowed away but somehow it is more than mere food in a freezer. Each one I use will bring back memories of a perfect night and hopefully make some new memories out of whatever it becomes - a meal shared maybe with the children, maybe with friends, possibly just the two of us. Who knows, but that's the magic of food I think.
And so, on to luscious dark velvety Tayberries picked from the fence in the hen pen where, thankfully, the hens can't actually reach.
Please note I did remove the mouldy one before using! Isabella helped pick these and was most disgusted that I let that one slip by me.
I had some egg whites in the fridge, leftovers from a carbonara earlier in the week. Aha, meringues then! Soft and chewy on the inside, gently crisp on the out, arranged into a Pavlova and heaped in the middle with soft-whipped cream and topped with a pouring of the Tayberries which I blitzed with sugar. So much nicer than cooking them as they retained a freshness that can sometimes be lost in heat. It was delicious and there are little meringues stowed away for Eton Mess later on this week.
Weekend baking - the hens are laying again thank goodness, so baking is firmly back on the agenda to use them all up - included savoury muffins. These had cheese, finely chopped kale, parsley and majoram all from the garden, and red pepper. So scrumptious warm with butter that we have scoffed most of them even though they were intended to go in the freezer as a change from wraps for school lunches! Ah well, they are very quick to make and you can vary the fillings so I can easily make more later.
Lucy's friend came for a sleepover so I made my version of Chinese Belly Pork with ginger, soy sauce, garlic and loads of other ingredients that I can't make myself sit here typing! It was very yummy.
And lastly I bring you lemon drizzle cake. I love all things lemony and even once had a duck called Lemony in honour of the yellow fruit. This cake used lemon zest in the cake itself and then had copious amounts of lemon juice mixed with sugar gently poured over it while still warm, the sauce soaking down, down into the soft depths to create a cake oozing with tangy goodness and zingy enough to make you squint your eyes in that particular way. You know what I mean. It was good.
And so there you have it: a post rich in flavours and all about my possibly most favourite topic in the whole world - food. Mind you, I can talk for hours about knitting, gardening, sewing, dressmaking, kids, ducks, hens....you get the gist?
Bye for now x