Ramona, a local belly dance and yoga instructor http://www.ramona.org.uk/ and Kath Turner http://www.kathturneryoga.com/index.html another impossibly fit and supple yoga teacher had both been to supper club before, on that occasion to celebrate another friends birthday. This time Ramona booked her own party so partners and other mutual friends could enjoy a nice dinner too. Kath and her partner are vegan and another attendee was vegan and gluten-free….having said this I noticed that all three ‘vegans’ lapsed at some point during the evening….noticeably once the cheese board came out!!
I was asked to prepare a menu that kept both avid meat eaters and vegans happy…no small feat…but I hope I managed it their approval. The arrival of empty plates back at the kitchen is testament to it being good food I guess!!
The menu for the night was:
Baked New season asparagus (with lemon)
Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage
Beef and wild mushroom Wellington, pink and green peppercorn sauce
Wild mushroom and spinach tart (vegan)
Potato and red onion gratin, Purple sprouting broccoli
Rhubarb and Cointreau cranachan (or compote for the vegans)
Tea or coffee, local cheeses, oat cakes and chutney
I noticed that one vegan decided to have the full cranachan for dessert, then the final two lapsed when the cheese arrived, although i did get some very lovely goats milk Camembert which is less harsh on the stomach than cows milk cheese if you don’t usually eat it . I also served Derimon’s smoked mature cheddar as used by chef Aled Williams for his smoked cheddar mousse on the Great British menu http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sbqfc, just as it was with spiced apple chutney.
The wild mushrooms came from Cynan Jones who was featured on countryfile last night http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t0bv and the Welsh Black beef from a local hill farm, via Paul, my usual butcher in Bangor. I had the advantage of being able to visit the Ynys Mon farmers market on the Saturday morning (its only on once a month, which for me is not nearly enough) so had my pick of the asparagus, onions and potatoes.The herbs and spinach all came from my mate Molly (again) and the rhubarb from other friends in the village Matt and Karen. I promised them all freebies in thanks!!!
The food inspired some weird and wonderful dinner conversations; Rosie the teen waitress, who was no longer on strike now I’ve agreed to pay her ‘minimum wage’ , like a ‘proper’ job, kept coming into the kitchen with anecdotes from the table…”do you know how to commit the perfect murder? I do. Go for a walk along the cliffs on a rainy night…” and then there was something about a leg of lamb…but I didn’t quite catch all of that one….when I eventually emerged from the kitchen I stumbled into the middle of a conversation about fetish wear. One lady was explaining how on a trip to London, being a country bumpkin, she decided to go check out a fetish wear shop…and was then encouraged to try something on. She squeezed herself into a lovely pink latex dress which left her “boobs round her ear lobes”.…but when she tried to get it off found herself stuck. Her companions tried in vain to peel her out and then the assistant came to help…he asked her if she’d used the chalk in the corner. She looked blank….It finally took several helpers to get the dress over her head and she eventually emerged which a pop…like peeling off a too tight rubber glove. Lesson learned, always add plenty of chalk or talc before putting on your fetish wear.
Another guest described getting lost on route to a friend’s, whom she was meeting on the way to a burlesque party. She ended up stuck in her car in a small country road fully dressed in stockings, corset the works, in the rain and the wind….and who said life in Wales is dull!!!!!!!
Anyway less of that, here are a few pictures of the night: