Ooh, I never expected to get this far. I didn’t know what would happen, or what I’d write but what has surprised me with pleasure is how lovely you are. Sorry to be sloppy, but it’s okay to be a girly as long as no one who actually knows what a hard-boiled, tough woman I really am reads this. And Ab and El (and Sh?) will just laugh at me whatever I say.
This evening, WI. Women’s Institute. Jam and Jerusalem; except we don’t do the Jerusalem bit. Once, we were coming up to a Big Meeting with outsiders, so we thought we’d better have a go at Jerusalem. I took along my clarinet for unmusical accompaniment, took a deep breath and some wag went ‘ One, two, a-one, two, three, four’ and I laughed so much that I hyperventilated and nearly fainted during the second verse.
I was doing Food. Now, as you might expect, the WI I belong to doesn’t go down the cup of tea and a Rich Tea biscuit road, but does nice food. It was a meeting to which we had invited Guests, so there were several of us doing food and I’d said I’d do savouries. Which I interpret as canapés. I think finger food is so much more tempting if it’s pretty as well as tasty*.
Anyway, it was nearing 10.30 when I arrived home, so I took a bottle of wine out of the fridge and started to read and write emails, and catch up on blogs. It’s going to take a day or two, there are loads of updates I haven’t read yet.
Which brings me back to the start (look, I have Delivered a Sermon, I can do neat endings). I do like hearing from you, and thanks for reading this and commenting, whether it’s regularly or occasionally. You make me happy.
* The food. Very simple, I didn’t have time to be inventive.
I often use slices of cucumber as a base, as it looks pretty and saves everyone from eating bread and pastry with every bite. The other base I usually use is bread croutes, which are buttered (or olive oiled) on one side and baked in the oven until golden – far easier than frying and they don’t absorb so much fat. They don’t go soggy quickly as biscuits do. If I have time, tiny choux pastry balls are good with a savoury filling, but I don’t bother with the sort of pastry that has to be rolled out, for individual bites. I also bear in mind food allergies and choices such as vegetarianism, so I try not to include hidden food ingredients such as walnut oil or non-visible shellfish.
1. Salmon, flaked with mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice on cucumber.
2. Ripe brie on cucumber.
3. Chicken liver pate – v. simple, the liver cooked in butter with garlic, a drop of brandy added and a little cream, mashed with a fork – on croutes.
4. Mushroom pate – cook shallot in butter, add mushrooms, cook again, add white wine, cook until evaporated, add cream, cook until the liquid has gone – on croutes.
5. Garlic cream cheese on cucumber, topped with prawns
6. Chicken breast, cut into 1cm(ish) cubes, marinated in yoghurt flavoured with chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, tomato puree and lemon juice. Soak cocktail sticks, put a cube on each stick, grill.
7. Tiny new potatoes, tossed in oil and then in a mixture of spices which I made up as I went along, then roasted, then put on cocktail sticks.
Each made about 25-30. Now I’ve written it down, it doesn’t look very impressive, but I did say it was simple.