So It Was Christmas

Slightly marred by the fact that my parents could not cross the Channel as Eursotar discovered that snow had flakes and these little flakes seemed to have ruined more than one christmas.

However the tree was lit and sparkly, the table runner was up and running, the goose confite, a word of advice to anybody out there who would like to cook a goose in its fat, in a pressure cooker time it between 8 and 10 hours on low heat.





Presents were lovely and in 2009 and Father Xmas spoiled me. I got hat, scarf, gloves and boots and the middle bit will be taken care of by the most gorgeous dressing gown with a hoodie. Brilliant and many many more presents but I am here today to talk about decorations.
This Christmas, I concentrated on decorations, I used a company new to new to me called the last details, I love their range and I chose to liven up the party with Party poopers. what I don't like about poppers in general is the mess they leave behind, but not these which release a cloud of elegant silver slivers easily picked up .
Then there was the Silver star sparklers, I love these, they seem to last for ever so really good value for money, but the star of the show was the After dark fountains which were position on Phil's Christmas pudding and were like indoor fireworks.
As you know this household rates everything, so we took a vote and rated the decorations
  • After Dark Fountain Candles got a magnificient 9 out of 10
  • Posh poppers 8 out of 10
  • Silver Star Sparklers 6.5 only because they take some time to lit.
I am going to leave you with a bang and a picture of the sparklers until next year......


Ostrich for Christmas Dinner

Ostrich is the new bird on my block. The meat is just delicious, the preparation is so easy, and it has the wow factor. What else could you ask for when you are looking for a stress-free idea to feed the masses.

Every year, Wees (that He and I) have a Xmas party before Xmas. Traditionally it is lunch with friends, this year wees were missing the younger generation which is refusing to attend any longer. Tough, they just don't know what they missed:

Home made chicken liver pâté
Ostrich with roasted potatoes and parsnips, celeriac purée
Cheese board
Chocolate fudge/meringue with whipped cream, mascarpone topped with raspberries

Never having cooked ostrich before, I decided to start the kitchen festivities with the celeriac purée then went on to heat the oil for the potatoes and proceeded to drop the all of the oil on the kitchen floor. However if you are cooking roasted tatties this Christmas, the dropping of the oil is optional. Nearer the time, I seared the ostrich tenderloins, sat them on a bed of cooked onions and cooked in a 200C oven for 20 minutes. As easy as that.

I got the meat from Gamstonwood Farm at Borough market, I will definitely serve it again.
top picture from Gamston Wood Farm website

Photos From the Weekend

I suppose these days you will have a better chance to find me in a restaurant than at the gym. This week-end, I met up with old friends at s&m in Spitafields market. If you want comfort food and a blast from the past, you could do worse than this small fronted restaurant in the heart of what has become a very trendy area, hint hint : you will need to book, though it seat 100, it fills up very quickly
The food was OK and no I did not give this picture the photoshop treatment, yes the glossy aspect comes straight from a cornflour overdose. I was not allowed, by my conscience, to order 3 kinds of mash topped with chips, so I went for the very conventional veggie bangers and cheddar mash, good.
On the way back, as I sat in the tube for hours, I was entertained by an unexpected companion:

Food Blogger Connect 09

I am telling you next time somebody tells me "blogging is for nerds who are scared about meeting others in real life", or "blogging is a silly activity for sad people" or "there is no point in blogging", or any variation of the three, I will get my designer handbag out and will inflict some real damage.

Blogging is a real pleasure, meeting bloggers via the net is great but meeting 50, or so, food bloggers in a restaurant is paradise.

Last Saturday paradise was organised (somebody has to organise paradise otherwise it would be hell) by Beth from Dirty Kitchen Secrets, Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry, Mowie of Mowielicious and Jamie of Life's a feast. I have always been a tat jealous of the Food-Bloggers Conference in the States, and now we have got our very own, hurray. An array of talented bloggers arrived to the Levant by plane, train, tube (that was not easy) from France, Germany, Holland and of course the UK, I am sure I have missed a few places in-betweeny.

You immediately know when you meet like minded people, it does not matter where you start the conversation, they are there with you, we talked about things that matter to us, I met well I was going to say new people but are these people new to me, I already knew some, I had read their blog.
The Lebanese mezze was awesome: hummus, falafel, tomatoes topped with haloumi, chicken and lamb skewers, meat ball, warm pittas and of course that splendid dish (pictured) with pinenuts and things which name I don't remember, so if anybody out there recognises it, I would not mind being informed of its denomination. Wine was from the Beeka valley, next time you are in a supermarket go for Lebanese red wine, it never disappoint.

Then we paid attention, we were told about photography by Meeta and Kang, finding your voice by Jamie and Jeanne, copyright sorry...time was up for me, I had to leave. It was already getting near time to go to another event about which I will tell you next.

Can't wait for Food Blogger Connect 2010

si

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