Shhh, don't tell The Underground... (Pic: Gavin Rodgers)
Morel mushrooms from L.Booth in Borough Market
Lenny and Adam helped out...
Les tricoteuses...a group named Eat1Knit1.
So nice when guests dress up...so cheering
Fish waiting to go into the oven (pic: Gavin Rodgers)
Sea bass with morels and potatoes
Blood orange, fennel, pomegranate and mint salad
Cheeses from Neal's Yard:
plus feijoa, a guava-like fruit that can be eaten like an apple, pecan nuts and my fig confit (braised for three weeks in red wine) (not pictured)
I left the rhubarb syrup on the Aga overnight and by the morning it was rhubarb flavoured caramel
Tits and tats: an illustrious and illustrated guest...who fell wearing perilously high heels the night before and broke her nose...
Yes in the corner that is MsMarmitelover typically wearing too short a dress. All kitchen staff and most guests have, by now, seen my arse. Which is quite pert as it happens. (pic: Gavin Rodgers)
As ash paralysed and quietened the skies of Europe, it was a beautiful day for The Underground Lunch ... if it carries on like this, I'd like to have tables outside. If anyone has any garden tables and chairs they can donate please get in touch.
On one table we had les tricoteuses, knitting between courses; on another, sat my parents, my brother and his wife. My dad talked to one of the knitters:
"I had a nice chat with that girl with the tattoos. She's a single mum, likes crochet and she's not a lesbian." He told me, looking pleased with himself.
"You asked her that?"
Groaning internally I went over to her and, trying to make light of my family's very own Prince Phillip, chortlingly asked:
"Did my dad ask if you were a lesbian?"
"Sure" she drawled forgivingly in a Californian accent "but hey, that's ok. I was hoping he would kiss me. I don't know why he didn't"
"Um, maybe because my mum would have objected?" I ventured...thinking now that would be an event, my dad getting off with a guest...
Her eyes widened "Well he never mentioned her..."
Rigatoni Puttanesca (for me, a Sunday lunch should start with pasta)
Seabass with morel mushrooms and potatoes
Veggie Option: Morel gratin (really bloody delicious, the veggies aren't fobbed off with leftovers here)
Blood orange, fennel, pomegranate, mint salad with citrus dressing
Cheese board: Sleightly's (goat), Childwicksbury (goat), Milleen's (cow), Berkswell (cow), Colston Bassett Stilton (cow), Snowdonia Cheddar (cow). Homemade fig confit, pecan nuts, feijoa fruit, cheese oatcakes and St John's sourdough bread.
Coffee by Douwe Egberts (vintage blend)
The Underground Cooking class on Saturday went well, we learnt to make focaccia and fresh pasta then sat down to eat.
Charity shop haul this week...constantly need new vintage china and glasses. I'm collecting cut and pressed glass at the moment.
Babycham glasses found in Portobello Market
Recipe for the salad:
Peel the blood oranges, slice thinly
Slice fennel thinly
Pick the seeds from a pomegranate, save to scatter over the top
Some torn mint leaves
A citrus dressing: I used the juice of a blood orange, some lemon, some lemon mustard, olive oil, Malden salt.
Slice up the oranges and fennel.
Layer and marinate with the dressing.
Add the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves
Recipe for the morel gratin:
Vegetable or mushroom stock
Cheese, say cheddar or caerphilly, grated
Slice potatoes thinly, layer nicely in a buttered baking tin
Do three layers of the potatoes
Dot with cubes of butter
Add a little veg stock, half way up tin
Add enough double cream to cover the potatoes
Slice morels into half, scatter cut side down onto potatoes
Stick in a couple of bay leaves
Salt to taste
Cover with a layer of grated cheese
Bake in a medium oven for 45 minutes