Week 8! From a meat feast Monday to a 4 component dessert on Friday, this week covered a lot.
We started the week with another all day cooking session different to the ones we've done previously in that everything was slow cooking so there was a lot to do at the start but then serving up was fairly straightforward after lunch - aka making the most of our energy in the morning and minimising the opportunity for mistakes when we were drained in the afternoon! The longest item on the meat focused menu was a retro steak and kidney suet steamed pudding which had to be steamed for 5hours. After all that time comes the scary moment of turning the puddings out...at which point we found that all 4 of us on our table had waterlogged pies. This meant that water had got inside the pudding basin and made the pastry soggy and inedible even though the inner meat remains nice. Cue flashbacks to the steamed treacle sponge fail! This was quite frustrating because for 5hours you have no idea that your little pud is gradually going more and more wrong until there is nothing you can do. I guess you have to laugh at these things really and just learn from them! Plus the delicious famous Leiths flat ham pie and marinated pork belly we made more than made up for our fail and made a fab lunch and dinner for the next few days... Pork belly with peanut dressing, green beans and sugar snaps On Wednesday we made a hazelnut meringue cake with Melba (aka raspberry) sauce. The raspberry sauce was so so good I ate my ramekin-full that I had served alongside the cake on its own, with a spoon, there and then, and then quickly enjoyed my wonderful table buddy's when it was offered too. Didn't even need the meringue! I don't know why it was so good because it was just blitzed fresh raspberries with icing sugar but I couldn't get enough of it. And that was after a casual afternoon snack of the homemade spaghetti con le vongole we’d just made…After a busy few days, we ended the week on a delightfully summery note: salad and ice cream! It was the first properly sunny day (dare I say it, it was even warm) which made for a lovely atmosphere in the kitchen on a Friday afternoon. I’ve really been enjoying making multi component desserts where we spread the work over 2 days and bring everything together at the end. I was a bit disappointed with the final look of my dessert (I panicked!) but the taste of the blackcurrant ice cream made up for that! It also made a perfect reward for the painstaking, fiddly work of pinboning herring for the salad starter…Bring on week 9!