1st September 2012
Well, the world is round....
My first ever sous-chef was a lady called Reena, who was writing (yes, this is true) her Master's thesis on supperclubs. She was studying in Italy for her Masters in Gastronomy - I'm glad to say she graduated despite having written her dissertation about Parkholme Supper Club! We cooked our way through 9 months of supperclubs together, and became firm friends. She taught me how to delegate and work with someone else in the kitchen, not skills I'd had to have before, and with her the kitchen was what it should be - a place for a good gossip and a heart to heart, as well as cooking. We had some wonderful memories, not least the time she rocked up at 5am in hotpants to go to Billingsgate Fish Market, so when she finally said goodbye to go back to the USA, I bought her a charm bracelet with memories of her time here.
On this charm bracelet there were various little silver charms - a fish to remind her of Billingsgate and my fish, the double decker bus she always took home, a rolling pin (because she never could make pastry, we had a few disasters), an onion (we were so sick of chopping onions!) and several other things. However I dumbfounded the man in the shop by asking for a plain silver ball. He had all sorts of balls, tennis, golf, footballs, any kind of sports ball you could name, but no plain silver ball. The reason I asked for a plain ball is that Reena had on several occasions commented how much we made balls. It's true, it seems like we make nothing but balls some times. Some stuff comes out as balls at the end, but there are loads of things that are balls at some point in their lives. The pastry for chinese dumplings. Middle Eastern date cakes, Maa'moul, are balls before they are pressed into a mould, as are Chinese Red Tortoise cakes. Syrian flat breads are balls before they are rolled out. So it seemed a part of our history to put a ball on the bracelet.
The happy ending to this story is that, even though he had said that he didn't have a plain silver ball, when the charm bracelet arrived with all the little charms attached, yes, there was a plain ball,which he had found and attached for free. So Reena will forever remember those endless bloody balls we made.
In memory of those times, I thought we could do a spherical supperclub - as my friend Donald said - "sounds like a load of balls". My new team of volunteers will probably not thank me but hopefully some will still come to help!
Here's the laborious menu as currently planned (I might think of other spherical things, we'll see!)
Guo Tie - chinese potsticker dumplings with pork
Pav Bhaji - vegetable curry in a bun, a speciality of Mumbai, it was the best thing I ate there.
Green Dragon Walnut Meatballs - these pork and walnut balls were a hit at our recent testing session
Mograbiah salad - Mograbiah are a kind of giant round cous cous, with pomegranate and feta and cold pressed sunflower oil
Turkish Kofte - these delicious lamb meatballs wrapped in aubergine and courgette are a speciality of a friend's mother
Falafel - home made and delicious
Salmon Fish Cakes with fresh herbs
Provencal roasted tomatoes
Profiteroles with real dark chocolate sauce
Tang Yuen - Chinese glutinous rice dumplings in a sweet ginger soup
Cost will be £40 of which £35 will go direct to MSF
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