Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Mission Accomplished …



Seven years have gone by in a jiffy, now on into my eighth year of posting out into the world … and a birthday to boot … it seems to have worked out well – I can tie in my blog start date with a birthday …


It's St Hilary's Day and ... 
As it’s a feast day … birthday on St Hilary’s Day – clever naming by my parents all those years ago … we’ll have some indulging in thought, word, but not deed – as it’s a weekday with things scheduled … a film society film, and a meeting dinner …


No - I won't be having this
many people to celebrate
with me .. it's not a special
affair!  The Champagne Toast
effect looked good, though



Family weekend supper celebrations following, but a light lunch with a friend tomorrow before the film.



I have a wonderful wine farm for us to visit after the A-Z ... my winding down post – I always love to have a picnic after our frenetic month of April …




Jenny's book on Emily
and her letters

… so for now I will wrap this post and birthday around some historical thoughts on my West Country Tour with Jennifer Hobhouse Balme, food in earlier times and those links that occur when one investigates a subject …





The Hall of the The Worshipful Company of Drapers
- it's amazing ... I've been inside

One of the few programmes I keep an eye on and see the episodes that I can during its 10 week duration is the Great British Menu … when chefs from 8 regions of the UK … 5 in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland … compete based on a different theme each year. 



Then the winners of each region go head to head to cook the four courses at the allocated banquet, which is held in some appropriate place, 2015 was to be in ‘Wolf Hall’ – The Drapers’ Hall – as it’s properly called.



A Women's Institute St George's Day
celebration in Kent
The celebration last year was to acknowledge the 100 years of the Women’s Institutes and the vital part they have played in British Culture, which continues on looking to the future.  Waste Not Want Not … was essential in WW1 and WW2 … and in the Depression years, and today it still holds true …




Jenny's very interesting book on Emily
and World War one - an easy historical
read, explaining more about the War
Agent of Peace c/o Amazon


Tying in my thoughts with Emily Hobhouse’s involvement with the Boer women and children in the Boer Wars, her interest in the Suffragette Movement, her efforts to broker peace in Germany, including the Open Christmas Letter …





… highlighting Jenny’s authorative books on her Great-Aunt’s enormous contribution made to the history of the Boer Wars, as too the First World War and then laying the foundations for the Save the Children’s Fund.





Mission Accomplished … this thought occurred when Josh Eggleton devised the recipe Mission Milk – recalling a Women’s Institute campaign about farming and milk prices. 


Josh Eggleton's Mission Milk
c/o Great British Menu site

Once again we have the British word ‘junket’ as mentioned in my A-Z Cookery post of 2013 ‘J for Junket’ … Josh’s dish was a combination of cornflake junket, vanilla custard and strawberry soup … I loved the idea of this … sadly it didn’t make it to the banquet.




Pip Lacey's Venison Carpaccio


Pip Lacey produced Venison Carpaccio … reminding me of my “Carpaccio– artist or food?” post back in October, when I highlighted how this dish came to be named … I love to eat Carpaccio … again, not a winner at the banquet.




Matt Gillan cooked up a storm with his four dishes … but it was his “Teaching and Preaching – Plight ofthe Billy Goat” that won perfect 10s from all the judges, which catapulted his dish straight through to be on the banquet menu as the main course.



Matt Gillan with his goat dish - and the
accompanying story ... about how important the
Billy Goat is to islanders
Now I could not place Matt Gillan’s heritage, but he was cooking goat – was he Jamaican … possibly … but imagine my surprise when I found out where he was from … and again that link across to my blog occurred … he comes from St Helena, linking in to my post on William Burchell, theexplorer, ...

... and Heather Von St James’s campaign about Mesothelioma : challenges from the disease related to asbestos, found originally in South Africa.


The fish course was an extraordinary affair … and as I write this after the passing of David Bowie … I sort of relate Michael O’Hare’s creativity to Bowie’s incredible reinventions … no comparison I know - but Michael is off the wall artistically as a chef ... 


Photo by Food Urchin .... you can just see the hand.

Michael delved into the dark, industrial recesses of the land of his upbringing … this artistry inspired chef from the North East … gave us a Canvas of food –with “Emancipation” as the theme … inspired by “fish and chips” ...



...  it was fish and chips, but so different.  It looked quite amazing … stunning the assembled guests somewhat as it was brought out …


Cod, squid ink powder, crispy potato, charred gem lettuce and gold leaf shoots ... on a canvas ... the blackened cod was held in situ by a black ceramic hand ... just visible in the photo above.

Happy Day to all bloggers ... and of course to
me and my birthday!


 Well with these thoughts ringing in my mind … I aspire to going to each of their restaurants one day – perhaps that’s the best way of remembering these dishes – and sampling their wonderfully creative menus.


So to round off year seven, moving onto year eight … and I am younger as I write this .. but today I will be older!


Some links to the Great British Menu chefs ... I haven't included everyone ... 


Michael O'Hare's north east winner: "Emancipation" and "My Mum is single and looking for a well-dress man" ... you have to read!  Creativity abounds here ...




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

54 comments:

A Heron's View said...

Happy Birthday to you Hilary and may you have many more.

Elephant's Child said...

A very happy birthday to a fellow Capricorn.
I don't watch a lot of television, but really enjoyed Great British Menu. I would have liked to have seen a woman in the final to honour the W.I.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Happy Birthday Dear Hilary! Wishing you all the best on your special day, and I hope you enjoy your delightful lunch and film! Please do not partake in the "Emancipation Meal." Ugh! No it has to be sweet and savory on your birthday! Congratulations on approaching your 8th year of blogging! You were always ahead of your time, and you still are. You still continue to enlighten, educate and entertain us. Let your birthday celebration continue through the rest of January!

Julie

Rosalind Adam said...

Happy birthday. I've just popped back into my archives to check how long I've been blogging. It's not as long as you. I'm just into my seventh year. Still, we go back a long way together for all that. Take care and have a wonderful birthday.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mel - thanks for your thoughts and yes I hope I have many more!

@ EC - another Capricorn .. that's good to know: it's a good sign to be born into - but I enjoyed my sunny Capricornian days when I lived in Africa!

They talked about the lack of female representation, particularly for the WI aspects .. there were a few in the series - but it wasn't restricted and the men won through ... as they said - fair entry!

@ Julie - gosh you're early or late - thanks so so much. That Emancipation meal looked quite stunning and I'd have loved to have tried .. but supper on Saturday will be staider! (looks like it could be a word ... ?!)

8 years of blogging as of today .. a mile stone - my mother and my uncle would both be amazed. Great descriptive words ... enlighten, educate and entertain ... I love doing that and always aspire in that direction.

Wouldn't that be fun to celebrate all through January .. mind you it is stretching ahead somewhat ...

@ Ros - I'm delighted so many of us have blogged for decent lengths of time - always somewhat amazes me .. but the wonderful thing is the friends we meet along our journey and how they stay friends with us ...

Thanks to you all for coming over - I shall have a wonderful day .. the sun certainly helps - it's beaming through at me! Cheers Hilary

Liza said...

Happy birthday, Hilary! And happy blog birthday, too! I hope you enjoy your week ahead as much as I enjoyed reading about the food in this post!

Sue McPeak said...

It is a HAPPY Day all around with celebrating your Birthday, Blogaversary and the time we became Blog Friends through AtoZ. I enjoyed your 'Look Back Blog Posts' and 'Look Forward' to AtoZ 2016. Happy Happy Birthday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday to you and your blog!

Sarah Foster said...

Happy birthday and happy blogiversary!

Karen Walker said...

Happy birthday, dear lady, and a very happy blog anniversary as well. Sounds like you'll be having some wonderful celebrations.

Out on the prairie said...

A very Happy Birthday to you and your blog. I hope you have a very enjoyable day. I always enjoy your input on my blog, and love the variety of thoughts you offer on yours.I will now have to look for squid ink powder, a different flavor I have enjoyed. I get a pasta made with it, but have never used the powder.

Fil said...

Happy Birthday Hilary - have a great day :) x

Sherry Ellis said...

Happy Birthday, Hilary! Wishing you a wonderful day!

(Yes, that was very clever of your parents to name you Hilary on the feast of St. Hilary.)

Christine Rains said...

A very happy birthday to you! I often leave your blog feeling hungry. ;)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Happy Birthday, Hilary. You gave me so many things to look at today I could spend all morning. A picnic after A to Z sounds like a great way to celebrate.

Chrys Fey said...

St. Hilary's Day. I love that! Happy Birthday!!!!

Joanne said...

Happy Birthday Hilary and Happy Blog birthday too. You've provided quite a feast for the eyes, and I'm a newbie. (better late than never to the party). Enjoy a birthday week/month/year. And I hope you do get to visit all those restaurants someday - good to have goals

Suzanne Furness said...

Happy birthday from another Capricorn here! Hope you enjoy your day. I do remember your junket posting for the A-Z, I always find it an amusing word though I can't recall having ever eaten it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liza – many thanks – so far so good .. and lots for me to think about for my birthday!

@ Sue – yes the A-Z is a great meeting place … this post allowed me to get my Great British Menu thoughts in … not so much the Women’s Institute background … but onward to the 2016 A-Z …

@ Alex – thank you ..

@ Sarah – you too many thanks …

@ Karen – not so sure about the celebrations .. but keeping busy and enjoying life … it is always fun … so thank you.

@ Steve – thanks so much … I’m happy to comment and always happy to share my mix of thoughts here .. just delighted you and others seem to enjoy. I too have had the pasta made with squid ink – and used to have squid in ink when I was a teenager … but I haven’t looked for the powder – he could have made it himself … not sure: now I need to find out!

@ Fil – many thanks indeed … the day is passing happily by …

@ Sherry – there’s a good reason, or two, or three … and Hilary I became … lovely to see you here …

@ Christine – I’m sorry about the food links! Fortunately most of it is blog-post format – not on here in the flat … waiting to be eaten!

@ Susan – thanks so much … I hope you enjoy the links at some stage and the picnic will be quite amazing .. once the A-Z is over …

@ Chrys – yes it’s strange, but true!!

@ Joanne – not so new now .. but we all start blogging when we do – I’m glad I’ve stuck with it! The party will be at this address for sometime to come! I am looking happily forward to a wonderful 365 days …

It’s be good to visit those restaurants wouldn’t it! Goals – oh ok .. I’ll add the restaurants in …

@ Suzanne – are you a Capricorn too … I hadn’t realised or taken it in (bad me I guess) … I’m glad you remember my ‘Junket’ – it seems to bemuse many … it’s a dish we have often … I love it!

Thanks everyone … having started the day with bright sunshine – it is now raining buckets here! Still … I’m still happy and laughing … and I might be singing, but you wouldn’t like that!! Cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday - and a banquet of your own if you'd like one.

I confess I didn't know there was a St Hilary. In looking him up I see there's also a village in Cornwall of that name.

beste barki said...

Happy Birthday Hilary!

Crystal Collier said...

Happy blog birthday! Here, take some cheese to go with your wine.

Oye. The A to Z Challenge. It's that time again, eh? I haven't decided if I have the time or energy for it.

Anabel Marsh said...

Happy birthday! (What's left of it, sorry - a bit late to the party!
The Glasgow Gallivanter

Jo said...

Sounds like a wonderful menu, but I'm afraid that fish and chips looks like a great big spider to me.

Hope you have a great day for your birthday and enjoy every bit of it. You must have at least one glass of fizz.

Truedessa said...

Quite the celebration here! Wishing you a very happy Birthday Hilary. I think the wine farm might be a fun place to visit especially if there is some tasting :)

Janie Junebug said...

Happy Birthday and Blogaversary. I had strawberry soup once in a restaurant. It was delicious. Cold on a hot day.

Love,
Janie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - that'd be good a banquet of my own ... I hope I can have some friends along too. St Hilary's the village exists ... we didn't go there often as it was in the apex of the two main roads away from Penzance and St Ives .. but it's a pretty church.

@ Beste - many thanks ...

@ Crystal - ooh yes I'd love some cheese to go with my wine.

You've a lot going on with your family and writing .. but I love the A-Z - hard work it is .. but fun at the same time ... the camaraderie creeps in.

@ Anabel - I see you have a new blog .. I'll be over. Being late is sometimes advantageous .. more time to natter to the hostess ... so welcome!

@ Jo - the food all looked delicious ... especially that fish and chips - so different - really coming from the dark satanic mills of the northern industrial era. No fizz - but I expect I'll have some at some stage!!!

@ Truedessa - yes I celebrate in all ways possible ... you will definitely enjoy the wine farm ... I think drinks will be on the cards, not just tastings!

@ Janie - thanks so much ... I'd imagine strawberry soup on a hot day would be delicious ... I used to make a lot of lettuce soup in the summer months but it's not the same pretty colour - that I agree!!

Thanks everyone - it was a good birthday - albeit being busy with other things. Today looks like yesterday - blue sky and sun, but the pretty yellow clouds seem to be puffing up rather earlier than yesterday - more rain I suspect ... cheers to you all - Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

Double Happy Birthday to you both for your blog and yourself.

Lynn said...

Happy happy birthday, Hilary! Lovely that your parents named you after St. Hilary.

I'm always so glad I started coming to your blog. I raise one of those champagne flutes to you!

Rhodesia said...

Happy Birthday to you...... and 7 years blogging is quite a feat. Well done.
Keep well Diane.
http://photodiarydps.blogspot.com/

Jeffrey Scott said...

Some interesting food selections this time around.
Not sure I'd be willing to try the cod with squid ink powder.
I didn't even realize that was a picture of food till I reread your description.

As for one of the first photos - You say no, you are not inviting that many people. Does that mean you shall be imbibing the entirety of the champagne yourself? LOL

Lowcarb team member said...

The years simply fly by ...

Happy Birthday Wishes from me to

All the best Jan

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

It's been 8 eight? Amazing. I'm trying to remember how we met. I think it was through Carole Anne Carr's blog. I think. You and Gary made me feel so important when you almost immediately began visiting my blog so I would have comments to boot. You deserve the best birthday, Hilary. You have taught me more about the UK in 8 years than I learned in 12 at school and beyond. I hope to be around to help you celebrate 16 years blogging.

Susan Scott said...

Belated happy birthday Hilary!! Hope it was a wonderful day and here's to an excellent year! Happy birthday to your blogging too! Age and blogging can clearly be likened to wine and cheese-all improve as time goes by... Actually I don't like that analogy too much. You and your blogs are like a draft of fresh air, a bowl of beautiful flowers, a tasty blueberry pie and clotted cream - and much more more - happy everything Hilary 🍀

Shannon Lawrence said...

Happy Belated Birthday! And now I'm hungry.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful birthday, and wish you many more, and many more happy years of blogging, as well.

I watch and enjoy quite a few cooking shows on TV, but haven't come across the one you mentioned. It sounds like another I'd enjoy, though.

Take care, and a happy weekend to you. Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda - many thanks ...

@ Lynn - lovely that you come over too and we met, possibly via Jannie I think. St Hilary can give me that extra subject to talk about ... especially at this time of year ...

@ Diane - I have to say I'm somewhat surprised to be going into my eighth year of blogging ... but it's been fun and very enlightening ..

@ Jeffrey - I wanted to highlight some of the Great British Menu dishes - as they inspired me ... when I watched. The Emancipation plate was so amazing to see being created ... Michael O'Hare is an interesting chef. It was difficult to find a photo that highlighted the food any better than this one - but the Emancipation idea for the title was really inspirational.

I probably could imbibe all that champers all by my little self!!!! - trouble is it'd take me til this time next year ... at some stage soon I'll have a glass or two ...

@ Jan - the years do fly by and it gets even faster ... still it's wonderful having friends here in the UK and around the blogging world.

@ Joylene - into my eighth year - and that quite amazes me. Was it via Carole Anne ... it's good that we all get round to comment and support other bloggers - and here we still are.

I'm just delighted that you enjoy my postings, particularly those about the UK ... I'm teaching myself so much about 'my UK' as we go along - and appreciating the learning.

If I reach 16 years of blogging - that will be even more surprising, but I'm not thinking of giving up - it's not even on the horizon ... so who knows 16 years ahoy!!

@ Susan - thanks so much ... I'll be celebrating over the weekend ... so you can join me then! Yes my blog has definitely improved over the years - and I hope I have ... I've certainly aged!

Thanks so much re the 'blast of fresh air', bowl of spring flowers, and a tasty bowl of raspberries and clotted cream - most definitely the latter two ... and appreciate that the blog is 'different' ...

@ Shannon - many thanks .. I've just had lunch, but I wouldn't mind a trip to one of the chef's restaurants!

@ Susan - it's been a good week so far .. and yes I hope many more years of living and blogging!! The BBC do the show every year ... recently they've cut back a bit in time frame for each episode, particularly the banquet - which is a pity .. but I still enjoy seeing what I can.

Thanks so much to you all for supporting me through thick and thin with the blog, introducing yourselves and then me to new people via your blogs - wonderful group of friends ... cheers Hilary

Paula Kaye said...

Happy Birthday Hilary!

Mark Noce said...

Happy b-day:) And wow, eight years is no small accomplishment either:)

Gattina said...

Happy anniversary ! 7 years ! not bad ! I make it this year to 10 years, can't believe it ! I honestly prefer the real fish and chips, which together with the baked potatoes are my favourite meals when I am in the UK, just because I can't get them here, it tastes all different !

Gattina said...

A very happy belayed birthday from me too ! I misunderstood, I thought you were celebrating St. Hilary's day, and was wondering because only Catholics celebrate their names day. Sorry !

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Paula - thank you ...

@ Mark - good to see you ... going into my eighth year ...

@ Gattina - not to worry ... I just loved the idea of these creative chefs - always good to try new things. Thank goodness for different tastes in other countries .. and St Hilary - goes back to Roman times ...

Cheers Hilary

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Happy birthday, Hilary and happy St Hilary Day! Yes, very clever of your parents. Our youngest son was born Dec. 7 on Pearl Harbor Day but I don't think he'd have appreciated being named Pearl.

DMS said...

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. May the next year be one filled with happiness and good health. Congrats on 7 years blogging. Wow! I always love stopping in and learning about interesting topics here. The food challenge sounds fascinating. I love things like that!
Cheers-
~Jess

Rhapsody said...

blessings and happy birthday, may it always signify that you are loved, honored, cherished and highly favored.

peace & blessings.
Rhapsody

Vallypee said...

I hope you had a lovely birthday, Hilary! I'm sorry I missed it, but it sounds as if your plans were good! Emily's book is one I would love to get at some stage. It looks fascinating. I hope the coming year brings you (and then us) lots more fascinating blogs to write. I always learn something new here. Have a great weekend, Hilary!

A Cuban In London said...

Have a marvellous and lovely birthday. It has been a pleasure coming to your blog, reading it and enjoying your knowledge and thoughts. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Cindy Saul said...

Happy belated birthday! Cheers to another year!

mail4rosey said...

That was clever naming on the part of your parents! Happy Birthday to you. :)

Madeleine Sara said...

That is awesome Hilary! Your blog was meant to be :O) Birthday wishes once again for 13th. X

loverofwords said...

Happy Happy Birthday, Hilary to both you and your blog. I am proud to be one of your followers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...


@ Karen - thank you .. and yes the decision of my name was made for them. Oh I agree - being called Pearl and being a boy would be a bit strange ... but I love the Johnny Cash song "A boy called Sue"!!

@ Jess - I'm looking forward to an excellent year ahead ... with good health. Delighted you enjoy calling in and seeing where I've taken you for that post ... the food challenge is a fun experience to watch - I love their creative skills.

@ Rhapsody - many thank for your thoughts

@ Val - apart from a cold this past weekend .. it was a January birthday! Family dinner deferred two weeks. That's excellent to know you'd like to read Jenny's book - with your knowledge of Holland and Belgium ... you'll be able to put some visuals of the towns into situ. I can't see me changing my blogging process - it seems to have happily settled into eclectic postings!

@ ACIL - thank you for your thoughts - it's good for us to interact - we learn so much as we blog about things we perhaps would never come across.

@ Cindy - many thanks and yes to another few years I expect

@ Rosey - somethings meld into place .. glad St Hilary chose that day.

@ Madeleine - it looks like the blog evolved as it was meant to be and will continue to do so in the coming years ...

@ Nat - thank you so much - I'm just delighted you enjoy being here and following - I love your art posts when you are able to post one.

Thanks everyone ... and for all your wishes and blog wishes! Cheers Hilary

Sara C. Snider said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you, and congratulations on eight blogging years! That's fantastic. Though, I'm sad I missed your 2013 A to Z Challenge, as it sounds like I would have loved it. Hooray for food! :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara - many thanks and yes into my eighth year of blogging. The A-Z 2013 is still up ... that's one advantage of having a blog - the data remains.

Hooray for food - definitely .. cheers Hilary