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 ...
Matt Gillan's "Teaching and Preaching" - the story of goat meat ...
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