Somehow I managed to forget to cook the padrón peppers last night but more or less everything was cooked and then eaten
The day started with a trip to Liverpool for coffee and bagels. This was to embolden us to start on the decision making process as to whether we should buy a heron. The heron had been spotted some weeks previously and identified as a potential birthday gift. However it was decided that I should have the opportunity to take a look at it before the plunge was taken.
We found it in 69A Renshaw Street – a sort of junk shop emporium full of things you don’t really need but help brighten up the day – including an old style green £1.00 note (used). The heron, in its wooden case, was on a shelf half way up the wall on the left hand side surrounded by dark paintings and other birds in boxes including a bittern and dove.
Once spotted the only dilemma was over its size and where it would fit. We quickly decided that didn’t matter and the deal was done. There was an interesting five minutes trying to get it into the car. I mistakenly thought it would fit between my feet in the front seat. With one foot balanced on the gear stick and the other out of the door it became apparent that wouldn’t work and so it was laid gently on its back in the boot.
We found a suitable shelf for it home and it is sat there now. There was a label on the back describing how it had been met its fate in Habestown Reservoir and was then won in a raffle by a girl called Lily. According to the label (which was dated 2012) Lily would now be 134 years old.
The rest of the day was given over to buying food and cooking. From Wards I bought cockles and razor shells and plump cooked pink prawns, The International Store gave me a kilo of lamb chops and most everything else came from the grocers.
So we ate:-
- quails eggs
- Spanish ham
- flat bread
- prawns & kale
- quails eggs
- baba ghanoush
- beetroot borani
- patatas alinados
- razor clams with garlic
- cockles with garlic
- lamb chops with garlic & cumin
The razor clams and cockles were a highlight. They were both fat and rubbery and full of the sea.
For pudding we had chocolate nemesis. A cake with no flour. The recipe is in the first River Cafe cookbook which was given to me as a birthday present 20 years ago. It is the final recipe in the book and is one of those recipes that is deceptively simple – easy to read but difficult to make.
A few years after I was given it someone made it for as a pudding at a birthday party. I remember now being told that it was impossible to get it to set right.
I had of course forgotten all that when I persuaded Kristen to cook it for me yesterday. It didn’t help that I tried to take it out of its tin too early whilst it was still warm. A dark brown unfathomably sludge spilled over the plate it had been turned out on all over the side in the kitchen. We scraped it back into the tin and put it back into the very low over for another hour. That seemed to work and it just about held its shape when I turned it out a lot later that night.
Most of it got eaten although there is a bit left for me to run a finger through after we have the padrón peppers later this evening.
Almost as good a night as last year.