Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Jubilee Food Bonanza

This weekend was all about celebrating the great British Isles.  We do live in a great country, whether England (my residence), Wales, Ireland or Scotland (my home land and by far better off in the UK - but lets not go there, Salmond).The nice old lady Queen marked 60 years on the throne with a whole weekend of festivities, and gave us a day off in the process, so it was only right that we made the most of it with a food and drink feast.  

Although my food tastes usually veer onto the Continent and Asia, Joe persuaded me to try some more localised dishes.  My guinea pigs were Robin and Gemma, joining in a right royal supper party at ours.  Always keen to join in the fun, they came adorned with homemade (and spectacular) crowns and drank and ate merrily, embracing the banquet spirit.

First up, Joe strode off to the farmers' market to find some cheese and treats.  Mario @gustoitaliano was on hand to provide some traditional Sardinian cheeses made with local ingredients (still within the British theme then!), a doughnut to keep Joe's energy up, whilst Pudsey Pickles supplied some very tasty award winning jams.

I was at home sending myself a little bonkers with dinner preparations - I've been told the key is to make lots of things you can prepare ahead, to remain swanlike in the evening - but I was a little manic in the day!  First up was some beetroot cured salmon and seabass and prawn ceviches (the latter not very British but I'm trying!  There was cucumber in it!) 

In an homage to the great Elizabethan era of banquetting, main courses were a poussin each with local asparagus and beetroot.  Who doesn't want their own whole little bird to chomp down on?!  This was then followed up with those amazing cheeses and chocolate truffles (hmm...French).  Well, I tried, and it was a lot of fun.  It also turns out that I am truly terrible at Jenga. 
Queen Gemma
Prince Robin
Princess Jo
The Judderman
Cured salmon on blinis with horseradish and dill creme fraiche
Seabass and prawn ceviche
Whole poussin, roasted beets and shallots and charred asparagus
With some slightly poorly heads the next day, Joe persuaded me to go on a day trip to Harrogate, with promises of Jubilee festivities galore.  I'll be honest, the Jubilee spirit was a little damp, but there was a great street food fair where we caught up with Andrew of Fish& (vote for him here in the Observer's nominations for best cheap eats!)  They were doing a great trade and provided me with my first hangover weapon - fresh scampi! Yum.

We went for a little wander around Harrogate (bought some overpriced stuff, yas) and then returned to the food fair for some lunch.  While I entered phase two of spicy treats with a El Kantina's pulled pork slider and coleslaw, Joe returned to Fish& for the full monty - fish and chips with garlic mayo.  Overall, everything was great and we felt stuffed, although not too stuffed to not eat Joe's home made pork burgers with grilled courgettes for dinner.  Awesome.  I am now on a necessary diet.

Me and Andrew
Pulled pork slider
Fish and chips
And dinner - pork burgers with chargrilled courgettes

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