Friday, 30 November 2012

Downton Abbey at the Secret Garden Club

The Secret Garden Club has been visited by a celebrity! Do you remember Cousin Patrick, the mysterious Canadian bandaged possibly fake long lost heir who poor Edith (of course) started to fall for? Yes, he who is also indelicately known in Viv Groskop's Downton columns as 'melty face', came to the Secret Garden Club for dinner!!
He even wrapped some napkins around his head so we could recognise him better.
Anyway even actor Trevor White, for that's his real name, thought the storyline was rather abruptly finished. I thought we were in for a long 'Return of Martin Guerre' type story. Spoiler alert: Trevor has not been asked back. So it seems we won't see the imposter Patrick Cousin Meltyface again.
We ate an autumnal feast of roast pumpkins, roast chestnuts, puffball mushrooms, truffle tagliatelli, pears poached in red wine and drank lots. We didn't do any canning at all. I was too tired and the guests were too drunk.
Puff ball mushrooms fried in butter and garlic
Spaghetti squash being forked at the table, tons of butter in it.
Riverford Organic pumpkin box and our own Secret Garden Club pumpkins. Plus one 'chestnut' flavoured pumpkin from Israel, where I met the guy who 'designed' it. 
Pumpkins roasted with achiote paste, red peppers, smoked paprika. 
Truffle tagliatelli and pink peppercorns.
Never mind, we do have a canning demonstration/workshop and jar meal set for next year. On March 3rd, we have the hugely talented and probably only British expert on pressure canning, Gloria Nicol of The Laundry, coming down to London to teach. We will go through pressure canning, water bath canning and preserving. Jars will be provided by Le Parfait (love their jars). Gloria and I will then make a stunning supper, using our home-canned goodies, all in jars.
March 3rd 2013: Sunday, starts at 2pm. Book here: £60 for workshop and supper. Bring your own alcohol.

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