After weeks of planning, days of cleaning and organizing, and many, many many hours of cooking, the first Egg a Day supper is over. Done and dusted. How do I feel? Exhausted, relieved we pulled it off, and overall, really rather happy that it was deemed to be a marvellous success.
Over the years I have catered for many events and for large numbers of people, the largest being a wedding with 150 guests, but I can honestly say that cooking supper for less than 20 people in my own home was just as stressful. Post-supper I have been trying to work out why. By inviting people into your home you are opening up your most personal space, where you kick back after a hard days work, the place normally littered with the detritus and junk of family life. And I guess that leaves you feeling a little vulnerable and exposed. But I have to say, the garden looked resplendent scattered with tea lights and the kids, little treasures, behaved themselves.
I need to offer a huge thanks to my lovely friend and co-chef for the evening, Jo Ingleby of Demuth’s Vegetarian cookery school. She remained utterly calm and focussed on the all important food while I fiddled, fretted and flapped over the minutiae of the table settings and whether we could really eat outside as I had always planned. Eventually after much to’ing and fro’ing I finally decided we should be inside but with the French doors thrown open to the evening air. But what a lot of time I wasted whilst I made up my mind. So thanks Jo, for getting on with the food and making it all come together at the right time. And thanks too should go to my lovely husband Rob who did a great job of putting the guests at ease, not to mention his splendid clearing up during most of Sunday when all I could muster the energy to do was lay on the lawn with the newspaper eating leftovers.
The menu followed a loosely Moorish theme, a nod to my favourite foods of the southern Med and North Africa. And people seemed to love it. I am well known amongst friends for over catering, I can’t help myself, nothing would fill me with more dread than people going home hungry. Despite the fact that 3 people cancelled, 2 at the very last minute, there were not excessive leftovers. And what there was very gratefully consumed by me the following day. I woke up on Sunday morning ravenously hungry, realizing that I had existed on mostly fresh air and a few bites of this and that all day Saturday.
So, will I run another supperclub? Yes, I most defiantly I will, but not for a while, maybe at the end of the summer. And maybe it won’t be supper this time. Maybe it’ll be an afternoon tea with a table groaning under the weight of a bounty of cakes, or perhaps a brunchclub with eggs in a multitude of ways, piles of syrupy pancakes and smoky bacon. And much coffee.
Now I’m feeling hungry again, any more leftovers lurking in the fridge…….?
The photos below were taken by a talented supperclub diner, @througheye. With his kind permission I use his photos here - I think they do the food huge justice - to see more of his work go to www.througheye.co.uk
More photos to come soon from another diner, @monicashaw.
|Flatbread with caraway & nigella|
|Chargrilled English asparagus - the last this year!|
|Labneh with sumac & lemon thyme|
|Chargrilled English asparagus & saffron alioli|
|Tortilla & empanadas|
|Beetroot & walnut dip with coriander, parsley & mint|
|Palestinian couscous with broad beans, peas, mint & lemon|
|Moorish pork skewers|
|Pasteis de Nata, served with fresh mint tea|
|Pistachio meringues, rosewater strawberries & classic vanilla ice cream|