The wine for our spring time feast was kindly provided by Pipai, an amazing wholesaler of Italian wines. You can see that the wine was completely irresistable!- isn't there just a little bit left in the bottom of this bottle.
Here are the two wines that we drank last night... and they were seriously fantastic.
Last night Tavolone sprang into spring with a marvellous dinner at Mother. PiPai provided us with some amazing wines to go with our fresh and herby dinner. It really felt like a celbration yesterday evening - not just because the weather is finally getting warming, but also becuase we had a month off and we were really starting to miss all of our lovely guests.
After nibbling on olives and sippiung on an absoluelty fantasatic Spumante we all found our way to the table for the main event- Food! Christian was in charge of the first course creating a Vegetarian Lasagne with Bechemel sauce and his specialty, Pesto alla Genovese...
The lasagne tasted as good as it looks- perfect.
In the meantime Giorgio was in the kitchen rolling the chicken Saltimbocca alla Romana. Again you can see from the picture...
it was divine. And look at our proud chef!
This left me on dessert and typically I decided to make something I'd never made before: Kola Kakor- a delicious, crunchy, hokey pokey-ish, golden syrup biscuit which I served with soft, creamy home made vanilla icecream. It was amazing.
And it was really fun to make too!
I also made a cake with ingredients that were sitting around anyway: Bread Flour, 1 Egg, Butter, Maple Syrup, Tired Apples, Prunes, Earl Grey Tea. A bit hippie I know but it really did make a delicious light loaf.
Thanks so much to everyone who made it last night and to PiPai for the wine. It was great to see you all again. And thanks to Felix, Willie and Lars who were so amazingly helpful- We think you are all terrific!
Look at our breakfast table- mint from the garden for tea, beautiful blue bells from the garden and a strange knot of wood that fell of out rose tree. We've planted all of our herbs, thyme, sage and rows of basil, our salad greens are starting to spout. My favouriste season, Spring!
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Austrian Winter Festival. Balls floating in soup, balls swamped by goulasch and balls swimming in custard. Everybody loves a dumpling and it was great to have a variety of textures, tastes and to compare. The eating was great and it was great to catch up with old friends again after our break in January.
The moment we arrived we started shredding the bread, chopping the herbs and preparing the broth...
Getting all the twigs out of the time always takes for ever! Here are Lars and Giorgio doing a very through job.
This is me, Hannah, digging the marrow out of the bones- weirdly I found this tak totally satisfying- Amazing how much marrow we got too! This was then heated and mixed with egg, salt, nutmeg, parsley, and breadcrumbs to create amazing silken balls...
Which Lars made all on his lonesome and absolutely beautifully.
Semmelknoedel is made from stale bread crumbed and shredded to create texture mixed with egg, milk, herbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, onion. Below we are making some stale bread- ridiculous!
and they're still going with the herbs... poor things!
Look at that. They are so delicious- we had them again for lunch.
This is made from halved plums which have been coated in vanilla sugar then wrapped in a semolina batter. They are then poached and served in custard.
No one wanted to go home but in the end we had to- it was a school night after all. Thanks so much for coming everyone. We had such a great evening. See you all in March for a little taste of spring.
Its unbelievable Christian cooked vegen food! After years of not knowing what the vegetables in the Bangladeshi Shops were or how to make them, Christian has tracked down a Bangladeshi Women's Group to help him learn about their absolutely amazing cuisine.
He went and brought £30 worth of random vegetable and fruit and fruit along to one of their lunch time meetings. Main criteiria: Weirder the Better!
Holsa: tangy and bitter and great for digestion. You on't use those amazing outer leaves.
Kerala: also slightly tangy, can be unsed in curries or stuffed like an aubergine
Red Saag: tastes like baby spinach with a similar texture. Not so earthy as spinach can smoetimes be (especially if Christian washes it!)
Yam leaves: these dudes have a beautiful velvety texture but you have to be careful because they can make you itch if you don't wash them with hot water. And you don't cook them through and don't use lemon they can have the same effect on your throat... weird!
Yam Stalk; we didn't get a chance to use these becuase appearntly they're a bit of a hassle. Next time!
Chrsitian had such a fantastic time and he can't wait to cook more with these lovely Bangladeshi women! He learnt so much... which is fantastic for us because we get to eat his homework! Brilliant!!
I'm making bread today and I get asked how I do it so often that I'm making this little set of instructions... Hannah bread for all!
400g Bread Flour/ Strong White Flour
You can also use a different flour or mix flours but if you are added lots of rye put in 1/2 tsp extra of yeast.
Giant Pinch of Salt
1 Generous teaspoon of dried Yeast
Anything else you feel like adding
Weigh out your flour, the salt and then anything else you feel like adding.
I always include sunflower seeds and seasame seed. With the seasame I tend to munch them up a bit before I add them so the flavour really comes through in the bread.
In this batch I am also adding rolled oats, and red Quinoa becuase I saw them sitting around. Quinoa should also be munched up a bit before you add it. Pumpkin seeds would have been nice too but we just ran out.
After you have combined all these dry things add the water and yeast and stir. Its quite a stiff consistancy but if you are using different flours you sometimes have to add a splash more water. Just experiement.
Leave the bread in the bowl and cover it with a teatowel. Leave to to rise for 8-20 hours depending on how hot it is at your place and when you have spare time to bake it. Longer seems to be better but sometimes when I'm in a rush I just leave it to grow overnight and then cook it in the morning. It always seems to come out fine.
Once you have a bubbly light looking dough its ready to bake. This is my bread after 9 hours...
When you have decided to bake it turn your over up to 200 degrees C or more if you over can. Place a heavy pot with a fitting lid in the oven so it warms to temperature. Once your oven and pot are super hot pull out the pot, sprinkle a little bit of flour in the bottom to stop it sticking, drag your bread mix into the pot, return the lid and then put everyting back in the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the lid but leave the pot and bread in the oven for another 30-40 minutes, depending on how dense it it.
To check that its cooked bring the bread out of the oven and knock on the base. If it sounds hollow its done. Leave the bread to cool and then eat it.
His Majesty's Tavolone Feast; a supper of rabbit kidney and liver pate to start, wild rabbit ragout with parpadelle and juniper for first course, second course of stuffed rabbit with steamed seasonal greens, and a selection of cakes to finish up.
Ready for action and having a sip of prossecco with the first guests after the initial, slightly frantic courtly activity. Here Giorgio and I are making the parpadelle...
De-boning the wild rabbit was easy by rabbit number 10! Look at those beautifully clean bones!
His Majesty all ready to roll...
Tying up the rolled rabbit also got a bit easier with practice...
Once the rabbits were tied and the ragout browned, it was just a matter of cooking the honorable rabbits slowly for a royal supper...
The parpadelle ragout plated up and looking amazing!
Very!... the hint of juniper was subtley wonderous...
That was gone in a jiffy... whats next?! This was next, mmmmmm....
Unfortunately we were so pleased with ourselves and so busy chatting that we all forgot to take a photo of the delicious polenta orange cake and toasty banana bread that we had for dessert.
We chatted until at least midnight all feeling very sated, replete and satisfied- those might look like synonyms to you but we need all three to describe our pleasure. Really, it was a lovely night with so many return guests, a very familiar, family feeling. Thanks so much to all of our wonderful guests... lets see what we can do to rustle up some Christmas Cheer next month.
Let us know if you're around waifs and strays- we'll be here!