Most of the time the things I cook for this blog get eaten at home or taken to friends, but yesterday was a special day. I cooked a supper for 40 people in aid of The Morrab Library (http://www.morrablibrary.org.uk)
We don't have a cooking kitchen at the Library so maybe it was a bit ambitious to serve this menu, especially as the Library sits in a tropical garden which is locked at dusk.
Pea and garlic crostini, stuffed piquillo peppers, smoked salmon on pumpernickel, quails eggs with two salts, pickled garlic, spiced pumpkin and feta kebabs, ginger and soy mushrooms, Bloody Mary shots...
Venison and Cornish Beef Casserole or
Wild Mushroom Cassoulet
Home made walnut and onion bread
Autumn Leaf Salad
Deeply caramelised pears with ginger biscuits and clotted cream
Chilli chocolate truffles and coffee
Followed by ghost stories by candle light.
I live only a couple of hundred yards away so it seemed feasible to cook it all at home and run over with it to the Library, which is what we did. Several days of cooking for a couple of hours of eating - but very worth it.
We approached it like a military operation. We borrowed lots of casseroles, bread boards, salad bowls etc. The team were fantastic - Annabelle our Librarian didn't tell me I was crackers to have such a wild idea and kept me calm throughout. The wonderful Alex made all the decorations - including projecting the Bela Lugosi film 'White Zombie' onto the ceiling!
Madison dressed up and would have escorted the guests through the dark gardens - but the weather was dreadful! David made a potent punch, Jenni made truffles, my friend Chris came and helped with the cooking, Antonia, Llyn and Elaine provided the entertainment. My husband drove the meals on wheel round to the Library door. Alex, George and Madison served and cleared and Ros and Meg washed up.
We made a horseshoe of trestle tables in the reading room - so it was a real pop-up restaurant and we asked people to bring their own wine to keep the whole thing legal.
We sold out the tickets over 10 days before the event and in the end made over £600 in donations for the Library funds. What a result! So now I'm shattered (in a good way) and already thinking about what the menu can be for next time...once I've got the glue out of my hair which fixed on my Morticia style hair extension....