Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Seasonal Feasting

After waving off the third of our offspring at the airport on Sunday morning we felt very despondent, but help was at hand.  Mr and Mrs Peaceable were marking the end of the shooting season by holding a banquet using some of the spoils of the hunting, and what a tonic it turned out to be.  Along with 30-odd other lucky guests we indulged in all manner of culinary delights.  We started off with marinated paradise duck breast (much more tender and tasty than I expected) and some grilled haloumi.  For the main course there was a choice of roasted wild peacock , wild mallard duck breast casserole , or common or garden chicken with wholegrain and raisin stuffing.  (Perhaps this last was provided for those amongst us with less adventurous palates.)  I sampled the wild peacock and was pleasantly surprised by how flavoursome and moist it was.  I can only compare it to chicken in flavour, but slightly stronger and more gamey tasting.  As well as great company and delicious food we had a tame banjo player in our midst who enthusiastically played selections from an enormous repertoire so all in all we were thoroughly spoilt. 

It must be the season for delving into recipe books or memories for comforting foods, now that the weather is cooler.  In the weekend I cooked up a pot of French onion soup, my ultimate go to meal when in need of succour in cooler weather.  The secret is to make sure that you caramelise your onions so that you achieve that rich golden brown colour which makes the final product so appealing to the eye.  I happened to have some vermouth in the cupboard so I used a dash of that, but if you don’t have it use a little white wine instead.  Fired up with enthusiasm after the French onion soup, the next day we had a Spanish peasant style soup with onions, chorizo, potatoes, garlic and Savoy cabbage which was a great rib sticker also.  I will post the recipes for these two great soups in case you feel like making some for yourself.   

Mr Shoestring was happy to find yet another red kitchen tool for his ever expanding collection – this excellent and sturdy lemon squeezer from the Salvation Army shop which set him back by 50 cents.  Also he was given a nice “new” colander with which he is very happy. 

As for myself, a kind work colleague had donated me a lot of old doilies and some damask napkins to use in the damask and doilies quilt, so I spent a happy time ironing and inspecting them all, and planning how best to use this unexpected bounty.  

Despite very varied shades used for the embroidery, these three all seem to have been worked by the same embroiderer, the stitches are very fine and the technique used for the flowers is identical.

This piece is uncompleted but I love the way you can still see the original stamped Semco Superior Needlework motif at the edge, where the lace or hem would have been applied.  I think I will have to try to include that part in the crazy quilt somehow, despite the fact that it is right on a raw edge with quite a bit of fraying.

The work on this piece is incredibly fine - just one thread used to embroider on silk gauze.  It will have to take a starring role.

But this one takes the prize for exuberant use of colour, no holding back with these blossoms.  Another star.

Madame La Poste gave me this cup and saucer a while ago - what a surprise when my mum coincidentally found a couple of tiny matching plates to complement it.