The weather was almost deep south soupy; so very almost. There was enough humidity to frizz hair and shine faces (at least it did mine); it was very nearly balmy just this little bit south of Wimbledon where the weather and its forecast will be top priorty in the national news for the next fortnight and where we had been promised real heat. New Orleans BBQ prawn (not strictly BBQ but that just adds to its charm) gumbo, rice, freshly shucked corn and pie with a raised crimped all American crust (pecan, for the record) was on the menu and the perfectionist in me had harboured hopes for a little semitropical verisimilitude, weatherwise, to sit alongside us. While not perfect what we had would certainly do and, I will readily admit, was somewhat more comfortable to cook in than the genuine article would have been.
Here was the venue, set up for the get go
recipe booklets, aprons and newspaper prawn-proof mats in place
We chopped and simmered, sliced and diced, whisked and baked and created lunch; the weather held as we ate our fill around our alfresco table, remourning the loss of Lonesome George the Galapagos tortoise as we did so and revisiting a few other stories of the week that formed our makeshift, newsprint, Lousiana-style table cover, while chatting about the world, each other, the weather (of course) and food. The shrimp went down a messy, finger-lickin’, storm and pecan pie proved never too much for a finale. In all, I hope, an elegant sufficiency.
Hope to see some familiar faces along with some new ones in September when this cook will be back teaching in her kitchen. In the meantime, Cake Lady is in town and will be taking a couple of master classes in cake baking and decorating; a rare chance to obtain her recipes and learn how to make some unique, supremely delicious and very beautiful celebration cakes. Our favourite cyclist of Chiswick Farmers’ Market days - our only customer to make his purchase while still seated on his bike - once memorably held his weekly ‘naked vanilla’ cakeling aloft and declaimed it “the food of the gods”!.
Thank you to today’s class attendees for stopping by - I had a lovely day with 'y'all’.
“Laissez les bons temps roulez!”
(Let the good times roll!)