Thursday, 3 July 2008

Supper # 41 - Kingsdown, Bristol

I left Welham and headed north to Bristol for a much anticipated dinner with Elly. Elly owns a great little place called the Pear Cafe which I've been dying to investigate. I curved along the deep Somerset lanes, through Bruton, round the one-way system, through Bruton, round the one-way system...through Bruton. Bollocks - stuck in a kind of warped Chevy Chase renactment. I could not get on the road to Bristol - I tried everything, every possible option but it wouldn't take me where I needed to go. I nearly had a seizure. Until that point I had felt pretty relaxed about the lack of sat-nav and pretty pleased with myself for always managing to find my way - but I thought I might pass out with fury in Bruton.

In the end I found my way to Elly and her friend who hooked me up to his house in the most convoluted example yet of pumping power to Jimmy's interior - it really was beyond the call of duty and I felt honoured. With Jimmy all hoisted up and harnessed in, off to Elly's flat we strolled, stopping on the way to pick up some delicious wine and pudding ingredients. It was kind of the first time on the whole trip where I was just hanging out in a city with a friend in a regular sort of being at home.

Glastonbury was going on just down the road and as I prepped the pud and Elly added final touches to her Lebanese extravaganza I cursed myself for not being by Jigga's side. I love him. I love his rhymes, his flow, his hustle and his swagger - and I knew he'd entertain the acoustic evangelists down in Pilton. My yearning subsided quickly when Elly produced a fabulous bottle of manzanilla she'd been saving for the occasion - she's a huge great shez-head and I am always keen to see what kind of style she'll introduce me to next. We snacked on cobnuts and marinated zucchini, quaffed iced sherry and chatted...and Hov did his thing on the telly. I continued to drink - in a way that spoke of being in the comfort of my own home - while Elly worked magic in the little kitchen.

Elly and I

WHAT WE ATE: Roasted aubergine salad salad with saffron yoghurt, chargrilled asparagus, zucchini and haloumi salad with slow roasted tomatoes, roast beetroot, baby spinach, sunflower seed and chervil salad with maple dressing, flatbread with za'tar (sesame, thyme and sumac), fatoush and brown rice tabouleh. Phew! It really was a tour de force and I loved it. I can't get enough of all this delving in and layering up - it's so much more sensuous than an austere piece of 'art' on a plate. I fancy that a medieval style of eating may suit me rather well and who cares about meat when there's this much to make the table groan?

Well once the sherry had been drunk and then the delicious chardonnay and the amaretto - and a few rollies had passed my lips and given me a light-headed sensation, what we spoke about suddenly seems a little unclear.

THE PUD: So I threw together a chilled chocolate, amaretto, orange and almond terrine. After the Bruton debacle it seemed the best option and besides, I knew Elly would be able to slither cheeky little slices off that old rascal for many days to come afterwards. It's one pud that I never get bored of - how could you? It's not leaden and encumbering, nor overly rich. It's just a cool slice of brown gold dust that fills your heart with niceness and winks at you from the freezer whenever you happen to be passing by.

MY BED FOR THE NIGHT: I forgot to get a pic. Like I said, it was a heavy night.

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