Obviously I'm sure they are doing their bit to ensure the US keeps ticking along, I'm sure they have all been supplied with the relevant blackberries, wifi and the other paraphernalia that one needs to work away from the office these day (all said very wryly) ... but it has meant that the buses and trains have ground to a holt, and as no worker can get in, the museums are closed too! Hence, I am blogging this morning when I really should be out on a tourist trail or three.
Anyway, on arrival at my destination, the house warming of my friend was in full swing and before I knew it, I was in the kitchen checking the lamb and other tidbits to ensure that all was ready for consumption. On laying out the spread, I was surprised to find that no-one a) could actually believe that a house-warming came with food and not a few bags of 'chips' (crisps) and dip and b) none of the men actually knew how to carve a leg of lamb. The latter task was fostered upon the only two Brits in the room who admirably sliced away beautifully. I was wondering if this lack of cooking for larger numbers was becoming a lost art or just something no-one cares to do anymore or is this simply what the Supper Club replaces?
Last week I had a wonderful time catering for Barmouth Kitichen's second Supper Club - 16 ladies (all friends from around the neightbourhood) arrived for a three-course meal. I always find myself getting a little nervous beforehand, as the day is filled with cooking but then a little dread creeps up that everything you have cooked might not be to someone else's liking. After all, taste is really very subjective.
To start we had a simple Waldorf Salad with a large crouton, followed by a choice of Sticky Chorizo and Chicken or Lemon Sea Bass on couscous with seasonal vegetables which happened to be roasted courgettes and lightly blanched broccoli. And pudding was Panna Cotta with orange caramel sauce (see recipe here).
The evening started at 19:00 will the prosecco flowing and finished well into the evening and long after I had left. It would seem that what we all crave is a little time with our friends but without the task of cooking and of course the washing up at the end of a night; and I received a lovely not from the client who said that the food was super but particularly the vegetarian dish - as her friend was delighted to see that her food looked just like everyone elses - something she says happens very rarely!.
The Supper Club trend isn't about to disappear, there are some great pop-up restaurants all over London with amateur and professional chefs working small intimate dinners for either groups of strangers or parties of friends. I've just joined Grub Club (as recommended by another catering buddy) as they seem to be able to offer super alternative food nights. One that I'm really tempted by is The Secret Larder which bills itself as good food and good company based on the Holloway Road and hosted by Guardian food writer & Radio 1 broadcaster, James Ramsden. The next one is sold out but I think I may be putting myself into the mix in the future ...
For now though, I really need to get some boots on and try to find a way into Washington DC to take in just a few of the landmark sites - I've already reminisced over Rob Lowe and St Elmos Fire in Georgetown, who knows that the rest of the day will uncover!