Eating My Daughter’s Love Letter

Rebel Eldest looking very gorgeous….

My eldest (who is shaping up to be not-so-much of a rebel really) took me out for dinner last night.

It was to devour a ‘taster’ menu, cooked by her friend and colleague, Iain Richardson (currently Sous Chef at New Lanark Mill Hotel).

I was a bit (just a bit) suspicious of the motive behind the invitation. Disloyal? Ok. Yes… 

My plea in mitigation? Meg has a wonderful history of breaking bad news at times and in places where you can’t go all feral on her… 

But the girl done good last night. Oh my God how good she did.

The meal was a two hour slice of food heaven:

  • Smoked Potato and Criffel Cheese Bonbons
  • Pickled Melon, serrano ham and crispy pigskin
  • Pate, Brioche and Onion Marmalade
  • Arbroath Smokie Scotch Egg without the egg served with apple puree, horseradish and baby asparagus (with little deep-fried ‘hats’) and pea fondant
  • Apple sorbet served in a hand-blown sugar apple – complete with little sugar-glass leaf!
  • Ham hough tower with puree and confit of something
  • Trio of beef (including shin and fillet) with the most amazing beetroot puree I have ever ever tasted and little potato medallions that were divine (I hate potatoes)
  • Rum Baba
  • Balsamic Ice-cream serveed with pistachio and chocolate and strawberry foam and jelly.
  • Dark Chocolate, raspberry and salted caramel macaroon with chocolate fondant and raspberry coulis.
I am almost certain I’ve missed a course – I’ll check with Meg (just to encourage your envious salivation). And Meg has some photos which I’ll post.

The other diners were unsuccessful in attempts to hide their curiosity. Eventually one woman came across to say she’d never seen so many wonderful courses – what was the occasion and how did she order the special meal we were having?

It was then that I realised that the food we were being served was just a bit different from the menu choices (which are amazing in themselves).

Meg blushed and explained she worked in the hotel just now – that it was her friend who was cooking for her.

And when Iain came out from his hideout in the kitchen it occurred to me that what I’d eaten 
was a love letter written in food…

PS She did beg a favour – will you take my cat, Mum? – relieved it wasn’t some fresh rebel occurrence, I said OK…

Happy New Year – the Big Party!

The annual Stewart “Day of Madness” is over for another year. I survived!! The house remains intact! We all had a ball.

Hogmanay came and went with the usual mix of fireworks, bells ringing in the village square and 63 bodies drinking, dancing, drinking, eating, drinking and falling down in my house…

Managed to piss off only one (very grumpy snitchy non-partying) neighbour (the neighbour who wasn’t invited to the party) and managed to break only one glass. The jumbo pot of my special chilli vanished within 3 hours of the party opening – with little size 0 Jodie scoffing the last three bowls on her own. The soup had been supped by 4am. The chicken korma eaten by 4.10am. The crisps, nut and sundry prawns and nibbles disappeared within minutes of being served. We were out of beer by 6.30am…

The lad and his many numerous (46) pals turned the bottom 2 levels into a club – techno and dance and DJ sets eventually topping the Indie and old sounds being played by the adults on the 3rd and 4th floors. Who needs The Fall or Massive Attack or Underworld when you can have Deadmau5 and Tiesto? (well, me actually! but I am clearly past it).

The beautiful young women tottered and teetered up and down the stairs on 6″ heels and micro minis – much to the disgust of the mature females assembled and the delight of the heterosexual men. There was the usual lesbian love tryst in the upstairs bathroom – though only one lad coming out (as opposed to the usual three). Marc (20yrs) swore undying lust for me this year – the effect of Snow leopard vodka… Jo and I elevated Calvin – the 18 stone doe-eyed rugby boy – with “the power of belief” and only four fingers (difficult to explain  though I will oblige if you really want me to)…

The die-hards – a few neighbours and a few of the lads pals – were still up at 7.30am. They had graduated to spirits by then (though admittedly a few had been on spirits all night).

The lad had introduced the male neighbours to his “Beer Bomb” – and this caused a massive macho stir of competitive spirit… This improvised device (a funnel, firmly attached to a metre long length of hose – the funnel filled to brimming with a cocktail of drinks and the hose attached to the victim – sorry, the drinkers – mouth) is designed to introduce alcohol very rapidly… According to the lad it “sorts the men from the boys”… Suffice to say only three of the male (middle-class and very proper professionals) neighbours managed to sup the funnel contents as they were delivered at high speed and had to be supped in one long swallow… It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise clever and mature men can metamorphose into wee daft laddies and how “mature” male pride MUST beat “the youngsters”!

We went to sleep at 9am and woke at 1.40pm. I served the bacon rolls and fried stodge to the remaining 12 bodies and eventually the house had emptied of all but 2 guests by 6pm on the 1st of January.

It has taken till today to really thoroughly clean and clear party debris – but it was worth it. So many happy faces. So many hilarious memories to feed stories for the rest of the year.

My pal and her daughter left only an hour ago.

That is us for another year… all that remains for me to say is –

Much love and Happy Happy Happy 2012 to you all!