Easter Food goes Well, But Paul A. Young Questionable

Tuesday 10th April 2018

In the Far West, the fish shop closed down so I had to go to the bigger town to get fish. But it was a triumph. Every cloud has a silver lining etc… I got lemon sole straight off the boat and smoked haddock. The Gay Mother’s menu idea was kedgeree. When the time came, though, she left the kitchen. Only the central lamb with preserved lemons was a dip, the actual Easter Day feast. The Gay Mother declared she no longer likes meat, although she’d chivied me to order the shoulder from the butcher. I had some oregano left over from a London supper (it had been slipped under the skin of a guinea fowl) which was much better than Mary Berry’s suggestion of thyme. Really tangy. The preserved lemons came from Wholefoods, Piccadilly and tasted of something, unlike the Belazu ones.

But the Gay Mother doesn’t like meat any more so that’s the last of the meat we will eat.

But the kedgeree… that was menu-ed for the night before. Abandoned in the kitchen (the Gay Mother was in her chair by the fire in the drawing room, surrounded by antiques) I had no idea what to do. Except that before departure, the Gay Mother had made it clear that the rice was not be cooked risotto-style but boiled separately and then mixed. That turned out to be the stroke of genius. I fried shallots with a tiny bit of mild curry powder got from one of those rather dusty wholefood shops where there are numerous items in little plastic bags. How long have they been there? Then really just mixed in the cooked, flaked haddock and the rice. Oh and the boiled eggs. Parsley. We were thrilled with it. Very light in flavour. Incredibly authentic. Just like Indian food is in India. Dry. I’ve never been to India, of course (the hygiene) but take it from me. I know. Real Indian food isn’t all gloopy like it is here. It’s dry. And pure. And rare.

The Gay Mother said she must have a lot of kedgeree. She needed to be comforted. There’d been a set-back. A little private Crucifixion, not quite on the scale nor getting the publicity of the original one. But a Crucifixion all the same.

We tackled the Easter egg from Paul A Young (branches in Islington, the Royal Exchange and Mayfair only) when Cousin Smurry came over on the Monday. £35. That was the price of the egg. Our lunch for Cousin Smurry had been v. successful. Potatoes Gratinee, Beetroot Sliced, Panzanella. A Vegetarian lunch. The Easter Egg from Paul A Young required heavy equipment to get it open. Inside was a plastic bag full of chocolate drops. It was a plain egg but jewelled at one end with tiny sugar balls in many colours. A great chocolate spectacle. But for days afterwards, everywhere we looked.. there they were. Tiny little balls all over the place. They got everywhere. Impossible to pick up except with the vac or a wet finger (then placed in the mouth). Thank you very much, Paul A Young.

Finally the cake: I put in extra baking powder, as Mary Berry suggests in her Aga cookbook, written before she became what she afterwards became. The cake was nice but grainy. I got the icing wrong. Too loose. It got everywhere. A new decree: the correct Easter cake is: a Vic sponge with orange juice added to the cake mixture (I put in too much: perhaps why cake was grainy). The icing is made with orange juice also. The cake is decorated – this the absolute coup, the key note – with crystallised violets. These you must get well in advance from online suppliers.

The other thing to say is: how well primroses arrange themselves in the garden. ‘They’re very welcome,’ the Gay Mother said. They dot themselves about in just the right places, never over-doing it. Well done, primroses!

Paul A Young: His Egg

Paul A Young: His Egg

Thanks very Much, Paul A Young. Little Balls Everywhere, from Your Egg. Lovely to Look at but Practical....?

Thanks very Much, Paul A Young. Little Balls Everywhere, from Your Egg. Lovely to Look at but Practical….?

The Classic Easter Cake: the Keynote is Crystallized Violets and Orange Juice

The Classic Easter Cake: the Keynote is Crystallized Violets and Orange Juice

How Well Primroses Arrange Themselves

How Well Primroses Arrange Themselves

I Also Did Lime Plastering over Easter

I Also Did Lime Plastering over Easter

 

 

Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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