Yesterday I was invited to speak at a literary lunch fundraiser, which took place in a large boat shed overlooking a beautiful bit of the harbour, full of very nice women who all seemed to be uber-professionals (radiologists, MCA guides, painters, doctors, etc) and at the same time very warm and generous people.
They also made the food – or at least a small band of great cooks from among their ranks did – for the 130 gals in attendance. And even before those women were thanked I could tell, looking at the buffet table, that this food came from good home cooks rather than profit-making caterers – it’s the generosity, people. Quality ingredients, bounteous servings and good taste: perfect rare roast beef, succulent chicken marbella, mounds of silky smoked salmon & capers, gorgeous salads, good bread and real butter.
I love a bring-a-plate* function myself, and I love that everyone has a signature dish or two. The Empress, for example, is duty-bound to lug a huge bowl of her incredible baba ganoush pretty much wherever she goes (I believe her secret is to smoke the aubergine first … mmmm). My own chart-toppers are a roasted carrot & mint salad, and a braised green bean, tomato & dill number for which I can never find the recipe and thus have to phone my sisters whenever I need it.
So I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Here’s the simplest carrot salad in the world, and always beloved by all. Read the rest of this entry ?