THE LITTLE BOLTONS
30 November 2019
At the end of November we were invited to cook in The Little Boltons, where I am delighted to report an all female cast in the kitchen helped me prepare food for over 100 Thanksgiving revellers. We teamed pumpkin coloured cloths with dramatic flowers and twinkling lights, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests.
The evening began with a selection of canapés, new on the menu: warm celeriac purée with pear butter, parmesan and truffled parma ham. Pear butter inspiration taken from the legendary Milli Taylor’s cookbook: Party Perfect Bites. I have cooked alongside her and can’t recommend her or this book more – it’s a super Christmas present and a great addition to any household who entertains on a regular basis.
The jewel in the crown was of course the starter. It took three people two days to carve out the squash in which we served the soup. We used three varieties, all provided by Tollhurst Organics: Uchiki Kuri, Black Futsu, Buttercup (Black Futsu being the most uncooperative to carve!).
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without turkey and we sourced all 25kg of ours from the gorgeous humans at Walters Turkeys, a free range farm where birds are dry plucked, then hand finished and left to hang for at least 7 days. High welfare meat always guarantees a better flavour and texture; there was not a dry piece of turkey in sight. Safe to say the neighbours have been eating turkey for the past week with the amount I had left over...!
We served all the trimmings; bright and beautiful cous cous with cumin spiced cauliflower and pomegranate, maple roasted carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce. I’m told Thanksgiving is nothing without an extremely sweet side dish, so at the client’s request we used her Grandmother’s recipe to make ‘tomato pudding’, an unusual combination of brown sugar, bread, tinned tomatoes and butter.
Pudding followed; twinkling meringues with passion fruit, cape gooseberries and blackberry coulis, chocolate brownies with berries and marshmallow s’mores. An appropriately indulgent conclusion to a fine night’s festivities.