Tonight I made another Japanese feast. Of course this meant quite a lot of forward planning. For a start I bought the fish last week as well as a few Japanese essentials from the Japan Centre. Oh, and the menu. That always takes a bit of planning.
As well as the menu, the order in which to do things is always handy to have to hand. This time I discovered the beauty of sticking this much needed schedule onto a kitchen cupboard. That way I could refer to it often and tick things off. I know that sounds really, really obvious but it’s the first time it’s occurred to me to actually stick it up rather than have it laying flat somewhere on the counter.
A big first was making a Japanese dessert. They aren’t big on desserts but I found a matcha jelly which looked easy enough. I wish I hadn’t found it. I like the taste of matcha but I didn’t think it worked very well. It set okay and the colour was good but, suffice it to say, I’ll not be making it again.
The reason I was making it was because Mirinda was having a couple of people over from work, one of them, Anne, is retiring this year and it was a sort of thank you for her years of service. Along with Anne, Sarah came as well which is always a great treat for me.
So my day was full of preparation, last minute cleaning and minimalist table decoration.
I rather like the empty look of the table, especially with the view out to the garden. The garden, by the way, was another reason for Anne to come over. It seems she’d expressed an interest in seeing it. She’s also not a stranger to Farnham given her father lives here.
Speaking of the garden, Gardener Dave and Michael came today to do their magic and also to discuss the possible identity of the butt seed tomato thief. Particularly given it has struck again. Another entire branch of ripe, red butt seed tomatoes gone, vanished without trace. Very, very mysterious.
I’m beginning to understand some of the tomato growing frustrations described by various people. Though this is the first I’ve heard of thievery.
Mirinda was off to Book Group today so for a few hours I had the house to myself, listening to Frank Zappa and generally making then clearing up, a mess. (Part of the planning must always include cleaning up as you go, otherwise you run out of space and utensils.) One very important job I completed before they arrived, was the board.
They all arrived just after 4pm and we chatted while I worked. As I said to Anne, our extension, if nothing else, has shown me that I can cook and chat at the same time, something I was never sure I could do.
Eventually, the food was finished (following the ubiquitous last half an hour of rushed cooking) and Mirinda helped set the table. This is very helpful. While I can cope without my sous chef in the kitchen (just) having an extra pair of hands to put the 32 dishes out was a right boon.
It looked lovely before we tucked in.
And, apart from the dessert (and Sarah not having her miso) I think everyone enjoyed everything. Mind you, I didn’t get an applause.