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Farewell to 2009! Another Year Over [Part 4]

Boooo! I’m back. I’m back with the last portion of my round up. Can you take it?

It’s been quite a few days since my last one, mainly due to unsavoury things like work, unpacking, and all of those dreaded things like L-A-U-N-D-R-Y.  Those perpetually boring and dreary tasks. I am not even half way through and I am doing it slowlly but if I start to write I feel guilty for skiving, sheesh. A girl can only do so much before losing her mind so I am back for a little post. Forgive me if I whizz through this installment.

Back to the kaleidoscopic tour of my 2009. A year full of food, wine, extreme busy-ness, a smattering of chaos and a small bit of travel.

Covent Garden Stall - The Girl & The Sleuth

I left you last at August. I was just about to begin my market stall at Covent Garden Real Food Market. Well, I say just about to begin, all that I knew then was that I would be doing it just once. I was working at the time and could only get the actual day of the market off which made for much late night slicing of cucmbers for relish, and early rising to make many large and alien looking soda breads. Nothing is straight forward, and our prosecco delivery was scheduled to arrive at the market at 11am.

Smoked Salmon and Soda Bread w/ Cucumber Pickle

So, not having the experience yet that would make me baulk in horror at this, I attempted to get myself and my wares to Covent Garden on the tube. Many hours later, I was sore from exertion, but mainly from laughing. We had a fantastic day, Denise dishing out the Bisol Jeio Prosecco, and me piecing together the soda bread and Frank Hederman smoked salmon, completed with cucumber pickle.

Covent Garden Stall - The Girl & The Sleuth

We had lots of visitors. So many from twitter, and lots of people that read our blogs. It was a unexpected and fantastic. The heavens opened in the early evening and it rained, with a vengeance and wrath, but we would not be beaten, and we were the last to leave, as pickled as the cucumbers and very happy. That evening haunted me for weeks later, we certainly made an impression.

Jars of cucumber pickle

How could we resist an invitation back? My job was finishing, so I couldn’t come back the following week but we were there the week after, and the week after, and the week after that, for many weeks leading right up to Christmas. Who could have guessed? Certainly not me. It’s hard work, really hard work and ridiculous hours, often 5am through to 9pm, with a glimmer of a break for a quick dash to the loo.  It’s not easy to make money, it’s probably the worst hourly rate I’ve ever made.

Covent Garden Real Food Market - Week 3

Why do it? I really loved it and I accept that I am learning, the challenge isn’t the cooking but everything else that has to be considered. I carried on for 5 months, slow roasting pork for 8 hours and serving it with spiced apple relish in home made bread rolls (blaas from Waterford), slow roast lamb shoulder with smoky aubergine relish, chickpea and chorizo soup, spiced pumpkin soup, black bean chilli, pumpkin spinach, goat’s cheese and chilli rolls, caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart, blackberry filo tart and favourites chorizo and pork sausage rolls.

Chorizo & Pork Rolls

The market is closed for now but I am hoping to go back this year. Watch this space, when I have further details I will post them.

Lille

I had a fantastic trip to Lille (A Lille Adventure), was listed in Saveur’s Best of the Web and made
Chorizo, tomato, cannellini bean & coriander brunch and Spiced duck legs with pancetta & coriander potatoes.

Little Foodie Break in Lille

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/niamheen/3855364303/” title=”Lille by Niamheen, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2598/3855364303_999d101bb2.jpg” width=”380″ height=”500″ alt=”Lille” /></a>

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August finished with a lovely Australian Wine Tasting at Bibendum where we sampled some really good wines, favourites of the night for me were from d’Arenberg, and some great food including wagyu beef and hot smoked kingfish.

Bibendum Wine Tasting - Fab Wagyu Beef.

September, I got creative with my food, only kidding but I do love this photo!

Sunday Brunch: food with a face

But really, September started with a bang with a wonderful evening at Dine with Dos Hermanos at The Bull & Last. My first trip here, I was extremely impressed by the honest and brilliantly executed food and the charming staff.

Dine with Dos Hermanos at The Bull & Last

Dine with Dos Hermanos at The Bull & Last

I had the Hawksmoor Burger. Rich and intense, I loved it and went back and had it again. I may be having one tomorrow too.

I ran A Little Cookery Course and we had lots of fun.

Junior Apprentice had a stall at the market, I believe it will be on TV soon. Hilarious.

Covent Garden Stall - Week 4

I made Beetroot, Tomato & Goat’s Cheese Tartlets with Mint

Hosted Guilty Pleasures: Part Deux:

… and that’s it for now. I promise Part 5 will be the last one and then I will get on with 2010! I have some recipes to post already.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

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