And so, not so speedily to the conclusion, the final part of the 2009 roundup.
I left you mid-way through September, where I was now becoming firmly established at the market and enjoying the camraderie, meeting customers, and they liked the food. Fantastic and heart warming, it urged me to continue, given I had the time now in the absence of work. Some lovely people came back and told me how much they had enjoyed it. Long time readers introduced themselves, including one lovely lady that was visiting from the US. I really got a buzz from it, even when up at 5am. And folks, I am no morning person.
The year would not be complete without speaking of the Blaggers’ Banquet. Conceived one night at an Action Against Hunger launch, we proceeded to take over Hawksmoor, some weeks later, and cook and serve all of the food, took care of the drinks, had an auction, and ran the auction online for a month following.
It was perfectly imperfect. Perfect because the diners loved it, the food and drink was great, there was such good feeling and we raised a lot of money. We’re almost there, hoping to announce the total and hand it over in the next few days. Imperfect because we had little time to do it, lots of things were rushed and we made some bad choices. Hello ebay and paypal, due to become a nightmare for those working on the auction, especially poor Kavey. They cancelled our account at one point, which meant that we couldn’t auction everything that had been donated, but we did what we could. But, more about all of that soon.
What else? I had a lovely lunch at Iberica, but never found the time to blog it. Eat with your eyes – lots of photos here.
I went to the Koffman popup on the roof of Selfridge’s and thoroughly enjoyed it. Review here.
I had a fantastic time at Ham Class at Brindisa, Borough Market.
I did a market stall in Soho, and 4 days in a row at Covent Garden Real Food Market for London Restaurant Week. I managed it all, solo, coming out the other side of it a dash frazzled.
A brief trip to Portugal for the European Wine Bloggers Conference, a really interesting and fun weekend which I wrote about here. I met lots of new wine folks, and learned a lot from them. Portugal itself was a revelation, the people were so generous and warm, particularly on the trip to the Douro and some wineries, which I still need to write about. Life started to get really busy after this, and I have a number of posts to catch up on.
Time started to whizz by, and before we knew it the Blaggers’ Banquet arrived in a flurry and was gone.
And, already it was December. Life was intense, there was lots going on, particularly lots of challenges, I felt I was barely keeping up. I made a comforting Gammon & Cabbage Soup with some leftovers, wrote about my beloved lahmacun, and had a great day at Covent Garden Real Food Market, sharing my stall with Sig of Scandilicious, which was a happy accident, the market was oversubscribed that day, so we shared.
I had some fantastic bangra sausages and chilli vodka and did a spot of Irish dancing with tuition at new supper club, The Civet Cat Club. I had a very good lunch with some excellent wines at the cavernous Galvin La Chapelle.
Lunch at Roast with matched Chapel Down Wines was a lovely exploration of English wines with some very English food, overlooking Borough Market.
My last day at Covent Garden Real Food Market came around, and it was a lovely one. A busy Saturday, with lots of cheerful festive customers, lots of friends popping by, and lots of prosecco. We did the market through the snow which was mighty cold, but very pretty. We finished the evening at one of my favourote spots, Terroirs, I really must blog Terroirs soon! I hope to go back to market this year from April. I will announce here when details are confirmed.
I had two lunches that I’ve yet to blog, a great wine lunch at Rousillon matched with McGuigan wines and a lunch at Alimentum in Cambridge.
Last recipes blogged for the year were Toasted Pita with Mozarella, Tomato, Onion & Roast Tomato Dressing and a delicious mulled wine.
And that’s it! Bye bye 2009, I can’t say I’ll miss you, we weren’t always friends. It’s taken me so long to finish this series, it was a lot of work, going through all of my photos, and tidying things up. I wanted to do it though, and I hope it wasn’t too painful for you!
2010 looks very cosy, and I look forward to settling into it. I am anticipating lots more cooking and a new camera to replace my stolen one (soon, I hope!). I plan to explore video, visit lots of new places here and abroad, and am anxiously awaiting investing in some new gadgetry, starting with a kitchenaid with some attachments, some sous vide gear and that’s just the beginning. I am excited and full of plans for food, travel, and fun.
Bring. It. On. I say, I am ready! What’s that you say, it’s already started?! Best get my skates on then.