Friday 15 July 2011

The shared table...

One of the best things about food is the joy in sharing it with others. The conviviality of the shared table is a life enhancing experience....
Last weekend was three days of such meals...and it was bliss! You can read about the weekend, where we stayed, and how it came about by clicking here . But the real reason that we were all together, was because of the friendships that have grown through our shared passion for good food and our desire to communicate that love through writing.
As you can imagine...we ate well from the beginning!

A trip to the local Farmer's Market on Saturday morning meant that we were well stocked with fruit, vegetables and wonderful meat...
cubed vegetables, sprinkled with fresh rosemary and olive oil....ready to be roasted...

when they were transformed into an earthy, sweet dish of deliciousness...
Belly of pork was soaked in spiced brine for 3 hours to produce the softest, most delectable meat most had ever eaten...

with the crispest crackling that needed a good, heavy knife to cut through it...and plenty of elbow grease!
also on the platter was locally reared rose veal and roasted lamb...
As usual, the kitchen was the heart of the building...everyone wanted to be involved....watching, helping, clearing, tasting..

and the sun went down....the corks were popped and the candles lit...

silence for a while as the meal was enjoyed...before the laughter began again and the joy of being together in this place, at this time, overwhelmed each one of us...

Of course, we probably ate too much - but it was only for a few magical days. I never usually eat breakfast...but somehow, when everyone else is enjoying coffee, crisp bacon and orange-yolked eggs, a warm and jam-filled muffin seemed a good idea!

And afternoon tea really wasn't necessary...but a divine apple olive oil cake, resplendent with maple frosting, plus glittery chocolate cake and rosemary scented apricot squares soon persuaded me that it was the right thing to do....!

On the last night, we needed to use up the fresh a quick green vegetable pasta was whipped up, sharpened with lemon juice and complemented perfectly by a crunchy, tasty and absolutely delicious chargrilled carrot & broccoli salad made by the talented Marta (her blog is amazing too...Muscovado Cafe )

It would be difficult to name my favourite dish of the weekend. But one of them was definitely this...

It may look bizarre, but I can tell you truthfully that tapioca cooked with palm sugar & a touch of pomegranate molasses is one of those taste experiences that I shall treasure forever in my foodie memory bank! Inspired.
I had such a wonderful my element with like-minded people and surrounded by gorgeous ingredients and dishes.

I wish you could have joined us!  Eat well this weekend....xoxo


  1. Rachel, what a wonderful depiction of our weekend - it made me feel exactly how I felt back then and there - calm, happy, serene. And - hungry, too. Such a delightful post - thank you Rachel xox

  2. Oh boy, do I wish I was there! Everything looks delicious Rachel! Looks like a truly magical weekend - to stay in such a monumental building, filled with wonderful food and drink and the company of dear, like-minded friends! I don't think it could have been any more perfect, could it? Wonderful post sweetie, you describe everything so beautifully! Happy, happy Friday! xoxo

  3. Yes, darling, you can write about food! I feel like I was there, loved the crackling, still not 100% sure of the pork belly, which I've never had, don't normally lean in the direction of the "belly" foods, but I bet if you cooked it, I would like it. Thank you for taking us along! xoxo

  4. Doesn't that just sound like the most fun ever. It's beyond nice to cook with someone you love and to have a whole group of people helping is really lovely, especially in that huge kitchen with plenty of food. Maybe you should do that reunion more than once a year!

  5. When I read this blog I always feel hungry. And I wonder how I can welcome you as you deserve if you ever come here for tea!

  6. Oh to share a jam filled muffin with you...
    The vegetables looked deeevine! What a wonderful weekend, a lovely picture of you at the end, I hope you didn't fall into that pan! Thanks for the insight into your fab time with your friends, wish I could have been a fly on the wall. xxxxxxxx

  7. What a wonderful experience to share the fine food with wonderful friends!! And how lovely that they all cook, bake and write!! You make it all sound heavenly, Rachel! I am so very happy for you that you will be able to do these reunions periodically. Heaven on earth! Love and hugs, Sherry xx

  8. I wish I were with you all. But you and Marta are makin me live those wonderful day in a different way, though I really miss you all. Next year I'll be with you, or, why not, you could come to Italy for a great southern reunion...


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