Things I Didn’t Like – Mother’s Day 2016

I know this post title sounds cryptic but bear with me, for Mother’s day this year Heather (my sister), Graham (my brother-in-law) and I decided to cook for our two mother’s – and as they’re like a double act that wasn’t hard to do. As always Heather came up with the idea Christmas time and, after, some discussions and some delayed emails we decided on a menu of taster dishes which we’d prepare in advance and on the day – there was one snag…. Jeremy Corbyn.

Mother's Day 2016 - Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and I at the Annual Kier Hardie Lecture

Mother’s Day 2016 – Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and I at the Annual Kier Hardie Lecture

Don’t get me wrong the Labour Leader doesn’t normally affect my plans but Saturday 5th March he was guest speaker in the Kier Hardie Lecture in Rhondda Cynon Taff and I had tickets! Was I going to pass that up for my beloved family…. no! 😆 , no I’m not that harsh Heather and I worked a compromise where her and Graham did some things in advance in their house and I prepared some in advance at home and we brought it all together on the day (well they did mainly, I just sat around 😀 )!

Mother's Day 2016 - The joys of soaking bread for the Gazpacho

Mother’s Day 2016 – The joys of soaking bread for the Gazpacho

Now, you’re probably wondering why the post is titled the way it is, well let me start with Thursday – I was making Gazpacho, I will publish the recipe in a the week, but let me tell you, it was not my favourite thing to cook. I hate getting my hands dirty and this recipe called for soaking bread (see above) in water for twenty minutes, squeezing the bread dry then ripping it up into chunks, before blending…. yuck :mrgreen: !

Mother's Day 2016 - The Gazpacho garnished with croutons and finely diced peppers, cucumber and spring onions

Mother’s Day 2016 – The Gazpacho garnished with croutons and finely diced peppers, cucumber and spring onions

Was it worth it, it really was! I had my doubts I’d only tried Gazpacho once or twice and couldn’t really get passed the cold soup thought. This was really refreshing, and great with the added garnishes of croutons, finely diced pepper, cucumber and spring onion. This was a real surprise with me, even though I made it I thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did everyone else.

Mother's Day 2016 - The starters in all their glory

Mother’s Day 2016 – The starters in all their glory

The starters are above, working our way around the table starting at the top left hand corner (by Heather’s hand) we have:

  • Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms,
  • Toast for Pâté (shop bought Pâté under Heather’s Hand)
  • Prawn Cocktail Spoons
  • Beetroot, Horseradish Crème Fraîche and Warm Smoked Salmon Shells,
  • Gazpacho Espresso Cups
  • Garnish for the Gazpacho (finely diced pepper, cucumber, spring onion and croutons)

There wasn’t anything on here that I didn’t like but there were some surprises, I had always been put off Horseradish by mother who doesn’t like it but we are both converts now, I know you can get different strengths but Graham mixed it with the Crème Fraîche and it was excellent with the picked Beetroot and Smoked Salmon. For the Beetroot pickle I was a bit scared, I had to deviate off my normal recipe which usually goes down very well with the family, especially Heather. I didn’t have any Balsamic Vinegar (which isn’t like me) so I used White Balsamic Vinegar instead (150ml of White Balsamic Vinegar, 250ml of Red Wine Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Salt and Pepper to taste). On the theme of things I didn’t like I’ve been proved wrong here, twice once with the Gazpacho and secondly with the Horseradish.

Mother's Day 2016 - The main courses ready to be eaten

Mother’s Day 2016 – The main courses ready to be eaten

Again, starting top left hand corner and working our way around we have:

  • Pork Three Ways starting with Pork Belly Squares,
  • Potato and Apple Rostis,
  • Pork Cheeks in a Paprika Sauce
  • Chicken and Chorizo Risotto,
  • Wraps
  • Sweet Potato Fries,
  • Salad Garnish
  • Pulled Pork in the middle by the Hoisin Sauce

There wasn’t anything here I didn’t expect to like, but I hadn’t tried Pork Cheeks before, and they were a revelation, so much that I finished them off the next night. The sauce was awesome, there was a hint of smokiness from the paprika but it wasn’t too heavy. I also loved the Sweet Potato Wedges, Graham roasted them with some Herbs De Provence Alice (my Niece) had bought for me. The Risotto was also excellent, and was another dish that acted as my tea the next night and the night after for that matter. Graham and Heather made all of the main course, and it was all superb, and, as you can imagine I’ll be pinching their recipe for Risotto and the Pork Cheeks soon for you all! We went for Pork as the main component for this course because it’s my mother’s favourite meat.

Mother's Day 2016 - Our mini deserts

Mother’s Day 2016 – Our mini deserts

Here are two of our three deserts, Strawberry tartlets and mini Raspberry Pavlovas. Graham and I can take no credit for this course, well not as far as I know anyway because Heather did it all… in fact I’m now calling her Heather Berry.

Mother's Day 2016 - Mini trifles as part of the desert course

Mother’s Day 2016 – Mini trifles as part of the desert course

Oh yes, wait there’s more mini shop bought mince pies and mini Strawberry and Kirsh Triffles. These were awesome, and a great way to end our meal, the recipes, and processes for these will follow soon.

Heather, Graham and I after the meal

Heather, Graham and I after the meal

We all had a fantastic time, Graham’s mother enjoyed herself, my mother enjoyed herself and even enjoyed the Horseradish Crème Fraîche. The biggest revelations of the night for me were Gazpacho which was extremely refreshing, so much so I finished the last one off and Graham’s Pork Cheeks (that’s not an insult) and his risotto….. recipes to follow, I hope!

It’s important to remember when planning a dinner party, manage your expectations.  Make some things in advance, buy some things and get as much preparation done as early as you can – and most importantly enjoy yourself.  And if you can’t think of what to cook, make a taster menu, lots of little things gives people more choice and it can often be easier than three larger courses.

I couldn’t go without telling you about the other thing I ended up eating that I didn’t like…. I was going to leave this paragraph out because there’s not mushroom for it…. but then I realised I was such a fun guy I had to put it in… 😳 Yep you guessed it I think I’m starting to like mushrooms, garlic mushrooms in the starter, well let’s just say I polished quite a few off.

Mothers Day Meals by Dave Hole

Mothers Day Meals by Dave Hole

I’ll be back on the weekend with a 6 Nations post but until then have a good week, I know this hasn’t been Time-Saving Tuesdays but there’s plenty of them to come. Thanks to Dave for this excellent logo, and Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mams and mams to be out there. Don’t forget to get in touch with your ideas, pictures, comments etc, I’d love to hear from you.Wheelie Good Meals Social NetworkingIncidentally the Kier Hardie Lecture was an excellent event with 1000 people turning up to see and listen to him Jeremy Corbyn speak. Thanks to Greg as always for his company, photography and driving, a really good day all round.

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014

Following the success of July 2014’s dinner party I hosted another one in December 2014 – why are you only hearing about this now you ask… mmm I don’t have an answer ( 😳 )

The guest list started off at about eight people and slowly people dropped off, I’m not sure why (crosses fingers it wasn’t because of my cooking 😆 ) but the final list became myself, Greg and Ginge. Greg features quite often in this blog, other than being one of my best friends he’s one of the Parkers (he’s drives me) and of course he plays pool with me.

Ginge on the other hand hasn’t featured much. He’s the better looking half of our double act Ginge ‘n’ Jones. I used to run an entertainment society and Ginge and I compèred the shows for years…. some would say we were rubbish others would say nothing at all! Before Ginge ‘n’ Jones we were known as the Ginger Ninja and The Wheelie Wonder… why, no one really knows lol!

Ginger Ninja and Wheelie Wonder

Ginger Ninja and Wheelie Wonder

The recipes are all new, well mostly, for this dinner party. I wanted to try some new recipes out, in my last dinner party I served food that people had already seen on the blog and wanted to try. This time it was a new starter and a new main!

I will upload the recipes at a later date and link them back to here, however, for now the menu was:


 

Starter

Pan Fried Scallops, Pea and Mint Pureé and Chorizo

Main Course

Dean Edwards Lamb Kofta Curry with Saffron Rice

Dessert

Apple Charleston Served with Cream Chantilly


As with most of my dinner parties there’s a bit of cooking for the guests to get involved with. Both Greg and Ginge are used to helping me in the kitchen, this time it was Ginge’s turn to play sous chef for the majority of the cooking, along with my trusted side kick Mags!

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 - Starter - Pan Fried Scallops, Pea and Mint Pureé and Chorizo

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 – Starter – Pan Fried Scallops, Pea and Mint Pureé and Chorizo

The starter was cooked by me on my own, well mainly honestly 😀 it was Scallops with and Mint Pureé and Chorizo. The chorizo were fried in a pan and then they were taken out and the scallops were cooked in the oil that came from the Chorizo. The Pureé was made by blending Coleman’s Mint Sauce and frozen peas. It’s a simple and easy recipe to knock up, ideally better when you’ve got bigger scallops. Everyone enjoyed this although it was commented that there wasn’t quite enough of it…. I suppose that’s the point of a starter though to leave you wanting more!

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 - Main Course - Dean Edwards Lamb Kofta Curry with Saffron Rice

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 – Main Course – Dean Edwards Lamb Kofta Curry with Saffron Rice

Ginge felt the Kofta curry was very authentic and tasted “as if a Moroccan had made it” (his words not mine 😳 ). They were cooked in a rich sauce taken from Dean Edwards Mincespiration recipe book which is an amazing book to own if you love mince of any variety. The rice was cooked in the microwave, it was cooked with saffron and topped with a sprinkle of herbage! The recipe will follow for this, it’s worth waiting for honestly, it’s another fantastic recipe from a fantastic book.

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 - Dessert - Apple Charleston Served with Cream Chantilly

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 – Dessert – Apple Charleston Served with Cream Chantilly

The dessert was Strictly Suppers #5 Apple Charleston served with Cream Chantilly. This was double cream whipped, sweetened with icing sugar and infused with fresh Vanilla Seeds. I had difficulty getting the seeds out of the pod, but I had Ginge on hand for that job… honestly every good home should have a Ginge on hand! This was a nice dessert, I think I should have served it with something that had a bit more oomph. Maybe with some flavoured ice cream and/or a coulis.

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 - A Meeting Of Minds - Ginge v Will

Dinner Party #2 – December 2014 – A Meeting Of Minds – Ginge v Will

A great night was had by all, really nice atmosphere which culminated in a meeting of two Ginges…. This is Will my father’s cat, and friend to all (except me lol)

Not sure when the next dinner party will be but I’m going to be experimenting with slow cooking soon so maybe that’ll be on the menu haha.

Don’t forget to visit us on our social media pages and get in touch with your thoughts, suggestions and ideas. If you’ve tried this recipe.

See you Tuesday,

Richard – Wheelie Good Meals 😀

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