In the dark

In the dark

Having just returned from a very relaxing, sea-tastic and majorly foodie holiday in Cornwall it has been quite tricky to get back into work mode.

After a wedding for 150 (the loveliest couple) and Sunday lunch for 100 the next day (in three hours) I literally feel like I am walking on my stumps. We’re just a small team, you know!

The hit of the menu in the restaurant on Sundays at the moment is the little cracker pictured above. It’s a raw plate from the kitchen garden and would have been served with our whipped Vallum fettle cheese (like feta) but the fridge decided to freeze it all. It turned to glue, so we opted to whip some goat’s cheese instead!

The only non-Vallum produce on this photo is the olive oil in the dressing and the lemon which we marinated the courgette in and dressed the leaves with – and of course the goat’s cheese. The rest of the plate contains baby spinach, baby kale, courgette, cucumber, tomato, basil, micro basil, basil flowers, carrot and nasturtium.  The carrots are still growing well in the polytunnel and the chard (which didn’t taste great raw, unlike the kale which was amazing) is going berserk and makes great greens for main courses. We can’t wait for the sprouting broccoli to start. It looks splendid and abundant.

We have more pea shoots coming through thanks to Richard’s frenzied planting before he had a holiday and will start experimenting with different cresses when he gets back. It’s incredible how much flavour a little shoot can punch! I had forced sweetcorn shoots at the Fat Mermaid in Amble the other day and it completely transformed the side salad. A hidden flavour I couldn’t put my finger on!

The whiplington is asleep on the sofa and so is Puss – these darker nights are making me feel lethargic and the new regime of spending more time in the office as the weddings firmly take over our lives is quite exhausting!

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