The sweet Megan Deane of Stuffed Feeling bravely rallied against the tide of apathy (ok, mostly mine, and its more laziness than apathy) and decided to chorale a bunch of us bloggers to a celebratory luncheon in honour of mums and nostalgia. Megan’s inspiration has been her mother, who taught her how to cook and host, and fed her comforting meals and memories, and she wanted to share that with us. We were asked to prepare a dish that we learned to cook from our mothers.
The only maternal influence on my cooking skill has been largely the sympathetic looks received from ladies of all ages when they encounter the charred remains of my baking. That said, I attempted to draw inspiration from meals I remember eating from my childhood. It went as well as can be expected, by which I mean, my contributed dish was awful. Fortunately, everyone else supplied food that warmed the belly, the soul and the dejected cockles of my heart.
The setting was Megan’s picturesque lawn. Flanked by Tudor-style houses, a picnic table was set up beneath a cascade of bougainvillea and it could not have been more gorgeous. Charming little hostess gifts of mini “farmers’ market basket” filled with veggies sat on each plate, awaiting their recipients. A scene that was truly Pinterest-worthy.
Let’s talk food. The nosh served up by my fellow guests was superb. Appetisers were catered to by the hostess and they were my mouth’s idea of a good time. Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. I weep metaphorical tears of joy just typing that (random thought: if I cry happy tears over food, is that considered eye drool?). Potato skins stuffed with cheese and bacon. Greek meatballs with garlic tzatziki. These are the things that foodie dreams are made of.
The main lunch meal was a spread of hearty food that spoke of our culture and eclectic tastes. Megan prepared a braised beef stew. Nicola Meyer, of Run on Coffee, brought vegetable lasagne and iced animal-shaped cookies. Macaron Queen, Viveshni Joseph, of Madame Macaron, brought with her a lamb briyani and a chocolate cake masterpiece. Snap Sizzle & Cook‘s Inge Loker contributed her jam roly polys from her childhood and Coronation chicken salad, and Spice Goddess Verushka Ramasami supplied a worthy tribute to her title, butter paneer and savoury rice.
So, what did I make? A lot of excuses. And an inedible dessert. I am of Hungarian stock, well, half of me is. So I attempted to make Hungarian Crepe Cake. What I ended up making is better described as Hungarian Crap Cake. It should be light, airy layers of souffléed pancakes, with spongy lemon and almond filling in between. My creation was the beast Dr Frankenstein did not want to share with the world. A haphazard horror of cardboard and half cooked battered goo, weighed down by too much flour, the whipped cream I tried to disguise it with, and my disappointment. I should have brought salad. Next time I will.
Thanks for a lovely afternoon, ladies, and to Megan for setting a hosting bar so high, I’d need a gourmet-personal-chef-shaped skyscraper to reach it.