Thursday, 3 January 2013

First Thursday, 2013

For nearly a decade, I have spent Thursday nights in the company of two other gentlemen.  We have wined, dined and entertained each other, through thick, and through thin.  In the face of broken romances, work pressures, financial woes, relocations, and great successes, new joys and good times,  we have found the time to commune together.  Some weeks, it's all Grand Baroque and home preserved, duck meat,  shot by the fair hand of the chef, other weeks, it might be homemade pizza or a menu inspired by travels or imagination.  The running theme has always been an opportunity, just once a week, to enjoy the company of others, the pleasure of someone taking the effort to prepare a proper meal, and the adventure of trying something new, for what you know will be an appreciative and supportive audience.  Otherwise known as "Survivor Night", because originally we started out by arranging to watch the foresaid reality TV show together, it has evolved into a very different "Survivor Night", and it is truly a highlight of each and every week for me.
Since I feel unable to invite you to join us for dinner of a Thursday (which is an honour very rarely bestowed), I plan to at least record the key culinary highlights of each week for our 10th anniversary year.....what, with my new camera and all (thanks Davey!)

Here was our Bill of Fare for Thursday, January 3rd, 2013:

Cocktail - sparkling rum and pomegranate punch (for this I can take no credit....thanks Davey (via CHOW).  Easy, very "more-ish" and readily adaptable for the grape-allergic (substitute sparkling cider for the sparkling wine - equally delicious.)
Soup: Cream of Celery - courtesy of BBC GoodFood.  Well received, and well presented - SUPER EASY!  Definitely one to make again. If only I had the foresight to make a delicious 1 hour, soft pretzel to go with it....need to ask Andrea for the recipe!).

Delicious Celery Soup, with a sparkling rum and pomegranate punch in the background ( just to set an edge on the appetite, you understand.)
Main course:  A classic, which we have enjoyed together several times before.  Fruity lamb tagine (again, see BBC GoodFood, with a few customizations based on what was to hand....i.e. substituting left over Christmas dates for the apricots, stewing beef for the lamb).  Served, this time, served with bulgar wheat, because no couscous was to be found.

Dessert: after all the over-indulgence of the last couple of weeks, I thought fruit salad might be welcome.  Persimmon, grapes, kiwi, banana, pomegranate and out of season rasps made for a palate-invigorating mix.  I managed to restrain myself from topping it off with some vanilla ice cream from Sweet Olenka's.  Maybe next time.

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