Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Courgette Club

Probably one of my favourite restaurant photos ever. Some items are blurred.
Never had a phallus on the table before. But then, we've never had a secret santa in the restaurant either. What is it about this round of gift giving that has women reaching for the plastic penis? And the jelly penis... and the penis whistle. A whistle?!

I sometimes call these evenings charming or wonderful, this was rabelaisian. Initially I feared a quiet, introspective group as Fiona and her five friends pulled into a tight circle, sat on the lounge floor; I could't have been more wrong. They were very open and inclusive. Indeed I've never seen Etien giggle so much. 'Sharky Santa'! Sorry, that's an in-joke.

All the women wore 'I love courgettes' badges. This was a club of a kind. There was some story of Jo's allotment abundance... but that's their tale to tell. 

Very unusually, Fiona had given me a completely open brief. "Something slow cooked and a proper pudding" was her only stipulation. There was vegetarian Emma to consider too but that's never a problem. I have established alternatives to all my main meat courses now and most of my starters are vegetarian anyway.

Starter was slightly new. A tart of slow roast onion, thyme and mascarpone, charred asparagus with a mustard hollandaise. Simple again. Delicious. Mains was my beef shin with a port gravy. Dessert was STP but with clotted cream instead of the usual mascarpone. Can't serve that twice on one menu can I?

But the food was the least of it. There were crackers, paper hats, terrible jokes and gifts, much laughter and a deal of shrieking at priapic, pink, plastic presents and festive tassels. I'll let the pictures tell the tale, carefully edited to protect sensibilities.

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