London was made up of various culinary feasts and friends put together by the fair hands of the brother in law with whom we stayed in Crouch End, and walks. In fact, it seems, wherever I go, feasts , friends and walks feature. I imagine, as one gets older, friends disappear, mobility becomes more of an issue, and life whittles itself down to only feasts. Still, if that is the case, I won’t complain too much…as long as lovely food is in my life, I’ll be relatively happy. Anyway, there has been little whittling down yet, though the long drive back to Ireland did seem to hasten the degradation of the hip!
Back to London, during our three days we had mushroom and lentil curry, fanned avocado salads with diced tomato and a minty vinaigrette, chicken curry, Tabouleh, rhubarb crumble and custard, Mexican spice burger, lashings of toast and lemon curd, and of course, muesli with fruit, and that gives just a brief flavour of the food we gobbled up.
I walked the Parkland Walk (along with a marathon of other dogs and walkers), Highgate Woods (a real sortie down memory lane), the streets of Piccadilly (I went to visit the Milton Avery exhibition at the RCA which I really enjoyed, particularly his peculiar perspective), and Stationers Park which used to be a playground where we took the kids. It is now sadly diminished and rather dilapidated, though still used by gaggles of North London parents shepherding young children. So, London did us proud, as did the brother in law, and I thank them. I love London, but I have to say, I love leaving it as well.
Particularly when there are the culinary delights of baking Irish bread and churning Irish butter with Manchan Mangan at the Cavan Town Hall to come back to, (not to mention the St Agur, Pyrenean, Epoisse, Pie D’Anglou, Camembert, Brie, Reblochon cheese etc that we hauled back from France).
Last night, at Cavan Town Hall, Manchan Mangan was wearing a very nice pair of tweed trousers while he was preparing to bake bread on tables with rather wonderful tree legs. He baked it in a pot which he put in a le creuset casserole dish and then put in the microwave. We all churned butter in a lovely old butter churner which he passed around the audience. We then spread our churned butter on the microwaved soda bread he had baked while chatting to us about the Irish Language and how Irish words have so many different meanings (32 words for a field). Of course, I suddenly realised, listening to him, that explains everything!
More culinary delights to come tonight, I hope, in the Oak Room restaurant, Cavan. We’re celebrating 34 years of marriage…whatever you say, say nothing.