Well it has been one our hardest weeks and challenges yet…
We had our monthly dinners for our little Hot Sizzler and then had a full on week getting ready our Tower Dinner and reception.
In between though I had a quick visit to Oxford to attend a graduation ceremony plus I also had the additional challenge of taking a Masterclass at my daughters school where I was teaching a group of year 10 students a range of culinary techniques! Piece of cake I thought!!!
My admiration and respect goes out to their teachers as I was totally drained physically and mentally after having taught this willing and enthusiastic group of girls.
I showed them my now not so secret porridge oat cheese biscuits and then, we made some wild mushroom arancini, lemon posset and finally in the afternoon session we made double cooked cheese souffles – the dish that kicked off my underground dinner that took place last year at Winterdale Shaw.
The day seemed to fly past and I have to say they all did a magnificent job… it was a real eye opener as to how well the recipes worked in a class of mixed ability. They seemed robust and I will eventually post them on the recipe page… I also put together a little video that explained the cheese making process for the girls that we showed them… It was my first attempt at such a video and only a couple of errors in it so please accept my apologies now!
Then in between the masterclass and our mammoth challenge of the Tower dinner I managed to get bitten on my ankle by something or other that resulted in it swelling up and hurting like hell! So a quick trip to the doctors meant a course of antibiotics and him saying I should put my feet up… fat chance!
So as Saturday dawned the weather seemed bright if a touch windy, but at least not raining! We had wanted to help raise funds for a small little and not so well-known charity YCPS – the Yalding Church Preservation Society. Their role is to help fund projects to the fabric of St Peter & St Paul Church in Yalding… not that sexy or as worthy some might say as life saving work of others. Nonetheless as important and needy we decided to support them in this slightly different way.
We thought what would be better than to serve a dinner on their church roof… It is flat and boasts some stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Simple you might think! I also felt this event should not be elitist but a chance for anyone – so for just a £1 donation a name would be placed in a virtual hat and winners drawn to win one of three pairs of invites.
In my masochistic ways all the more challenging we also thought it would be good to invite a further 25 guests with a fellow guest to enjoy a welcome drink and a canapé reception within the church yard.
So having set up a fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving we managed to raise a much-needed sum of £1,119 not a paltry amount!
The prep work had gone on all week in amongst the other distractions and on the night we managed to churn out the six dinners and canapes for the seventy plus guests. Check out the menus here… Dinner - Canapé
It is however important to say the evening was made even more successful by the support of some local people and businesses. Liquid Pleasure of Tenterden donated some lovely wines. Yudhistra Moodley of Moodley’s Brewery fame brewed a special beer called Summer Solstice and then a new enterprise called Kent Cordials supplied a wonderful fragrant elderflower cordial we used in a cocktail for guests. Finally Tim Fletcher of Rodney Fletcher Vintners provided us with some Herbert Hall English Sparkling wine that went down a treat with the canapes we served.
In all we reckon the whole event managed to raise in excess of £1,500 for the charity and I am pleased to say we had some lovely comments and am sure we will be welcoming some lovely new customers to our little secret place (not so secret now in some circles!!!)
Please do feel free to leave us your comments and thoughts.