I mentioned last week that I wouldn't be blogging or commenting over the weekend - we had very busy and very lovely time!
On Friday, we went into London to use a competition prize I had won - tickets to the "Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs" exhibition at the British Museum followed by a night in a nearby hotel. The exhibition was really interesting, although I'd have been interested in reading translations of some of the documents on display and as a crafter, would have absolutely LOVED more information about the various textiles in the display. We spent most of the afternoon there and then checked in at the hotel, where we were shown to a magnificent tow-floored suite, and brought cakes, biscuits and hand made chocolates! Talk about being spoiled! (As you know, I couldn't eat the goodies - but Mark was on hand to help out).
That evening we used another competition prize, a meal out at Tom's Kitchen in Somerset House. Our meal was very nice but not memorable, apart from my stunningly delicious starter of a pigeon breast, celeriac and radicchio salad with parsnip crisps and smoked beetroot. But the setting was wonderful - it was a mild, bright night and when we left the restaurant and walked back through the beautiful floodlit courtyard of Somerset House, the atmosphere was quite magical.
On Saturday, Mark came home while I went to the new King's Cross branch of the Waitrose Cookery School. A group of friends had clubbed together to buy me a gift voucher for my 60th birthday last year, and I had chosen to do the "Feast From The Middle East" course.
I had a brilliant day, with lots of other lovely, like-minded people and two skilled, witty, knowledgeable and helpful chefs to guide us. The recipes are, of course, copyright to Waitrose so I can't share them here, but I can show photos of the finished dishes. I learned a lot on the day, including a lot about presentation skills; I don't think I've ever made food look so beautiful!
First up, Falafel on a bed of Baba Ghanoush with Zhoug and deep fried crispy chickpeas, served with an unyeasted flat bread.
Next, Harissa Baked Bream served on a bed of Fetta, Bulghur and Giant Cous Cous tabbouleh with a Tahini and Lemon Drizzle and Tzatziki
And finally Deep Fried Baklava Parcels - these were done as a demonstration rather than all cooking together. A baklava flavoured ice cream, made with roasted nuts and sweet spices, was scooped into balls, wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried before being served with a rose scented syrup. I wasn't able to sample it but it smelled gorgeous and everyone else loved it.
When I came home that evening, Mark had been inspired by my day too and had made a delicious Iranian style lamb casserole with bulghur and salad, so I went to bed bursting at the seams!
To round off the weekend, on Sunday we went to a Potato Festival, an annual event now in our family, where mark and one of our daughters buy their seed potatoes (and some other plants) for the coming summer. Our three year old granddaughter Holly came along too this time, and enjoyed the activities laid on for children, especially the potato printing. She said "Oh, it's just like rubberstamping with you, Grandma!" Here she is drawing a garden with lots of potatoes growing in it.
Well, this week's going to seem a bit mundane after such a busy and fun weekend!
Linking up to Out and About at Dragons and Fairy Dust