"hi all, i am too lazy to use the events function, (actually dunno how), and also since i myself never check it, ....
anyway, thursday night, 17th april, free or not? its been awhile, and it would be nice to ketchup with everyone. simple dinner at my place, hopefully followed by board games."
And so, FBB set the ball rolling for another of his famous get-togethers.
After rushing back home for a quick shower from a wedding rehearsal, I rushed over to FBB's place. Allan had already taken our offerings, such as they were, with him to dinner and I was to meet him there.
Stepping in to the dining room was like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers that make you feel at peace and happy. Everyone turned around and greeted me warmly. Being 30 minutes late, I was grateful that everyone had started on dinner. Or what FBB was calling starters.
A gorgeous side of lamb, warm flour tortillas and a heaping amount of tabouleh graced the long table. Along with a mouth watering cheese platter populated with Havarti, dried apricots, a blue cheese, and another full fat cheese. A platter of rich lamb sat alongside the tabouleh and begged to be rolled together into a Mexican/Middle Eastern Poh Piah. The tangy, textured, tabouleh was a wonderful contrast to the rich, almost gamy lamb.
Just as I started to tuck in, FBB enthusiastically reminds us that there's lots more food coming out. Inwardly, I groan. My will to eat moderately is crumbling.
Being raucously loud and deliberately misunderstanding statements added to a bawdy evening of laughter and fun.
With so many food bloggers in attendance, the cameras were out in force and an edict issued by Allan to hurry up and take the pictures "so we can eat" was quickly obeyed. No doubt spurred by growling stomachs.
Then, the dishes start to make their appearance. A gorgeous chinese roast pork, which is listed on a menu (yes, a menu) along with fried water convulvulus. I remark that the word itself is rather suspect. I am paraphrasing of course. Who can remember verbatim what was said that night! ;-)
Rice steamed with coconut gravy (Nasi Lemak) and it's attendant fixings is next. The sambal is fiery, the omelette nice and dry (no French Omelette this) and the peanuts add an earthy crunch. The parkia speciosa or stink bean (Petai to you and me) fried with sambal and eggplant had that particular bitter methane flavour and yet, the eggplant's texture was coherent and did not fall apart into a paste which indicates a level of skill in knowing how to cook this fruit. Yes, fruit. The eggplant is a relative of the nightshade family which includes the potato, the tomato and the deadly nightshade plant. Amazing what we eat isn't it?
For whatever reason, dessert is always ooh-aahed about. I think it's all burned into our consciousness about how calorific desserts are and when they come out they're almost a guilty pleasure so almost always, there's a sussuration around the room when they make their appearance. This gorgeous Strawberry and Nangka Pavlova was FBB's contribution. I thought that the combination of Strawberry and Nangka was a stroke of genius. That honeyed fragrance of the jackfruit combined with the tartness of the strawberries and the cream elevated this Pavlova to a whole new level. FBB was quick to point out that Lyrical Lemongrass helped in finishing this sweet. Why he did this is certainly up to conjecture. >;-)
There was also a lovely trad Tiramisu, layered with lots of creamy mascarpone and sponge fingers. To accompany it was a bottle of Frangelico. Yum!
Allan and I brought some Profiteroles and some dried meringue shells (vacherin) which we filled with Mango. Wanting to give it another dimension I asked FBB if he had Basil to which he replied he had some Thai Basil but not Sweet Basil. Always wanting to try something new, I thought why not? It worked quite well. The minty, herbaceous flavour combined very well with the sweet mango to create an interesting dessert with lots of flavour and texture.
After everyone had left, with FBB bemoaning the fact of how young people these days just did not have the stamina that we once did, LL, RR, KM, Allan and myself, and of course, our host continued our session even though we had work the next day. All of a sudden, Allan get's up, picks up this huge bag and whips out some crepe paper. Very soon, LL and RR were deftly cutting up the paper to form pomanders that we were using to hang for decor at an upcoming wedding.
It is with gratitude to FBB that I wrap up this post. Thank you very much for the invite and for the effort in putting this together. It's always a joy to see friends again and it's always a special honour when we get to break bread together and be able to share the spirit of the moment with people you enjoy. After all, isn't that what "breaking bread" is all about?
Other floggers and bloggers who wrote about this evening;