Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

#5 Cream tea for two?

I must admit I was expecting a quiet entry into the blog this week; however that never materialised as last Thursday I got a phone call from a local childcare centre asking if I could help them out as their usual caterer had let them down due to the bank holiday. They were requiring a buffet for Tuesday lunchtime for their staff to which I happily obliged.

They didn’t have a massive budget so asked me to come up with a menu to fit the price they quoted with a mix of flavours and textures. I decided on a couple of trays of sandwiches, sausage rolls and fresh homemade scones amongst other 

So my bank holiday plans were to change as had a lot of food to produce. After the early start to get to the local supermarket for the ingredients, which I must say seemed rather too busy for a bank holiday, seriously I thought bank holidays were 
about relaxing at home or down the local. Apparently this is not the case.

Upon getting back from the supermarket I got on with making the scone mix. It had been a long time since I last had to make them so it was enjoyable going back to my early catering days and making them again.

The first batch was a bit of a failure as they came out a little flat. But upon correction my second batch came out perfect. You always know when a scone in my opinion is perfect as they don’t need slicing open as they split along the line for you in cooking. 

To go with these scones I decided to make some nice sausage rolls stuffed with my own mix or red onion and parsley in the sausage meat. But rather than doing the normal type of sausage rolls decided to do sausage roll disks to make it a little different than the norm

The other thing that seemed to go down well was the strawberries and raspberries dipped in chocolate. Who knows why, in a room full of women.

Overall the big success were the scones, There is just something really British about strawberries ans a nice fresh homemade scone with fresh clotted cream and jam that really just works for us, isn't there!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

#4 Lazy Days away!

So after the busy week i had last week getting everything ready for the function, I decided to have a well earned weekend away. So my partner and I vanished off to the romantic hotspot of the world, Birmingham :) Mainly to let her shop and me to go to the football, as due to catering it is very hard to get to as many games as id like to.

I always like to do these little weekend trips just to see other parts of the country really. Last year we visited Bath and Dartmouth for the weekend. Call me sad but i normally remember most about these trips. Two things.
The architecture and the food.

Whilst in Dartmouth and Bath there is such a choice of eateries and restaurants. If your ever in Dartmouth i would definitely recommend Kendricks.
 A really nice restaurant at affordable prices there are other places around the town but in my opinion this place was second to none. Follow dinner at Kendricks with a lovely relaxed drink at Browns and your guaranteed to have a lovely evening.

Whilst in Bath there is a great little cream tea shop in the town called Sally Lunns a couples of streets from the historic baths.
Set up like something from the 1930s this tea room had cakes to die for. I would Definitely recommend the cinnamon one. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. One night we visited the Modern Day Thermae Bath Spa in a package which included dinner. In stark contrast to the cake at lunch, this salmon we had was the healthiest meal I think I had ever eaten out, And there is something about eating it in a health spa robe which makes it feel all that much healthier too. ;)

Anyway, Where was I, Oh yes, Birmingham. We went on a sunday night so finding food after the football on a Sunday night was a nightmare, call me a snob, but when i am away somewhere there is something to be said about refusing to eat at chain restaurants a la famous Italian style ones and spicy poultry ones.  So the only other choice was to eat at the Hotel, Now this hotel seemed a little run down so we were very wary of eating here. But needs must and we were famished. I had a burger, which they claimed to be home made, (Looking at the hotel I was bit sceptical of that TBH) but was happy when they asked how i wanted it cooked, and my partner, she had fish and chips with home made tartare sauce. Both dishes were served in ten minutes which was good as we were the only two in there and as the burger was claimed to be made in house then I would of been wary if it came out any quicker. When the meals came out they were both delightful and obviously were made fresh which is always nice to see.

This brings me finally to my point. These days it seems restaurants are more worried about getting customers in and to reach there GP by doing everything to the specification, However it so much nicer when you go somewhere, Be it a posh Spa or a back street hotel and you can see that the chef who cooked put so much time and effort into the meal. It makes it a lot more memorable for the guest rather than just, dinner! Yes i know its all about making money at the end of the day, But there is surely more chance of repeat business if the experience of the customer is a memorable one?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

#3 Getting ready for some vintage hors d'oeuvre in a vintage location

Wow. What a week, its been a crazy week with the relaunch of marmalade boutique in hertford. Upon being asked to do a few canapes i decided i needed to try and come up with something inventive and classy at the same time to offer to the special guests who were invited to the launch night. But also at the same time i knew work space would be at a minimum. So decided on some samples and designed some lovely hors d'oeuvres.

So the day before i made the crostini, bruschetta and red onion marmalade.
Wednesday 18th May was the opening night. And what an opening it was. Champagne was flowing and nibbles were being nibbled. Having to top the platters up every 3 minutes was not relaxing, but having an area at the back of the shop next to the alcohol made the night pass a lot quicker ;)
After 3 hours of handing out canapes and many positive compliments on the quality of the food, which to be honest is always nice to hear, the night rolled to a stop and the clean down began before heading over to the hotel opposite for a post party celebratory drink. Tell you something that bed this morning was a lovely soft thing to have my head hit down on after such a long but rewarding day.
Hopefully not to long before the next one.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Back Again for Seconds

So Since the last blog what has happened?

Well....... I have been given an official launch date for a shop launch next week and after coming up with a menu for their canapes have been practising them all day in the kitchen today. 

Went to a wedding at South Farm in Wendy at the weekend. wow what  a venue. The food was really good and a great menu to aspire to compete with

With my driving theory booked on Friday I hope to have the driving test passed within 6 weeks as soon as this achieved Stratfords Catering can really take off and hit the dizzy heights hopefully. Had a couple of enquiries at the wedding about Christmas parties hopefully these will transpire and business will start coming in.