‘A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness’ – Elsa Schiaparelli
A couple of years ago, I released a section on our site called VH Eats, and as we are entering an ‘entertaining season’, I am re-publishing some of the recipes that we shared at that time. Some of them came from you and some of them are my personal favourites.
Below is an abridged version of what I wrote at the time and today the fascination still holds. I recently made dinner for 50 people, with a friend, and we had the best fun; it was a throwback to my pre-VH days and there is nothing greater than sharing, as I so often write in the newsletter. For sure, I could still entertain 50 people and buy it all in, but it isn’t the same.
At this time of year the magazines are full of enticing recipes, so I hope you enjoy reading (or re-reading) this section, and then there is Masterchef. I need to try Marcus Wareing’s recipe for Custard Tart, which he famously made for the Queen’s 80th Birthday. It looks really simple, so I’ll let you know how I go, but in the meantime if you have tried it, let me know.
Happy Cooking and here is what I wrote a couple of years ago:
I’m a foodie … somewhat lapsed, although I still hold a fascination for all things food. In a former life, I entertained constantly, threw dinner parties for 50 people on many occasions and would travel miles for special ingredients. I made Chocolate Mousse cakes that took three days to complete, glorious roulades that didn’t split and a six tier ‘Maltesers cake’, which my children and their friends still talk about!
Cookery books, I devoured them and would spend hours reading them and looking at the evocative photography. The wonderful shop, Books for Cooks (in Notting Hill) was a constant source of many memorable moments, none more so than when I discovered The Silver Palate Cookbook series, which are still amongst my most favourite books, although I’m not too sure they are still in print.
And so I cooked, and cooked, and cooked, mostly it was a solitary indulgence of my passion for food, but at times I would create food that wouldn’t be out of place on Masterchef! To this day I reminisce on the heady days when, ahead of the zeitgeist, I would jump and down when supermarket chains began introducing the food I had been making for years and I will never forget crashing my trolley in M&S when they first introduced Tiramisu!
Given that we are all about health and wellbeing, you would naturally assume that I would fill this section with healthy food and cabbage leaves, but I’m not going down that road. Instead I want to create a glorious celebration of food and I want to share my passion with each of you and for you to share your passion with the world – well the VH world!
To kick things off, I am including the recipes that were posted by some of you and subsequently I spent hours going through some of my all-time favourite recipes, which have been tried and tested over many years. So you will find the easiest ice cream recipe ever, which does not require the use of an ice-cream maker or hours of stirring from the freezer; a bread and butter pudding to literally die for; a basic soup recipe that never fails and an amazing muesli recipe, stolen from a Swiss hotel!
With all the best will in the world, I would love to re-create these recipes and photograph them, but a girl needs her sleep and I just don’t have the time at the moment to do this, so please forgive me, but I’m heavily into launching a whole new series of initiatives on our site. Something has to give and although I drive myself into perfectionist madness, I don’t think my life will crash and burn because I failed to bake a lemon tart.
So as they say in Masterchef – ‘Let’s Cook’!