‘Two Friends Share A Meal’
‘AND WE’RE OFF!!’
This is the official first experience of the taste of london documentary and the documentary started off with a bang as we had two people coming together to make and share a special meal with me.
Living in the borough of ealing in Southall is 28 year old Carole and 25 year old Isabelle. Now their friendship is a lot closer and unusual than most would think or assume from a far.
Both were originally born in home town Guadeloupe were their friendship first found its foundation. A friendship from high school that has managed to stay firm following both of them on their journeys into the United Kingdom and remained strong 6 years in the running of being in the country.
What makes things even more unique is not only just their friendship but also to the fact they live together. Well not together but literally next door to each other (a couple of doors to be exact), so already a story is brewing here and we haven’t even got into the food part yet.
For this experience they invited me to share what would be a meal between the two close friends.
Carole as her food option, opted to make ‘Salt Fish served with crackers’ first as a starter. To accompany this start would be a dish called …… which is called ‘Dumplin in prawn soup’ as her main course meal.
Isabelle to compliment Carole’s dish chose to make a lovely desert called ‘Flan du Coco’ which in english is known as a ‘Coconut Flan’ a famous traditional dish amongst the tropic islands in the Caribbean.
‘Salt Fish (Served With Crackers)’
‘Flan du Coco’ (Coconut flan)
THE FUL MEAL - SALT FISH SERVED WITH DUMPLING IN PRAWN SOUP
Ok so I sent a message out to a few friends to see who would be making a meal for their lovely mothers on this special day being Mother’s Day. I would have shown you images of my special dish for my mother, but we both spent mothers day underneath the duvet and spent half the day recovering from the ‘flu bug’. To my surprise it seemed like majority of the people I did speak to were trying to escape the kitchen and relied more upon restaurants and take away food to cater to their mothers.
Out of the few who did reply to my message, I asked them if they would be so kind to share their personal experiences of ‘Mothers Day’ with me by taking images of the food that they would be making for their lovely mothers. Out of all that I contacted only 3 humble volunteers offered to share their mothers day experience with me and the dish that they made for their mothers.
Here are their upload and some have included stories to follow:.:
1. SHAMAIZA - “The ‘Non-Traditional’ Haider House Roast”
For mother’s day this year, I decided to go a little traditional and make a roast dinner for my dearest mother. Traditional roast dinners have never really been a common food in the Haider household but in the hopes of trying to show my mum I can be of some use in the kitchen from time to time, I decided to put on my Jamie Oliver wannabe hat and cook one.
So I don’t follow recipes. I never have done. Until I became an obsessive “Come Dine With Me” fan and realised I wasn’t the only amateur cook out there who not only didn’t weigh the ingredients, but never followed any recipes. Life feels that much better when you know you’re not the only one doing things the wrong way..
My first aim was to tackle the chicken (the picture below really doesn’t do them any justice but, remember I’m no pro! NOTE: vegetarians please look away). Whilst making the mixture, my mother randomly put a cosmopolitan blender in front of me to use. I really think it’s meant to be used for mixing cocktails and drinks but seeing as we don’t drink alcohol, I think my mother thought buying it and using it for other purposes made more sense… and as if the other 3 blending machines in the garage weren’t sufficient enough?
First set of ingredients: butter, 1 tomato, herbs, 1 sweet onion, spice, garlic and ginger.
That was the mixture to marinate the chickens in. I know. Spice and onion? What kind of roast is this? I guess using Marks and Spencer as the inspiration, you could say that this was no ordinary roast, but the Haider house hold – make as you go along – roast where spice was a key factor. As my mother has always said, without spice, there’s no variety in your life….. Not sure if everyone could agree with that…
As with most, if not all Asian house holds – the families are big … so Jim, Bob and Sue above were not enough…which meant I needed to use another chicken (this one, not headless but cut into pieces) to cater to my sister’s and their babies. The picture of them did not look any better so I will show you the end result where instead of looking like something had just been splattered on them – but more like edible pieces of tasty food that once in your mouth, you couldn’t help but go “mmmm…”. Of course that could be my own wishful thinking more than anything else.
The chicken was marinated the night before and the actual Sunday was spent preparing vegetables (pre-bought) with fresh boiled lettuce, yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, wedges and fish cakes. Again, I know, far from what a roast should be but these were the requests from the family, so not my doing. I just follow instructions like a cook does.
So whilst I was doing the vegetables, the chickens were being cooked BUT we have a very slow gas. What should take 3 hours, takes 6/7 hours. So the chickens took forever – so what could have been made and ready to eat at 2pm .. was ready at 6pm. But for what it was worth, I enjoyed it
But low and behold, in the end, I got it done – I always feel that much better when I’ve done it all by myself without none of mother’s help, feels like I’ve actually accomplished something.
A platter of chicken – I think you could say I am the next best thing to Nandos. Any orders?
Next: one of my chickens being drowned in a bed of vegetables.
My various ingredients – note: I did not use Aunt Bessie Yorkshire puddings; I did not specify what Yorkshire puddings to buy so she bought any old ones from the supermarket.
My vegetables, fresh lettuce – the emphasis as it was not bought in a packet – and the fake aunt bessie yorkshire puddings:
AND the end result after all of the work put in was: *drum roll please*
”The ‘Non-Traditional’ Haider House Roast”
In my family, I never know whether or not the food cooked was satisfactory – usually the empty plates are a good sign… but I can say at least say for sure that one member of the family was super satisfied:
You know you’ve done good if you’ve gotten through to the little one…. Oh and of course, dearest mother too. (NOTE: she refused to take a picture… I tried).
2. MYRA - ”Mama A La Riz”
“So I sacrificed an overdue essay for my dear sweet mama, trynna cook up a special meal……only for her to come home and tell me she’s STILL on her soup diet and if it’ll make me feel better, she’ll drink the soup outta her new ‘Best Mum’ mug! Joke! But I love her still…that’s my marge! Happy Mothers day!”
“Mama A La Riz” (Jollof Rice ‘Zambian Style’)
Ingredients: Basmati rice, diced mushrooms, sliced peppers, chopped tomatoes, maagi cubes, beef, mango chutney, brussels sprouts (peppered and steamed), rosemary, sage, thyme, coriander.
‘Her lovely mother with her mothers day gifts. Happy Mothers Day’
‘The chef at hand cooking her mum some lovely dinner’
2. TATIANA - “The family that loves chicken”
“I enjoy suprising my mum especially with cooking as she thinks I’ve learnt from the best. Mothers day this year was taking place at my grandmothers and as the whole family where going to be there, I decided to get my younger cousins to help out too. We aimed to cook something easy and straight forward even though the mess we made in the kitchen did come across that way. Both my mum and grandmother love the meal and with excitement showed us how proud they were too. Happy Mothers day mama”
Simple chicken dish with stuffing, gravy and potatoes
Ingredients: Chicken bisto, potatoes with carrots and peas
Her Lovely Mother - Happy Mothers Day
3. SEYI - “Breakfast and Lunch surprise”
Mothers Day 2010 started on the saterday in my house. With me doing the shopping for my mum (using the excuse i needed a break from revision) and picking up the ingredients needed to make my mum a lovely meal.
Sunday I woke up early and prepared my mum a fry up with scrambled egg, beans and a salmon bagel (her favourites).
I let my younger brother take care of the clearing up. Midday onwards I prepared dinner, a sunday roast consisting of roast chicken, yourkshire pudding, rosweet potato and rice, after 5 hours slaving in the kitchen the feast was finally ready and the whole family sat around the table with my mum in the centre.
In the end all our hard work paid off as it was a very tearful evening with displays of water works from our mother. She loved the gesture.
Well till the next mother’s day mum. Happy mothers day everyone.
‘A lovely Breakfast to surprise any mother. Happy Mothers Day’
Showered with love, gifts and a lovely lunch to go. Happy Mothers Day
Logos designs from rouch sketches.. to digital artworks… to reference images as ‘food for thought’
Logo Idea 3.
Logo ‘with text’
Logo ‘without text’
I must say I do like this one.
Just a little something that I am working on..
Sometimes one must be prepared for the worst, something which I am learning more and more through out this project. To get into people’s homes and personal space means you have to be at their mercy for availability and timing.
Today I should be conducting an interview and shared an experience with Helen at Food Stories (http://helengraves.co.uk/) but unfortunately due to a busy schedule she has had to postpone this interview to the following week.
This means I have had to find alternative means to fill up the gap of a whole day. So I decided to work on my logo for this project. I have begun to create and design ideas for a concept that will work well as a logo that represents Taste of London.
In my next post I will upload images of concepts that I have started to create.It would be great if could get your suggestions of possible ideas for a logo.
In the mean time for those who love food as I do, take a look at Helen’s food blog to view the colourful images of different foods in experiences of her own through london from butchers, to cooking lessons to her own creations inside her studio (http://helengraves.co.uk/). You can really see her passion for food all which is told in the stories of her food evperiences.
‘A Family Tradition’
Recipe: Barn Eggs, Tomatoes, Onions, Large red pepper, Beef burger, fish burger, Sausages.
This was the day after the birthday of my partners friend (Vanessa). It was brought to my attention by the daughters that vanessa’s mother was famous in the house for her “Sunday Breakfast” and I shouldn’t be surprised if I was presented with this simple but sentimental dish, especially because it was her daughters birthday and all her friends were around, so she aimed to impress.
While discussing it her mum had come downstairs from getting dressed and had dashed out the house to the local store picked up some groceries and dashed back into the kitchen, to whoop up her special sunday breakfast to the surprise the belated birthday girl.
It was a great experience to have been welcomed into their family and into ther home, to be have been accepted by the family (and even though they were not my partners immediate family, she considered vanessa as a sister thus making vanessa’s family her second family and as I had been accepted in the family it made me feel like I belonged and had a home away from home), to share a birthday experience which was all accompanied by cultural dish and a special sunday breakfast to make it all go down smoothly.
‘Jollof Rice and Chicken’
Recipe: American long grain rice, Tomatoes Or Canned tomatoe sauce and tomatoe paste, Onion, Dried red pepper, Seasoning cubes (preferably magi cubes), Water, Salt.
Yes that is rice. Yes the rice is orange. No the rice is not on fire.
This is a cuisine of african orient. The Ghanaians claim this food to be theirs but it is also a part of the Nigerian culture.
So I had just finished the photography coverage in Hull as was on my journey back to London when I received a message from my partner letting me know that it was her best friends birthday in Luton and it would be great if I passed through on the way home. She also brought it to my attention that her best friend’s mum (who has become somewhat of a mother figure in her life) wanted to meet me to put a face to the name that had been talked about so often.
On arrival, I was welcomed in their lovely home (which I was quite nervous about as I didn’t know what to expect) with love and affection. For the celebrant’s birthday her mum had made this dish called ‘Jollof Rice’ for friends and family to eat. Since everyone had eaten by the time I arrived, her mum had made me a special plate to eat. With the food followed the words “Welcome to our home”. From what she could see, it seems that I had made a good impression and received the seal of approval.
It was a great feeling to know I was surrounded by people who supported our relationship and gave their approval to me dating her. The food to me was a symbol that sealed the deal, well the jollof rice and the fact that they also offered me a place to stay for the night.