Needless to say, I got no cooking in this weekend. I did however try out a new restaurant in town. A few girlfriends and I mozeyed on down to Carluccios. Its the first of these stores to open in Ireland. It was the brainchild of the chef, Antonio Carluccio. He has a few of these foodshop-cum-eatery in the UK. It was buzzing with people and smells and their foodshop at the front was jammed. We joined a queue for a table surveying the menus. We shuffled along at a rather surprising rate as they seated people before us. We finally got a space at a long table with a few others parties. The food looked scrumptious and we decided to have the bread tin to start and chose some pasta dishes each. The bread tin was amazing, with focaccia, bread sticks, rosemary bread, traditional Italian crusty bread and a myriad of others. The olive oil was good and smooth.
The best pasta dish had to have been the one my friend F chose: parpadelle with wild and fresh mushrooms. They had been cooked in their juices probably with a bit of stock and seasoning. That was all that was adorning the fresh, yellowy egg pasta. It looked mouth-watering. Must try it. Mine was garlicy with deep-fried spinach balls and a pesto of courgette and chilli. The lasagne that S picked looked gooey, cheesy and tomatoey. If it looks messy: it tastes amazing. Somehow we still had space for dessert. (There is always room for dessert I hear you cry!) Two of us ordered the 'authentic Italian Gelato' and the other the traditional sweet wine and biscotti for dipping (definitely the better choice). It was all yummy(though the gelato was a let down) and the price was astounding. I became obsessed with biscotti over the weekend after trying those moreish, honeyed, nut-filled morsels that melted a little with the soaked up sweet liquor of the highly concentrated wine. Its a project simmering away at the back of my mind. To compensate, I bought some Italian breakfast rusks, yellowy with farina, sweet, morish and not overly toasted like the cardboardy melba toast the Dutch eat.
In the meantime, I did spend the weekend filling out this Psychometric test for a job application. Fingers crossed I can get out of this job and into another. Toes crossed that they will be ok with my trip to Greece over the summer. It's not like I am going for 3 weeks for a holiday, it is a language course after all. I also spent the time planning what goodies to make for Greek Easter and for the arrival of T's parents. (I should be going Eeeeppp! at the thought of meeting them. I have never seen 'meeting the parents' as a big deal. Call me crazy)
T and I had our first little disagreement, over his parents. Mom would like to meet them. We (Mom & I) did send them cookies over Christmas and they sent us back some cookies. Food has been exchanged. It is the custom now to meet them and break bread together. T is not too keen. He wants them just to meet me. After 3 days here, they will then they know me. (erm, not in 3 days honey!) Mom & Dad know T , his parents know me and everyone is hunky dory. As I pointed out, they will always know me less well than M&D know T. He is living here, I talk a lot more about him than he would about me.
The final compromise was that I will tell M&D that it would make T's parents (K&J) feel beholden if they knew beforehand. They would get fussed and want to bring something to the house. So, instead, we will tell neither party and spring it on them instead, which is so much better!??
I had to tell Mom in advance about the plan. She would kill me if she didn't have prior warning to clean the house. She is under strictest instructions that they will be entertained by me in terms of refreshments and it will be just a place to put their feet up after the day long trip. Huh. Mom is in a huff now, T I believe might still be in a huff too. Compromise isn't all its cracked up to be.
Here is the final menu for Kristos Anesti
Sesame Seed Cake: it has almonds, raisins and tahini. I love that fact that the recipe asks that I line the springform pan with sugar and sesame seeds, this will come out on top after baking...topping and cake in one! Might try icing sugar, it might caramelise a bit more than regular sugar. Hmmmmm. Will post it when I have made it.
Tsoureki rolls with Star Anise flavouring. I am thinking I will make a batch of 24. That way we can have plenty for home and Mom could bring some to Greek service on Sunday.
Korova cookies. These are scrumptious, chewy chocolate biscuits. Thanks to Dorie Greenspan and Cafe Fernando. It asks to under-cook them so that they remain chewy.
I will dye the eggs on the Sunday.
If this all goes to plan, during the week I am going to try my hand at making individual little cakes for my friends, presented in little glass jars. I have Nicky at Delicious Days to thank for that idea!!