Friday, May 05, 2006

Gastropod Friday

I think I've just made the deadline for Dogpossum's meme, Gastropod* Friday, in which participants must cook something and show it off. It was sheer luck that Dogpossum's meme challenge coincided with my hosting of a bridal shower for my sister, so this is a slightly more interesting response that I might otherwise have posted.

For a few hours this afternoon I went along to a day spa, had a massage, drank champagne in a spa, and served this high tea fare to my sister and various friends and family members.

First on our plates were these smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. I took ThirdCat's advice and made sure I bought a good quality bread. I'm not sure if you can pick it up from the photo, but it was a light coloured rye bread, with a nice firm texture that wouldn't become soggy during transport. Purists might insist on white bread, but it has been instilled in me since childhood that white bread is not good and I didn't want to be responsible for anyone's future bad health.

The rye bread transported well. It didn't become mushy. I placed the sliced cucumber on some paper towel to remove any excess moisture before I put it on the sanwich, so that probably helped control the moisture.
I took a picture of the dill and lemon butter I made to spread on the bread, because I figured you wouldn't see it all that well in a photo of the completed sandwich, and it really added something extra to the taste.

Next on the menu were these Leek and Goat's Cheese Mini-Quiches. It seemed to me that they were the hit of the day. They were all devoured (3 x more than pictured here). I received at least 3 requests for the recipe. So if you want people to think you're a great cook, follow this link to what really is a very simple recipe.

For the sweet part of the high tea, I served what every body identified as mini Pavlova's.

The truth is that I intended to make a kind of meringue biscuit, by sandwiching two discs of meringue together with some fresh whipped cream with strawberries through it. First of all strawberries were $7 for a punnet, so I decided to have passionfruit instead since I could buy eight of those for $2.99. Then, either I didn't make enough meringue or the egg ring was larger than the recipe intended the discs to be, because I ran out of mixture before I had made enough discs. I decided to put one disc on the bottom, top it with passionfruit cream and then place half a disc on the top, like a wafer. Voila! Mini Pavlova's. They went down a treat.

The second sweet item was a rich chocolate cupcake. I had tried to buy Green & Black's Organic Cocoa to make these, but no one seemed to have it in stock. I ended up using a regular cooking cocoa and they still came out rich, and chocolatey.

By the time I got to the cupcakes, I was feeling a bit queasy from all the sugar in the meringues. But what else is tea and coffee for, if not to help you eat more sweet things? It helps you dilute the blood. Other's were not as successful in overcoming the sugar high for one final hurrah, so a few of these were left over. Oh dear. Looks like it's chocolate cupcakes for breakfast tomorrow.

* It was meant to be Gastroporn Friday, but one really has to admire a mind that can produce a Freudian Slip that goes straight past the sexual and onto exo-skeletal life forms.


Lucy said...

all those things look amazingly delicious! and I'm very jealous of the 8 passionfruit for $2.99. I think I paid US$2 for a single one last year when I was craving some.

ThirdCat said...

I have plenty more excellent advice. Let me know when you need it. What a great sister you are.

dogpossum said...

eeek! paying for passionfruit!

we had sixtymillion on our vine this year and another belated crop is sitting there, green and waiting (and possibly doomed by the foul weather).
i'd send them up to you, sweetheart, but...

next time we have surplace, laura, i'll drop you some in at uni - this time I dumped dozens on my supes, on my yoga teacher, on all my friends, on... everyone.

I really reccomend popping a vine in at your place(s) - they grow very easily and make a nice, soft green screen for the garden. And lucky warm climate people get to grow those lovely, large, sweet yellow ones!

dogpossum said...

...and I forgot to blather on about the fewd.
Jealous, jealous, jealous. You are a good stick. I still remember one time when I was up at my mum's (for some odd, but no doubt dramatic reason) and you brought up some indian food - i remember a particularly excellent potato dish, and something that involved tomatoes and ginger. No doubt from madhur jaffrey? i think i need recipes for THAT. if you can remember - it was at least 6 years ago...

Galaxy said...

Laura will be surprised--although grateful, I'm sure--when you turn up with passionfruit for her, dogpossum. That was Lucy from the US, in the New England area, lamenting the cost of passionfruit. $US2. I don't even want to begin thinking about that in $AU. Maybe you could send some to her, because I'm sure they would have less stringent rules about international fruit transport than we seem to have for interstate fruit migration here in Australia. Oh, I do fondly remember the time when I scoffed half a kilo of cherries at Melbourne Airport, before returning to Brisbane, and they didn't even have those earnest dogs they have at Hobart Airport to compensate me ; )

I would grow passionfruit, but I've only just worked out that mint and chives like water.

I do remember my shock the first time I saw mangoes for sale after I left Cairns. I think it took me about 10 years to pay for one after a childhood spent picking them up off the ground.

ThirdCat, everyone was so impressed by my bread choice, they thought that I'd made it. Yes, I will consult you again, thank you for the kind offer.

Re Madhur Jaffrey. Dogpossum, I think you've given me an idea for next Gastropod Friday. I've vaguely volunteered to cook everyone dinner on Thursday the night before the wedding. I declare it will be Indian Banquet night. Perhaps I'll come up with a song about the ways of men for the bride to be, just like in Monsoon Wedding.