18 May 2012

GUEST BLOG: Aroma therapy

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

A ‘small but perfectly formed’ group of five met on Tuesday (15 May) at Buckthorn House on the Nell Lane Estate to cook fishcakes, feta cheese potato cakes, salsa verde and beetroot and carrot salad.

It was a lovely sociable evening spent chopping and preparing ingredients, chatting about preparation/methods, favourite tastes in foods and preference of vegetables, sharing personal tips for cooking, and just enjoying cooking as part of a group in a relaxed and sociable environment.

Top tips from Kim this eve - to buy the ‘fish pie mix’ at Chorlton’s fishmongers: it's a cheap, good-quality mix of fish ‘off-cuts’ which are perfect for a fish pie or fishcakes. Another great tip we picked up: while the potatoes are boiling in the pan, steam the fish in a colander over them with a lid on top. This reminds me of how great steamers are for saving fuel and for healthy cooking.

I realise each time I take part in a cooking session what a pleasure it is to prepare meals from scratch. It is inspiring as each ingredient is cut and chopped and the aromas spread through the air. The chopped fresh mint wafted under my nose from the other side of the room and other memories of smells this evening are of fresh garlic, chopped red onion, fresh basil, spring onions, freshly squeezed lemon, chopped cucumber, grated deep purple beetroot, grated bright orange carrot, dry fried green pumpkin seeds, mashed potatoes, chopped capers, gherkins and green olives, and gently steamed fish: salmon, cod, coley and monkfish.

The finished feast was really a delight of colours, flavours, smells and tastes. Each dish deserved its place on the plate, and they all complimented one another - you can tell how much I enjoyed eating the finished meal! 

The whole group were very generous with helping and clearing up – a delight to share a meal with. I hope they were all as inspired by this evening as I was.

There are more photographs from this event on our Facebook page.

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