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9.24.2008

Black Pudding, Pig Roasts, and Keeping My Hat On All Day.


I left off the last the post with my visit to Borough Market. If only I could have stayed longer but I had to meet my aunt and take the train to a old market village called Thame. The couple who were getting married generously put us up in the Spread Eagle Inn. No snickers at the name,it cracked me up too. But this Inn is very historic and has seen many a prominent visitor from Charles II to Evelyn Waugh. The groom to be's handsome son and friend Toby picked us up from the train station. They offered to show us some neighboring sites. Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill), Oxford, and Waddesdon Manor (home of the Rothschild's) were close by. Tempting as all that was , we wanted to freshen up after being up all day and exploring London. The boys warned us that unfortunately the yearly town fair was going on at that very moment on the High Street in front of the hotel. The roads were blocked off, and we entered from the back. The boys were called off to pick up some more people and take care of wedding stuff,so we were left to explore the village and maybe meet up later. I was thinking a quaint crafty fair like Chicago. What greeted us was a full blown carnival with warnings of the teenage hooligans who get rowdy. It was hard to see the shops and beauty of the town with all the carny nonsense. The Inn locked off the front doors to prevent entry from the crowds. It was too late to shop, so we went back to the Inn for dinner. No one was in the restaurant but we had a decent dinner from the new menu. I had a rustic pate with red onion marmalade, crispy prawns with crispy noodles . Auntie Mame had salmon and sorrel. You don't come across sorrel often. We retired early to faint sounds of the fair and never made it for drinks.

The morning of the wedding we went down to the restaurant again. I ordered the full English breakfast of eggs, black pudding, grilled tomato, sausage, and beans! I liked blood sausage, so I felt I could do the black pudding. It wasn't bad, but it didn't taste as tasty as blood sausage. It was a lot of food and I was praying the beans wouldn't kick in at the wedding. We shared a taxi over to Nether Winchendon House, a medieval Tudor mansion the wedding was held at. The family it belongs to is related to the Spencer- Churchill family and still live there. However they rent it out for filming, corporate events, and weddings. The wedding was lovely and unstuffy. All the ladies wore hats, but we were asked to be creative with them and use existing hats and embellish. The couple took their vows under a mulberry tree with their 'Vicar' friend. This ceremony was symbolic as their real / legal wedding would be in Chicago. The couple had an enormous sense of humour and deep love for each other, their family, and friends. Endless champagne, wine, beer, etc as we walked the estate and took pictures. The wedding lunch was held in a hall on the grounds. Besides the catered lunch, they had a pig roast outside! In fact there had 2 pig roasts. One for the lunch, and one for the evening buffet. So much good food. At this point I didn't care about being fancy and gobbled up the roast pig and cracklings. The best! We broke up the eating with outdoor activities . The couple hired acrobats who brought all sorts of equipment for the guests, I hula hooped, walked a tight rope with the guidance from the ground,walked on stilts, etc all in my big hat! My aunt has these hysterical photos so I haven't got them yet. By 11:30 we were exhausted.I even got picked up by two 25 year olds. One actually proposed marriage and kept calling me Dorthy. They found it hard to believe I was almost 15 years older than them.Flattery! Back to the Inn, and we flew home the next day. I have to say that was the most joyous , humorous, real wedding I had ever been to. If my day ever comes I plan take a page from them.



I leave you with this recipe I adapted from BBC's Olive Magazine. Over the next few weeks you see me use ideas or items I got from over there: The original recipe from Chef Valentine Warner was a baked Mushroom and Celeriac Tarte. I wanted to incorporate some slow cooked beef shank I had with leeks and mushrooms. The inspiration was using a thinly sliced celery root as my crust. It didn't come out as caramelized and perfect as the magazine( to much liquids which I drained), but it was very good. Even Certain Someone who doesn't like celery or the root liked this.


Glamah's Celeriac Tarte with Beef , Leeks, and Mushrooms
2 beef shanks
1 large leek cleaned and sliced
1 small celery root
1 cup of mushrooms coarsley chopped
salt/ pepper to taste( I used a seasoned sea salt spiced with cumin and mint)
1/2 cup of Cooking Wine
3 cloves of Garlic
butter
Slow cook the beef shanks with with wine, garlic, and salt. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours. Clean mushrooms and leeks. Add to beef. At this point you can remove the meat from the bone and chop up to cook with the vegetables.Cover and let roast on oven another 20-30 minutes.

Wash and peel celery root. Cut into manageable quarters. Take a mandolin and slice thinly.
Take a cast iron pan and melt butter to coat it on the stove. Arrange the celery root slices to cover. Add the meat and vegetables.Be sure to drain excess liquids . Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Take out and invert pan onto a plate( like making a tarte tatin). Slice and serve.

I am submitting this to Go Ahead Honey Its Gluten Free.The wonderful and English Naomi is hosting and shes picked Slow Food as this months theme.

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34 comments:

maybelle's mom said...

WOW that sounds like a wonderful, wonderful wedding. mazel tov to the couple and lucky you for double pig.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, what a fairy tale! It all sounds too marvelous. I'm so glad you had such a lovely trip.

Mary said...

It sounds like a fabulous wedding and I love your hat!

And I am far to reserved and prim to make any comments about you entering the spread eagle from the rear. :D

Paz said...

Sounds like a beautiful wedding and a fun trip overall. Very nice. So is the tasty-looking recipe you've provided for us. Yum!

Paz

Ivy said...

Your trip sounds like a movie. Your tart sounds great and I love the taste of leeks. If you like you can also link your recipe to my event Savory Pies.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, it looks like you had a great time in England! A great wedding! That hat suits you very well!

Nice food and a great dish! Comforting and tasty!

Cheers,

Rosa

Emiline said...

Yeah, I like your hat too! I don't think I could pull that off, but you certainly did.

This sounds like the best wedding ever! Glad you had a good time.
Hope the beans didn't kick in...

TeachGirl said...

What a great wedding. The hat looks fab! And marriage proposals as well. You've been busy! ;-)

Dhanggit said...

Oh my dear Glamah you are so gorgeous in that lovely hat! I've always dreamt of wearing something like that but my head is too small LOL anyways what a wonderful wedding post you shared for us! yay! feel like we are also invited :-)

Naomi Devlin said...

That hat is just gorgeous - glad you managed to keep it on, ain't nothin worse than hat hair....

A celeriac and lamb shank tart tatin? I can't think of anything better and can't wait to try it myself.

Incidentally, my uncle in law lives in Thame - not that I've ever been there, but it is amazing how tiny our little planet has become no?

Thanks for the submission!

x x x

Peter M said...

Courtney, with that hat you look ready for the races!

Fantastic pics and delightful, comfort dish in your tart.

joanne at frutto della passione said...

All that good food! I feel full and a little sleepy just reading about it ;)

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

It sounds like a great wedding! You look so elegant in the hat, I love it!

Dee said...

You're looking very swish, Coco :) Love the hat. We really should where hats here in the tropics but no one ever does. Maybe I'll start a trend. Most likely my friend would pee themselves laughing.

The wedding sounded marvelous! And that tarte is brilliant with the savoury twist you've given it :)

Nik Snacks said...

I agree with Ivy. Your trip sounds like a movie. I'm glad you had such a good time! And your hat is gorgeous. I want one lol Why don't women where hats anymore?

kittie said...

A fantastic hat for what sounds like a fantastic wedding! Great fun :D

ps. re. the black pudding - they can really differ from region to region - I don't think English black pud is as spicy and savoury as the Scottish version - though it's probably just what I was brought up on ;)

Deborah said...

I want a hat like that!! And what a wedding - sounds like such a blast! I love hearing about your travels.

Gabi said...

Wow you are such a beautiful glamah-rous globe trotting woman you! I LOVE the hat :)
Cheers xoxo

Luca and Sabrina said...

Wonderful wedding and you were so beautiful! We read every word of your tale and now we are hungry.....
Kisses
Sabrina&Luca

Darius T. Williams said...

All the food looks good...but I'm still laughing at you not wanting the beans to kick in - lol.

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

giz said...

Yowzah, Glamah is looking mighty glamah-rous :). What an interesting post and fun too. You are brave about food - gotta give you credit. The whole package is kinda dreamy. I'm sure while you were there it was okay - but when you get to the memories, it'll be uber special.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Look at you all glammed up with that hat!! It suits you well!
What a dare devil you are, did you say stilts? Now that sounds like a fun wedding!

toni said...

Have you ever seen the play "Hats"? You should be in it! (It was terrific, btw.) And that celery root tart looks like a winning approach to using celery root! Love the additions you made to it, too.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Your hat is fab. The wedding sounds lovely...very Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Check you out getting play from 25 year olds. :)

Swati said...

Courtney, you are looking gorgeous!!
The wedding sounds so much fun...

We Are Never Full said...

now that i'm married to a brit, it's hard to imagine an event/wedding without women in hats! you look very beautiful!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

You look beautiful!!!! :)
Love those big hats you always see at British weddings!

Sounds like a fabulous time you had! :)

Lori Lynn said...

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your trip and the wedding.

Likin' your cast iron skillet, a lot! I don't have one of those...

chou said...

You make a hat sma-ile! :)

Blog Princess G said...

I'm not surprised the 25-year-olds were smitten - you look fantastic! Sounds like a wonderful, creative wedding. I wish more were like that. :)

Susan said...

That is a *lovely* photo of you. Hats give women such presence. It's a shame they are generally out of favor these days.

Your celeriac tart is something I could sink my teeth into right now.

The Caked Crusader said...

Great post!
Valentine Warner is a very new, up and coming TV chef - I have my eye on his onion tart recipe.

Jeanne said...

Look at you in the hat!! Glamah indeed ;-)

I was laughing at the village fair where all the doors were locked to keep the "yoof" out...

English breakfasts - God bless 'em!

And what a fantastic wedding it sounds like! Next time I get married (ha ha ha!) I want stilt-walkers too :)

Rosie said...

Sounds such a beautiful wedding and Blenheim Palace is such an amazing place to visit,it seems ages since my last visit there.

Rosie x