Saturday, 8 January 2011

H is for...

... Harvey Wallbangers with harissa marinated Haloumi and herby flatbread, followed by haggis-in-the-hole with Highland Park whisky sauce. Next up, we had ham hock and horseradish hot water crust pastry pies, with a honey and mustard dressed salad. For main, we ate hare in Hobsons Old Henry ale with herb dumplings and haricot beans. Pudding was hazelnut and chocolate tart with honeycomb ice cream, washed down with hazelnut liqueur. The cheeseboard comprised of Highland Blue, Hundred Dram Cheddar and Harbourne Blue.

H night began with one hangover and ended with another. The night before Richard and I had gone to dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday, the pub followed and merriment overpowered all reason and we drank everything we could reach. Dehydrated with horrendous headaches, the next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed to Chadwicks of Balham and then heaved a trolley round Waitrose. All this effort needed to be rewarded and so we found ourselves heading hungrily towards The Fat Delicatessen for lunch. All the food had been bought and while we waited for our order to arrive, I thought I'd take a moment to email directions to H's dinner guests. As the much needed jug of water arrived at our table, my phone buzzed with a new email, as I checked it, my stomach turned (not for the first time that day). Due to some confusion, two of the evening's diners couldn't make it after all. I looked at the sea of shopping bags surrounding our table and felt the heat of panic flush my cheeks. We had two others coming so H had to go ahead, but with enough food for 6 already bought I wanted to find some replacements fast. Richard and I spent our lunch emailing, texting and phoning Alphabet Soupers who might be able to take the spare places. Nobody was biting. My heart sank. I'd ordered in the hares especially and everything. Then suddenly, hope arrived in the shape of comedy writer and knitter extraordinaire, Sarah Dean - thank you, Sarah, for saving the day! It seemed absolutely fitting that it should be Sarah who made it to H, as her boyfriend, writer/performer Tom Wateracre had been to G night and proposed to Sarah the next day. I think it was the goose what done it. One less for dinner wasn't nearly so bad - we'd all just have to be a bit greedier than normal. Fine by me.

Richard made a compilation CD which included Debbie Harry, Jimi Hendrix, House of Pain, House of Love, Hot Chocolate, PJ Harvey and the Handsome Family. We were also exposed to the surprising (and often unnerving) delights of Honor Blackman and Patrick MacNee's Kinky Boots.

Harvey Wallbanger

A classic since its creation in 1952 by the world champion mixologist, Donato "Duke" Antone (Paolantonio). Legend has it the cocktail was named after a Manhattan Beach surfer who was a regular at Duke's "Blackwatch" bar on Sunset Boulevard*. I must admit, I wasn't a fan of this drink. I found that addition of the Galliano made the drink too sickly for me, but the others didn't have trouble sinking their's and then mine afterwards. The recipe is simple, 2 measures of vodka over ice, topped up with orange juice and a half measure of Galliano is floated on top.

* Ref. Wikipedia

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