Bonfire night food: I went to a bonfire night party Saturday (frankly mentioning Guy Fawkes seems pointless). All the usual food suspects rocked up from our extremely generous hosts including the baked potato and sausages. There was however a grand attempt at a Pumpkin and Gruyere Soup which truth be told did not live up to its billing. I assume this comes more fromt he recipe than its cooking, trusting said cooks implicitly. However its whole manner of cooking (inside the hollowed out pumpkin) suggested a dish made for looking at rather than eating.

The main problem with the soup was that rather than pumpkin or Gruyere coming to the fore, the whole thing tasted a bit too much of cream. Having seen the recipe this is almost certainly due to the recipe being about 90% cream. The pumpkin bits were nice, but Gruyere seemed an odd cheese to pick, it remaining pretty much intact after melting. Perhaps a blue cheese would have been better, something that has a strong flavour but melts to a runny consistency. Still the evening went on with a swing perhaps due to the discover of an old bottle of…

Bonfire Night Bouze:
It was a party, and therefore the beer, wine and spirits were being rocked (including some wonderful early doors Sea-Breezes). But as the evening unfolded your adventurous correspondent noticed a bottle of Cynar, which appeared to have a picture of an artichoke on the label. An inquisitive soul I asked and was duely poured a glass. It was indeed an artichoke liquer, and with the exception of its very sweet initial taste, managed to be exactly like what you expect an artichoke liquer to taste like. Nasty.

Unlike the bottle of home made Sloe Gin found later. The householders wrinkled their noses up at said gin, as if to say it was the biggest waste of Sainsbury’s London Dry Gin ever. Well three years since bottling it has to be said they ate their words. The sloes had matured leaving a nicely fruity and naturally sweet drink which warmed me up no end. The rest of the group discovered that with a splash of grapefruit and soda a slightly stronger Sea Breeze could be constructed. And the evening nicely went full circle.