Friday, December 10, 2010

Shanks So Much for L...inner?

There is much to be said for technology:  it helps us to be more efficient, to have more leisure time, to have more fun, to get places faster, to cook things in ways that our forefathers never imagined, to provide experiences we would never have anticipated. And last but not least, to help us to waste more time!

To explain the headline (and no, I didn't write this while I was on one of my vodka-fuelled, I mean medicinal, binges) the Shanks recently sent out an invitation for a family get-together. It started as an email which progressed to a facebook event courtesy of Lobo. Aside from the fact that I'm not monitoring "fb" every minute of the day (she says to people at work who are reading this!), electronic communication as opposed to a phone call or face to face leaves plenty of room for interpretation, or in this case, mis-interpretation!

The email clearly said: Dinner @ Our Place - Baby Shanks sleeps between 12.00 and 2.00 pm, feel free to come around a bit earlier. Unfortunately the event title became "Family Lunch at "The Shanks'" and even though the body of the original email was included in the event details, half of us read "lunch" and the other half read "dinner".

So to the Shanks' surprise, half of us turned up at 12.00 pm and when alerted, the rest of us had to scramble to get there having thought that we had a leisurely pace to prepare our dishes to take along.

To quote Aldous Huxley, "Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards." Welcome to Generation Y!

Anyway, this is a food blog and you're here to look at food! Here is what we ate:

These are THE fishcakes by which Anita of No Red Meat took out the Kitchen Aid prize at the inaugural Mad Hatters' Picnic. Having made them three times now, they truly are spectacular and loved by all!
Fromage de Clarines and a Will Studd recipe which we tested a little while ago and as featured on Masterchef. And we all had a go poking pieces of blanched garlic and thyme into the cheese and pouring on the red wine.
A selection of spicy Cantonese preserves and cold cuts brought by bisycl ....

...followed by a selection of meats:
 Chicken skewers with pine nuts and sesame seeds (marinated and barbequed by Mr Shanks)

 Lamb kofta marinated and barbequed by Mr Shanks

 Buffalo wings (marinated and oven-baked by Lobo) and served with crudites and an authentic blue cheese dressing!

 Prawn skewers (marinated and barbequed by Mr Shanks)

Then came the salads:

 Heirloom tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella salad by Yaya

 Mixed leaf and garden salad by Mrs Shanks (dressing on the side)

Tom Thumb tomatoes stuffed with pesto & shaved peccorino

So we needed some carbs to soak up everything else:

Indian rice by Wag (Shanks & Lobo sibling) who also brought the bread

Had we had enough to eat yet? Of course not!

Pre-dessert: Mulled Wine & Lychee sorbet

So good I have to show you twice!

Made and served up by la chouquette sucree
And last but not least, the piece de resistance, the Shanks' Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with Kumquat Coulis, Gingerbread Sand and Fresh Kumquat.

Here's a shot of all our desserts which 8 year old budding Junior Masterchef "Wagson" helped to assemble.

Thanks to the Shanks (good movie title?) for hosting this fantastic day and here's to another year of good eating and blogging!

One more shot of the whole feast for the road!


  1. It was an awesome day!! Thanks to Family Shanks for having us over!

  2. So much great food, so little stomach space and the kiddies were so entertaining!

  3. What a delicious spread of food! It looks like there's a bit of everything there :)

  4. Glad you guys appreciate Le fromages des clarines :) another way to eat this is to put it in foil and in an open fire or in the oven. Not for too long !!

  5. Beautiful food on offer..., I'd have loved a couple of those wonderful Sangria & Lychee sorbets.

  6. It was a great Shanks-giving feast. Fabulous shots since being converted to the DSLR-side (the lens is strong in this one). Shanks for coming guys!!

  7. The miscommunication of time is sort of funny, glad you guys scrambled together well. What an amazing feast.

  8. In my defence 'She's asleep between 12 and 2pm so feel free to come over earlier' could be taken as come earlier than 12pm. And knowing our dinners usually take about 8 hours a 12pm start to dinner could easily be justified. Way to hustle and get everything ready for the unexpected linner team!