Posted by: lialeendertz | March 4, 2012

Lia and Juliet’s Supper and Garden Club

One Sunday last August I was walking back from the allotment with Adam, a friend and neighbour we share our plot  with. It was a glorious summer day and Adam started telling me about the festival of Lammas. It occurs at high summer, not mid-summer (which always feels a bit springy to me) but that point where it really feels like summer: long drawn-out days, lazy times, bounty. Lammas celebrates the first wheat harvest and marks the ripening of the first berries of the year, so you eat bread and blackberries and soak up the good times. Something about this food-based link to the seasons made me look around me properly and completely appreciate that moment: the clear, high, blue summer sky; the kids running in t-shirts and shorts on hot pavements; the wheeling, shrieking swifts; the wheelbarrow full of produce. It’s so easy to miss it when you’re in it, and only really see it when you look back, on a cold March day.

It started the germ of an idea, about creating a celebration based on whatever is in the allotment or garden at that time to make myself stop and look around and enjoy: comforting, cosy winter squash and roots in autumn and winter, fresh green shoots and herbs in spring, and that joyful, bountiful excess of high summer. I mentioned the idea of a supper club to my friend Juliet Roberts and she got it instantly, the idea of creating something of our own, a little (hopefully) magical way of marking the moment, several times a year.

So here’s the plan: this is to be a very modest supper club. We will have four evenings a year, one each in spring, summer, autumn and winter. Sometimes it will be at my house, sometimes at Juliet’s. Each evening will start with a little look around the garden and some chat about what we are up to in it, and what you can do to get growing food at that particular time of the year. There will be a cocktail, food, laughs and chat. There will not be big hunks of meat. We are going to play to our strengths and really concentrate on making something special out of the vegetables and fruits of the season. You will bring your own bottle.

It is our chance to have some fun, to meet some interesting people, and to create something of our own. We also want to put our money where our mouths are about growing and eating good, seasonal food, and to show off our gardens. We will do our best to make it a beautiful evening.

Of course we’re starting with the trickiest time of the year, the hungry gap, but we think we can make something special of it. It’s a time of using up the last preserved food and starting to get the very earliest of the year’s produce in. The first date is Saturday 24th March at my house, the cost is £25 per head, and the menu (currently subject to daily change) looks like this:

.

Primrose cocktail

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Onion marmalade and goats cheese nibbles

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Green garlic soup with nettle and walnut pesto and pea shoot shot glasses

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Herb rolls

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Baked ricotta, braised raddichio, potatoes in sorrel sauce, buttered spring cabbage and purple-sprouting broccoli

(The main course will be served on big shared platters on the table, actually there will be other bits and pieces as well as these here. To be confirmed)

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Rhubarb upside-down cake with bay ice cream

.

Email us at liaandjuliet@gmail.com to reserve a place or to go on our mailing list, and follow us on twitter @liaandjuliet

Or just wish us luck.

PS It strikes me a little late that I just presumed anyone who might read this would know where I live. It appears they dont. North Bristol.

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Responses

  1. A wonderful idea, and I wish you both the very best of luck. Would love to come if we didn’t live 150 miles away.

  2. Good luck ladies! Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your gardens, the seasons and their bounty.

  3. Unfortunately Ive an engagement at River Cottage all wekend or I’d have made uop another excuse to be unsociable. I can, however, say that had i been born of a more socible disposition and been free I would’ve been there like a shot. Good luck ladies xx

  4. Such a wonderful idea and definitely a way to make you notice and appreciate the things growing around you. The menu sounds lovely and varied. Wishing you good luck with your new venture with many more wonderful seasonal suppers!

  5. Good luck, sounds a great idea. I do a similar thing on the summer and winter solstices for my family. Brilliant occasions, and certainly focuses the mind.

    Full respect for doing it during the hungry gap.

    Look forward to hearing more.

  6. No “big hunks of meat”.
    Well I suppose that knocks Mark and I off the guest list.
    *Flexes* *Lifts Fiat Punto*

    Could you not just do this in Bristol? Could you not do it in your dangerously unreliable camper van in other people’s gardens?

    • Funny you should say that…this might be something we have considered…*taps nose, winks, nudges etc…etc…*
      You are very meaty and manly.

  7. fab. Do register also on Find a Supper Club (supperclubfangroup.ning.com) and post your dates, then we can add you to the list for the Bristol area?

    Kerstin x

    • I think I have, but I haven’t posted the date yet. Will do, and thanks for the inspiration x

  8. Bloody great idea – but I’m with James – get on the road! It will be like “I can cook” but with something edible at the end (and less children – always a bonus).

  9. Again I find myself in the wrong place…good luck Juliet and Lia. Inspiration it would seem is stemming from the west currently.

  10. What a brilliant idea. Obviously I can’t be there, but I’ll raise a glass to you. I hope it is a huge success.

  11. absolutely, wishing you luck! sounds excellent. wishing i could join you. x

  12. That looks fabulous, great idea. Where do you live? Would be very interested in coming

    • Bristol! I really should have mentioned that. Will amend the post.

  13. Sue – thanks you!

    Sui – Yes, I think it will be.

    Mark – I’m sure you can cancel it and whip yourself up into a state of excitement at sitting down and eating with a load of strangers. I’ll save you a place.

    Janet – Very kind words. Thank you.

    Jono – I know, scary timing, but that’s how it fell. Love the sound of your solstice suppers. Very similar idea.

    Dawn – the other bonus, I get to send the kids to my mum’s for the night…
    re: going on the road. If this works out, maybe maybe.

    Helen – Aw, very kind to say.

    Gilly – thank you, I hope so!

    Apple turnover – shame it isnt the weekend before! Thanks

  14. Fab idea. It looks like Mark’s the ideal candidate to go and invade should you decide to take James’ advice and go out on the road.

    You could raid his produce too if you found yourselves a bit short. Could be a plan for the hungry gap?

    • I think Mark would get his shotgun out if I tried to invade his veg patch. I rather thought James was offering HIS garden.

      • tee hee – you could go on tour and visit both of them ;)

        Come to mine on the way – from previous form you know you’ll be welcome x

  15. sounds like an inspiring idea, and covering all my favorite bases of growing, cooking and showing off, is one that gives me lots of ideas. – Hope it all goes wonderfully

  16. ooh this sounds fun and I’m often back in the Bristol area to see my MUm.

    Won’t be able to make this one though…arrived in Western Australia yesterday !Here for a month…celebrating 100 degrees F and the sunshine.

    Supper club sounds good…and would love the summer one!

  17. Once more you have ‘hit the spot’

  18. Will you post photos afterwards for those of us who cant’ make it – intrigued by the thought of what a primrose cocktail looks like. Have fun Lia.
    P.S. It would certainly be an intimate occasion should you take to the camper van in the future.

  19. Claire – very glad to give you ideas. It certainly ties up a lot of strings for me too.
    Bridget – get yourself on the mailing list. We’d love to have you.
    Ms B – You are bloody lovely
    Anna – Sure will post pics. And yes, can fit four around the camper van table, but could squeeze a couple extra in if we pop the top up.

  20. What a lovely idea …. let me know when you’re camper van heads for Surrey!

  21. When you were down to your last three tickets the Bedsock asked me if I wanted to go.. The answer was of course YES but I decided that as it was your first time we perhaps shouldn’t frighten you by having the riff raff turn up!

    You won’t be let off so easily next time!

    • We’d so love to have you! That would be amazing. We are down to our final place now but could possibly perch the bedsock on the mantlepiece…

  22. Oh I wish I lied closer .. *sigh*

  23. Oh I wish I lied closer .. *sigh* NOW i have the giggles .. I must spell check before I send … amazing what a missing V makes !

    Oh I wish I lived closer .. *sigh* .. was what I meant to say !!!

  24. Jill – thanks! I will.
    Vanessa – whoops! Well if you’re ever passing be sure to check out our dates first.

  25. Hi Lia,
    I saw you speak at the WI last night, I learnt lots! Of course I had 100 more questions I could have asked……
    Anyway, I was wondering when you next Supper Club is?
    Shelly

    • Hi Shelly, so glad it was useful. Will probably be announcing the next date here some time soon but if you want first dibs on places you need to be on the mailing list. Email us at liaandjuliet@gmail.com. Hope to see you at one!


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