We had a wonderful evening here at The Buttercup last night with delicious food, great company and an inspiring guest speaker. Diana Henry (one of our culinary heroines) came to visit and regaled us with tales of food and cookery writing. She introduced her new book Salt Sugar Smoke (which is all about preserving, conserving and smoking) by giving us a taste of her chutneys, jams and a nip of Damson gin.
Diana told us about her childhood growing up in Northern Ireland when the only olive oil she knew about was made by Crosse & Blackwell and kept in the medicine cupboard for cleaning children’s ears. She told us about how her fascination and obsession with food was brought on by reading books such as One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).
She described how cooking for her was the ultimate escape; you can stand still in your kitchen and journey to any corner of the globe with the food and tastes your create. She spoke of the excitement and inspiration she found from looking into her larder and seeing a jar of pomegranate molasses or a box of Couscous covered in Arabic script next to a jar of good old HP sauce.
Diana’s enthusiasm is infectious. She encouraged us all to have a go; she is a champion of the home cook. Her cooking style is exactly what we have always wanted The Buttercup Cafe to be about. She mentioned Claudia Roden and Sophie Grigson as cookery writers she greatly admires.
While Diana chatted with guests, swapped fish smoking techniques and signed books, Claire (aka Madam Buttercup) and Connie produced a feast from The Buttercup kitchen using Diana’s recipes. The autumn pudding was a triumph; the Turkish lamb kofta with cherries were delicious and perfect for a cold Autumn night.
Our guests all chatted and discussed their favourite recipe books. It was an inspiring evening for us all. We heard that Diana is already working on another three books. We can’t wait to hear about what she is creating next and hope we can persuade her to come back and visit us again!
The next Buttercup Supper Club is on 17th November. Book your table now. We’ll post more details here soon.