Monday, 30 November 2009

Give'm Linen

It all started quite innocently while weeding the garlic. I noticed that the white cherry tree, which usually gets stripped by the birds before we can get around to netting them, had quite a bit of ripe fruit on it. While picking them I realised, it was time to not only get them onto the menu here, but to alert those of you in our area that Ken Campbell’s wonderful pick- your-own Morello cherry orchard at Mt Duneed will be ready for picking around Christmas time.

But it was when Diane kindly offered to find the vintage tablecloth with cherries on it for a suitable background for the main photo for this post that I realised her innocent? purchases at op shops and garage sales had turned into
[a]a magnificent collection?
[b] a magnificent obsession?

But of course it’s both. She has gathered together more than 200 and we do have a cedar table that needs clothing, so two? are carefully chosen each week, to feature in the dining room.

This is much more useful [as I have been often told] than the more than 200 pre 1940 cooking booklets that I have collected with similar zeal . My only reply is that they take up much less space than the linen. The tablecloths, breakfast cloths and booklets too, illustrate the development of graphic style, provide historical markers and display a kitsch sensibility that we both love.
After finding the Cherry cloth it was time for her to re-classify them and get a bit of order into the collection. Her classifications go something like this. Oceania, Australian Animals subsets of Koalas, Platypus, Kangaroo. Floral Australian, Floral new Zealand , Floral International, Places, Events, Culinary, Olympics.Breakfast cloths, multiples in different colours. Woven, printed, top 40 and so on.
But my recipe comes not from thevintage pamphlet boxes but from Austin de Croze for a traditional Clafoutis. He writes..
“Cherries covered in a custard of eggs, flour, caster sugar, salt and milk”
Serve hot sprinkled with caster sugar.
He trusts you with the quantities and so shall I.
We sometimes add Kirsch and a touch of vanilla to the custard. There is also a neat trick to serving them elegantly. The hardest part is getting them onto a plate without sticking to the baking dish.
For individual servings or larger shared platters bake on top of a circle of silicon paper [gladbake] and when ready slide onto heated plates.
Back to the garlic....
The title comes from Ludwig Bemelmans' Hotel Splendide highly recomended.

1 comment:

Thermomixer said...

Thanks George, do you stick the silicon paper down with something? I tried something similar with frittatas and the paper seemed to rise and egg mix got underneath and stuck to the dish!!

SOunds like you and Di have similar arguments to me & MrsT - I have one small wardrobe, while she has 3 big ones. But yes, the cookbooks and kitchen gadgets, along with the dinners!! Just think mine are far more important :)