Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lunch amongst the flower pots

I packed a little picnic for the nursery trip I took with Joe, one of our gardeners, on Monday.

I had never made these: my Sainted Aunt's asparagus fingers. She used to make them every year for a picnic we would all have in Cape Town, at Maynardville, an open air theatre which stages Shakespeare once a year. The picnic was always the best part of the evening, closely followed by the thermos-hot coffee with a slug of Something in it, at interval.

She put canned white asparagus in them. I could not find any so had to settle (...everything is relative!) for fresh green, which I cooked till barely done. Then, onto the softest, and most terrible-for-you-bread I could find (commercial potato bread in this case), I spread mayonnaise and some cracked pepper. Put a couple of thin spears (one fat one would do) at one end, and rolled. One must place the finished finger seam-side down, in a container which would fit all of them. This keeps them rolled up. It has to be squooshy bread.

They were divine.

I also made a Caesar dressing with a soft boiled egg yolk, anchovies, garlic, lime juice and olive oil...and we dipped Romaine leaves into this. Then we got impatient and just poured.

Chicken wings were dipped in melted butter, coated with flour, nutmeg, mustard seeds and ground coriander, salt and pepper and baked until crispy.

We sat on upturned flower pots in a big commercial wholesale nursery, balancing our plates and napkins on our laps, with two more pots as tables, and must have looked pretty funny.


  1. omigod...that sounds incredibly delicious. Are you hiring...?

  2. What a meal al fresco. Yum yum....I'll take about a half a dozen of those asparagus sandwiches, m'dear!

  3. Such classy padkos!

  4. What a divine lunch! Asparagus sandwiches. Totally grew up on the smooshy sandwiches. We had them at cocktail parties, tea parties, picnics. I can't begin to count how many of those I made when I was catering. Hellmann's was the mayo of choice. I'm positively floating down memory lane!

  5. I think I would add a banana to the recipe. Same shape, it'd fit perfectly. ;-)

  6. Ms Croft...hmmmmaybe? :-)

    Lavinia - coming right up (I could easily eat a dozen at a sitting)!

    Jane - ag, padkos. Did you have natlappies, too?

    Mary - I know...and they tasted like the time my mom picked me up from school and when we opened the trunk to put our bags in, there was a tea party inside, with bone china, silver tea service, piping hot tea and crustless cucumber sandwiches. Her idea of a joke. Very good-tasting and now legendary joke! Can't beat Hellman's. This wasorganic from Trader Joe's and not quite as good.

    Beence??? Dude! If you're not careful you'll get fried bananas and bacon for breakfast in Cape Town...


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