Every single day, around 16 people get to a point where they feel that they have no one and no where to turn to, they feel overwhelmed by life. Samaritans in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn & Ribble Valley took over 30,000 calls last year. It is run purely by volunteers, everyone from the Director down gives up there time for free.
We are eating Ottolenghi style tonight so everything will come out of the kitchen as fast as Alan can carry it. Dip in, pass it around, chat and eat lots.
Green salad with a mustard seeds and tarragon - I cant always get hold of tarragon so have had a go at growing my own. This salad is fresh, crunchy, very green and has a little punch to it.
One of the dishes that we get asked to cook again and again is a cauliflower "cake" yes I know it sounds odd but trust me at least one of you will be begging me for the recipe!!
Roasted tomatoes and aubergines in a pomegranate, honey and harissa dressing served on a dollop of yogurt.
Homemade Labneh - a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese with olives, pistachios and basil - go on, dip it in and give it a whirl.
Roasted Red Onions with a Walnut Salsa - Not sure this needs much explanation red onions are roasted and dotted with some soft goats cheese and drizzled with the warm dressing. Bish, bash, bosh
Chicken with miso and honey - miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and other ingredients. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals you should leave here looking ten years younger!!
Whole roasted cauliflower - roasting does something magical to cauliflower
Persian rice - I love this way of cooking rice; you steam the rice with very little water in a large pan adding a dollop of butter to the bottom and when it's cooked you turn it upside down and hey presto it has a buttery crust to it. It is a bit of a unique taste but I do think it's worth the effort.
We have two desserts for you tonight and yes, you can have both.
Dark chocolate, Cardamom and Espresso Mousse Cake - where do I begin, everyone loves chocolate cake, add into this love affair some rich chocolate, a hint of spice and then make it lighter than air with a whisper of a kiss - and there you have it. I am going to have at making some cardamom shortbread to have with this fingers crossed it wont turn out to be cardamom crumb but I guess that would work anyway .....
Very large bowl of Eton Mess - homemade meringue, fruit, ice cream and clouds of whipped cream with a mango and lime drizzle.
If you have room there is a selection of foreign and local cheese some hard, some soft - so soft they are practically gooey, served with grapes, walnuts, figs, biscuits and little jars of yummy chutney.
Fresh ground coffee served with a variety of after dinner mints. There is also Yorkshire tea, mint tea, green tea, liquorice tea, pomegranate and apple tea and decaf coffee if anyone wants one.