Friday, April 18, 2008

What's on the street?

This month’s Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness blog party theme is street food and I was determined to try and attend. Last month I made the food, pizza – but never got around to posting those little cheese triangles. And the month before I totally failed to get my fried offerings out in time for the party, so I had a little party by myself. I know, very sad!

So after promising to do better I racked my brains for suitable street food inspired canapés and rushed to get my glad rags on and attend.

However I have to admit that yet again I am tardy, the party is already in full swing when I arrive so I hope to duck in the back, mop my fevered brow, maybe mingle with the other more punctual bloggers and hope no-one notices.

I am blaming my belated arrival on partly my struggle with my canapés accompanying beverage, which frankly is my monthly bête noir with regards to this event. When the theme is announced I generally have a few vibrant pictures leap instantly into my head, normally various food scenarios, often the presentation and tableware I might utilise but so far never the drink. And this month was the same old quandary. My first thought on street food was fish and chips. I’m not entirely sure why but I think the first image that materialised was eating fish and chips out of the paper (almost certainly no longer newspaper, I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten fish and chips out of yesterday’s news) was sitting on the wall looking out to sea during my brief sojourn in Plymouth. It was my first experience of living and working in a place where others go on holiday. It was surreal popping out to grab some lunch in the middle of a busy working day and rubbing shoulders with rucksack toting, camera clicking tourists. And fish and chips of course tasted so good here, the salt in the air mingling with the heavily malt vinegared and salted chips with the seagulls circling overhead hoping for abandoned crusty bits of fish in an ecstatic cacophony. And I am assuming that Stephanie was hoping that the mention of street food would conjure up evocative memories of hungrily devouring exotic titbits whilst meandering along foreign streets. For me a walk around Parisian streets would seem incomplete without a ham and melting cheese crammed buckwheat galette. Or if it’s earlier in the day, a fresh from the boulangerie delicious pain au chocolat.

I’ve never been a big fan of the traditional fast food outlets; the golden arches have never held any allure for me. H and I were known for the very occasional delve into the world of KFC but her curious reliance on those 11 special herbs and spices in the first trimester caused us both reach some hot wing overload and have never returned. When I discovered the joy or a lightly toasted bagel with chive-y cream cheese and salmon, I could see the point of portable food again but generally I like to sit down and enjoy my particular repast.

But considering the various en route grabbed meals the image of fish and chips was the strongest one so I made little newspaper cones out of the Sunday papers and got some sole goujons to take the place of the cod of my memories. Unfortunately I had to make use of bread crumbed fish and not that gloriously crisply battered fish but they still tasted rather fine. I accompanied the fish with the skinniest chips I could find, scattered with salt crystals and showered with the Sarsons.

I really struggled again with the drink to serve and thought what would normally drink if I was out and about? And that’s easy; it would be more than likely be a bottle of evian. I don’t ever drink coffee, tea still quite rarely and only from a cup sat down somewhere - so water it’ll have to be. But it is a party so it’s back out with the rather fetching and fabulous Christian Lacroix 2008 edition of evian. So very chic!

So sorry to be late again Stephanie, I guess you're getting used to me rushing in at the last moment and flinging my coat on the back of the nearest chair. But I am here now... and the rest will be here when posted.

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