Wednesday, May 07, 2008

All Buffed up!

Hold on to your hat, Stephanie, I thought I’d arrive early and help you set up for the party. Yes, possibly for one of the first time ever I have got my act together and am ready ahead of time. When Stephanie announced the theme of this month’s blog party as “Buffy” as in vampire slayer, I was initially a little thrown. I am aware of Buffy and her tendency for lurking about graveyards and brandishing pointed sticks but I couldn’t remember anything particular about food. I consulted, as the font of all vital celluloid knowledge, but it didn’t give me much inspiration. My limited knowledge of vampires is that they don’t eat, unless you count the biting of flesh of a well-turned neck so I am not bothering catering for our fanged friends or the undead. Instead maybe I should consider demon-busting sustenance for the Scooby Gang et al, and I am guessing that generally they wish to repel vampires - apart maybe from Angel!

As usual when the month’s theme is publicised I start pondering the turn my canapés will take, their vital ingredients and presentation. Buffy inspired crockery, I am completely flummoxed here. So bearing in mind that I don’t think any of the “energetically pursued by Buffy” vampires ever turned into a bat (it seems that is very last year for the modern vampire, Mick St John and the dashing Josef in Moonlight don’t go in for bat transformations and Henry in Blood Ties doesn’t either) I decided that artistic licence was in order. It’s not as if my place is awash with vampiric accoutrements (no really!) but I wanted bats – and the bats I’d set my little black heart on was bat-shaped table confetti. Why did I really want bats? I can only think this is some deep-seated love of Count von Count and his batty companions from Sesame Street, rising its head again.

However it seems that these furry bodied winged creatures are considered a tad seasonal, really are bats not for life? And being months from Halloween I had to do a bit of searching, but fear not my quest was successful. Though with the general shortage and all I had to buy a job lot of variously shaped confetti and had the absorbing task of sorting them into their respective genus (be afraid D, I can foresee other confetti-strewn events in Cambridge!) So when DD contacted me and asked what I was doing and I said, “sorting bats” that’s the reason why!

Shiny little black bats duly scattered around the Hell mouth I then had to devise the various little bites to serve (yes, I had to make that pun also!).

Angels on horseback and devils on horseback immediately leapt to mind (also kindly suggested by the multi-brothered J); would they be Buffy-ish enough? I can’t really think of any demonic dishes, but devilled (as in marginally fiery) seems to be a popular culinary treatment! The ‘angels’ should strictly be oysters, but I wasn’t enthused by the crusty examples on offer and substituted them for scallops instead; well I’ve always considered scallops to be far more angelic! The devils I selected for this particular sacrifice were pitted soft Agen prunes stuffed with a slight spoonful of cayenne spiked cream cheese and then wrapped in bacon like the angels. The final ensembles were spiked with miniature wooden stakes (not cocktail sticks, I wanted something heftier so I cut down a packet of wooden skewers) and served the whole on heart-shaped plates. I was going for the whole stake through the heart theme (just in case you are wondering)

First little nibbles done - what next? D had suggested a staked steak, (a pun after my own heart) and vegetarians turn away now, that was the next plate. Hunks of fillet steak impaled by a stake, served suitably bloody of course!

Next I thought I better keep some of the undesirables away, so a sprinkle of salt by the front door and some garlic-laced Boursin stuffed freshly baked dough balls.

Then it was time for more devilment, skewered strips of devilled chick thighs. My devilishly good mixture was a finely sliced garlic clove, a good shaking of Worcestershire sauce, a slug of double cream and a liberal dusting of chilli flakes. And not too scarily hot for me but with that little kick after each mouthful.

After all those savoury goodies, I thought I should end on a sweet bite and decided upon morsels of devil’s food cake impaled by blood red silver stakes (I seemed to right out of bullets). And I understand how devil’s food cake gets its name now; if you eat too much you feel somewhat hellish!

When considering this month’s drink I thought that if others were paying homage to Buffy in a similar vein (holding my sides in mirth!), their obvious choice would be Bloody Mary or even a Virgin Bloody Mary, (perhaps even more desirable in the after world), however not on my watch! Ooh I am really warming to the theme now! Tomatoes, as you may be aware, I really can’t bear in any shape or form but a Bloody Mary seems to concentrate all that I detest in that dreadful fruit/vegetable/salad item/stuff of nightmares (delete as applicable) or is it just that being confined in an aeroplane seat with some imbiber of that foul smelling drink seems to make it more ghastly in the fact that I cannot escape? And secondly, if I need one, that’s the obvious choice. Instead after a little research I adapted the recipe for a Vampire Cocktail – black raspberry liqueur (Chambord anyone?), vodka and cranberry juice. I went for some delicious ruby coloured blood orange juice instead of cranberry juice, it seemed more appropriate and such a lovely colour, I then finished off with a final bat adorned blood red cocktail stick. But then as Coco Chanel always said - "accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!"

Well that was fun, no-one died, surely that makes a successful party and as they say "in every generation there is a chosen one... she alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness”, and perhaps offer them a bite to eat! Must dash, I want to scare Stephanie by turning up over a week early, when the other guests turn up I will post them here and as the great Buffy herself says “People to see, demons to kill!”

UPDATE: As I was so ahead of myself (probably for the first time in my life) I had to wait a while to see the other guests' fanged offerings. But here we all are up to our unbitten necks with stake impaled food and bloody sauces, admiring Stephanie's gravestone adorned table (you don't get to say that often!) I have to admit I was the only one who had invited a colony (some say cloud, I prefer 'fang') of "precisely yet randomly scattered bats" into their inner sanctum.

But then I could live to regret that little act, my previous experience of table confetti is that it’s incredibly pervasive. You think you’ve rounded up every little reindeer / snowflake / heart / star / black and white rubber duck or pale yellow Easter chick but mysteriously sometimes years later they materialise say in the bath. And you wonder where they’ve been hiding for so long. I am intrigued what thought-provoking theme Stephanie has lined up for next month and will it push the envelope of my vast tableware collection? We’ll just have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

Randomly-scattered bats, I see...
D xx

LisaRene said...

Wonderful "Buffy" cocktail food! Each bite is perfectly suited to the theme.