For five years Maria Elia came onto Good Food Live. She fused and combined all sorts of crazy ingredients; served up everything from prawn and watermelon curry to artichoke ice-cream; turned our heads with her humour and perspicacity and impressed us with her feisty food, which is just like her. For five years Maria Elia has nagged me incessantly to go to her restaurant so that she could cook for me. For five years I had said I would go. Tonight, with no more excuses left, the table was booked for 9.00 and made ready for three.
It's a bloomin' good job I did go this evening because after five years of stupendous cooking, tonight was the final night of Maria strutting her stuff at 'Delfina'. She's off to pastures new. She's done her bit in Bermondsey and is now taking her culinary witchery elsewhere. Jim was doing his bit at the Globe and intended to meet us there later.
I drove to Bermondsey Street alone, stopping off for a quick sat. nav. check with a copper at the Elephant and Castle, then hooked up, on time, with the agent, the ever delightful Rob. If the rugby hadn't been on the telly I would have been later. The change in schedule meant Corrie was pulled so I was on time to sample Ms Elia's final feast.
On the way to the restaurant I slipped four times on the wet pavement, as I've walked the bottom off my grubby pink crocks. It's a good job I was holding onto Rob's arm. We arrived in tact at 9.o'clock on the dot and entered the big wooden room to be greeted by whoops and hollers. Seated at a long table were producers, researchers, p.a.'s, editors, a couple of husbands one sister and a mother - all from GFL. A surprise to both them and me. I screamed, they screamed, and had we known about the lavender infused macaroons and the contents of Maria Elias freezer, we would all have screamed for ice-cream. As it was there were group hugs after which Rob and I went off to our little table a trois. Rob and I talked about LBC, GFL,TLC and blogging, and I was given a dressing down for being so lapse. The reason I haven't been writing my blog everyday is because somebody said that it was probably better to do it irregularly. I'm not sure what the benefits were meant to be but to be honest I don't like the gaps, and some of my commenters have told me they don't either, so on returning home I was instructed, by the husband, to sit down and get on with it.
The meal came at the end of a very emotional day. I don't know whether the full moon and David Cameron have anything to do with it but I have been 'booing' all over the place.
My nephew called. I ended up weeping into my light wheat flakes with figs. My girlfriend called to take me to the Millais exhibition at The Royal Academy, I blubbed because I was naked and in the middle of blitzing the flat. I needed to finish my housewifery. I cried all the more since I had turned down an impressionist genius for a feather duster.
The lunchtime news had me sobbing into my sandwich as I watched the Burmese defending themselves against truncheons and guns.
'Loose Women' saw me dribbling into my over ripe plums; 'Countdown', snivvling into my Earl Grey tea whilst Jenny Eclair on Paul O'Grady, found me almost inconsolable over my custard creams.
By the time I'd had my shower and put on a pair of trousers that looked horrible there was a damp patch on the carpet on Jim's side of the bed. I didn't know I was so full of water- I needed a tap on the head to get rid of it all.
The Elia feast helped. A soup of peach and tomato, two scallops with a creamy sauce, foie gras in a ramekin with smoky toasty fingers, (hang in we're only half way through) plum and pepper sorbet, coconut infused oxtail with monk fish and then I had to take a break, but there's more.....
Because I had been so over emotional Jim got affected, he went off to work on his motorbike, dropped it in the garage, broke the clutch lever, and arrived at the Globe almost as miserable as me.
He called me in the restaurant to say that he'd tried to fix it with a bit of pipe from the prop store but had broken it off completely. After the show he set off on foot, still in his heavy biker gear, walked four times round the block and finally arrived as Rob and I descended on our dessert. Rob had the lavender infused macaroons whilst I figged out on baclava and yoghurt. By the time Jim started on his rabbit I was so full I'd taken my shoes and top off and chewed off most of my Mac lipstick.
I drove back to the flat with Jim in the passenger seat, his bikers jacket filling out most of my little boot and my stomach almost as big as the air-bag.
Last night we went to the closing gig at THE SPITZ in the East End, Loads of musicians, artists, photographers and liggers. Jim and I saw the kid off in a taxi; she was off to Soho to give her demo to a magazine editor who's launching new talent. Wednesday night we had our ex son-in-law for supper. We ate lamb and root vegetables, much too late for our digestion, and talked until 3.00 in the morning Tuesday was all voice overs and Monday was coming to terms with the end of summer. It's no wonder I'm tired and emotional.
It's now 2.17 am, the balcony door is open and the cool night air is drifiting in from the river. I await LBC's revised work schedule. As from next week I will be on on Sundays. I'm told its better than Saturday Night. In my youth Sunday afternoon was 'Sing Something Simple.' or 'The Black and White Minstrel Show'. My, how times have changed. It's too late for remminniscenses though, or any other long word for that matter. Sleep well and cusoon.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Glad you are back writing regularly we do worry about you if you're missing for a few days you know! I'm babysitting my neice this weekend she's 20 months and thinks you are a "pretty lady"
good taste for a young un!
love Marmite Girl xx
Living in the Midlands, I've been quite down that I can't hear you on LBC, but now that I've realised that I can hear you via my Sky box, I can't wait for the show!