I had a lovely event to cook for yesterday. Vera’s house purchase has just been confirmed so seven of us gathered to bring goodwill on her and her home. She wrote (or maybe adapted, from a book by John O’Donoghue) an inspirational liturgy – here’s a brief taster:
‘May God give blessing to this house and all who come here:
Both crest and frame, both stone and beam,
Both foot and head, both gate and door…
… both young and old, both wisdom and youth
both guest and host, both stranger and friend…’
Then we went round the house depositing various objects relevant to that room. My favourite was the bar of soap for the bathroom, ‘for fragrance and opportunity for fresh new beginnings’ – the soap, by Lush, was labelled ‘Sexy Peel’!! And there was a big tub of snowdrops with a prayer for ‘resilience in winter’s cold, and the promise of spring.’ Resilient R Us, this bunch of friends, we’ve been through a lot together.
Then we had lunch – Joseph’s famous vat of prawns and avocados; my Aubergine Parmigiana with home-made Focaccia, a nice green salad, and a big cake I’d made for the first time on Saturday, from the River Cafe Easy book – Hazelnut and Espresso Chocolate Cake. When I was buying the ingredients, I eschewed ready-ground hazelnuts and did as the recipe said – ‘roast the hazelnuts then rub the papery skins off before grinding in food processor.’ I underestimated the time it would take to rub the pesky skins off, and wondered whether there might not be a good living to be made for anyone willing to sit rubbing nuts between her palms for half an hour at a time.
Anyway it was all a great success and there wasn’t much left over by the time we’d all had our fill. More people should bless their homes, I think. We’re taking bookings!