Cakes and Canapés is a zine for people who like food and cooking. You can buy a paper copy at www.cakesandcanapes.co.uk or you can scroll down for some of our key stories and illustrations right here on our blog.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
|Illustration by Hayley Potter|
Words & illustration by Naomi Frances
It all started on a bright February day about 15 years ago. My brother Charlie and I were sitting in the kitchen, idly chatting away the morning over a cup of tea, everyone else had gone out. The doorbell rang and when I went to the door there was no one there but a wrapped loaf of bread lay on the red tiled step, the tissue rustling slightly in the breeze. As I picked it up I felt the newly baked warmth on my fingers.
‘Where’d that come from?’ said Charlie
‘Dunno, found it on the step’ I replied, shrugging my shoulders, ‘Smells nice though.’
The next morning, the same thing happened again.
I assumed that mum had arranged a bread delivery, it wasn’t until later that I realised that no bakery would deliver on a Sunday, and why did they leave the bread on the step?
The bread kept coming, day after day, and although it always smelled delicious, Charlie would never let any of us eat it.
Three months or so passed until I was home again, and I had seen Charlie very little in that time. So it was a shock to see him pale and thin, sucking on a roll up at the kitchen table.
‘Good God, what on earth is wrong with you?’ I gasped, shock making me abrupt.
He glanced over his shoulder, then back at me and mumbled ‘Nothing, nothing’s wrong, nothing.’
Later that weekend, Charlie was brought home by a couple of friendly policemen.
‘Found this one, tied to a lamp post, covered in solid bread dough! Reeked of booze ‘e did, reeked!’ laughed one.
‘Lads and their japes eh?’ laughed the other.
Charlie laughed along with them, but the laughter didn’t reach his eyes and although he did reek of alcohol, I had never seen him more sober.
Over the next few months Charlie’s behaviour became more erratic; he worked impossibly long hours, and never seemed to eat.
I heard later that he had borrowed large amounts of money from ‘The Bakers’ a notorious Suffolk gang. It was a calculated risk, his business was growing fast, tourism was good and the banks had refused to lend him any money. I think he felt that he had no choice. No one could have foreseen the explosion at Sizewell B nuclear power station, that left Leiston a battered shell and our part of Suffolk a no go area for tourists. People moved away in their thousands and Charlie’s fledgling joinery business failed. He couldn’t keep up his repayments and The Bakers had reminded him, in their own sinister way, that there was no escape.
Charlie hasn’t eaten bread since, you can’t even talk to him about toast, and he will travel miles out of his way to avoid passing a bakery. He never did tell me how he got away from them, but something in him changed and The Bakers are to blame.
Meet Laura Atherton, we are very pleased to have her as our resident wine advisor.
Each issue we will be giving her the difficult task of pairing wine with our recipes, some of which you might not think to normally serve with wine.
What best to drink with bread? Well, for some it maybe a cup of tea with toast or a glass of orange alongside your sandwich... Here are a few ideas of how to add a bit of luxury to this most common of carbs!
Freshly made Soda bread with butter (p.7).
- Try a glass of the Loosen Bros ‘Dr. L’ Riesling, 2009 which at only 8.5% abv. is a light, floral white that will compliment the heavy texture of the bread. It is an off dry wine with a refreshing crisp taste that will cool the mouth.
Cheese on Toast (p.29)
- My suggested match for the classic cheese on toast is the strong and gutsy Camden Park Malbec, 2009. This wine is from the heartland of Malbec production, Mendoza in Argentina, it is a full-bodied red with bold berry aromas that will work well with the strong flavours of the cheddar. The tannins in the Malbec will help break down the cheese adding further pleasure to this pairing.
Welsh Rarebit Canapés (p.30)
- I would recommend trying Crozes-Hermitage Le Millepertuis Maison Guyot, 2008. This 100% Syrah is a fresh
red with notes of herb and spice that will draw out the kick in the mustard. There are lots of damson and dark fruit tastes in this wine that make it very enjoyable, particularly when it meets the ale flavours.
Brown Bread Ice Cream (p.34)
- To make dessert extra special why not try a glass of Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut. This champagne has no sugar added to it in production giving it a dry, crisp style that will perfectly balance out the sweetness of the ice cream. It is an airy and delicate champagne with good length that leaves a clean palate and at only 60 calories a glass allows for a second helping of the ice cream!
Sasha’s sourdough with smoked salmon & cream cheese (p.11)
- Pouilly Fumé is my final recommendation. Try Les Chaumiennes A&E Figeat, 2009 made by family winemakers going back 6 generations. It is an elegant French Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley that has the characteristic smokiness of this appellation that will work hand in hand with the salmon. The crispness and light acidity will cut through the garlic
Get involved: What did you think of Laura’s choices? We’d love to hear from you. Email your thoughts, questions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org you might even get your question in a future issue.
Le Péché MignonCAFÉ & ÉPICERIE
This tucked away Islington gem really is a “cute sin”. It’s tiny -there’s only one large communal table in the main shop so, either head over to snap up a devilishly good chocolate brownie to scoff at home or have a rummage around the furniture shops on Holloway Road until they’ve got space for you.
Once you’ve got a seat, make sure you’ve brought an empty stomach. I’m sure you are going to want to order something in the region of, oh, erm EVERYTHING on the menu as loaded plates whiz by you to rest in front of that nice person who shuffled up to make room. When the sun comes out there is much more space outside in the garden. Sandwiched between Victorian residential properties and peppered with our favourite I-picked-this-up-in-Provence-last-summer items (like a small olive tree and packets of LU Petit Ecolier biscuits). LPM is fun & welcoming, however,
la patience est une vertue. The service isn’t super quick but perhaps we need learn to take our time when we go out for brunch and it is more than worth the wait. Try their bread selection s/w unsalted butter (of course) or their filled croissants groaning with melted cheese and ham. They serve double espressos just the way I like them; so strong I feel like it should be sliced and served under controlled conditions – love it.
Le Péché Mignon
6 Ronalds Road, London N5 1XH