We had The Olympics, we had the sun, we had the A-level results… and our first proper holiday in this country.  Yorkshire had been on my holiday list, almost at the top, for a long time.  We finally made it this year.  What a lovely, beautiful county it is.  So much to see and to explore.  The West and the East side of Yorkshire are so different.  The countryside didn’t disappoint, the cities were buzzing.  I loved Leeds, especially the indoor market, which is the biggest in Europe.  Kirkgate Market, as it’s called, has hundreds of stalls selling everything from fresh food to fashion and jewellery, and plenty of little places to sit and sample all sorts of different kind of food.

We sampled local food, either from a market or in pubs.  Not all worth writing home about, but the one that really impressed us was our supper of fish and chips from a pub in Hull, called Minerva, in Nelson St.  Four of us had haddock and chips and we all agreed that our fish was the freshest and tastiest we’d had for a long time.  We were recommended to go to a fish & chip place along the East Coast, but being a week-end there was a queue wherever we went: but not at the this pub, which at first we thought was a bad sign.

Life got busy again as soon as we were back home.  The most important date in my diary was an Indonesian Food Adventure Evening at Applegarth Farm in Grayshott, near to where I live.  They have a farm shop/restaurant/cafe, and approached me to do a joint venture: we came up with the idea of my giving a cooking demo followed by a three-course dinner.

The evening started at 7 with a glass of arak (Balinese alcoholic drink) based cocktail concocted by Will Benson of Applegarth, offered to the guests. By 7.15 the place was full already so we decided to kick off the evening with the demo.  To say that I was nervous, is an understatement.  I’ve been giving cooking lessons for years, but never in front of more than 20 people at one time. Whilst I was introducing the ingredients to make spring rolls, the ones I prepared earlier were tasted by the guests.  After the spring rolls, we then moved on to the second recipe, which is called Ikan dan Sambal Matah – Fish with uncooked salsa, another popular Balinese dish, but instead of using raw ingredients to eat the fish with, I cooked them all ever so briefly to retain the crunchiness of the shallots, garlic and lemongrass.

The last dish I demonstrated was Bubur Ketan Merah, featured in my blog back in February.

Then all guests were invited to the dining room where a chilled Sup Jagung Manis (Sweet Corn Soup) topped with duck floss, was served as an amuse-bouche, followed by Opor Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Curry) and  Ikan dan Sambal Matah (Fish with Balinese salsa), with Asinan (Asian coleslaw) and Nasi Kuning (Fragrant Basmati Rice).  As for pudding, eveyrybody enjoyed a bowl of Bubur Ketan Merah (red sticky rice pudding) served with sweet and salty coconut milk.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the meal, and the demonstration.  And if I do another one, I don’t think I’ll be so nervous!

Sup Jagung Manis (Sweet Corn Soup)