Making the most of Autumn

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13th August 2019
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25th October 2019

Being in the middle of a crisp autumn means we can all enjoy its seasonal treats, more specifically, a delightful blackberry and apple pie! Made with freshly picked ingredients, from the exceptionally fruitful bramble the tradition of adding ripe Bramley apples from neighbouring trees. With a final addition of cinnamon, you have made a perfect Sunday pudding to share with friends and family.

There’s nothing better than giving someone that warm and contented feel, which adds a smile and sense of healthy well-being from a delicious homemade meal. But, how do you replicate that feeling for 300 guests?

An apple a day

Bramley apples are not just for crumbles and pies. As we are always in a hurry, why not cook the apples and create an apple sauce that can be frozen? It is a great way to savour the flavour by freezing in ice cube trays and enjoying throughout the winter months. For guests and delegates at events, perhaps add an apple cheeseboard and chutney to the lunch menu, or perhaps a Bramley apple morning porridge which will guarantee to add that extra zing to the day… especially if complemented with a touch of ginger.

Seasonal delights

Every season brings new and exciting produce to our kitchens. Autumn delivers fruits and vegetables including grapes, quince, rhubarb, cranberries, beetroot, cabbage and squashes – all of which can be enjoyed and used creatively.  We’ve noticed recently that farmers’ markets are featuring an amazing array of squashes. I always wonder, what should we do with pumpkins since they are a rather unique looking fruit. This time every year, people gather pumpkins by the borrow-load and start carving. Sadly, most of the lovely inside is thrown away! Did you know pumpkin makes the most amazing soups, curries and even cakes? Here is a great recipe to use if you’re looking to impress guests because you can’t go wrong with a pumpkin soup!

Autumn Blog

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 800g chopped pumpkin flesh plus the seeds
  • 100g split red lentil
  • ½ small pack of thyme
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • a pinch of salt and sugar
  • 50g crème fraîche, plus extra to serve

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, and then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, and then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently but cover the pan in between stirs. When the seeds are toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
  3. Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.

Autumnal spices

Nutmeg connotes the smell of autumn and winter. It adds a special something to lunch and dinners served throughout the season, and what’s more, it’s a spice that guests will remember and enjoy. Combining ginger with nutmeg is a classic taste and helps add warmth to any dish or drink.  

Autumn Spice

Mocktober

Mocktails are on-trend and with the night’s drawing-in and safe driving being vital, they are a fabulous way to feel part of the fun, without experiencing those dreaded hangovers! Spiced piña colada mocktail is a favourite if you’re a cinnamon lover. 

Cinnamon has been a major component of alternative medicine for thousands of years. The bark of cinnamon contains a number of oils that provide the body with many benefits. It is also rich in nutrients, so it’s worth adding to both your morning coffee and porridge.

A Danish welcome

As Ned Stark in Game of Thrones would say, ‘Winter Is Coming’. From bitterly cold mornings to warm open fires and the smell of home cooking, these always resonate feelings of happiness, calm and well-being… and the Danish have it down to an art with hygge. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. 

It’s vital to set the atmosphere for your event, especially when you have a large gathering. The warm Glühwein welcome (a German mulled wine), is filled with spices and makes one feel hygge… although if you’re hosting a day conference, perhaps schedule this as your closing drinks!

What will make your guests smile and feel special? It is the thoughtful unexpected little things and consideration of their senses; sight, touch, taste, smell and sound, that contribute to creating special memories and enjoying well-crafted menus that delight all tastes and senses. It will certainly encourage guests to linger longer and enjoy!

If you’re interested in hosting an event at The Mermaid London, please contact the team today on 020 7236 1919 or email us on info@the-mermaid.co.uk[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]