Happy 21st Anniversary Mum & Dad!

It was my mum and dads anniversary, so me and my sister Phoebe set up a little restaurant of our own in the dining room, and made a 3 course meal :D. This is the menu we made:

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Phoebe set the table up all nice, and I bought some beers from On The Eighth Day, from Samuel Smiths Brewery in Stamford. So we started off with British brewed fruit beers, which were an absolute hit with my dad, and my mum had a glass of champagne.

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For starters we had minty pea and potato soup, recipe can be found on the BBC website. The hint of mint was perfect, and it wasn’t heavy like you’d imagine a potato soup, it was light and the perfect way to start a meal without getting too full. I could eat this as a starter to every meal I can’t imagine what it wouldn’t go with! A definite success.

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Then for main was teriyaki salmon or tofu, on a bed of seasonal vegetables! I took a trip to the fishmongers, and I’d love to have seen his face if he now knew I was vegan, as I was chatting with him about eating fish for that long!

I know salmon wasn’t the best fish to choose, sustainability wise, but it was farmed, and that makes it significantly less harmful than wild caught salmon. Also the more ‘sustainable’ species weren’t on sale anywhere I looked, so all I could find was fish with the same sort of rating at farmed salmon. So I made the decision that this was good enough for the meal.

I looked in sainsburys first and they had their generic, miserable looking packet with ‘sustainably sourced’ written on it. I went to the fish counter and asked if they knew whether it was organically farmed or not, or if they could tell me about where it was farmed, and the guy behind the counter was your average 20-something who didn’t know or care. He pointed at the label and said ‘if it doesn’t say organic, I can’t say it’s organic”. With that unhelpful remark I decided to take my business to the local fishmonger.

The guy behind the counter was equally a 20-something, but was a lot more enthusiastic and helpful- which makes all the difference. He told me that their fish was fresh in that morning from the farm, and that taste wise it was much better than the days-old fish from sainsburys. He also gave excellent customer service, bringing out a whole fresh salmon and cutting fillets to whatever size I’d like. I got 4 big fillets for £12. I could’ve got 6 fillets for £10 from sainsburys but they were a lot smaller, and a lot less fresh looking, so I went for supporting the local fishmonger over contributing to sainsburys horrible service!

For myself, I soaked a block of tofu in teriyaki sauce for a few hours. The recipe for the rest was completely made up. I fried some ginger and spring onion in a griddle pan until soft, then added a lot of teriyaki sauce, heating on medium-high heat until the liquid thickened into a glaze.

I transferred some of this glaze to a frying pan, and fried my tofu in the glaze on a low heat. I then added the salmon to the griddle pan and sealed them, then turned to a low heat to cook through whilst we ate the starter.

I chose veg which were winter seasonal: parsnips, carrots and broccoli. I roasted the parsnips in agave syrup and olive oil for around 35 minutes, I ribboned the carrots and steamed them with the broccoli for 5 minutes. Once steamed, I removed from the pan and put them with the parsnips on a tray in a low-heated oven to keep warm whilst we ate the starter.

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I probably could’ve presented it a lot nicer, but we were rushing around a little in worry that it would get cold, so sort of just threw it on the plate, but the nice thing was that the tofu and salmon looked vaguely similar, so it wasn’t like there was a spotlight on the dreaded vegan meal… It just sort of blended in! And the tofu was delicious! The fact I cooked it on low heat for so long changed the flavour a lot… It was gorgeously rich in flavour and the texture wasn’t toooooo far away from salmon so I didn’t feel left out at all. It was such an enjoyable main and I’d eat it 1000 times over! Oh and the salmon was a huge hit, but we won’t dwell on that too much here 😛

So that’s starter and main a huge success… Just the desert to go…

Sugar free rhubarb crumble… Hmmmm! Would I make it again? No. Was it a nice end to the meal? Well sort of!

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I made it sugar free because my mum is on a sugar free diet. The thing is, it just wasn’t sweet at all. I know you’re probably thinking well DUH it has no sugar in, but I thought the rhubarb may have given it a little kick. The recipe was from Fussy Foodie and was a nice idea, but we didn’t use plums so that could’ve made all the difference I suppose.

It was nice and refreshing not to be overpowered with sugar and sweet, but at the same time I do like to taste something sweet after a meal, so it wasn’t for me. My mum and dad said they enjoyed it, but that was probably out of politeness rather than anything else!

If I was to do this again, I’d still choose crumble but probably just make a proper one rather than mess around with sugar free!

Overall it was a great success, and was nice to celebrate my parents 21 years of marriage with them! Here’s to the next 21 years….cheers!

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