“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.”
H L Mencken, A Book of Burlesques
We had visitors yesterday and I wasn’t able to get to the computer, so it looks like today will be another day of two posts.
I had intended a full scale media day yesterday, with plenty of photos, Twitter postings and a blog post detailing our place in cutting edge sustainability.
It started coming unglued when I forgot to turn one of the ovens on when cooking red cabbage on Monday night, meaning I only had two thirds of it ready in advance and leaving me feeling like an idiot.
On Tuesday morning I found that one of the four ovens wasn’t working, which was a bit of a blow. Although it’s not a particularly challenging meal, even when scaled up for 35, baked potatoes, sausages, braised red cabbage, carrots and onion gravy does rely on having quite a bit of oven space. When you want to cook vegetarian sausages and gluten-free sausages separately things get quite interesting – more like circus skills than cookery.
The result was both hectic and bad for photography. The plan to take loads of photographs of happy visitors and great food did not come off. The visitors were happy, and the food was OK but the time just flew by. It wasn’t all cookery, of course, the hunt for sufficient cutlery took far more time than it should have done.
The problem with having a kitchen on a farm is that cutlery, wash basins, plastic containers, scales and much else is seen as fair game when the farm needs supplies. Give it another four months and it will be like we are constantly visited by a team of phantom pilferers and the words “It’s in the lambing shed.” will be heard regularly.
And talking about the iniquities of the farm staff – guess who knew that the oven was broken, but didn’t bother telling me?
Anyway, back to the visit. The majority came from ACCOR Hotels, who have a sustainability strategy called Planet 21. Along with the Woodland Trust, who made up the rest of the numbers, they are supporting our agriforestry project.
In the end I only got two shots – one of the left-over red cabbage (which is being frozen for next week’s visitors) and one of the empty box of vegetarian sausages. I’m not normally a fan of vegetarian sausages but these had a good texture and taste, though I fried them due to the lack of oven space rather than following the cooking instructions.
The fact that I was struggling for subjects may have also had a bearing on the selection…