Launch success

I survived the first book signing event and “A cook’s tour: Baking Blind goes global” is also available worldwide on Kindle (with clickable links to 50+ demos £9.99) and Amazon (£12.99 -£10.41 with Prime).   It was tricky writing names, greetings and signatures without sight but perhaps those scrawls underline just one of the challenges of blindness!

The two charity dinner events were a huge success: Lauro and Carol Aman celebrated their retirement plus 100 years of Open Sight supporting visually impaired people in Hampshire.   Despite all my post-Covid coughs, snuffles and croaks, I welcomed the generous diners, wine merchant Lauren introduced the various libations and the sous-chef took charge of the raffle and auction.   The result was £3,070 donated to Open Sight which meant everyone benefited from those two outstandingly delicious dinners.   Now all we long-term loyal customers will be searching for another local restaurant that provides excellent cooked-on-the-premises food – not so easy!

The sous-chef and I were also honoured to be included in Lauro and Carol’s private retirement party a week later.   The star of the day, alongside our hosts and their musical entertainers, was the suckling pig prepared in the traditional Filipino style to reflect Lauro’s heritage.   It was truly melt-in-the-mouth after long, slow roasting and the wafer-thin crackling was a revelation.

Next up was the monthly on-line cooking demo for Open Sight members.   I refined my ice-cream recipe (next week) and we all made lemon curd.   It was excellent to hear their cries of “It’s thickening”.   I took care to take the temperature as the fragile mix reached the magical point.

1 lemon, zested and juiced.

85g caster sugar.

2 large eggs.

55g butter.

Bring the water in the pan to simmering.

Place the lemon zest and sugar in a heatproof bowl.

Whisk the lemon juice and eggs together in a separate bowl.

Add the juice and egg mix and the butter to the heatproof bowl.

Place this bowl over the pan and continue stirring until the curd thickens at about 80C.

Remove from the heat and pot into sterilised jars before lidding and storing in the fridge.

Three steps to success: a heatproof bowl that fits securely over a pan so that the water won’t touch the bottom of the bowl and the curd heats in the steam of the simmering water; a hand-whisk; a talking thermometer.

This made about 340g (12oz) curd.

It is quicker to make if all the ingredients are at room temperature.

Wash out the jars and put in the oven on the lowest setting to sterilise and dry.

Store the curd in the fridge where it will last for a week or so depending on your level of greed.

Alternative versions could be orange (especially Seville), lemon, lime or even grapefruit.   I’ve also heard of passionfruit and salted caramel (the latter seems OTT in calories!).

There will be a chocolate theme to the next demo on Monday 13 June at 1030.

© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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