Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A dinner in honour of Blessed John Henry Newman

So we celebrated our first Patronal Feast Day on Saturday evening with a lovely, intimate yet solemn Mass. There were about 40 people in total present.

Later in the evening I was hosting a little dinner for some priest friends, in honour of our feast day. So what should the menu look like? I quite like fun menus and thinking through what to serve.

I started off by wondering whether this particular book might be of help:

It's a really fun book, but was not in fact of any help at all. So the grey cells went into overdrive and eventually, after much googling and sounding out with others, this is what I came up with:

In honour of Newman's early university life and attendance at Trinity College Oxford, we had a Trinity cocktail to get things going. It's quite simple, and also very potent, so handle it with care:
1 part gin,
1 part dry Vermouth
1 part red Vermouth

I felt really clever in settling on this dish! We had a Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Salad. Heart speaks to heart - gettit? Here's the recipe.

Main Course

Then things became a little more difficult. What on earth would have a connection with Newman? Well, what recipes had the name Oxford in them - I eventually found a blog called The Old Foodie and from it I decided upon Oxford John - which I have to admit I had never heard of before. Basically leg of lamb steaks.


This was easy - Peaches Cardinale. There used to be that extraordinary programme called Two Fat Ladies on BBC about a decade ago. In one episode they cooked for the priests of Westminster Cathedral, and memorably adjusted the menu in honour of our then Archbishop, Cardinal Hume. Here's their recipe. We didn't have exactly their version, but it was based on the same idea.

Oh, and we started off with the grace from Oriel College.

Now just wait and see what we will be giving Bishop Alan for lunch when he visits us next Sunday. The menu also has a theme :)

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