It all started back in 2010 almost a year ago, 6 of us had a meeting in a pub, as you do and started to hatch a plan... it had to be changed quite a few times, especially when himself decided to throw a spanner in the works and start mentioning the big 5-0 and what he was going to do.... but it all worked out in the end!
The local community centre was the ideal place to host such an event, its bright and airy, has a bar, big enough to hold our parish and it was within walking distance for most of our parishioners!
The food was amazing, we had asked everyone to bring a plate to share and the assortment was amazing, from traditional sandwiches, crudities and dips to smoked salmon sushi it was a wonderful spread. The desserts were pretty good too. My in-laws enjoyed the homemade sherry trifle the kids munched on chocolate cake and lemon roulade I skipped dessert and hit the cheeseboard, great great selection! Over 200 people turned out to wish our Parish Priest a 'Happy 50th Birthday' from the oldest parishioner to the youngest (seen in the arms of Rose in the photo below) we all had a lovely afternoon, I think we should all do it again next year!!
These were my contributions
Spinach diamond puffs
300g frozen leaf spinach, thawed, drained well and chopped
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
115g Gruyére cheese
1 packet (500g) chilled fresh (or frozen, defrosted) ready made puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.
Place drained spinach on absorbent kitchen paper; press to remove excess moisture.
Chop spinach using Forged Cutlery Utility Knife.
Finely chop carrot and onion on Cutting Board using Food Chopper.
Place spinach, carrot, onion, mayonnaise and seasonings in Classic Batter Bowl.
Grate cheese into batter bowl using Deluxe Cheese Grater; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour.
Using lightly floured Baker's Roller®, roll half of pastry into a 30-cm square.
Cut rolled pastry into sixteen 7.5-cm squares using Pizza Cutter (do not separate squares).
Using half of spinach mixture, spoon some spinach mixture onto centre of each square.
Flatten mixture slightly.
Lightly beat egg in Prep Bowl; brush beaten egg over cut lines in pastry and around outside edges of large square.
For each appetizer, bring two opposite corners of each square up over filling, pinch together firmly and twist or fold over.
Place on Medium Round Stone; brush tops with beaten egg.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Transfer to serving platter using Mini-Serving Spatula.
Repeat with remaining pastry and spinach mixture to make a total of 32 diamond puffs.
And then the amazing Caramel Cake -
This makes a huge cake, enough to share with friends !For more scrummy photos of this cake click here
For the recipe, you'll have to go to Ruth's website - click here
And the best cake of all was his birthday cake... expertly made by Caroline, a cake baker extraordinaire, its always handy to have one of these in your parish, we are never too far away from a piece of cake!!!
For the cake topper we do need to thank Ben's dad, after the photos had flown back and forth across cyber space it landed on his desk and he did a bit of jiggery pokery and voila - One Swindon Football Team Photo with substitute player... can you spot which one he is?