Saturday, November 7, 2009


I'm sitting at the head of a table. Around me are 7 other chairs, (I'd prefer to provide for 8 than 13), and I'm holding the perfect dinner party for those whom I would most like to cook for.

On my left we have Nigel Slater - my all time food hero. And on the other side, constantly topping up my glass, the legendary Keith Floyd. I think two chefs are quite enough - too many cooks spoil the broth and all that. If criticism were needed, then Giles Coren may come, but he'd have a place at the other end of the table, so I could see his mouth moving but hear nothing come out.

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.

For the wit we'd have Bill Bailey. I think he'd eat what I put in front of him without fuss and we all need a good laugh.
Funnily enough, I was flicking through the November's Observer Food Monthly and who was writing about their last supper but none other than the drop dead gorgeous, ex-Blur guitarist, cheese-maker extraordinaire, Alex James. As I came across the words that read something like, 'I crave anything that costs less than three pounds', there was no doubt in my mind that A.J would almost certainly have to sit at the Rose Cottage table, and woo me with his curdles and whey.
So, there's the cheap date for the serenade. Why not! We'll have Seasick Steve, for some post-dinner jigging.

I seem to have omitted the female sex apart from myself and there must be eight at the table. So, Judi Dench, please. There. That's that. 8 WONDERFUL GUESTS TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER!

Now for:

I certainly have a few of my own ideas
...butternut squash and oak roasted tomato soup with soda bread...fresh ravioli stuffed with walnut and ricotta, drizzled in butter...ginger ice cream with bitter chocolate sauce...
But I need more inspiration...
I would like all those in favour to raise your spoons and answer me this:

'What would be your last supper?'

I will then endeavour to cook a starter and main, and perhaps pudding from my favourite suggestions and blog them. Please write your thoughts on the Rose Cottage Blog Facebook Group or down below so I can start choosing!


  1. What a guest list. Though pitifully low on females Rosie. I think my last supper would have to be roast chicken. Not very interesting or challenging, I know, but I'm a man of simple tastes.

  2. I always worry when inviting actors that in person they may be rather disappointing. For instance, if the Dame turned up as Elizabeth I from Shakespeare in Love then that's all well and good, but what happens if she turns out to be insufferably dull? There's also the fact that she reputedly asked for 13 roast potatoes for lunch one day on the set of Die Another Day.

    Coming up with food suggestions is harder. Much of it would depend on when the Last Supper was. If in winter it is hard to look beyond Apple Crumble for pudding, but then that means you have to have lighter courses for the other two. Tricky.

  3. oooh fun i actually don't know half of the guest list and why didn't nigella make it onto the list? buxom brunettes are required at the table surely?!
    I would keep my food very simple. For starter I would have pear, chickory, walnut and roquefort salad as the really fresh flavours are amazing to get your pallet going with just the right amount of crunch, sweet, bitter and bland.
    Main would have to be some form of small and tender delicious meat, potentially game (pigeon/quail/duck)accompanied by a sweet onion marmalade with dauphinoise potatoes and at least 3 veggies (courgette, beetroot, broad beans?)
    And for pud i have to kind of agree with mr/miss anonymous above - apple crumble with cinnamon is one of my favourites but i'm also a big fan of the simple sorbet (elderflower and gooseberry being up there as my top) with some homemade brandy snaps in all shapes and sizes.
    Rounded off with a nice macchiato and i'm good to go up to heaven!!hhhhmmmm amen!

  4. Working my way through your marvellous meanderings during my coffee breaks, I'm mulling over the tortellini. I had so much trouble making the pasta "paper thin" (also with an empty wine bottle) the other day, when I made ravioli - is there a trick? Would a marble/ concrete/lead/hydraulic rolling pin be a help? Or a marble (lead etc) work surface? What's your best tip? May I offer you in exchange the strange but wonderful filling suggestion of sweated leeks and bacon with a smidgeon of cream and plenty pepper - the winner of the various fillings I tried on my teenage guinea pigs.

    ps. have you got a pasta rolling machine? If not, why not? Would it be a well spent £25 or so? Have you used one?

  5. Yes I agree - you have to say when the Last Supper is. Seasonal is all.

    I suppose death by chocolate would be suitable at any time of year, no?

  6. Feel quite hungry....I would have scallops, probably mornay, to start with and mushroom risotto with a spinach, rocket, parmesan, appple and pomegranate salad. Mmmm, yum! And for pud? More difficult, maybe perfect fresh figs.
    I would have Rick Stein on my guest list so he could cook the scallops any way he liked! With bacon? Parma ham?
    Also on the list are Desmond Tutu and Camila Barmanghelidjh for their joie de vivre and amazing dedication to what they believe in. They would be great company. And Michel de Montaigne for his thoughts on life. I might have had a miraculous recovery of my hearing in time for this last supper, but if not I had better have Dad, who always patiently picks up the best bits and passes them on! Except that he wants baked beans on toast for his last supper....

  7. Too true about the depending season. But when it comes to one's last supper don't think seasons necessarily have to come in to it. Why not take a course from each season to satisfy variety? Personally, I picture mine with a roaring fire and complementary bottles of red. So I guess I choose winter.
    And if Dame Judi Dench had to come as a character rather than herself, I'd like her to come in 'Chocolat' mode - grumpy, sneaky and with guilt written all over her face. An extra hot chocolate for her at the end.
    Great comments everyone! You are certainly making it very hard to choose...

  8. Dear Mattie,

    Re: your question about pasta making.
    I have tried both wooden and marble rolling pins as well as wine bottles. For thinness a heavy pin is great, but there is the worry that its weight might split the pastry too early. The traditional Italian way is to roll your pasta dough with a meter long wooden roller, onto a pull out wooden table. But if all this is too much hassle there is absolutely nothing wrong with the much tried and tested machine. I used one when I was too young to appreciate it, but it certainly seemed an easier way to go. They are not too expensive unless you choose a high-tec electric one instead of a manual one. These can range from £30 to £100 +, so lots to suit whatever your budget - I have one on my Christmas list!
    Check out for more info.

  9. What a tricky decision. I think to start it would have to be a smorgasbord of fresh seafood, langoustines, prawns, oysters, scallops, from the Mull or Cancale. Followed by some kind of simple warm tart, goats cheese, red onion and roast red pepper with a fresh green salad and dressing. Pud is too tricky, perhaps a chocolate mi-cuit with vanilla ice cream but am such a gormande have at least five in mind - raspberry charlotte is up there too. Think this could be spring/summer meal with a bottle of chilled, crisp Pouilly Fuisse. Yummm.
    As for guests, would add Obama to the list...

  10. PS I meant to write gourmand..blame the kids distracting me!

  11. Some mouth watering ideas!! I think my last supper would have to be the meal I had in a small Tuscan winery called Avognesi a couple of months ago. Antipasto of crudites, cold meats, italian cheeses. Starter-Tagliatelle with mushrooms. Main-Thin slices of roast beef in a wine sauce with garlic roast pots and white beans in olive oil. Pud- Hot choc fondante with some of that amazing pear and cinnamon ice cream ....mmmmm and lots of red wine from the surrounding vineyards...Much love xxx