25 July, 2017 King Edward Point
In this blog Jerry Gillham, station leader at King Edward Point Research Station, describes how his team have tackled an unusual cooking challenge.
With no dedicated chef at King Edward Point we take it in turns to do our bit in the kitchen. This can be a bit daunting for some, especially on Saturdays as you can find yourself making a three-course meal for up to 30 people. This season though everyone has risen to the task, pushing themselves with more and more impressive dishes, no matter how mad pastry-making seems to make them.
So with station being a little quieter over the winter I decided to issue a challenge – can you make a meal based around one letter? We took the eight most appropriate letters and drew one each from a pot. Straight away the discussions started and the debates waged back and forth; do we use generic names like ‘cheese’, or should it be a specific kind like ‘brie’, or are brand names acceptable? Due to our limited range of frozen, tinned and dried foods we decided that whichever way you wanted to push the boundaries to make a nice meal we would be happy with.
There had been no insistence that this should be a special Saturday meal so full credit for Kieran, the first to go with his ‘Brilliant Banquet Menu of B’. Not content with making two starters, a pudding (including ‘blue cream’, which turned out to be normal cream with blue food colouring in) and cheese course, he asked everyone to dress up as something starting with B. Hence the meal was attended by Batman, Bane, a Banana, Bodybag, Blackbird and Brian Harvey from East 17. Sadly no photos are available to testify to the occasion.
As the meals went on they became more and more impressive, with everything reflecting the selected letter; games and riddles, wine or cocktail accompaniments, musical accompaniment.
Other highlights included Fraser’s desserts; Port & Pimms Poached Pears and a Peach & Pernod Popsicle, Jerry’s home-made Rum & Raisin ice cream and Vicki’s Tapenade. Local produce was utilised with South Georgia Reindeer and Toothfish finding their way onto the menus.
Perhaps the hardest letter turned out to be N but Paddy put his all into it, with a range of nuts and Nido milk powder.
It has been a fun project, with plenty of conjecture and talk about what meals would be possible. The question is what do we do next? The next most common letters? Numbers? Draw ingredients out of a hat?