03 December, 2007

Stew and Stewarding

Lisa beat me to the punch in blogging yesterday's dinner: a Greek-style octopus stew inspired in no small measure by a dish we enjoyed immensely when we lunched at Taverna Eraina back in August. Read her entry on A Cook's Journal for the details but I have to say that, this time, we really did crack it and achieve the combination of deep, dark flavour and juicy tenderness that (for us) is the essence of this dish. Our friends from London, the ones we expected to be entertaining this weekend and who failed to show up, missed out on a treat and I capitalised by taking the left overs into work for lunch.

On Saturday, Lisa and I were once again stewarding at the Mill Road Winter Fair. This annual event, now in its third year, celebrates the incredible diversity of this corner of Cambridge with businesses and community groups taking the opportunity to present themselves to the ever-increasing numbers of attendees. Lisa and I love living in this area and feel we benefit tremendously from its multi-cultural and local community focussed character, so the least we can do is give up a few hours each December to stand on a freezing street corner in a Hi-Viz vest handing out leaflets and telling folks where the Star Wars Imperial Stormtroopers may be found (I kid you not!). This year, our stint on duty was relatively early in the day so we had time after knocking-off to wander the length of Mill Road and, in particular, enjoy the open studio at the Cemetery Lodge, the Salsa Drummers performing in front of the swimming pool and (most deeply affecting of all) the guided tour of the local Mosque. In the difficult, dark depths of Winter, a little determined effort netted us a sparkling catch of jewel-bright memories. At this time of year that's hugely helpful, like a hill-top cairn in the mist.

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