Hold your nerve

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I have the most wonderful recipe for a cranberry tart. Years ago I demonstrated it at a Preparing for Advent event in Belfast. I had one little electric ring and a room full of expectant women- expectant in the waiting and not the Mary sense of the word, you understand.

The point about this tart is that at one critical stage, you have to hold your nerve. Your every instinct screams that the mixture will burn, is burning, has... but no, all shall be well and all manner of cranberries shall be well. However you must hold your nerve- when I post the recipe later this month, remember that you have been warned!


I have been thinking about that tart and its mantra a great deal over these Autumn months. It has very much been a time of needing to have faith, or, to quote my husband, believe in the process. At work, the new kitchen has been taking shape. It is a huge investment for the company, and they are justifiably very excited about the opportunities that it will bring. I am extremely excited, but there is nonetheless a responsibility to get things right.

Not just in the sense of getting the kitchen itself right in the medium to long-term, but also to get the interim catering right in the short term, in the now! We have concentrated on soups and wraps. Thankfully both welcome at this time of the year. You can see from the beetroot and couscous that we have focused on fresh, filling ingredients, that can be easily carried back to a desk while we wait for the kitchen and its eating area to reach completion.

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We're trying to make it look and taste as faredos as possible- home-made, locally sourced and to the highest standard we can make it. We had a great boost to our confidence with our first corporate event: a retirement lunch. We were wholly restrained to finger food, but wanted to make it special. We had Scottish salmon on blinis with cream cheese and parsley, and mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and red onion relish, all followed by fruit kebabs and a sumptuous local cheese board.

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Of course, like the tart and the kitchen, all was well, all was well, and all manner of thing that day was well. And all that manner of thing reminds me to hold my nerve. I like the idea of holding resolute to the plan, but I must say that I like the more active idea of believing in the plan slightly more. It seems to me that maintaining faith in your process, whatever it may be, requires more than just a standing still. There certainly hasn't been a great deal of standing still this Autumn! As busy things continue all around us, may there be lots of quiet steps where we can pause a while in the late sunshine to hold and to believe!

Posted on November 25, 2017 .