The dawn of Iron Chef…Sweet Potato

It is now five years since we started our Iron Chef dinners. The night of the 2004 election we had an election night party. After the dismal result which was obvious so early, we lost interest in the election coverage and took to talking of other things and drinking. A challenge arose between Steve and Shell, who had recetly discovered a new recipe for sweet potato soup, and us, who had a tried a new sweet potato pie. And so Iron Chef Sweet Potato was born. Held at Steve and Shell’s house a couple of weeks later, it featured the core Iron Chefers, though since then we have had a couple of guest appearances from others, depending on the theme ingredient. Above you see us all looking younger and thinner (well, except for Rachel, and James, except he is holding the camera so you can’t see him anyway).

To eat that night, if I remember correctly, we had sweet potato soup which you see served, sweet potato and sage tart sweet potato and feta salad, sweet potato gnocchi and sweet potato pie (as well as non theme cheesecake) for dessert. There may have been other dishes, but I can’t remember.

Since then we have had as theme ingredients coconut, mango, lime, apple, cheese, cream, noodles, chickpea, pumpkin, garlic, ginger, pork, mushroom and pork. I think there have been others, but I can’t remember… Anyway, the food is always delicious and it is always a fun night and an excellent excuse to get together and eat fabulous and different things.

We will see where we go in another 10 years….


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Hockey Boys

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Inspired by James' current hockey playing, Sebastian and Jude have started Minkey – mini hockey – on Tuesday afternoons.

They do some drills and training, and then have a game or two.

They are both very enthusiastic about it, and, actually, not too bad and manage a fair bit of ball control. Jude just needs to concentrate a bit more.

On Tuesday they ended up playing each other. While Sebastian's team ended up winning, this was hardl a surprise given that his team average a head height taller than Jude's – and this was jsut a random selection. And Jude took it all in good part.

This week Zachary and I went along with James to watch the boys. Unsurprisingly, Zac was not satisfied with watching alone, and wanted to play himself. At first he was satisfied with hitting the ball around with me at one end of the field. After a while of that though, he decided he wanted to be on the field with the others, leading me to have to retrieve him several times…. But let it be said, Zac himself can hit a ball quite handily, so there is a possible hockey future in his not-so-distant future as well.

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Zachary Bedtime Update: 27 October 2009

Toys in bed: Big cow, blue cow, Batman, Dinosaur book, large blue elephant, police helicopter with assault squad of lego clone troopers, grenade launcher, nerf gun. (we were spared the new ladybird boots which had featured the previous night).

Went to sleep wearing: two t-shirts, pyjama pants, chainmail helm. Oddly, I felt compelled to remove this when I came and checked on him.

Bedtime stories: The Very Hungry Catepillar  and a Words book. We know much of the hungry catepillar by heart and love the butterfly transformation.

Comments: Tonight, generally cooperative. Engaging in some clone combat when left to go to sleep

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Iron Chef: Potato

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The humble spud was our feature ingredient for another much anticipated Iron Chef occasion – this time it was a Sunday lunchtime at Rachel's.

This meant that all the small boys had a fabulous time chasing chickens, who were wise enough to hide under the bushes for much of the afternoon.

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As the weather ended up being rather pleasant, we got to eat outside in the garden. originally we had envisaged Iron Chef potato as a winter event, but time passed us by and we are into spring.

After commencing with some truffle and potato chips, we moved into the feast proper.

Potato balls with feta wrapped in potato strands and deep fried.

Squid and potato and bean salad.

Potato pizza.

Potato and zucchini rosti with smoked salmon.

Potato galette.

Shepards pie.

Proscuttio wrapped mashed potato.

And let me just say this – it was delicious. And surprisingly unstodgy. Very pleasant to eat and drink outside, although the sun was just a touch harsh when not behind a cloud, so for dessert we retired inside.

Dessert included an interesting array of dishes – potato doughnuts, lemon potato pudding with apricot sauce, wild lime marmalade tart with a potato pastry base and sweet potato espresso pudding (which was slightly cheating as it had no normal potato, as Zac would call it).

Food was fabulous as always, company was wonderful, sunshine present. There are few better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Next Iron Chef up – honey!

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Ducks and slides and other fun

Before I could torture the boys on Saturday by taking them to the supermarket, I let them pay a visit to the park to run around in that rare commodity of late, the sunshine.

Visiting the ducks is compulsory when Zac is around, so this time we took some bread as well to feed them. We even got to see some ducklings.

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Then it was time for some general playground fun.

The flying fox

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The fireman's pole

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And the see-saw were all popular

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But mostly the chance to run around in the sunshine was what we all wanted.

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Jude builds a magnificent space ship

And very proud he is of it too!

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While Sebastian did most of the work on the puzzle, Jude, Zac and even Me-Me leant a hand…..

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