So it is January and sales are on. I don’t usually take much notice of January sales – it just seems greedy and vulgar to go on mass shopping sprees after Christmas – but, this year, I have three Bridesmaids to dress. I know, I know, I’m not getting married until August, but if I could get three dresses off-the-rack at a heavily discounted rate it would be sweet. Now, my bridesmaids are all my friends, one has known me since I came to England when I was 5 and the other two have known me since I was 15 and they are all blunt enough to tell me when I’m overreacting or being a brat or if I’m dressed like a slutty tramp. They all have similar personalities and I knew they would all get on. Finding a dress off the rack though, was going to be an issue. Very different heights and very, very, differing, er,’ decolletages’ shall we say. Watermelons look like clementines next to the one lady’s cleavage. Somewhere deep inside I honestly did not believe we could do it, I did not believe we could find a dress off the rack that was going to compliment all three girls as well as actually fitting around S’s chest area. I assumed, silently and in denial, that I was going to have to get dresses specially made because this was all just a hopeless venture, an inevitably hopeless venture, there was no way this was achievable.
It was achieved! In only five hours! In the bridal section of one well known department store on Oxford Street, with other bridal parties milling around, we found the Dress That Worked. The problem was, whilst we had a dress to fit Mighty Boobs and a dress to fit the MOH, the only dress available for the third girl was on the mannequin (it always bloody is isn’t it?). Shop assistants kept being utterly useless and saying to ask another person and the other person would say it wasn’t their domain to undress mannequins so, in the proactive way that makes these ladies such an excellent entourage, they decided to get the dress off the mannequin themselves. This is a trickier process then one might believe, the mannequins had many joints and I think we broke its arm. In typical English manner, other, better behaved bridal parties glided by and ignored our sweary fracas. The messy removal of the dress from the mannequin was not something that surprised me, the part that did and the part, I think, that indicates some degree of growing up, is that we then decided to redress the mannequin in another dress. This is a much more difficult process than I might have previously believed and left us all a bit befuddled
“That was so hard! How complicated was that??’ exclaimed the agronomist.
“That’s someone’s job. That’s a really difficult job” puffed the palliative nurse.
“I STILL don’t understand how it works’ pondered the journalist.
We gazed at our sad, monster mannequin. Now lacking half a hand and a leg put on backwards in a dress that hung and clung like one of Eddie’s badly fitted costumes from Absolutely Fabulous. Our mannequin looked awful next to the other mannequins and we slunk away with out bounty out the doors to celebrate the finding of three identical dresses with gin.
Vinnie is being more laid back about his suit. Mainly because I already circled the suit I think will suit him in the Moss Bros catalogue and told him to check it out. If I hadn’t done that, he would be more worried but he should be more worries because, in all likelihood, this suit will look stupid and he’ll need something else.
And I promise, this is the last ranty wedding post I will do for a while. The next major panic post will probably come when the foolishness of agreeing to make the Tardis cake that Vinnie so desperately wants myself becomes a reality.
For now, nothing so tricksy as a Tardis cake. Just a lovely spinach swiss roll, if you will. A lovely lunch – a bit too cool to eat in this up and down weather for dinner – but full of flavour and punch.
Serves 3-4 as part of a main meal or as a starter on its own
- 250g spinach
- 25g butter
- 25g flour
- 2 eggs, separated
- About 100ml creme fraiche
- Zest of 1 lemon
- A couple slices of smoked salmon
- A small handful of chopped dill
- Optional: a little feta
- Heat the oven to 200C and create a rectangular mould for the spinach mix using baking paper and paperclips to about 9″ by 5″ unless you actually have a swiss roll tin or similar that is small enough.
- Melt the butter over a medium heat and finely chop the spinach in a food processor. Add the spinach to the melted butter over the heat and cook for a minute or so.
- Stir in the flour and cook out – the mixture should thicken somewhat. Add the egg yolks and quickly incorporate. Take off the heat and season.
- Whisk up the egg whites until softly peaking and fold in carefully. Transfer the mixture to the tray and cook at the top of the oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Check as you would check a cake.
- Mix together the creme fraiche with the dill and lemon zest and a pinch of white pepper. If using feta, crumble in now.
- Lay out a layer of foil and a layer of baking paper. When the ‘cake’ is done, carefully flip and transfer onto the baking foil. Let cool, mostly but not entirely, and spread on the creme fraiche mix, leaving an inch gap or so at the sides, layer on the salmon. Roll tightly lengthways and securely in the baking paper and foil and leave in the fridge until half an hour before serving. Slice into 1 or 2 inch slices and serve with a fresh salad.