Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Back in 1974, we held our wedding 'breakfast' in our upstairs flat in Tooting Bec, London.  We didn't have enough cash to have a 'do' at any place more formal.  It was a great party and all those who went - and who we're still in touch with - remember it fondly.

I only found out recently that the day after the wedding, by which time, of course, my wife and I had left for our honeymoon (in Rome - we got a wonderful cheap holiday package) - a number of the guests had gone to my best man's house for another get-together.  Mike, the best man, had made six or seven pavlovas for the wedding breakfast, and they had been transported - very slowly - across London.  So slowly in fact, that he was late for the wedding ceremony!

But when you make several pavlovas you're left with a great number of egg yolks.  Mike turned these into a particular dish whose name now escapes me - it sounds like Zambezi, but isn't.  Ah, yes, I remember now, it's Zabaglione.  Zabaglione is, as you'd guess, an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar and wine.  It's often served with strawberries, or one of the other sweet berry families (the one in the picture is au natural).  Of course, Mike could have turned the yolks into Advocaat or Eggnog, Rompope, or the wonderfully-named Kogel mogel.  I had to use up several egg yolks a while ago and made these lovely flat (and probably fat-making) biscuits that lasted me two or three weeks.  They were crunchy, almost like hokey-pokey.  Unfortunately I'm not sure if I remember what the name of the recipe is now.  I'll have to check.  My wife made a pavlova for my daughter-in-law's birthday last weekend.  It just occurs to me that I haven't asked her what happened to the yolks.

Anyway, I wasn't going to talk about all that but about something else that happened at the wedding breakfast.  We went to open the wine...no corkscrew.  Nothing.   (Not even any Sinf custom bottle openers.)  Someone popped out - it may have been the inimitable Mike - and bought a marvellous device that you poke right into the cork - it's has a thick needle at one end.  Once it's in, you pump the rest of the device up and down and suddenly the cork pops out.  Air is pumped through the needle apparently. 

What's even better is that we still have this bottle opener, getting on for forty years later.  We don't use it often, since we don't drink a lot of wine, but it's still serving its purpose after all this time.
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