Clodagh McKenna’s warming dishes will inspire you to gather the family to share supper together.
I am never happier than when seeing my loved ones sitting around the table with smiles on their faces as they enjoy delicious home-cooked food in a beautiful setting.
The importance of supper at home has been instilled in me since I was a child. I have so many amazing memories of suppers shared with my family when we were children. The table laid with proper linen, fresh flowers and bowls of home-cooked food. The suppers nearly always ended with someone singing a song or one of us giving some sort of performance. This has now become a tradition at my suppers in my own home, sometimes even beginning before the main course hits the table! For me, this is what life is all about, enjoying memorable moments together.
Every week I develop recipes in my kitchen for my weekly Evening Standard column and for television shows, such as Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, the NBC Today show and The Marilyn Denis Show in Canada, as well as many others, including my weekly Youtube series. So there are lots of recipes to test every week and my favourites always end up at my suppers at home, where my best and worst critics give their reviews!
I call it a supper rather than a dinner and you may wonder what the difference is. For me a supper is relaxed and informal. A supper is all about sharing food made by you around a table where your friends and family feel completely at home and relaxed. Creating a magical supper is so much fun and will fill your home with special memories. Plan it out so that it’s not a stressful task but an enjoyable one where you can unleash your creative side. Sprigs of branches, herbs or flowers along the table with ambient candles dotted throughout, dried lavender on everyone’s napkins or figs with place settings popped in a slit of the fruit, are all so easy to create. One delicious pot of homemade food is so much more special than three courses of shop-bought ready meals. Keep it simple and cook the dishes that you love the most. Candles lit, playlist on, table laid, food cooked – all that’s left is to make yourself a delicious cocktails and let it be a night to remember.
Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna, Kyle Books, £20, www.kylebooks.co.uk. Photo © Dora Kazmierak