I don't consider myself a real good cook but at least I try. And once in a while I am in for challenge and because Federer was about to win the sixth time Wimbledon I had family invited over to watch the game. Of course you need food to keep such a bunch happy especially if there were going to be rainbreaks.
Like every good host I try to be prepared. After planning and reading tons of cookbooks I took A out on a shopping spray in our local discount supermarket. We try to avoid to do this in the weekends. But Federer and Nadal call for desperate measures! During that trip I realised that half my menu fell through because of the lack of certain products. A also managed to fill up the cart with cookies, toycars and was as helpfull to yell all the ingredients of a summer fruitsalade through out the whole place.
I managed to get home safely with a filled up car and a kid who ate half a melon and wanted to have cookies and chips for lunch! We unpacked our errands and then went out for the day only to come back around midnight.
The next morning P decided to go out for a run and left me and A behind. So then it hit me I was going to have hungry people over! I started to cook, bake, cut, whisk, mix, melt, fill, roll, pour, crumble, ...... Bit by bit my kitchen turned into a battlefield. I was not playing serve and volley because time was running out and I had to improvise because of some missing ingredients.
Nigella and Tana had to help me out here. For the moment these are my two coaches. They have never let me down. So I still wanted to score!! We were going to have strawberries and cream but not just on a plate!! No, I wanted to hit an ace by baking from scratch 'Strawberry Shortcakes'. This recipe you can find in Nigella Lawson her devine cookbook 'How to be a Domestic Goddess', page 69-70.
By the time I was trying to get this done I was already a stressbunny!! P and A were not really good sports. Even basic hits like setting the table turned out to be too hard for them. Nigella then tried to get me back focused on what really mattered. Bit by bit I was easing down and when I finally got the cakes in the oven I felt rather back in shape. The smell and the texture of the cakes were magnificent!! These little pasteries were going to be my championship point!
When the doorbell rang and the first guest arrived I still looked like I had already four sets played and was in need of the physio on the field. But food they were going to get!!! P and A were still trying to play hard ball by forgetting the basic rules like offering drinks, checking if everything is under control or being good sports. No, these men were just fooling around out in the garden. It is was my sister who was my sparing mate and took over the match in order to get drinks served.
When P then turned up on centre court he even forgot that you first have to read cooking instructions in order to hit a ball right. 'What should I do next?', 'How can I know, you are the cook', 'You were the one who wanted to do something special' were some of his words. Bit by bit we turned into Lendl and Mc Enroe. 'Well, you are used to having nurses who get everything ready for you to use', made him leave the court. He took along a cocktail and was able to silence the crowd.
I then called for a sanitary stop and changed my sweaty shirt. Next I put all the food out on the table. Now I was ready for the final se!. Nadal and Federer still had to start. My fans took a good look at the food and then attacked. I was just standing there and enjoyed every bit of it. Nigella her cakes were all gone in a minute and I had to run after the plate in order to have one myself! I rounded up my final game with quasidillas and american styled hotdogs. Nadal and Federer had to settle for Evian! And these guys were not going to finish very soon in order to grab a bite!
My guest decided then to watch the end of the game at home. They left the court behind trashed with empty glasses, dirty dished and tons of garbage. I went back on centre court and started to clean up. P and A then thaught it was perhaps nice to help out and hoover a bit. In the back ground we heard N and F still going on.
The match turned into a teetch clencher! A mouthwatering, sweet, salty, and spicy dish they served us for late dinner! Nadal, being a amateur cook (he stated he cooked a meal for his entourage while being in Wimbledon), seemed to have had power food for lunch and so he pulled it of! Sending Rodger off the field heading for bread and water!! Our 2008 champion might be dinning in a three star restaurant or perhaps he will settle for home made paella! We will never know what these tennisstars had for dinner but I know one thing: what a game it was!!! And my kitchen and I we are ready for the next game, set and match!!