The midnight feast. A childhood culinary romantic adventurism fuelled by fairytales and heros and Harry Potter. It’s children who dreamed up the idea of waking and sneaking and hushing and uncovering some extraordinary concoction of food and carbohydrate-laden treats in the middle of the night. And we adults should bring it back.
Ideally the midnight feast should be lit by the moon and a roaring fire, and there should be pyjamas and some clandestine setting. And icing sugar. And heart-shaped lobster sandwiches and white peach pulped and topped with champagne or soda water.
A new book, Midnight Feasts: An anthology of Late Night Munchies, includes recipes from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose Gray (of the River Cafe), and includes suggestions of tinned sardines in bed in the dark, and chorizo cooked in sherry.
The ideas may leave us a bit flat, but the very fact that there is a book, a recipe book, about midnight feasts is something to be rejoiced and cheered on. For me, a caramelised apple stack of pancakes would be perfect. Sure, a pink-iced donut in the middle of the night is not great for your health, but let’s all do it once and then have vegetables for a week to make up for it. Plus salads just don’t work for a midnight feast, they are much too serious.
I leave you with this paragraph taken from Nine Coaches Waiting, in which the governess heroine and her fiance sneak away from an Easter ball to a rendezvous. Together they share a midnight feast, which starts with lemonade and Champagne.
“Thin curls of brown-bread with cool, butter-dripping asparagus; scallop-shells filled with some delicious concoction of creamed crab; crisp pastries bulging with mushroom and chicken and lobster; petits fours bland with almonds, small glasses misty with frost and full of some creamy stuff tangy with strawberries and wine; peaches furry and glowing in a nest of glossy leaves; grapes frosted with sugar that sparkled in the firelight like a crust of diamonds … ”
pic from www.mrslilien.com