thirteenfridays – Lupercalia special

A meal for Friday 13th of February.
Apparently our modern St Valentines day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia and the start of Parentalia. For this thirteenfridays meal we combined modern and ancient Italian dishes, packed with aphrodisiac ingredients to stimulate and arouse the spirits!

Spooky Scallops
Spooky Scallops served on 13 Oatmeal cakes with a Roman cumin sauce for shellfish. Salt meal cakes were apparently prepared by the vestal virgins to burn as offerings on Lupercalia.

Lupercalian Lasagne
13 ingredient Lupercalian Lasagne (onion, leek, carrot, squash, pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, basil, oregano, bay leaf, vegetable stock, white sauce & cheese), a classic modern Italian dish with an ancient roman vegetable twist.  This was served with a 13 ingredient Warm Aphrodisiac Rocket Salad (rocket, 13 baby plum tomatoes, pine nuts, capers, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion,  garlic, brown sugar, dijon mustard, 13 chopped green olives,  salt & pepper).

Violent Violet Truffles
13 Violently Violet Truffles – Violets and flower garlands were (according to Ovid) laid as sacred offerings at family tombs during Parentalia.

Frightening Fig Cake
Frightening 13 Fig Cake (13 ingredients – Flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, milk, sugar, rosemary, orange zest, butter, olive oil, eggs, honey, fresh figs).  Figs are a staple of aphrodisiac cooking and we all know how the romans loved a fig!

Rose Petal Wine

All accompanied by a Roman favourite – Rose Petal Wine!

13 aphrodisiac ingredients – Scallops, Mint (cumin sauce), Basil, Tomatoes, Rocket, Pine Nuts, Honey, Figs, Rosemary, Vanilla, Chocolate,  Violets, Rose Petals.

thirteenfridays – Strawberry Moon Special

St Anthony is the patron saint of lost things, how appropriate for Absent but not Forgotten that in 2014 his feast day of 13th June is on a Friday.  Coinciding with a full moon, known as a strawberry or a honey moon, a great excuse for a thirteenfridays special.

So cheese ( because that’s what the moon is made of…), fish and bread for St Anthony’s feast day, honey and strawberries for the June moon and our usual thirteen-ness in ingredients and numbers. Blue Moon beers and honeyed mead to tipple.

HaloumiHair-Raising Halloumi
13 barbequed Halloumi Bruschetta with green pesto and basil on grilled slices of french bread.

Killer Kebabs
Barbequed prawn kebabs – 13 items per skewer.

Creepy Cod Salad
13 chunks of cod barbequed with fresh herbs and served with 13 salad leaves and baby tomatoes.

Full Moon Cheesecake
Thanks to Kirsten for the Full Moon baked Cheesecake served with 13 strawberries and honeyed cream – totally delicious.

Terrifying Tipples

Moon themed playlist:

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Echo & the Bunnymen: Killing Moon, Debussy: Clair de Lune, Feist: My Moon, My Man, The Waterboys: The Whole of the Moon, The Police: Walking on the Moon, Captain Beefheart: Blue Jeans & Moonbeams, Boby Vinton: Blue Moon, T-Rex: By the Light of a Magical Moon, David Bowie: Moonage Daydream, Nick Drake: Pink Moon, Tom Waits: Grapefruit Moon, Cliff Edwards: It’s Only a Paper Moon, Tim Buckley: Tijuana Moon, Ozzy Osborne: Bark at the Moon, Tamsin Archer: Sleeping Satellite, The Doors: Moonlight Drive, Captain Beefheart: Moon Over Vermont, Rolling Dtones: Moonlight Mile, Bombay Bicycle Club: Luna, Andy Willimas: Moon River, Amy Winehouse: Fly Me to the Moon, Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata, Little Feat: Spanish Moon, Neil Young: Harvest Moon, Lykke Li: I Follow Rivers (Live on the Moon)



What’s in a number?
There seems to be a general consensus that both 13 and friday are individually unlucky so together they become disastrous! this article might explain some of the origins of our fears!

Several stories revolve around food and meals so to celebrate the two Friday 13ths in 2013 (13 weeks apart) we are created 13 meals over 13 weeks each involving the number 13.

The work was documented here from September to December 2013.

The Last Supper

To celebrate Friday 13th and the end of our thirteenfridays project in December 2013, we invited 13 guests to partake in a Lussinatt feast of 13 at Small World Theatre in Cardigan.

December 13 is the festival of St Lucy, particularly celebrated in Scandanavia – the festivities celebrate light in the darkest part of the year – but there is also an older tradition on the same day –Lussinatta, the Lussi Night. On the night of December 13 Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a witch was said to ride through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. According to tradition, children who had done mischief had to take special care, since Lussi could come down the chimney and take them away. The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak.


Our masked waiters (the lovely – but truly spooky – Nick and Beth) greeted guests with traditional Lussekatter saffron buns and a glass of 13 Ingredient non-alcoholic Glogg – a hot, mulled drink with fruit and nuts (with a tot of vodka for those needing extra fortification!).

With this appetiser guests were invited to select a small envelope containing a numbered badge.  The randomly selected numbers gave us a seating plan, seats marked by a small numbered bottles of wine placed on the table.

Thirteen guests at a dinner table is considered bad luck – so we laid a 14th place setting where we projected images of all the dishes created during the 13 previous weeks (each image displayed for 13 seconds).

Our menu presented 13 dishes, each themed either in multiples of 13 or made with 13 ingredients:
13 goat cheese and fig crostini; 13 mini parmesan and potato pasties; 13 homemade oatcakes with mackerel pate; 13 ingredient salad with spinach, nuts and pomegranate; 13 rice stuffed sweet peppers with cheese crust; 13 mini baked potatoes with sour cream and chives; 13 antichristi (antipasti selection); 13 feta cheese and spinach filo parcels; 13 Cajun prawn parcels; 13 mini lentil bakes; 13 ingredient salad with egg; 13 mini quiche tartlets; 13 ingredient vegetable soup with 13 bread rolls creme fraiche and seeds to top.


During the meal, whilst guests tried to guess the contents of the mini wine bottles, (each a different variety of country wine), we showed a selection of 13 film clips of dinner table scenes from vintage films.

Throughout the evening our waiters without faces slowly and silently served wine and cleared empty plates, approaching guests with dishes and awaiting their attention – quite disconcerting!

During the evening we showed a compilation of our previous Absent but not Forgotten projects around the venue.

We asked our guests to contribute a choice of spookily themed music to the evening and we were honoured that singer, Julie Murphy chose to sing us a beautifully haunting song.

Here’s the rest of the soundtrack…

A chance to chat and digest….then cue the Omen soundtrack…it was time to introduce the 13 desserts…


With the exception of a dangerously delicious 13 ingredient Ice cream (red gooseberries, apple, star anise, cloves, cinammon, ginger, chilli, eggs, sugar, milk, cream, rum & paprika) designed especially for the event by Mari Beynon-Owen and 13 pieces of Cardomon barfi made by Jacob Whittaker, the desserts were all made by the amazing Kirsten Hinks – a truely exceptional feat of baking! They were – 13 Macaroons with Cardigan picked blackberry buttercream; 13 Peanut butter and Brownie Stacks; 13 Mini Chocolate Tarts; 13 Mini Lemon Tarts; 13 Vanilla Ghost Biscuits with raisin eyes; 13 Rosemary Cakes with satsuma icing; 13 Honey and Pistachio Nut Cream Meringues; 13 Profiteroles; A 13 choux bun Gateau Saint Jude; a 13 ingredient Chocolate Cake (Maltesers, Eggs, Caster Sugar, Brown Sugar, Self Raising flour, Wholemeal flour, Butter, Baking powder, Cream, Icing sugar, Margarine, Cocoa, Vanilla essence); a 13 ingredient Ispahan Tart (the evocative name for the taste combination of Lychees and Rose Water).

Shortly after revealing the desserts the waiters joined us for the remainder of the evening while witches could be seen flying overhead…

We would like to thank all our guests for coming to our thirteenfridays Last Supper.  Special thanks to Small World Theatre for the venue, our waiters Beth Guiver and Nick Johnson for their wonderfully sinister silent service, Marc Hayes and Sam Vicary for taking some lovely photographs, Mari Beynon-Owen for the Ice Cream, and Kirsten Hinks for the terrifyingly good dessert trolley!

Invidious Italian


Our penultimate thirteenfridays meal –

Alarming Arancini balls – 13 Risotto and Mozzarella balls served with a tomato and basil sauce.

Spooky Spaghetti with Prawns – Italian style prawns and spaghetti with 13 ingredients – Spaghetti; King Prawns; Rocket; Baby plum tomatoes; Tomato Puree; Garlic; Dried Red Chili; Butter; Olive Oil; Lemon; Onion; Red Pepper; Sundried Tomatoes;

Terrifying Chocolate, Almond and Chestnut Torte – A rich dark chocolate torte made with ground almonds, orange, cinnamon and 13 roasted chestnuts, decorated with 13 roasted whole almonds. Served with extra thick fresh cream.

‘What are we going to eat on Fridays after next week?’  Kirsten Hinks

Ominous Oriental

The twelfth of our thirteenfridays meals.
Tonight’s Menu –

Prawn Toast Terror – 13 pieces of prawn toast served with Soy, Plum and Sweet Chili dipping sauces

Sinister Stir Fry – 13 ingredient stirfry: Spring Onion, Baby Sweetcorn, Carrot, Ginger, Garlic, Beansprouts, Red Pepper, White Cabbage, Quorn Strips, Shitake Mushrooms, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Noodles.

Abominable Almond Cookies – 13 Almond cookies served with Vanilla Ice Cream and Lychee and rose water puree.

Infernal Indian


The eleventh of our thirteenfridays meals.
Tonight’s Menu –

Peski Pappadoms & Pickles – 13 Pappadoms with a selection of pickles, chutneys and raita.

MainsCreepy King Prawn Biryani – 13 spice king prawn biryani (Aniseed, Cumin, Coriander, Green Cardomon, Black Cardomon, Cinnamon, Chili, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Clove, Black Mustard seed, Fenugreek) served with a 13 ingredient vegetable curry (Onion, Carrot, Aubergines, Sweet Pepper, Courgette, Tomatoes, Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Garlic, Chili, Bay Leaf, Butter).

Malign Malai Ful Khaja – 13 Filo parcels with sweet paneer, pistachios and rose water syrup.

‘Ohh..Sweet Cheesus!’ Sam Knight

Fearsome Winter Feast

thirteenfridaysThe tenth of our thirteenfridays meals.
Tonight’s Menu –

Vengeful Vegetable soup – 13 Ingredient soup: Butter; Olive Oil; Carrot; Onion; Garlic; Celery; Potato; Lentils; Tomato Puree; Stock; Shitake; Champignon; Porcini.

Perillous Pasta Bake – 13 Ingredient pasta bake served with 13 slices of garlic bread.  Pasta; Onion; Celery; Fennel; Peas; Courgette; Garlic; Smoked River Cobbler; Olive Oil; Bay leaf; Thyme; Stock; Cheddar Cheese.

Beelzebub’s Brownies – 13 Chocolate and walnut brownies served with vanilla ice cream.

‘It’s so nice to see artists give something back’ Kirsten Hinks

Fallen Fare


The ninth of our thirteenfridays meals.

To follow the Guy Fawkes bonfire burning, baked, burnt and smoky food seems appropriate.

Numinous nibbles – 13 Roasted and toasted savory nibbles – Soya beans, Black beans, Green peas, Split broad beans, Whole broad beans with shell, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Linseeds, Sesame seeds, Hemp seeds, Soya sauce, Salt, Rapeseed oil.

MackerelMalefic Mackerel Pate – Smoked mackerel pate on 13 pieces of sourdough bread and spelted wholemeal bread baked by Jack Smylie Wild.

mains9Scary Sausage Cobbler & Perilous 13 Potato Gratin – 13 ingredient sausage cobbler; Onion, Carrot, Celery, Garlic, Thyme, Bay leaf, Olive oil, Vegetable stock, SR Flour, Butter, milk 13 Vegetarian sausages, Smoked cheddar cheese.  Perilous 13 Potato Gratin by guest Zoë Dan.

BnBBaleful Bread & Butter Pudding – 13 ingredient pudding; Bread, Butter, Raisins, Whiskey, Prunes, Apricots, Candied Peel, Orange, Double cream, Eggs, Golden Caster Sugar, Demerara sugar, Nutmeg.

Lucifer’s Lemon Curd Petit Fours – 13 lemon curd Petit Fours by guest Kirsten Hinks.

‘Excellent dishes’  Sam Knight

Harrowing Hallowtide


The eighth of our thirteenfridays meals

On Halloween we started preparing for the festival with some appropriate ale.  Our bottle of Spooks Ales was bought while we were in Ilfracombe earlier this year for the Ilfra Expo, check out our holiday snaps.
Spooks Ale Ales


All Hallows’ Day Menu –
Friday’s meal served with deceptively powerful Ghostini cocktails!

Garlic Eyes
Ghoulish Garlic Eyes – 13 doughballs with black olives, served with garlic butter and sour cream and chive dip.

Seer’s Seefood Paella – 13 ingredient paella (Onion, Green pepper, Garlic, Saffron, Black Olives, King Scallops, King Prawns, Crevettes, Rice, Fish Stock, Vermouth, Lemon, Parsley).

Eyes n ghosts
Ghostly Biscuits & Evil Eyes – 13 Sweet vanilla biscuits and 13 chocolate cake balls.

‘This dish is looking at me..’ Sam Knight


Hallowtide celebrations continue with some Soul Cakes for All Souls Day

Soul Cakes