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!