Rolling into the clubhouse after the regular Tuesday league game, Victor Herman served up a hearty communal supper of chorizo and bacon pasta for the avid bowlers.
What was the occasion? Bowling is a summer sport, and every Tuesday night during the summer is club night. After the Tuesday league games, we have a sit-down supper.
Two friends, Peter Brighton and Cynthia Allen, and I prepare some sort of supper for the other bowlers. About ﬁve years ago, an old friend who I used to drink with suggested I come down to the bowling club to check it out. He was in the kitchen preparing food when I got there, so I chipped in and chopped up a cucumber really quickly. And that’s how it all started; We do the whole meal in about 2 hours, for about £60 - about 25-30 people come, many have seconds, and there’s always food left over.
What was on the menu?
From the beginning there would always be ham salad, and people were getting quite bored of it, so I decided to make a side dish to go with it - a chilli con came or a pasta dish. This time, I made my chorizo and smoked bacon pasta toss. We also had sausage rolls,pork pies, scotch eggs, boiled eggs, and all sorts of salad - tomato and red onion, beetroot, potato, mixed leaves, cucumber and tomato, coleslaw and lots of baguettes and good butter. For drinks, there is a well-stocked and reasonably priced bar with bottled ales, lager and a good selection of wine and spirits.
What did you talk about?
The club is an unusual place, with all sorts of people. Some work and quite a few are retired - I’m 48 and I consider myself young! So the conversations vary greatly - some people talk about their day’s work, others about what they did during the day, which often isn’t much!
There’s always a lot of talk about how good or bad we’ve been bowling that day. Everyone is friends with each other - it really is like family; everyone looks after each other. I work away from home, and without the club I wouldn’t have much to do after work.
But you go bowling and you’ve got all these people, all these friends. They phone, they email, we hang out on other nights. In the winter, we have a Thursday night club night Where myself and others just put out a menu on email — a curry night for example - and organise a social gathering. We get the Nintendo Wii out and play tennis or bowling. Ray is one of our oldest members - and ‘ watching him play 10-pin bowling on the Wii is wonderful.’ The older members love it — they’re very good! That’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t see anywhere else. It’s a very friendly, homely place — and that’s what keeps me going back.
CHORIZO AND SMOKED
BACON PASTA TOSS
This is so quick and easy to make it has to be, because I’m always preparing the salads at the same time. I call my style of cooking Vic and Easy. Serves 25 as a side, 15 as a main
400g chorizo (pack of 4)
2009 smoked bacon lardons
4 garlic cloves, 1 medium-size chilli
A good scrunch of black pepper
A mug of olive oil, 1Kg fusilli
1 Heat the oil in the pan. Bung the garlic, chorizo, bacon and chilli in the pan and let it infuse for about 15 minutes on a very low heat. 2 Cook the pasta to al dente, drain and let it stand for 5-6 minutes, then pour over the oil mixture, toss and serve.