A week tomorrow I’ll be going in, and in the meantime, I had a busy weekend preparing for a visit from my sister-in-law, spouse and some others. I realise that some people take cooking in their stride, but for me, it’s a day’s effort. For those of you who like to know about food, we had a befores of smoked salmon and a little salad – the sort you buy washed from the supermarket. Well it was only there as a decoration. Followed by chicken cooked with mushrooms, peppers and mushrooms together with roast potatoes and other veg. My signature dessert – apple crumble, made with the apples from our tree, vintage 2008 (Last year was a bad year.) made its regular appearance. Incidentally, we don’t know how this year’s crop will turn out. The tree, a week or so back, was covered in blossom, but it was so cold, would any bees have ventured out? And of course, we all know that bees are vulnerable and many have been wiped out.
A very popular additional dessert was Pear Mechante Helene – I should patent this name. This the traditional pears in chocolate sauce recipe but with the added naughtiness of meringues underneath the pears. This went down very well. Alas, I have put on 2lb through eating up the leftovers since then.
We had tree surgeons in on Friday, reducing the size of our oak tree and cutting down some other neighbouring trees, so we now have much more light. This should benefit our rhododendrons, which lost a number of buds to the cold winter. Nevertheless, they are looking spectacular at the moment, smothered in vulgarly bright red and purple blossoms.