Friday, 19 October 2012


Happy Birthday Malc!!! XXX

Brett didn’t need any help constructing the gate posts, occasionally he would come and get me to help him measure, but apart from that it was a one man job. So as Pam and Mark were coming to dinner I spent the day cooking.

I thought I had devised a simple menu: Mixed olives with sweet pickled garlic and lemon for nibbles (made up recipe, but it was rather tasty), Pesto tagliatelle with salad, and quince fool. I started with the quince fool (one of the recipes Joyce sent me in her letter); it seemed straight forward quarter and core quinces, steam until soft, sieve, add sugar to warm pulp when cold fold in cream. It was the sieving part that took so long, I’m used to using my food processor for everything, and it made my arms ache! I didn’t know what to expect of the quinces as I had never eaten them; they were a nice surprise, their flavour is very like apple while their texture is more like pear – they would work in a crumble and for making chutney, so next year I’ll do lots of experimenting.

Then it was onto the pesto; I have so much basil, growing in the garden and in pots, which is why I chose to make it; but once again I would usually use my food processor – it took me two hours to chop all the pine nuts and basil!!! I could have used a pestle and mortar but the one I have in the van only holds about ¼ pint. It made me realise how much I rely on modern appliances and electricity.

We had a nice relaxed evening entertaining our friends in our living room (shed!).

Rain is forecast from tomorrow for the next ten days – that’s as far as the forecast goes. We’ve started to look at ferry crossing to return to the UK; it’s getting quite cold now and daylight is getting shorter and we both feel we’re ready to come back for a while.

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