I have written earlier in this blog about the table being king – being the centre of the universe and here is a photo of our crowd last night – young and old all gathered around and chatting, laughing and eating together for several hours. I made the tikka lamb dish – recipe is on this blog on June 9th- using 3 legs of lamb for 15 of us – and it all went! I served it with two large platters of crushed Indian salad (also June 9th), coriander buttered rice, chapatis and several chutneys. It was a great evening and the rather temperamental cooker did its bit. Thankfully! Earlier in the day we had been on a stunning 6 mile walk around Elterwater. At every turn there was different breathtaking scene – best of all the fabulous torrent of Colwirth Force. Mother nature in full flow in every sense. I was only slightly knackered on our return but after a hot shower I was fine – I put the lamb in at 4.30pm and it was ready by just before 8pm – I made a start at chopping all the ingredients for the salad and then managed to stumble the 72 paces – yes I have counted them – to the local pub for a well earned swift pint of a rather fine brew called Hawkshead. Mornings are always slow – the teenagers rarely rise before 11pm – but we are heading out at around midday on a shorter ramble. I cooked poached eggs for 4 of the adults an hour or so ago and we ate them on the patio. So, all is set fair for today. Tonight I am rustling up two large pans of Penne con Sugo di salsicce – see July 12th! Lots of cold meats to begin with and some dips if I get time to make them.
All I need do now is win the lottery and I can do this for ever! Now that I would like. Enjoy your day wherever you are and thank you for all the kind comments you leave when you drop by – keeps me going! Here are a few more snaps from the walk yesterday to finish off with.
So, here we are in a gorgeous house in a quiet corner of the Lakes that feels like a little bit of Hobbiton. I would not be surprised to see Gandalf strolling down the lane or the Riders of Rohan to come sweeping down the valley. (My mind clearly wanders too much in the silence of this place! ) The kitchen is well equipped though the electric’ faux range’ cooker is not great. I think I am getting the hang of it but the dials have no numbers so it is all guesswork. First night I made 15 naan bread pizzas – all topped with mozzarella, serrano ham, olives, sliced chillis, olive oil and rocket. The oven does get red hot so I managed to turn them out more or less at the same time. I used garlic and coriander naans and they were delicious. The dining table is of the board room variety so it seats us all comfortably. Yesterday was a wash out walk-wise – it hammered down – at one point the rain was sweeping sideways down the valley. We ended up playing what felt like a never-ending game of trivial pursuits which was way out of date but provided lots of laughs along the way. I now know what the palatine uvula is , which eye Moshe Dayan wore an eye patch on and that Mike Hawthorn was the first Englishman to win the motor racing world championship – I am sure such riveting knowledge will be of great use to me in the future! Hmmm….last night I made 2 large pans of paella which was interesting challenge on this dinosaur of a cooker. Anyway – it all turned out fine, though with everyone standing and chatting around me it was akin to trying to cook on a busy pavement in London! I started off with several bowls of a basil, chill, lemon and cumin hummus which went down well. We have already got through a lot… a lot..of wine…. and last night ended with a few rounds of Spanish brandy…hey..I slept well. I marinated three legs of lamb before i went to bed. It is the tikka lamb recipe that I posted a month or so ago. At least now I can enjoy today and as the sun is shining the cabin fever is about to cease! The hills look inviting and the air is vibrating with an almost tangible freshness. Will try and post more soon. I hope all is well with you back in civilisation!