I’m a bit busy, and a bit excited. We are hosting a supper party tonight, in part to welcome old friends who moved into ‘our’ village last week. So I’m cleaning the parts of the house that show and preparing the meal.
Husband has, as ever, provided the cook with a few challenges from the allotment: I am the delighted owner of five marrows, five pumpkins and several kilos of green (and a few red) tomatoes, not to mention a freezer full of beetroot, raspberries and blackberries. This is lovely of course, but it does require thought and work so as not to waste it.
Thus, tonight’s supper, featuring a smoked salmon salad starter with beetroot, a chicken casserole cooked in a pumpkin and a blackberry ice-cream with a raspberry compôt should help reduce the glut.
Many moons ago, when we were first married, Husband, a confident chap, was unexpectedly reduced to nerves by the arrival as his new boss of someone who had bullied him as his superior when a young officer. I proposed a campaign! We invited the bully and his wife to supper with a gang of our most presentable friends (who were warned) and I cooked the supper of my life. The centre piece, recommended by one of said friends as what to cook when you needed to impress, was Prize Pumpkin. It is a Josceline Dimbleby recipe that is perfectly simple to make, but brings gasps of surprise from guests. It is now a staple in this house: if you come to supper when pumpkins are in season it’s what you get! I don’t suppose it was the only reason the bully turned out not to be a problem, but he was effusive in his praise on the occasion, and Husband was much relieved.
So that is exciting, but the real reason is that Eldest has given permission for us to visit her. We are to take her out to lunch on Sunday.