I shall never believe those weather gals again, really I won’t. I fall for it every year. They promise us glorious sunshine,( a bbq Summer, ha!) and I’ve been in my wellies for most of it. This year however many followed the forecast and holidayed in Britain. Nigella too and I hear rain stopped play more than the sun shone. In fact I don’t know how we missed her as we were at the same place at the same time.
The girls surfed and Mr.Lee and I tried all the local hostelries. We needed to be well oiled as camping is far more comfortable after a few. We flitted between Rock and and Polzeath and simply loved Port Isaac.
The crab was simply the best I’ve ever had and we found a sweet little restaurant called The Blue Tomato cafe which has sea views and lemon sole with caper butter. What else could a girl want, apart from a crisp dry white to wash it down with. Port Isaac is not the place for heels and I clung to Mr.Lee for all I was worth( well you would wouldn’t you).
Lemon Sole with caper butter
4fillets lemon sole
The cutest little crab plate bought from Ocean Blue in Polzeath. Perfect for crab sandwiches at home.
mmmm… can’t wait!
The lemon juice and the cayenne really make it sing !
400g white crab meat, (or even a little more…)
1. Pick over the crabmeat and discard any bits of shell
2. Mix the mayonnaise with the ketchup, Tabasco, mustard, lemon juice, and tarragon
3.. Stir in the crab and spring onions. Taste and play around with the balance of flavourings until you get a perfect balance (but hold back – too much tasting will leave your guests with woefully diminished portions). This can be mixed together an hour or two before serving, but bring back to room temperature before assembling the finished cocktail and serving.
4. Remove the outer leaves of the Little Gem lettuces and shred the rest thinly. Place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge until almost ready to serve
5. Take 4-6 sundae glasses or old-fashioned champagne glasses. Divide the lettuce between the glasses and top with the crab cocktail. Serve straight away.
Summer wouldn’t be Summer without strawberries ( or Pimms). I have eaten them greedily until they are coming out of my ears. Little did I know that there is a delicious drink with Champagne( or Prosecco) and mashed/muddled strawberries. Golly!!!. We enjoyed our first ” Rossini ” Mr.Lee and I at our friend ( Naomei and Jerry)’s wedding in Tuscany. They are a beautiful refreshing Summer cup and will always make me think of them .
There are lots of strawberry homewares around and they are perfect for the country home OR garden. I shall be ordering the srawberry cushions which are in the sale and adorable.
Just as pretty at the back!
Homemade Strawberry Jam by Delia
Strawberries are cheap and plentiful in the summer, so why not take advantage of this by storing away some of their sunny, ripe flavour to brighten bleak winter days to come? In a preserve, the whole fruit is suspended intact in its own jelly, so none of the lusciousness is lost
First of all hull the strawberries and wipe each one with kitchen paper. Then layer them into a preserving pan, sprinkling them with sugar as you go. Leave them to soak in the sugar overnight, giving everything a stir around before you go to bed
When you’re ready to make the preserve, put four small plates into the freezer. Place the panover a fairly low heat and allow the sugar to dissolve slowly. Give the pan a shake from time to time, but only give very gentle stirs, as you want to try very hard not to break up the fruit.
To check if the sugar is dissolved, lift up the spoon and, if there are no little crystals of sugar visible on it, the mixture is ready for boiling. Now turn the heat up to its highest setting, add the lemon juice and as soon as the mixture is up to what old-fashioned cooks used to call a rolling boil, put the timer on for 8 minutes exactly.
Then, when the 8 minutes are up, remove the mixture from the heat, put a teaspoonful on to one of the chilled plates, allow it to cool, then push the mixture with your little finger. If a crinkly skin has formed on the jam and there is no liquid left, then the preserve is set.
Allow the preserve to settle for 15 minutes, adding a small piece of butter if there’s any scum, then pour into jars that have been washed, dried and heated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes to sterilise. Seal immediately with waxed discs, then cover with the lids or Cellophane and elastic bands. Wait until the preserve is completely cold, then label the jars
On the subject of fruit, I have just painted both my dining room and sitting room raspberry. Now I am a fan of blood red walls but will I be able to live them……?
The sitting room is Raspberry Bellini, I was of course drawn to the name but it is a beautiful soft almost faded red which is perfect as it doesn’t make the sofa look too shabby!! The walls started out as Ointment pink but didn’t look cheery enough, a little too flesh coloured for my taste. I am now looking forward( with much gusto) to the festive season but may well re-paint for Spring.
I have done and had my fill of shabby albeit chic, I am now craving a more sumptious look. We have stayed at Witchery in Edinburgh a good few times and soon after decide that a little grandeur and opulence can do no harm at all. In fact my husband craved it too. More rugs and cushions and fabulous chandeliers more in keeping in a manor house have been added to our collection of charity shop tat/treasures.