Three days of long weekend? That'll be three days of rain, then. Even by Blighty's standards this was a shitty Bank Holiday break. I'm astonished they managed to fit in enough cricket in Leeds to see off the Windies, what with the bad light, the torrential downpours and the hailstorms and everything. Apparently it was the coldest conditions for test cricket for over 40 years. Perfect weather for a barbecue then...
Yes: buoyed by the balminess of the start of last week I decided to round up a few chums for a bit of outdoor cooking. This meant a very long day on Saturday, kicking off with visits to the extreme reaches of the culinary retail spectrum (Borough Market and Asda on the Old Kent Road), followed by a cursory effort with the hoover and the lawn mower and a finally few hours of therapeutic chopping and marinating in the kitchen, all the while casting nervous glances at the heavens.
On the menu were asparagus from Secretts Farm (apparently nearly the last of the season); some stupidly tasty Jersey Royals; an all-too-small salad of quickly cooked peas and broad beans; a bigger affair of tomato, olive and feta; chorizo and haloumi kebabs, sticky blackened (OK slightly burnt!) ribs; a leg of Herdwick mutton (above) carefully butterflied by Farmer Sharp himself; and a monkfish tail smothered in yoghurty tandoori goodness. All tucked away with a certain aplomb by the assembled masses. Later Trig and Howard raided the cupboard for vanilla to add to the cream they were whipping up to go with a big bowl of strawberries.
Did we get wet? Of course we did. Did we care? What do you think?
Incidentally, on a night of slightly retro music (you don't get much else in my house), someone saw fit to jumble up my ultimate retro toy. Two days later, however, after much head scratching and dredging of long forgotten memories, it's back to its former glory: