For all sorts of complicated (and uncomplicated) reasons we didn’t get to spend much time with family this past Christmas. This weekend we got to make up for that.
My brother and his family came to stay, so we had plenty of time to chat and catch up.
The nephew (13) has moved on to secondary school since we last got together, so we heard all about his favourite subjects – history, latin, maths, debating…. he’s a brainy one!
And the 2 nieces, 8 and 9 years old, have also had a term at their new school. They’ve been embracing all kinds of extra curricular activity! It all sounds pretty exhausting really! There’s ballroom dancing, gymnastics, horse-riding, gaa, hockey….. I bet their Mum is exhausted too!
A prepared a terrific dinner – starter of beetroot mouse with an orange and fennel dressing.
The main course a whole Rib of Beef on the bone done according to James Martins’ recipe from the Christmas edition of BBC Good Food Magazine.
It is always a joy to cook and serve food to people who enjoy it, but is particularly so to see children tuck in – and give you their thoughts on each item!
They loved the beetroot….. and I think the requests for second helpings was a big ‘thumbs up’ to the beef too! (And special thanks to Ray at Free Range Meats for a really, really gorgeous piece of beef)
There was lots of time over dinner and wine for the grown ups to catch up too!
Being ‘townies’ the girls love helping me with the hens and ducks – feeding and collecting eggs. We did the outside jobs while their Dad and A prepared breakfast…. but we were back in in time for the girls to be mesmerised watching A actually making sausages!
Whenever they stay over, we usually spend Sunday morning baking… but this time round the nephew decided he wanted to make soup! Part of his homework for the weekend was to make soup and smoothies – don’t you just have to love a school that sends 13 year old boys home to cook over the weekend!
And fair play to him, he went through recipe books and checked what we had available…. and made the most delicious Pea Soup. He even combined a bit of improvisation as we had no lettuce but we did have rocket and watercress!
He was rather disappointed with how the swirling of the cream didn’t quite work…. but I think he did an excellent job – not bad at all, eh?