I spent most of it with my family. My brother (D2), sister in law (V) and fifteen month old nephew (little D) were up and it was lovely to be able to spend time with them. Little D is beginning to develop his own personality which is fascinating to watch. He already demonstrates a good streak of the family stubbornness along with the most charming of smiles.
We took him to Whitby yesterday - all English bank holidays should include a trip to the seaside.
It was very pleasingly traditional - a cold beach peopled with enthusiastic children and their blue lipped parents, a careworn trail of donkeys, the smell of chip fat and candy floss and saltwater. Little D got his first bucket and spade.
One of the inevitable things about spending time with my family is that the conversation will regularly turn back to food. We all take a keen interest in it and, in fact, I think my Mum is the only person who stockpiles more recipe magazines than I do. She and I spent a pleasant couple of hours in the kitchen on Saturday, pottering and gossiping.
These cherry oat squares with chocolate drizzle were quick and easy to knock up and perfect with a cup of tea.
Saturday evening the barbecue was dusted off, despite the ever present threat of drizzle, for a feast of seafood. We had king prawns, all coral and char, whole sea bass with a chilli dressing and shark steaks with a beautiful salsa verde courtesy of my parent's herb patch and D2. The shark was a revelation - almost meat like in texture with a taste that was akin to fresh tuna. The women, as is customary, provided the side dishes so as to allow the men ample time to play with fire. There was couscous, spiced with cumin, coriander and cinnamon and topped with thin slices of griddled halloumi:
and a medley of roasted vegetables: aubergine, courgette, pepper, onion, potatoes tossed in oil and coriander seeds and roasted then finished off on the hob with tomatoes and chickpeas and sprinkled with fresh coriander. It was delicious cold the next day.
Sunday found us enjoying a beautiful leg of lamb, roasted a la Heston
with garlic, anchovies and rosemary. No picture of this one I'm afraid - too busy enjoying the pinkly succulent meat. There was also this malt chocolate cheesecake. Only click that link if you're feeling strong - at 20 odd pro points per serving it is not for the Weight Watcher or the faint hearted.
Sadly back to reality now. I'm off to Liverpool for a few days and have so far managed to ignore the scales glowering at me in the corner of the bathroom. But I think I can bear any gain in return for such good food and even better company.
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