In lieu of summer weather (raining again today, can't believe there's play at Wimbledon) we decided to eat the season instead and enjoy the flavour of summer with some good friends. We got know each other through our teeny children and many, many hours at playgroups, swimming pools and play centres and, although we moved over the hills a few years ago, we still get together every now and again to share home cooked food and lots of laughter.
On a chilly spring night we last met up over in the spa town for dinner at J & A's. It was a fabulous Thai evening and we ate sweetcorn fritters, fragrant green curry and coconut ice cream with luscious mango. A's lemon grass martinis were out of this world. So what to cook for our turn?
We love to cook and eat seasonally and enjoy what's best from our local farms and producers when we can so that was where I started from. Our produce is a little thin on the ground so far (apart from early peas, tons of mint from my mum and last autumn's raspberries from the allotment I had in the freezer) so I turned to our smashing butcher, the greengrocer and his vibrant stall for ideas, as well as a little inspiration from Mr Slater.
Menu for a Summer's Evening
:: Baked field mushrooms with broad beans, early peas, goat's cheese, mint and lemon thyme ::
:: Roast shoulder of spring lamb with garlic, cumin and garden mint ::
:: Sweet potato gratin ::
:: New season broccoli ::
:: Lemon ricotta cheesecake with confit of lemons ::
:: Raspberry & elderflower Bellinis ::
It all went really nicely, my portion control wasn't fantastic and I ought to have made two gratins and cooked more broccoli but I think we were all pretty well fed overall and we laughed ourselves daft as usual. It would have been lovely to sip our cocktails in the garden and watch the midsummer moon rise over the meadows but never mind.
My culinary confidence is definitely growing so we've promised to have everyone back for a harvest supper in September. Yum.