I have been putting my new recipe book to good use and last night we decided to cook a little three course meal, and eat it at the table (!) not on the sofa as we so often do when we are tired.
My favourite part of any "fancy" meal is setting the table. Probably because I know that I can have total control over it, unlike the food. Tulips, bay, wall flowers and grape hyacinths from the garden filled two Kilner jars. Candles in some gorgeous tea light holders I bought on sale in The White Company. My Grandma's silver cutlery made a guest appearance - we don't use it everyday as it can't go in the dishwasher, which just makes me love it more. The Denby Ode plates are part if a huge dinner service that my Mother in Law, Jean, gave us a few years ago. They were given to her as a wedding present in the late 1960's.
Our starter was Puy lentil salad with goats cheese, beetroot and dill vinaigrette. It is an assembly job with little actual cooking involved, but all the flavours balance each other beautifully. Light but full of flavour, a perfect starter. I will be making this when we next have friends over as nothing can go wrong in this dish.
Next, lemon and lavender chicken with potato dauphinois and a green salad. The chicken is jointed, marinaded in honey, lavender and lemon, then roasted. So good, sweet and sticky with tender juicy meat. And the potatoes...I could eat these every day. Potatoes sliced and baked in cream, so delicious, and a good opportunity to use my new enamel baking dish.
Then creme brulee - John's favourite. We even purchased a special kitchen blowtorch for the occasion (so much fun!!!). The flavour was perfect but they were a little runnier than they should have been - I don't think we chilled the custards for long enough before eating them. Greedy, impatient people! But the crack of the spoon on top of the caramelised sugar made it worth it.
I'm off to learn to crochet today - hurrah! And I probably shouldn't eat much, either, as I may have gained a little (ahem) weight this week. Have a lovely Saturday everyone!