My birthday celebrations began a day early this year so I managed to have 2 days of celebrating.
The weather has been very kind to me and the garden is looking lovely and continuing to be very productive. I picked lots of runner beans on Sunday morning, first thing. I love the colour combination of the bright green and the pink. Some of the beans have grown too stringy to eat so I cultivated the pink beans and will hopefully use these next year to grown new plants. They are so pretty. The green parts of the beans were sliced thinly, blanched and frozen. It took ages to prepare this lot but it will be worth it as I now have several bags in the freezer. I also picked lots of apples and used them to make an apple and plum crumble which I took to my cousins for lunch.
The nectarines, figs and apricots will briefly grace my fruit bowl until they are enjoyed for breakfast this week.
Sunday morning’s breakfast was a delicious concoction made by blending a fresh apricot and half a fresh nectarine with 2 frozen bananas, placed on top of fresh figs and nectarine and garnished with more fig and nectarine plus pistachios. It really was heavenly.
Having enjoyed breakfast and made a crumble I set off for my cousin Bruce’s for lunch with his family and my Aunty Marion.
Fiona used a Rick Stein recipe to make a very tender and flavoursome chicken and tomato dish which was served with Orzo, potato, green beans, peas and courgette. It was really good.Followed by crumble which was yummy and after a short walk and several cups of tea we had a birthday cake. My lovely Aunty had made me a cake which I was really touched by. It was lovely, as you would expect from Aunty Marion. It was a sponge filled with cream and raspberries and then iced.
It was really lovely and worth every calorie.
That should have been plenty of food for the day but I spent the evening at Sarah’s with Marion eating even more and drinking lots of bubbly drinks. No camera to record the debauchery but it was a lovely evening – thank you to Sarah and Chris and Marion and Colin.
Today was actually my birthday. I decided to go for chocolate for my birthday breakfast. I added a heaped tablespoon of hazelnut butter, cacao nibs and cacao powder to the blender with 2 frozen bananas and 3 apricots. Garnished with raspberries fresh from the garden.My oh my, they were good! So sweet and succulent.
I had a lovely morning pottering about in the garden in the sunshine. I have not previously been a dahlia fan but having seen the very dark reds and peach coloured ones I have been converted. These three plus two other types came from Sarah Raven and I am delighted with them. This one has not flowered as prolifically as some but it is so pretty the smaller number of them are worthy of their space in the garden. This one has been flowering for months. As has this one and this one has so many flowers it is a complete joy. My cousin gave me a huge bunch of flowers which I really enjoyed receiving. I decided to add a couple of my own flowers to the bunch.
These roses are lovely and these 3 blooms were in perfect condition today so I picked them to enjoy inside.I rarely cut my own flowers as I prefer to see them in the garden where they flower for longer but this trio have definitely been appreciated all day in my kitchen.
I had a delightful lunch at the Kitty Fisher in Benenden with Tanya.
This is the Kitty Room but as it was such a sunny and warm day we sat in the garden.I had slow roast belly of pork. The pork was delicious and I really enjoyed it. The potato had a strange taste but the other vegetables were good. It was quite a modest portion which was fine for me as I was also having dinner but if this was your one main meal of the day, I may have wanted a larger portion.
I thought I may be having a birthday cake later so I declined dessert but had some cheese and biscuits instead which were good. It was a very enjoyable lunch and I would return to the Kitty Fisher.
Lara made us all a lovely Pad Thai for supper featuring 2 types of spring onion from the veggie patch.
Plus coriander from the kitchen window sill.
Pad Thai is noodles, typically made with egg and shrimps but we had it with chicken instead. I marinated finely chopped chicken in a sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, Thai fish sauce, agave nectar, brown rice vinegar, chillies and lime juice. The noodles are cooked in water as per packet instructions. The chicken is stir fried with veggies (we used carrot, spring onions and bean sprouts) and the marinade and then the cooked noodles and it is served with crushed peanuts, sweet chilli sauce and coriander.
All enjoyed very much at the birthday table which Lara had kindly prepared for me. The Pad Thai was delicious. The birthday cake was a complete triumph! Coconut sponge covered in a lime and coconut cream cheese icing. It was genuinely one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. Thank you Lara for such a wonderful birthday.
I rounded the evening off by going to the local cinema with Lara and Lucy to see ‘Lucy’ by Luc Besson which we all really enjoyed.
Thank you to everyone who helped make my birthday so lovely and made me feel so special. Back to the diet tomorrow for sure!