Did you know it’s Afternoon Tea Week? In celebration of the good old English tradition, we invited friends around. On the menu for the savoury course: mini ham and cheese pastries – a recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef, and watermelon, mint and feta kebabs (a la cheese and pineapple on sticks mode). Sweet treats included plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, strawberries and Dundee cake. Good old English breakfast tea was the drink of choice. What else.
Yesterday’s around the table experience was markedly different from the previous evening’s, at which with other family members, we bade farewell to Bertie’s crew who are moving on from the South West. On that occasion I roasted a couple of plump chickens which we ate with Yorkshire puddings – yes I know that ‘Yorkies’ are supposed to be served with roast beef but in our family they can accompany almost anything. Bertie’s navigator jumped at the chance to round off the meal with one of her favourite puddings – spotted dick with butter and brown sugar. Chocolate fudge cake and ice cream offered an alternative for the majority who are not fans of the fruity suet pudding and clearly don’t share the maternal family genes. Supper was a noisy affair but a good natured one.
Meanwhile, in complete contrast to meals with family and friends and altogether much less civilised, I’ve been catching up with the pickers’ fracas with local youths in BBC Radio 4’s Archers; contemplating the recent ugly white supremacist rally in Virginia and revelations on the very interesting but worrisome Silicon Valley documentary. We’ve also watched the final episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale – not all at the same time, obviously. All in their own way describe somewhere on the dystopia scale and it’s disturbing me just as the Cold War troubled me in the 1970s. Perhaps that’s why I take refuge in the kitchen and my new pantry.