Monday, 29 June 2009

Burgers, beer and sunshine

Marvellous mum and dad and Brainy bro came down for a visit this weekend and we had a lovely two days.

Darling boy was poorly on Thursday night and during the day on Friday the nursery called twice to ask if they could administer calpol (the magic medicine for children that cures all ills) He was running a temperature and non-specific grumpy. However, this was all forgotten as soon as he glimpsed Grandpa and Bubba (Uncle Brainy bro was travelling own from Manchester and would arrive way past Darling Boy’s bedtime) Darling boy LOVES his Grandpa and Bubba and finds them extremely funny, Uncle Brainy bro is pretty funny too.

We had a great day on Saturday, we went to the shoe shop (more on that later) and the food market to buy eggs and wave hello to the chickens that accompany the stall holder each week. After the weekly chicken chat, we retired to the Four and Twenty to show marvellous mum and dad the delights of this batty establishment. We each had coffee, chat and cake. Darling boy had a nibble on a piece of scone and buttered teacake, but really was too tired to eat (ahhh, poppet) Brainy bro had plumped for the coffee cake and I went for an orgy of sugar, manifested in a merguingey roulade, filled with toffee and pecans. MY WORD, I practically vibrated out of the shop, the sugar rush from this outrageous cake was really something. As ever, the portions in the Four and Twenty were generous and even after sharing out spoonfuls of the roulade, it was just too yummy that I managed to gobble it all.

Back at home, Darling boy slept off the excitement of the morning, Handsome Husband and Brainy Bro disappeared off to the pub to watch the rugby and I relaxed at home with marvellous mum and dad.

Whilst Darling boy was sleeping, we thought we would get busy in the kitchen. We had decided to have burgers for dinner and as four ultimate beef burgers and one spicy lamb burger as a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ were defrosting, we got out the power tools ready to make coconut ice-cream. Marvellous mum famously doesn’t share the sweet tooth that dad and I share, but she is partial to coconut ice-cream. I thought I would pick up a coconut from the shops in honour of their visit and give it a go.

I couldn’t find a recipe I liked the sound of that was baby proof (coconut, vodka and mint anyone?) so I thought I would make it up as we went along.

Dad, a complete whiz with all things DIY, in fact he is a pro, drilled 2 holes in the coconut so we could get the milk out, then bashed it with a hammer to break it open. Marvellous mum and I chipped away at the flesh whilst listening to David Bowie singing about life in Mars. Eventually we had enough flesh to whack in the magi-mix. One chopped up coconut later, I combined it with everything else and popped it in the ice-cream maker. After its icy spin, it was ready for the freezer, but not before the chief ice-cream taster, Darling boy had awoken in time to sample his first coconut ice-cream- he approved and in the freezer it went. Yum!

The milk and chopped up flesh from one coconut
½ pint double cream
4oz caster sugar
Power tools optional










After these labours and the chaps had returned from the rugby, we sat in the dappled sunlight of the terrace under the vines and drank tea and ate vanilla cupcakes and according to age and taste, read last weekend’s papers or ‘That’s not my penguin’. We found out in the Review section, that David Bowie was right after all, there is life on Mars, well, at least this is the evidence of sea water on one of the moons that orbits Mars, which although is accurate, doesn’t scan quite so well.

For dinner, we turned the kitchen into a DIY burger bar, with the burgers a-flippin’ and the buns a-toastin’ I prepared a ‘platter of plenty’ as christened by Brainy Bro, the plate of cheddar, sliced red onions, gherkins and tomatoes for us each to accessorise our burgers. Out of the roasting aga, came a hot tin of crispy potato wedges which we dipped in ketchup and mayo. A green salad was present, but if only to make us feel a bit better. Burgers, beer, family and sunshine, what a happy day.

After the indulgence of the burgers, we followed up with coconut ice-cream and a tour of marvellous mum and dad’s holiday pictures from their recent trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The two combined made me feel quite tropical, well, its certainly the nearest we will get to an exotic hot holiday anytime soon.

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