(In which the writer finds Alice Oswald, makes peace with Graham Norton, draws together her family and celebrates the end of the kitchen project)
Summer Tea Party
Saturday dawned, breezy and bright and we hoped against hope the rain would hold off.
Well it’s England and its summer and it didn’t but somehow, it didn’t seem to matter either.
Sunshine and squally showers with a high wind held us all together. As the winds picked up, we pulled together, a family, my family, all five of us, to create something special together, another memory.
And it was this.
A chance to celebrate the end of a project.
Like the building of a house and the party afterwards, like the gathering in of the harvest and the party afterwards under a glorious harvest moon.
Only this was for us. An open house for our friends and family to share and celebrate what we have made together: our kitchen, the heart of our home.
A fruity end
We prepared all Friday evening, cooked and baked and cleaned and woke early Saturday morning to more of the same. In our heads we chanted the timetable, all cooking to be completed by 12 noon. All cleaning to finish by 1pm and then an hour to prepare ourselves for the tea.
Our last contribution was the drinks. We had thought long and hard about what to make and whether to include alcohol or not. We chose instead to embrace the idea of high tea but in the Best of British tradition made two fruit punches to compliment the spread; elder flower and lemon fizz and pink grapefruit, lemon and raspberry punch.
Pink Grapefruit, Lemon and Raspberry Punch (with Prosecco)
1 lemon sliced horizontal in rounds
1 orange sliced horizontal in rounds
Fresh mint sprigs
1 ltr of pink grapefruit juice (chilled)
800 ml cold bitter lemon
4 tbspns of grenadine
200 ml of Prosecco ( or 75 ml of vodka)
Garnish with extra raspberries and mint
Put a handful of ice cubes in a large jug.
Add the sliced lemon and orange (slice horizontal)
Add a small handful of mint sprigs
Pour in the pink grapefruit juice and chilled bitter lemon
Stir in the grenadine and chilled Prosecco ( or vodka)
Labels help to make good choices!
Elder Flower and Lemon Fizz
25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
50 ml elderflower cordial (there are some delicious organic varieties about we used this one)
330 ml soda water
Thin slices of cucumber
Mix all the ingredients together. Its a sharp taste but the cucumber tames and opens the taste out to make a light, refreshing drink.
Upscale the ingredients to make the quantity you wish.
We had a smashing day!
and later when the sun came out
Later after the party, I read the Telegraph for a while and found this reply from Graham Norton to an reader query so very moving.
I am sharing it because it feels to be true and a very long time ago, I wish some one had told this to me.
This weekend, I also found poetry from Alice Oswald for the first time and was deeply moved and inspired. I have never read her work but the extracts I found blew me away.
Charlotte Runcie writing in the Telegraph states ” there is a case to be made that she is our greatest living poet”
I need to rest a while and explore this.
Take a look at her new collection: Falling Awake and tell me what you think?
Two final thoughts on the weekend to share:
and song I woke up singing in the morning.
Catch up on Friday and until then, have a great week…