Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

I don’t know about where you are, but it has definitely been rather warm where I am! Although I enjoy light summer evenings, blue sky and warm breezes, I don’t like feeling hot and bothered, which I invariably do when summer arrives.

So, in the manner of the lovely Alison at Brocante Home, I have been thinking of my own versions of puttery treats- little things I can do to keep my cool and enjoy summer.

At this time of year, keeping a bottle of water to hand is mandatory for me, so I can sip away wherever I may be. I have always thought it would be rather nice to be a mineral water connoisseur, but so far I have been more than happy to stick to tap water. Although I will be avoiding sparkling water as it always makes me feel queasy, I shall be tipping everything from San Pellegrino to Evian!

The biggest hit at my cocktail party was undoubtedly the Apple and Raspberry Sunrises. Simply blitz a handful of frozen raspberries together with a good glug of apple juice, then thin with sparkling water. (I know I just said it makes me queasy…but only when I drink it neat!) It struck me that I would make this if I have friends round, but not for myself. But how silly! So tonight when I get home from work, I shall be making myself a glass.

Now that I have my really marvellous Vitamix machine, I want to branch out a bit and try other juices and such things. It crushes ice really quickly, so I feel a morning glass of iced fruit juice will be how I start my day.

Surely one of the worst things to do when you are feeling hot and bothered is to hurry about, or feel that you have a long bothersome list of things to do…so I shall be paring back and trying to keep it as simple as possible. Leaving 10 minutes early wherever I am going, so that I have 5 extra minutes to wander gently, and 5 minutes to repair any heat-frizzed hair and pink cheeks when I arrive!

I love to have little rituals throughout the day, and coming home is one of my favourite times of day. I like being able to gently switch off from being 'at work' or even just 'out in the world' to being 'at home' in my own little world. Shoes off, first of all. Then windows open, phone checked, drink prepared, and then as I sit and sip perhaps an iced coffee, or maybe even a cup of tea (yes, even when it is hot, sometimes nothing else will do!) I spray my feet with a foot spray. Now that doesn't sound so exciting I know, but I keep it in my fridge, so it is extra cold. Then I sit under my ceiling fan, sipping my drink and waving my feet in the breeze. Bliss!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Cupcakes and Cocktails

This afternoon, as I type this, I have a cloud of pillows at my back, a cup of tea in my favourite flowery mug to my side, and a husband in the bath. Now that sounds all very ordinary, but I find it rather wonderful, as dear Carl has been off on a stag weekend, and has just come back.

Well, I say weekend, but he left Thursday, so more of a jaunt than a weekend. I know there are people out there who are married to partners who work nights or shifts, or travel away from home, but since we moved in together 5 years ago, and got married nearly 2 years ago, we haven't spent more than 2 nights apart, and I must confess that I was rather dreading it.

Now I don't want you to think that I am one of those ladies who cannot function without her husband, and I was rather looking forward to watching films that I knew he would not enjoy, eating dinners that he doesn't like to eat and wearing face masks, but I did decide that 4 days of being alone would make me lonely.

So, what to do, what to do? Only one thing for it! Invite the library crowd round for a Saturday night Cupcake and Cocktail soiree!

I spent Saturday baking, and made 100 cupcakes! There were tiny chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache icing, cherry and coconut cupcakes, mocha cupcakes, lemon butterfly cakes and spelt, pear and raspberry cupcakes.

After that, I got down to mixing cocktails. Now my pet hate is when you go to visit someone, and all they have for the non-drinkers is water or orange juice. Pah! We can do better than that! So for those who were driving or abstaining for a variety of reasons, I made:

Apple and Elderflower Sparkles~ apple and elderflower cordial topped up with appletiser, over ice cubes and slices of lemon

Apple and Raspberry Sunrises~ frozen raspberries blitzed with apple juice and topped up with sparkling water

Iced Coffee~ cold black coffee blended with coffee ice cream

Then for those who were drinking, I made:

Kir Royales~ cassis topped up with sparkling wine

Mojitos~ white rum, lime juice, mint, sugar syrup and soda water over LOTS of ice

Green Tea Martinis~ lemon green tea, vodka and cointreau with ice

I have served the latter a few times now, and I am beginning to think that it may be my signature cocktail....and perhaps I should start calling them Greenteanis instead of Green Tea Martinis!

I had a small disaster with the Kir Royales....I had just set everything out in the garden, carried the coffee table out all on my own, put all the cupcakes on vintage plates, when....a huge rumble of thunder, lighting tore the sky open, and rain came tumbling down! Luckily a few guests had arrived by this time, and they helped bundle everything through the windows and back into our flat. As I was carrying a tray of Kir Royales through, everyone else arrived at once, and the entire tray went over! I was really stressed and wanted to go and hide my head in my apron, but I realised that being the hostess, the show must go on!

I think (and hope!) my guests had a good time. Apart from the Kir Disaster, the evening went well, all the drink got drunk, most of the cupcakes got eaten, and when I went to bed, I still missed Carl, but was tired enough not to mind too much.

Oh, and as I was washing up, I found a paper package that one of my dear friends had given me as she arrived, but I had forgotten about. Inside, a pair of minature champagne flutes filled with those jelly candles. I am just the luckiest girl to have such lovely friends.

The sky is starting to look dark again, and there are some ominous rumbles sounding from the window. I do hope this does not mean another storm. I always feel a little dizzy and breathless when it storms, a bit like a fainting heroine from a historical romance novel! Talking of novels, and books, I have just started reading the most wonderful cookbook. I spied The Vicar's Wife's Cookbook in Borders when I went to London for my birthday, and it looked nice...but it was a bit too expensive to buy just because it looked nice, so I ordered it from work. It arrived on Friday, and it is utterly gorgeous. She writes with a whisper of Nigella about her in that she introduces each chapter and recipe with an anecdote about it, and it is like her side of a conversation, but her voice is very different. The best thing is that I now have lots of ideas of things to cook for when we have friends for dinner!

Alas, the thunder is rumbling in earnest now, so I am going to take refuge in the bathroom (it has no windows so I can't possibly get struck, can't see the lightning, and the thunder is muffled. Oh, and I can have a long gloriously scented bubblebath too!)

Wherever you are, have a scrumptious sunday!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Storm

A week ago Monday, we had the most terrific storm here. Not terrific as in amazing, but as in huge and loud and terrifying. I have been suffering with another ear infection (nearly £30 spent on antibiotics and ear drops in the last week and a bit!) and went home from work early. I had a headache and felt decidedly muzzy. Then, as I got off the bus, the sky that had been steadily darkening for the last half hour split apart and large, heavy drops of rain started to pelt down.

Happily I got home before the deluge really began, but suddenly there was a huge flash of lightning, and then the longest rumble of thunder I have ever heard. Now I just hate storms...they give me a particular kind of headache that makes me feel like I am on the edge of fainting clean away, and the thunder makes me jump. To make matters worse, poor Carl phoned from the train to say that a train line and signal had been hit by lightning, and while he was safe, he was going to be stuck on the train for a good while yet.

So, alone in the house, the storm raged on. I didn't want to have the television on, as when I was a little girl, my Dad always unplugged it at the first flash of lightning, in case the ariel got hit...and the advice has stayed with me! I retreated into the bathroom, the best place to hide because it has no windows! I had a long hot bath which made me feel a little better, but when I emerged, the storm was still roaring.

What else to do, but bake? Nothing too taxing because I really didn't feel like it, but something comforting and familiar, easy yet rewarding...scones! I can bake scones almost in my sleep, and just 30 minutes after I tied my apron on, I was curled up under a blanket sipping tea and nibbling on a scone. Bliss!

How do you hide from storms? Or are you braver than me, and one of those people who can see the beauty in them? I think that they awaken some kind of primitive fear inside me...I can imagine how a cave-lady must have felt! For all that we live in houses now, we are no less protected from the lightning!

The train line runs past the end of our garden, and after a while, I heard the trains begin to shunt past again, so I knew that it would not be too long before my lovely husband came home. Perhaps there is something good about storms after all- the feeling of when the storm has passed!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Strawberry Picking

One of the greatest pleasures in life is surely the planning and anticipation of pleasures to come. So it was that this morning found me sitting in bed, propped up on a cloud of feathery pillows, sipping a very good cup of tea, and discussing with my dear husband what we might do with or day. I had two ideas in mind- either driving out to Mersea Island, where we first met, to take lunch at the Company Shed which is famous for their seafood; or to go to our local farm shop, and pick our own strawberries.

It did not take much time to decide upon picking our own. Carl and I think so alike. We decided that we would count to three, and on three each say either 'Mersea' or 'Strawberries' so we could both honestly say which we would prefer and not say what we thought the other would like to do best. After several rounds of promising not to hesitate and try and wait a moment to hear the other one, we said '1, 2, 3...' and I said 'sandcastles' as Carl said 'tea'! We had both thought of the same way to cheat!

Strawberry picking is very civilized at our local farm shop. There are plants outside and also plants in polytunnels, but what they both have in common is that they are all grown on trestle tables, so there is no bending over or rummaging about. The scent in the polytunnels and the warmth was heavenly. There is nothing to compare to the first freshly picked strawberry of the summer, the warm flesh pressing against your lips, then exploding into sweetness. Scrumptious!

Alas though, the strawberries were not as bountiful as we hoped. We were not as early as we might have been, and the best had been picked. There are lots and lots that will be ripe in a week or so...and tehre were some very vexing strawberries indeed- they were just the shade of scarlet that shows them to be perfectly ripe, until you went to pick them, and realised that the other side was entirely green!

Still, between us we managed to gather a basket full, and our menu for the next few days will be featuring strawberries and cream, strawberry smoothies, and I have plans for a strawberry facemask too!

I hope that your own weekend is strawberry scented and filled with pleasure too.

This Is A Country Woman!

Oh the utter joy of Wednesday afternoon! Even though the sky looked bruised and heavy with rain, I had my flowery raincoat and my pink umbrella, so really, to me, there wasn't a cloud in the sky! The lovely friend who I was meeting for lunch was delayed a little, so I popped into the Oxfam bookshop, where I found the most fabulous book- a heavy old tome called '10,000 Things'. What a wonderful, eclectic, random jumble of things! There are little plays, quotes from Shakespeare to do with the weather, 50 Arabic Words We Use Today, and other such lovely thing. I really couldn't resist it!

After a delicious lunch at the noodle bar, there was just enough time to drop into work to borrow a kitchen knife (I had bought a battenburg cake in Marks and Spencer - wonderful vintage packaging at the moment- and needed to slice it up before taking it to the theater to share!) before scurrying up to our theater which also has a cinema screen. We always knew that 'Housewives Choice' was bound to be popular, but although we arrived on time, a formidable woman barked at us 'no tea, we've run out, you're too late!' and ushered us in while muttering about how there were more people than they were told! Really!

We found seats, my lunch friend and another friend from work and I, and we were immediately plunged into utter darkness, which makes sharing out battenburg very tricky indeed! A light came on and a man made a little speech about the film, just as though we were in war time days, and it ended with an air raid siren! Then the wonderful films began. They were so good, I wish, wish, wish that we could live then, just for a little while, and also that they sell this show on dvd! If you get a chance to see it, do!

The first film was a rather matronly woman, standing at a kitchen table. The narrator, in clipped tones announced 'This Is A Country Woman!' which made us giggle right away. She went on to narrate The Country Woman making rabbit pie- including what sounded like 'rubbing fet into flar'. We learned that the best way to get ink out of an apron is to rub a tomato on it, and the best way to smarten up your husband's ties is to wrap them round jam jars of hot water! There was one short film of a couple taking afternoon tea by their fire, and it made me long to have that room for my very own. I ended up compiling a little list of domestic details that I want to introduce into our little home- and eiderdown on the bed, a particular kind of flowery wall paper, and a proper tea with scones and a tea cozy at least once a week!

After the film, we did a little shopping, enjoyed a hot chocolate, and then went home. I am sure that each of us were thinking about The Country Woman rubbing her fet into her flar, and turning over all the wonderful domestic details we had seen, like rummaging through a button box of treasures.

Such bliss! Oh, and if you click on the title to this post, it will take you to the BFI page with more details about the Housewives Choice!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

An Evening Study In Gray

Sometimes, grey can sound a little blah, a little negative, a little...well, grey. I love grey though. I like that you can spell it grey or gray, and although I know they are viscious and responsible for bullying the red squirrel, I love grey squirrels tight-rope walking along my fence. I am sitting here in a soft grey top that I got from Marks and Spencer today- reduced to £3! It is lightly ribbed and quite casual, which is very different to my usual clothes. On my head is the new fascinator that I bought this afternoon. It completely stole my heart, and I am busy thinking up places I could wear it too. It is just like this one, but in soft grey rather than shocking pink....actually having said it is the same, instead of those pink tentacles, it has a grey rose sewn on it!

I collected a new Persephone novel from the libray today, another by my beloved Dorothy Whipple. This time it is The Closed Door and Other Stories. I love the soft grey covers of Persephone novels. I am knitting a cabled hot water bottle cover, just like Jane Brocket did in The Gentle Art of Domesticity, in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarn. I love how the soft grey of the colour is reflected in the softness of the yarn between my fingers.

So all in all, this evening is indeed a study in grey, but the most cheerful one you can imagine!

Wonderful Week

…hello, hello and hello! Do pour yourself to a cup of tea in your prettiest cup, and sit with me while I tell you all about my wonderful week off!

As you know, Monday saw me having lunch and a thoroughly delightful day with my dear friend Anna, and you know, such a delicious day really set the standard for the whole week.

Tuesday was a hot, hot day, and I went into town early so I could get all my little errands done before it got too hot. I started the day at Café Rouge, where I breakfasted on a Croque Madame and a latte (how I wished for an iced coffee, but alas, they do not do them) to the gentle sounds of French Café Music. As I read the paper, I noticed a coupon for £1 off Grazia magazine. A nice trashy magazine for cheap? Of course I had to buy it! Imagine how pleased I was when I found in Grazia a coupon for a jar of Salt Body Scrub by The Sanctuary from Boots, free! And happily, I had found out early enough to be able to go and get one. Other purchases for the day included a new purse (apple green! I spotted it right away amongst a sea of serviceable black purses. I felt very much like Mrs Miniver when she bought her diary) and also a new dress (a simple blue patterned summer dress from Peacocks) and some soft-dried pears that are oh-so-squishy like a fudgy toffee. After all that shopping, I was very hot, so I had an iced vanilla latte before catching the bus home again.

Wednesday was a day that dear Carl had been looking forward to very much indeed- a day at Thorpe Park, courtesy of the Tesco vouchers that I have been hoarding. I was pleased because it was a free day out (which should have cost us £70 in entrance tickets!) and he was pleased because he got to go on all manner of fast and scary rides. It will probably come as no surprise to you to know that I am not such a fan of big fast rides, so there were quite a few that he went on while I had a cup of tea! One ride that I did like very much was one aimed at older children- a log flume that was set in Pioneering American times, and it really made me feel like I was in the middle of little House in the Prairie!

Thursday was one of those delightful days of drifting happily together. We wandered into town and enjoyed a coffee together. On the way home, I tried to buy some fabric for an apron, some wool for a hot water bottle cover,and some sugar paste to make icing flowers. Alas, despite being in the county town, I was thwarted at every turn, and went home empty handed. However, there was time to drop into a charity shop, where I found a wonderful 'make and do' book from the 60s. There is a fabulous idea for a 'get well train' that I want to try my hand at!

Friday was utterly fabulous. Despite the rain, Mum and I had a great day together. There is a marvellous craft shop a few villages away which is a veritable Aladdin's Cave, and there I found very easily the perfect fabric and trimmings for my apron, the exact wool that I wanted, and a whole host of other little bits besides! We had lunch together at a plant nursery, which is one of my favourite places to eat. There is a conservatory you can sit in, and look out over the fields. It is picturesque even when, perhaps even especially when, it is raining, and there is a tiny house nestled behind some trees which you see as a flash of white that I like to imagine living in one day.

Once home, we made the first of many cups of tea, and I set out to make my first apron. When I post pictures, I will also look out the title of the book, because the pattern came from a wonderful book full of apron patterns, that I found in the library. The apron I chose to make has polka dot fabric, a little heart pocket and a frill all around the bottom, which according to the book will call to mind the passion of Andalucian Gypsies dancing the polka!! I found some parts tricky, such as gathering the long ruffle by hand, and making the heart shaped pocket. Once or twice I felt like giving up in vexation, but with Mum on hand to help me, I kept going, and I am so proud of my apron I have even taken it to work to show the girls! While I was making a celebratory cup of tea downstairs, Mum whipped up a little lavender bag out of some left over fabric, which just fits in the pocket! I really felt so snuggly and at peace, sitting in my old bedroom which is now the craft room, making something with my Mum while rain spattered at the window pane.

On Saturday, I could hardly believe that I had only 2 days left of my wonderful week. I had invited a friend for dinner with the intention that he should stay the night, so I spent the afternoon getting ready for dinner. I took the opportunity to do some real cooking, and when evening came we had quite a feast laid out! We started with strawberry bellinis and some little bruschetta, topped with brie and caremelized onions, tomato mozzarella and pesto, or home made guacamole. For our starter I made lemon and rosemary risotto, then we had spaghetti bolognese. We finished with a cake that is so simple but looks stunning. I have to find a good name for it! You make a victoria sponge mixture, but bake it in a pudding basin, and when it is cold, pour over a cup of hot sweetened coffee laced with brandy. Then when that is cool, you turn it out, and cover it with slightly sweetened whipped cream! Definitely calorific, but so lovely, especially when served on a glass cake stand and eaten with vintage cake forks, you really dont mind! Before you think we were terrible gluttons, I did serve teeny tiny portions of each course!

After a much later night than I have had for a long time, I made smoked salmon scrambled eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. We waved goodbye to Adrian at lunch time, and then set about our few little chores. Washing was done, the place was straightened up and aired out, and then we spent our last hours of the weekend knitting and reading (me) and reading and computering (my lovely husband). Oh yes, although I had not mentioned it in my daily summaries, somehow I read 8 Hamish Macbeth novels this week!

Well that is my wonderful week, over and done. I am definitely not going to leave it so long again!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Titbits To Share

As I type this, the air about me is filled with the scent of sweet peas...a lovely friend kindly picked me a bunch from her garden yesterday. Looking at them, I was struck that the colours that I like to wear best are all reflected in that fragrant bunch- red, pink, purple, and shades in between. I often like to put red lipstick with a pink jumper, which you would think would clash, but perhaps it works because it is a combination found in nature? I wish I could share this gorgeous bunch of beauty with you!

I do have other things to share though....the book of the week on Radio 4 in the morning this week is Jane's Fame, and is all about Jane Austen, and is very enjoyable indeed. Best of all, you can listen to it later on the bbc website, and catch up if you have missed an episode!

Tomorrow night sees the return of River Cottgage on Channel 4, for which I can hardly wait. It will be especially good seeing it having been there! Tonight I enjoyed my guilty pleasure- Ladette to Lady! Oh, how I want to be sent to lady school, and do flower arranging and elocution lessons and have cocktail parties! I even find myself thinking that their uniform would be good for work...!

My best titbit to share today is this- if you buy Grazia magazine for £1.95 (not one that I usually read, but I had a voucher!) there is a coupon inside it, that if you take to Boots, you can get a big jar of salt body scrub by The Sanctuary, absolutely free! It would normally cost over £8, and smells divine, so hurry out and get yours now!

One last thing before I go to bed with my cup of tea and latest Hamish Macbeth novel....if you happen to have a spare morning and a Cafe Rouge near you, do go and have a croque madame for breakfast accompanied by buckets of cafe au lait and the morning papers...a simply blissful way to start the day!

Monday, 1 June 2009

My Wonderful Week Off, Part The First

Before I start, I love my job, I really do. I love the bustle of working in the county library, and I love the responsibility of running my own little branch library. I love the staff, the customers, the books....but it has been a long time since I had a proper break. I don't think I have had a whole week off since Christmas...and as it is now June (how I love starting a new month on a Monday!) I am really ready for a break.

And how scrumptiously it has started! Now summer is not my favourite season- I burn easily, wilt in the heat, and find myself longing for the crisper days of autumn. But the sudden glorious sunshine and excellent clothes-drying weather we have been enjoying has been a balm to my spirits. I find I have a spring in my step, and an overwhelming urge to wash everything I can get my hands on, and put it out on the line to blow dry.

This Saturday (to labour a point, my first Saturday off in three weeks!) I was not initially thrilled to hear that we were going to spend it with dear Carl servicing our car with his Dad...but it turned out to be a wonderful day. My lovely in-laws live in the middle of the countryside in a tiny village, surrounded by green fields and other little villages...you could be in the middle of Midsommer Murder country! We took our washing with us, and I pegged everything out to dry in the warm breeze as Carl and his Dad saw to our car. I sat and sipped tea and chatted with my Mother in Law, and then we shared a lovely lunch in the conservatory (she does a lovely thing where she puts out salads and dressings and french bread, crackers and cheese, pate and ham, and other such goodies from the fridge, then lets everyone help themselves). The afternoon disappeared as we caught up on family news, planned gifts to take to an up-coming family wedding, talked about outfits and so on.

When the men came in, rather tired and hungry, a plan was formed- to the pub for a quick drink, then off to get a Chinese takeaway, then home for a film. The local pub is in the next village, and is called The Swan. It is a lovely little pub, all oak beams and cask ale, and the very essence of what a country pub should be. I sipped half a perry, as I am not much one for drink, and we spent a happy hour listening to some music they had playing, and trying to remember who it was. (No, not Michael Buble...the one that is like him but not....has brown hair...YOU know, the one that isnt Buble....oh you do know, you DO....) As we drove to the next little village (dear Carl never drinks and drives...his tipple was a grapefruit juice!) it suddenly came to me, and I shouted 'Jamie Cullum' which somewhat startled everyone else in the car!

After our Chinese dinner, we watched Red Eye together (I should have spent more time enjoying the tense atmosphere of the film, but I was actually wondering where the lead actress got her gorgeous cardigan from, and which brand of eyeshadow she was wearing, and which shade of lipstick!) and then Carl and I left for home....tired but happy.

Yesterday seemed to just fly past. We went into town together, and had a picnic lunch in the park. I am amazed still at how summer seems to be winning me over. I love how the dappled shade of the trees shifts and shimmies in the breeze. We purchased a wedding gift and the newspapers, then returned home where time just seemed to slip away, and suddenly, it was time for bed....

Today has been blissful. My lovely friend Anna came for the morning, and we chatted nineteen to the dozen, exclaiming over the loveliness of Miss Pettigrew Lives For The Day which we had on in the background, ate lunch, and I unwrapped some utterly delightful birthday gifts. Amongst them was a red and white polka dot oven glove- I hadnt mentioned it (but Anna and I share such close taste, we always seem to be in synch!) but I have a real thing for polka dots recently, particularly red and white ones! I have been coveting a toadstool money box that I spied in town a while ago, and have an urge to make fairy toadstool salds, like my Mum made for me when I was a little girl.

Fairy Toadstool Salad

Tie on a polka dot pinny, and flick on some toe-tapping music

Pick out a pretty vintage plate for each person

Boil one egg for each person

Hopefully you will be having 2,4,6 or any other multiple of 2 guests for lunch, as you will need to cut a tomato in half, and use one half for each guest.

Shred some lettuce finely, and strew over the plate to be the grass (you can dress it before you strew it should you care to)

Peel the hardboiled egg, and slice a tiny bit off of the fatter end, so that it will stand up on the plate.

Make a little clearing in the salad 'grass' and place the egg there.

Squeeze some tiny dots of salad cream, mayonnaise, or primula cheese over the tomato half

Sit the spotty tomato half on top of the egg to make the toadstool

If you like, you can make a little clearing from the toadstool to the edge of the plate, and fill it with grated cheese to make a path

Depending on how much time and inclination you have to play further, you could make cucumber flowers or radish roses or carrot curls to sit in the grass.


I have to confess that I did not serve up Fairy Toadstool Salads for lunch today, instead I whipped up a little lunch dish of my own invention, and was rather pleased with how it turned out:

Summer Salmon Lunch Dish To Share With A Good Friend

Tie on a pretty apron, and play some Harry Connick Jr

Put a handful of Jersey Royals on to boil, until they are just tender. I like to rummage through the bag and pick out the tiniest ones.

Meanwhile, lightly poach a little salmon fillet in a pan of simmering water

Finely chop one spring onion, and mix with the cooled potatoes and flaked salmon

In a blender, mixer, or food processor (or you could use a bowl and fork) mix together a big dollop of cottage cheese, and a smaller dollop of mayonnaise, and several sprigs of parsely. You want enough to coat the potatoes and salmon, but not so much that it is swimming in it, so use your own judgement here.

When it is mixed together, fold into the potato-salmon-spring onion mixture, and put in the fridge to chill

I served this with a serve-yourself salad of watercress, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and celery.

Enjoy with a friend, serve with several cups of tea, and lots of gossip!

I hope that the first of June brings you sunshine and happiness and the start of many happy summer adventures!