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!