Yesterday was the Boyfriend’s birthday so I decided to throw a small surprise birthday dinner. The plotting and planning for this has been going on for a couple of weeks but, after pondering various options, I only decided on what we were going to eat fairly late in the day. Eventually I decided on one of the Boyfriend’s favourites – the good old Kiwi meat pie.
One of the nicest meals out that I ever had with my family occurred in a small, unpromising, cellar-type Italian restaurant on the Douglas promenade in the Isle of Man about five years ago.
When I was a kid, Bread and Butter Pudding was the desert that we all loved. I wasn’t too impressed with other traditional milk puddings like Farola or semolina and often would walk away from the dinner table with my pockets full of secreted spoonfuls rather than actually eat a bowl of the insipid stuff.
Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt and that has surely been the case with one of my trademark dishes – Lemon and Garlic Chicken. This is a dish that I have been cooking for years. It gets trotted out at regular intervals if friends are coming round for dinner and for many years it, and a variation on Apple Crumble, were my fail-safe dishes for those occasions.
One of the birthday presents that came from a very thoughtful friend in Ireland was a very welcome book of Irish Cooking by Clare Connery. While this was a book that I might not have ever noticed in bookshops in Ireland, having several Irish cookery books already, here in New Zealand it is a pure treasure.