Forget cuckoos, the real sign of spring is that primeval kitchen, the BBQ.
Yes, its true. We've been enjoying some unseasonably good weather in Blighty this last week or so, sunshine, 12 - 14 degrees C, it even doesn't get dark till 18:30, and I'm beginning to feel distinctly spring like. We've even got some tulips out......
On Friday Jean had a day off and mid afternoon rang me to say, "its another lovely day lets make the most of it, how about a BBQ?" Now bearing in mind its dark and cold within half an hour of my getting home, you might think the answer would be ......are you mad?
However...you forget.......I am!
And there's the Championship Internationale du Monde to consider as well.....more of that later.
So Friday 20th March saw our first full on, oudoors evening barbeque of the year and just another new experience for Lulu, who helped out with the rushing around.
Jean made 3 fish kebabs. Confusingly there were 5 of them. Tuna, salmon and I think cod with an interesting lemon and olive rub, plus a few assorted tomatoes, courgettes and mushrooms. She even found some sweetcorn from somewhere and a couple of toasted shallots topped it off. These were to be followed by some lovely goats cheese and washed down with Chablis (appero) and a Pinot Noir from somewhere down south.
So I fired up the Weber (definitely Mans Work) and the Chiminera (ditto) and.....we had the best evening ever...or at least for a while. There's something very special about sitting around a fire in the dark with a few candles going and the stars out above. Plus of course the twinkly lights and the rattle of the waterfall on the pond.
For the cheffy reader(s) I also cut a sprig of sage and one of rosemary and chucked them on the coals then cooked the fish with the lid on. Yummy.
Dining in style is important and being outdoors in the dark is no excuse for an exception! It might have only been 5 degrees, but it felt like .... well like every camping holiday I can remember, and yes Jean had her woolly hat on.
Anyway after the goats cheese and brie and a Lavazza espresso it was time for the next round of The Championship.
For those of you that are not sports fans, The Championship Internationale du Monde is a bit like the World Series, in that its played outdoors. And cricket in that its a series of games played all over the place but nobdy really uderstands why. What is this olympean sport you cy....well Scrabble of course!
Now I wouldn't describe us as Scrabble fans or addicts or anything, but we do like a game outdoors by candlelight, and preferably away from home. Strangely having the handicap of being a bloke and therefore 10,000 words a day short of the average woman doesn't seem to have to much bearing on the outcome.
So it was that after 3 hours of play I was able to lift the prestigeous Brass Monkey Challenge Cup as winner of the first game of the year. Superb!