Here Comes the Sun
May 16, 2014
Although I’ve been let down a few times, I still basically trust what the Met. Office tells me. The past few days it has been saying that the skies will get bluer, the sun will shine increasingly brightly and the temperatures will rise (hitting the highs on Friday and Saturday and sticking around for Sunday as well). That’s good enough for me. I’m penning this offering in my gazebo with an elderly purring Lil’Cat enjoying the evening sun on her fur. I have just made myself a cup of “machine coffee” which is an Italian blend complete with “froth” and, as I look at my potted palms whilst I sip my drink, I can almost imagine I’m in the South of France.
As soon as I’ve finished this I’m going to start preparing for a wonderfully warm and sunny weekend. I need to get a few chores done, including my weekly wander round the supermarket filling my trolley. However, tomorrow, my “big shop” is going to be heavily based around “dining al fresco”. Lovely Husband is going to give the barbecue the once-over to make sure we have enough gas to keep it burning for most of the weekend and whilst he is doing that I shall be perusing the WLR recipe database.
I have to admit that, before joining WLR, my default setting for a barbecue was sausages and burgers. Accompaniments were usually a tub of coleslaw, one of potato salad, and I’d throw together a bowl containing lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot which I would pass off as “salad”.
More recently I had been known to pick up “barbecue packs” of chicken from the freezer section – but was always concerned about it being undercooked and giving us all food poisoning. (Twin was once hospitalised for nearly two weeks from complications arising from chicken-induced campylobacter). I always shied away from fish as well, for the same reason - I once gave LH serious food poisoning by serving him “not-cooked properly” fish fingers...
Given my track history in the cooking department, I always played it safe with the burgers and sausages in buns (and would always cook them under the grill and then just get LH to “finish them off” on the barbecue).
However, I am now a staunch supporter of the WLR recipe database, which sets everything out in a fool-proof manner (not even I can get it wrong) so I no longer refer to my (small) collection of cookbooks, but instead flip open the laptop and see what the experts and members here have got to offer... and I’m never disappointed.
I’ve already had a sneaky peak at possible menu choices (as soon as the “Countryfile” weather forecast from five days ago made mention of “sunshine” and “much warmer by the weekend” I was getting excited. I would quite happily eat every meal and spend every free minute in my garden and gazebo if the weather permits, but so often the forecast at the start of the week changes completely by the end of my five-day stint at the day job and so my plans are scuppered. But not so this time.
The other great thing about the WLR recipe database is that so little of it says “I’m on a diet”. The recipes are all WLR-friendly but so delicious that they are a treat for guest who don’t have to worry about their waistlines expanding any further.
Also, for me, I love the fact that lamb isn’t considered “bad”. It is my meat of choice but so often is branded as being “full of fat” and so I have avoided it in the past. But I shall avoid it no longer. I’ve already had a quick glance at the recipes which are under 300 calorie per serving. One of the recipes which has already caught my eye is the Kefta meatballs; I can already see them on skewers surrounded by onion and red and green peppers, with a serving of green salad and some baby jersey potatoes in a mint dressing. I shall go easy on the potatoes but will encourage my guest to tuck in “con gusto”.
I’m even considering dessert...Yes... really! Even though I know it might illicit “but I thought you were on a diet” comments from one or two of my friends (they know I’m trying to lose weight because I need them to steer me past any shops that sell custard slices – they’re more tempting than shoes when it comes to me and shopping). I shall smile sweetly and say “I am”, as I tuck into a modest helping of banana ice-cream - although I have to say that Julie’s Banana and Chocolate lollies sound amazing and if the temperature is going to hit the twenty-something mark then offering my visitors a cooling ice-lolly... well it’s just good manners isn’t it?
Obviously most of the coming weekend is going to be spent enjoying the first real days of summer, but next week I have my parents coming to visit, so on Sunday I shall start to turn my attention to the recipe database offerings for “feeding a family of four”. Although if the weather stays like this, then I think it will be “Barbecue: Round Two” (by which time I’ll have had plenty of practice at the ice lollies...).
Whatever your plans are for the coming weekend, I hope you get to enjoy at least some of the fabulous weather we’re expecting. I certainly intend to.
Have a fabulous day.
With a Hug
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