Lawn mowers, barbecues and building extensions – this is British summer. Everyone chill out because the weather is going to be glorious soon, for at least two weeks. Of course it is – whenever I go away the sunny weather and proper heat take residence in the country. Expect blowtorch shortly!
Fire up the barbecues and mix Pimms – my recipe for the fruit cup cocktail is at hand. For the barbecues there must be burgers and chicken – the recipe for chicken under skillet can be easily adapted for outdoor cooking, just fetch a skillet from the kitchen. There’s always a problem with side dishes for barbecues but I like to do the crunchy cabbage salad or fennel and orange – or both.
If you get bored of ice cream for dessert, make a blueberry parfait – or any other berry parfait actually. I will certainly be making my frozen yoghurt, with frozen blueberries or raspberries – you don’t need an ice cream maker for that.
The sea trout has arrived, a fantastic fish even though it doesn’t quite know whether it wants to be trout or salmon; it’s a brown trout that went to sea. Cook it simply – oven steamed sea trout with sautéed new potatoes will be a real feast.
Peppers, courgettes and tomatoes are pretty much all you need for a big pot of ratatouille, to have with just a plain baked potato for a meatless dinner.
For cakes, the fresh fruit season is now open: I spotted apricots and cherries in the market the other day. That means my apricot upside-down cake will make an appearance soon. And when those cherries get a bit cheaper and riper, make sure you make the summer cherry cake at least once this season – it means turning your kitchen into a crime scene when pitting the fruit, but completely worth it.