I had been fed up to my inked eyebrows with the cold, the wet, or the cold and wet which followed the cold and dry. The spring of nightmares, and not just for the farmers and pub goers.
Asparagus was late, strawberries were watery and even the usually rampant lavender looked like it wanted to migrate to Provence. And don’t even start me off on tomatoes.
But the last few days possibly mean that the summer is finally here, not just on the calendar. Though you have to feel sorry for the weather geeks who got it pissed on their parade as the warmest day this spring doesn’t turn out to be, record-beatingly, in March but on the Bank Holiday Monday.
So is it time for summer food? Barbecues and ice cream? I know, everybody has been going out to eat in droves, this unaccustomed pleasure of no washing up after your dinner, but barbecue trumps restaurants when the weather is gorgeous.
It’s not only koftas and skewers you know, although my barbecue ideas are mainly about that. Carne asada, a slab of rump or flank cooked on the barbecue with Mexican seasoning is excellent, sliced and stuffed into tortillas or pita. If you make a spring potato salad to go with it, I can hardly think of a nicer meal. Throw whole fish on the barbie, a balsamic bream or Thai flavoured trout. It’s not that tricky, just make sure the heat is not too fiery for it.
Not every day is a BBQ day so summer salads are also worth mentioning. Chicken, feta and melon perhaps, or this really simple lettuce with bacon and blue cheese. You could also make spelt salad with courgette ribbons, before we all get tired of courgettes.
Summer desserts must involve ice cream, preferably homemade, but also fruit bowls like my Athens mess. Some people need cake though no matter what season so here’s twice baked cake with roasted apricot filling – first apricots are starting to turn up on market stalls.
Finger crossed the weather holds and the dour prophecies of cold summer this year won’t come true. Subscribe to my newsletter to get new recipes into your inbox and keep well!