IT MAKES THE PEAS TASTE FUNNY, BUT IT STICKS THEM ON MY KNIFE.
Our book group never meets in August, too many people are away on holiday or visiting or being visited by friends and relations so we take a one month break. Years ago we established a tradition of having a supper party at the July meeting, and instead of reading a book to discuss at that meeting, we each bring a dish for the buffet, and three paperbacks, one of which must be relatively new. All the books are piled on a table and then, after much eating, drinking and gossiping, everyone can select three books for summer holiday reading. The system works very well, and it is surprisingly rare to find we have duplicates.
I’ve been giving my selection of books to contribute some thought, and thought you might like a sneak preview:
First up is ‘Notting Hell’ by Rachel Johnson. Set in what is now one of
As one of the cover blurbs says: “snappy, witty, clever, shallow, heartless, and hugely readable’.
BTW the author is journalist sister of blond mop-headed Tory MP Boris Johnson and I suspect that the characters are all based on real people.
My next choice is A Quilt of Dreams by Patricia Schonstein, a South African writer who studied literature at UCT under the aegis of J. M.Coutzee. The book is set in Grahamstown, a small city in the
My final choice is The Easter Parade by Richard Yates; I read and enjoyed his book Revolutionary Road which is being made into a film starring Kate Winslet, and that nudged me into reading this book – I think I preferred it to Rev. Rd.
It is about two sisters, Emily and Sarah Grimes who are the daughters of divorced parents. They grow up to become very different women; Sarah settling for marriage and suburbia, and Emily wanting a much more exciting life. Both women are trying to find the happiness that has eluded them since their parent’s parting. Beautifully written.
Tony Blair, Cherie Booth/Blair, Alastair Campbell, Fiona Miller...wouldn't it be wonderful if we never had to hear from or about any of this incestuous little group of ex-chums ever again? No such luck. Apart from the fact that we'll hear no end of TB trying to sort out the Middle East (some hope), I now learn that the BBC has paid £250000 for three one hour programmes featuring Alastair Campbell reading his sodding diaries aloud. That's £250000 of license-payer's money so he can advertise his book. Words fail me. I am seriously, SERIOUSLY, pissed off.
Considering this is July the weather has been unseasonably cool, wet and gloomy. I long for proper summer sunshine. The other day I bought some strawberries to serve when my daughter came for lunch; I was intending to have them with some icecream, but it was so chilly I felt we all wanted something warm to eat.....hmmm, warm but summery, using strawberries....hey presto
ROAST STRAWBERRY TART
Pre-heat oven to 200°C
Using the base of a cake tin as a template, cut out a 24cm circle from the puff pastry and lay it on a greased baking tray. Using a sharp knife and a steady hand, score a second circle 1½ cms inside the edge of the pastry circle. Take care not to cut right through the pastry when doing this.
Sprinkle the ground almonds and 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar evenly over the inner circle. Place the strawberries, pointed end upright, closely together in the inner circle. If there are any gaps, cut a strawberry into quarters and use the sections to plug them. Sprinkle the remaining caster sugar over the strawberries.
Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, until the edge of the tart is puffed up and golden, and the berries are dark and beginning to caramelise.
A dusting of icing sugar over the berries is all the garnish required.
Serve hot, warm or cold with a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of icecream.