Sunday, 10 May 2009

Melting Moments...




No, not the biscuits just life...

After a late night away to our beds on Friday, far too much essential chatter and alcohol to fit into the limited days and nights, the last of us hit the sack in the wee hours.  Our plan was to breakfast around nine ish before leaving for Ludlow at around 10.30/11.00.  Breakfast was slow and varied in preferences but the smell of the wonderful Giggly Pig sausages and bacon that Kristen had cosseted all the way from London, was just too divine.  Hardly any fat oozed from their tight little skins and the bacon cooked to a melt.  I enjoyed a breakfast starter of plump apricots and passion fruit yoghurt before Adam surfaced to present me with a bacon buttie; divine in the extreme.  Pauline's selection of amazing teas and coffees made the choice all the more difficult.  The banter and the humour continued until the time came to round everyone up and leave which took an English five minutes*.

* When preparing to embark on any outing with my Swiss nephews, they used to quiz us in an attempt to establish if this was a Swiss five minutes or an English five minutes;  when I first asked what the difference was between them, my eldest nephew responded 'Well Aunty Nettles (their pet name for me), in Switzerland five minutes is 4 minutes 59.99 seconds and in England it is anything from 5 minutes to around 45 minutes.'  On Saturday, it was somewhere between the two.

We trekked through the Shropshire countryside past the Cadbury's factory and a local hot spot called the 'OK Diner' , which looked liked a film set from a 1950's road movie, and chair danced all the way to into Ludlow to the lyrics belted out on Radio 2.  The most memorable of which was, 'Your body is so hot I'm melting' , or something along these lines...  I was day dreaming about lyrics (I know I should have been driving but I had four back and front seat drivers so I was hardly required), and I found myself singing along to one of my own favourites 'Your body is a wonderland', of course no one knew this except me and the voices in my head ...  Katie had clearly been responsible for evoking the music in our soul, brought about by her wonderful compilation of tunes from the previous night.  So inside at least, I was dancing.

The route we took to enter Ludlow meant we dropped down a hill.  The sight before us was magical, with near distant views of the town and the traditional, probably listed, black and white framework of the period buildings.  I cannot remember how I eventually found a space to park up, possibly aided by the four other drivers in the car; I was far too busy window shopping at the time; but I did and we all traipsed into a boutique designer shop whose mission was clearly to sell a bit of everything. Not a department store as such, more of a double fronted emporium selling beautiful handbags, jewellery, baby clothes, cook books and a whole range of what can only be described as trendy cooking weapons. 

Adam, Sam, Susan and me were joined at the hip and ducked in and out of most of the shops on offer including the Deli in the Square, how I wish this shop was on my doorstep.  Further along the road in the French Deli, I purchased a jar of Rose Petal Jelly, keenly spotted by Sam, who knows and understands my love of scented foods; I shall wait until he visits to enjoy this with ice cream or on a rose flavoured meringue base topped with whipped Mascapone and rose infused strawberries.

Susan, our Geordie and one line witsmith, came out with the saying of the reunion which would serve to keep us entertained all weekend and beyond.  When deciding what meals we might make that night, and this still brings an inner guffaw just thinking about it 'anything without nuts (referring to nut tart from the previous night).  Needless to say it involved the contents of the pie, velocity and a high performance car.   Adam and I nearly fell to our knees with laughter; I was confident I would suffer some permanent damage as my cheekbones conjoined with my ribs.  I am still laughing at this as I type, in fact I tried very hard to recount and verbalise the exact sentence and context when I returned home, to three different groups of people I know, but each time I failed to retell the story in under fifteen minutes.  Susan is visiting me in Dorset soon and I fear for my wrinkles...

Susan was keeper of the privy purse and bargained for three ribs of Hereford Beef, lamb mince and a whole rolled shoulder of pork; Kristen remarked that the beef alone would have cost her about three if not four times as much in London and I shall be having words with my butcher next time I order beef from him.

After re-grouping we lunched at the most delightful pub overlooking the river, where they advertised fresh oysters, salmon, trout, pollack, bangers and mash and other typically British food fancies.  The food did not disappoint, even if it wasn't to be had at the £50 per head Michelin star restaurant we had hoped for, which incidentally was fully booked!  A read of ALL the Saturday papers and supplements and discussions ensued, which ranged from the latest football results and transfers to the questionable political shenanigans of parliament, all the while the sun shone and the mood was gently celebratory amongst a group of like-minded friends just happy in each others company and taking time out to be...

A short visit and a walk around Bromyard to the local greengrocer, before we headed back to our temporary home for roast pork, colcannon, chantenay (? cannot remember if this is the correct spelling but they are mini shaped carrot specimens, I must find myself a culinary dictionary), gravy and pink peppercorn sauce.  THE fabulous chocolate cake, very different to Caro's wonderful passion fruit pav, but more wicked both in total calorie content and just the sheer dark seduction of it all.   Prepping, chopping, exchanging recipes, handy hints and ideas for food has to be 'up there' in terms of pleasurable pastimes; I guess like any other obsession talking about food, drink and recipes must just be the best.  Sam made an endless stream of Mojito's to die for and another late night was on the cards.

For me, one of the most touching moments of the evening was when my new found food fanatics presented me with a signed thank you card and perfect turquoise necklace.  I rarely ever cry or feel choked up, but I was just astounded by their kindness and generosity.  Enough of the Love in already, save to say it will be one of those seminal moments in life, the dawning that actually what matters is the people you are with, the interests that you share and the fun you have together in pursuing them.

Even though I have had a very mixed up busy week, I miss them all... every day...

3 comments:

Kristen In London said...

what precious memories of sunlit lunches, candlelit dinners, Pauline's poem, your joy, that gorgeous pork crackling, Adam's glowing face, Sam's perfect cake... Susan's hilarity, Katie's gentle smile, everyone's dearness... it was all a total joy.

Foxi Rosie said...

Magic, pure magic...

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