Friday, 13 April 2012


It's been all go on the birthday front this week; Monty on Wednesday and then me! Rather worryingly, a few days ago I was thinking about my birthday and suddenly realised I was a year older than I thought! It seems I have reached the age when you can't remember how old you are without doing sums! Lets hope it's just my baby brain and will wear off.

I was very spoiled for my birthday (note: I am carefully not mentioning age!). A lovely day out visiting one of my best friends, a nice lunch, flowers, a bottle of something nice and chocolates....Then a nice day visiting my parents.....then a lovely evening with Him and the bears, more presents and lovely food. I may have mentioned before that my birthday has recently become known as 'Day of Pudding'. This is because a couple of years ago He asked what special meal I would like, after some thought I explained that I was really not too bothered about the main course but would like a really sinful pudding (as ever!). His response was to prepare not one but three puddings and no main at all - bliss! Anyway, this year was a little more restrained since we have just spent a weekend of indulgent mealtimes with His parents but we did manage a late afternoon cream tea, a lovely salmon main course and then a slice of delicious chocolate birthday cake. Lucky me.

Talking about last weekend, I must say it was great. Bears were all well behaved and in good form. Grandparents were charmed and impressed in equal measure - watching the small person practice her almost crawling, admiring her fine motor skills, and donating small bits of their meals to her ever increasing appetite for new foods.

Pork Belly simmering with LOTS of garlic and chilli.
We took the opportunity of a captive audience to experiment with some new food too. He was given Thomasina Miers 'Mexican Food Made Simple' for Christmas and this was a chance to try out some of the excellent recipes. We were not disappointed and Mexican food has retained its place as one of our favourites. On Saturday night we went all out with the following menu...

Classic Margaritas, Nachos and Salsa

Tamarind & Chilli infused Belly of Pork
Hot Chorizo Salad with Butternut Squash and Baby Tomatos
Red and Green Rice

Layered Passion Fruit, Blackberry and Blueberry Jellies with Creme de Cassis

Some of the dishes were a little bit time consuming - the pork had to be boiled a day ahead and left to dry out before roasting and the layered jellies had to have time for each layer to set but it was so worth it. The meat was tender and full of spicy flavour, the salad was a very good accompaniment and the jellies were a great light finish. The Creme de Cassis was our own addition but worked really well with the blackberry and blueberry jelly making the dessert much more grown up. My only regret is that I forgot to take pictures of the finished meal.

Olympig about to compete in the high jump!
We also celebrated our joining of Pig Club with a very silly game of Olympigs...silly partly because it involves pigs doing Olympic events and partly  because we had opened the liquers by then! Each of our plastic pigs competed in the 'Pig Put', High Jump and Long Jump whilst trying to escape the efforts of other Olympig competitors to sabbotage their performance. Completely bonkers but fun.

See you next time....

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