As I sit typing and looking out the window at the murky, wet day it is hard to believe that yesterday was bright, sunny and even dare I say warm.
Yesterday was Sunday and the day of our school lunch. This has become a bit of a tradition as even though we had very few French/English lessons this last year, the friendship between all our near neighbours who are part of the group meant that we just had to have our annual get together.
Mrs. Powerful and myself were tasked with providing one of the starters and one of the puddings. I had recently decided that we were tending to have the same meals over and over again. Not that they are not wonderful, I do a mean Thai fish and my 6 hour lamb is to die for to mention but two.
So I had been nosing my way through the huge amount of recipe books we had collected over the years and came across a prawn cocktail by Gary Rhodes. So we got up early Sunday morning and I started de-shelling a kilo of fresh prawns. Next I made the sauce for the dressing. The sauce for a classic prawn cocktail is usually bought ready to use in a jar but I was determined to make my own.
So here we have the recipe. You will need an iceberg lettuce, a cucumber, a kilo of cooked prawns, I was catering for 12 so allow for that. A lemon, jar good mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, brandy/cognac.
So put 8 tablespoons of the mayo in a bowl and whisk in 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup. Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon and 2 teaspoons of brandy. Add the prawns and mix so they are all covered with the mixture. Get a nice large platter and place the cucumber round the edge with the shredded lettuce in the middle and the prawns on the lettuce. Serve with lemon wedges.
Meanwhile Mrs.Powerful was making a blackberry and apple crumble. We always make it from a recipe in our good old Be-Ro book and it is brilliant. This time we thought we would be different and used a recipe from the barefoot contessa using flaked almonds and oats. It was nice but we still preferred our tried and trusted. Elsewhere in the archives you will find a blog all about crumbles and how at a lunch I was berated and called Walter Mitty!!!
So just before one we set off to our neighbours house and for school lunch. We were sat and started with nibbles and pommeau, home-made using red wine, calvados and cider.
Then we served the prawn cocktail and Sue had brought huge platters of charcuterie which I ended up not photographing, sorry Sue. There was ham and salami, salade and grated carrots it was awesome.
The main course was a chicken tajine, our hosts own chickens naturally served with couscous and carrots and courgettes.
At each course we had a different wine starting with an Alcace and then reds including a St. Emillion.
The cheese course was followed by the crumble and a Christmas pudding both with custard. The last wine was a sweet dessert wine.
Here are a few more photos,certainly a great time was had by all and amazingly despite all that wine, nearly 5 hours later no hangover, just goes to show.