Eating out

We like to eat outside as much as possible and the pergola canopy means that rain or shine, we can do just that. The furniture can be left out just waiting for that sunny morning when the sun reflects off the water, dappling the underside of the canopy.

We've had many breakfasts and lunches outside this year, but Saturday 30th April was our first evening meal out. The first of many.

Once the warmer days of May arrive, until it gets chilly in September, we'll have virtually every meal outside!

Salmon & prawn risotto (peas still to be added) followed by our favourite BBQ pudding, hot fruit compote. Prepared before the meal starts, a tray of chopped fruit, sultanas, butter, sugar, fruit juice and liqueur is popped onto the BBQ when the main meal is finished. It bubbles gently away until required, caramelising the reduced juices towards the end and served with cream, creme frais or ice-cream.

Both of these dishes here were cooked over a portable, one-ring cooker powered by canned butane gas. Very handy for a quick meal.

Weber One-touch Silver April 2006 saw the arrival of a new Weber bbq - a real bbq - solid, rustproof materials and ventilation holes to allow indirect as well as direct cooking.

Only fit and proper, the inspirers of the new appliance - Margaret & Jim - were our first guinea guests. A loin of pork, dressed with Margarets Caribbean marinade, was a dream to cook and eat. It wasn't warm enough to to eat outside (actually it was raining - another advantage of the canopy) but the summer is on it's way.

Next up? Jim says a butterflied leg of lamb!