Spring Celebrations

Spring is always a time of celebration for us, with all our family birthdays in the lead up to Christmas, but this year was special. This year, my son turned 15, and my daughter, 17.We are running behind schedule in opening the doors to the shop, so Holly's birthday breakfast was not our preferred 2 hour event, as I had to meet the floor contractor. Instead, we enjoyed french toast and berries, easy and quick, but so festive.We soak slices of bread in a saucer of egg beaten with vanilla and a little milk ( we use soy as the children are still dairy and gluten free), and fry it in butter or Olivani. Serve with a bowl of berries and yoghurt, or just cinnamon and sugar.
The afternoon saw us heading off to Gordonton for the wedding of a very beautiful friend. She is 21, and very much in love. They make a wonderful couple.The wedding was gorgeous, set in an old garden at Woodland's, with all Catriona's creative flair and sense of drama on display. Teepees and  pennants set the scene, an altar declared with a cross of roses and song lyrics for the music they would leave the service to.

I loved the flowers and the bridesmaid's dresses, but Catriona still stole the show. A beautiful, beautiful bride.

We were tired when we arrived home, but still wanting to celebrate the blessing of our daughter - poached chicken and cranberry sausages seemed just the thing. They were perfect, soft and white, and very tasty. We had a salad, and a glass of pinot gris to accompany. Nik finished with an old favourite which really needs resurrecting - junket. 

Just heat the milk with a little sugar to 47 degrees, quite warm to the touch, and add rennet at the ratio of one teaspoon to 600 mls of milk. I add cream to our low fat milk. Pour into pots, or a serving bowl, and refrigerate after about 10 minutes - it will have solidified by then. Flavours can be changed according to mood, by adding to the milk before the rennet is added. Try ginger, almond, berries, or just a sprinkle of grated nutmeg after it is set. I added vanilla to the milk and tried  sliced lemon which Sally (The Ridges) had sent up to try. It is preserved in  a fragrant elderberry flower cordial with just a touch of orange, and the lemony lemon was perfect with the  sweet, creamy milk jelly. Junket is the precursor to a great homemade cheese too. Make a lot, maybe 2 litres, add salt, and drain through cheesecloth overnight. If you prefer it firmer, place it under a board with a couple of cans on top for weight. It is very good with finely chopped herbs mixed through too, or just plain with a preserve. 

Holly had some girlfriends over on Sunday, an easy affair with a little bubbly and the sorts of things 17 year olds enjoy. Pizza bread,, cupcakes, chocolate, loud music, and plenty of laughter. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful young people around us!

I used mozzarella pearls on the pizza bread. It is so handy to have them

 free flow in the freezer. They can kept refrigerated in a jar of herby olive oil for a quick taste sensation in a salad.


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