The hordes have descended (in the nicest possible way). Yesterday we spent the day with Christopher's godmother Steph and her flastmate Marie. Christopher and James were both thoroughly spoiled with presents and cuddles. We had a lovely evening, too, drinking wine on the patio and gossiping. For supper, after the children were in bed I cooked pasta alla carbonara and some very strong garlic bread. Not quite as strong as the now-infamous garlic bread that Steph and I made a few years ago, but still with a whole head of garlic to the loaf. I've posted my method for making garlic bread before and you can find it here.
Because I'm cooking Sunday dinner for 9 tonight, I got ahead a little yesterday morning by making a jelly. This one is exceptionally easy, though to be honest, making jelly is a snap as long as you can get the leaf gelatine. I see that Supercook have started selling it as part of their 'Select' range, so it's now available in the supermarket here. Measure the liquid before you soak the gelatine leaves, then work on 1 leaf to ¼ pint of liquid. If I'm setting the jelly in a mould, rather than in individual glasses, I add a little more gelatine to get a really good set and a proper 'wobbly' jelly. For the jelly I made yesterday I had rather over a pint of liquid, so I used 5 leaves.
Rhubarb & Orange Jelly
200g rhubarb, trimmed weight
100g caster sugar
zest of 2 oranges
Cut the rhubarb into shortish lengths and place in an ovenproof dish with the sugar, water and orange zest. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 180°c for about 45 minutes. Pour the contents of the dish, through a sieve, into a measuring jug. Set the rhubarb pulp aside and use it for something else (James had some for breakfast this morning and enjoyed it immensely, or you could make a small, one-portion crumble).
juice 2 oranges
4-5 gelatine leaves (see above)
Mix the orange juice into the jug of rhubarb juices. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Gently warm a little of the liquid in a small pan. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and, off the heat, quickly whisk it into the pan. Tip this juice back into the jug, then pour it into whatever jelly mould or glasses you’re using.
Supper tonight will be good old roast chicken (2 smaller ones rather than a monster sized thing which would take ages to cook), baked potatoes, sage & onion stuffing and some vegetables. I'll also make some bread sauce, which I love with baked potatoes (and with the chicken, of course).
It's just started raining, which is fairly typical for a Bank Holiday weekend, isn't it!