A cast of thousands

Or almost – the Battenburgs hosted a Sunday lunch for the family, plus some lovely Canadian visiting cousins. Battenburg Towers is not quite equipped to feed 12 at a time, but we put the children (three actual, one notional) on the little table from the garden (we did bring it inside). It was cosy and slightly chaotic at times. Does anyone have 36 side plates?? We certainly don’t, so there was a bit of unseemly washing up to be done between courses, but we all coped. And it was sunny so I managed to pack most of them off for a bit of a walk before the meal.

Got ahead of the game by making some breadsticks and pastry cases on Saturday and had a lot of help from big brother – a marvellous and uncomplaining sous chef. We made three large dishes of dauphinoise potatoes – proving that it really is not possible to serve too much potato to this family. One of the Battenburg nephews misunderstood and thought I was serving dolphinoise potatoes, with layers of actual dolphin… I am a lapsed vegetarian, but not that lapsed. I was annoyed that my eight hour roast lamb didn’t fall off the bone quite as it was meant to or as it did last time I made it (especially as I got up at 7am to put it in the oven, after partying the night before), but it was very tasty, with a herby sauce and some green salads. Grandma Battenburg brought a fine array of cheeses and we finished off with the fruity tarts. I want to get away from the rustic look with my pastry cases, so there’ll be more of these soon. Even though there were lots of different fruit arrangements, we were all very grown up and there was no fighting over them.

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As Mr Bertinet suggests, I now always made double when I’m making pastry and so I made a few prune and rum tarts and took a couple along to my chum’s birthday bash on Saturday evening. These were a little less rustic-looking. It’s a bit easier to fill larger individual tart cases than using a muffin tin for the really little ones.

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She sent a very favourable text review on Sunday. I can also confirm that these are VERY good – obviously we had to have a taste before bestowing some on the birthday girl.

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