First Cookout of the Year

The love in a mist are out with their blue, white and pink flowers and just in time for Memorial Day the poppies have burst forth in all their delicate glory.

Love-in-a-Mist in my garden have three different colors of flowers

Love-in-a-Mist in my garden have three different colors of flowers

I was able to bring home flowers from the garden, a big mixed bouquet. No lettuce though. The rabbit has been taking care of that.

I do love a mixed bouquet!

I do love a mixed bouquet!

Tonight was my first time bringing the grill out for the season. Some friends came for dinner and we sat in the courtyard chatting and eating hummus and stuffed grape leaves with a fine muscadet which they brought. On the principle of “be[ing] here now,” I prepared a very simple meal beforehand so I wouldn’t be bustling in the kitchen.  I had some good bread and knew that a fresh garden salad was arriving with the guests.

I got the salmon ready.

I got the salmon ready.

Once I started the grill, these went in the oven.

Once I started the grill, these went in the oven.

This morning I made the dessert, a Berry Bakewell Cake, whose recipe you can see at Jane’s Patisserie. I am not a huge fan of dessert and this cake is good–dense, moist, and enlivened by tart seasonal berries. If you’re in the States and want to make it, drop me a comment, as I’ve done the conversions. It really is easy. I dropped all the ingredients in the food processor and then poured half the batter in a pan, dropped the berries in and poured the other half of the batter on top. Delicious. Sensibly, I sent my guests away with a good portion of what was left…

This was delicious.  I put whipped cream on top, but if you wanted something heavier, ice cream would also be good.

This was delicious. I put whipped cream on top, but if you wanted something heavier, ice cream would also be good.

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25 Responses to First Cookout of the Year

  1. That looks like a lovely evening, especially the earlier preparation so you could join in. I and any guests always spend some time in our kitchen/diner when she is preparing a meal, so she doesn’t miss out.

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  2. Perfection! I’m like you, I like to prepare beforehand and keep it simple so I’m not at work when my guests arrive. With rain, sleet, hail, snow, thunder and lightening for the past twenty-four hours, dinner in the courtyard sounds pretty nice to my ears 😉 I’m sorry the bunnies are eating all your lettuce. Do you have to resort to cages over the crops to keep them safe or do you just let the foragers have free range?

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  3. Robin says:

    The bunnies are having a field day with the lettuces here, too. Lecturing them doesn’t seem to help so we’ll be working on the fencing today. Your dinner looks and sounds delicious (and has my tummy rumbling…lol!).

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Fencing… I’m trying hot pepper water on them first–the lettuces, not the rabbits. If that doesn’t work, I’ll rescue the beets and enclose the lettuces next year. Good luck with yours!

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  4. KerryCan says:

    The first cookout of the season is always a big deal around here, too! And it’s so kind and thoughtful of you to make sure the rabbits have salad!

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    • arlingwoman says:

      I’m making up hot pepper water for the lettuces in hopes the rabbits will leave them alone–they’ve started on the beet greens now as well. Brazen little critters!

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  5. Hello Lisa. I have nominated you for The Sunshine award. Details on my post tonight, ‘Stalking The Starling’.

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  6. pamsyarns says:

    Your meal looks delicious! Like you, I try not to spend too much time in the kitchen when entertaining – and your menu seems to fit the bill! Having problems with my lettuce too – but not caused by rabbits. They just don’t seem to have germinated – perhaps not warm enough over here. Certainly not been warm enough for eating outside like you guys!

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  7. It sounds like a wonderful weekend, Lisa. I’m glad your garden is growing well, and hope you can resolve the rabbit problem. I just held a miniature rabbit in my arms yesterday (it belongs to the neighbors). It was so soft and cute.

    My mother never cared much for sweets, and like you, she was slender all her life. Hmmmmm…

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  8. Tammy says:

    Salmon and asparagus are my go-to girls for the grill~ lovely that you are enjoying the weekend.

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  9. Boomdeeadda says:

    There’s nothing like dining Alfresco with the good company of friends. Your house must have been really warm with the oven bakin’ and makin’. We eat outside most nights in the summer, especially with it being daylight out so long. Hey! Your cake looked really yummy. I love these kinds of deserts and would totally choose whip cream over ice-cream. Sounds like a coffee cake I really love. Your courtyard is really beautiful and secluded. It’s such a great feature to have a enclosed park out your door.
    Bon-appetite ! xK

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