This time, when the sleepover party thing came up, I said, "People really must go to bed at some point. We can't have an all-night gambling den again." H left me under no illusion that this was party-pooping of no mean order and "What was the point otherwise?" In response, jokingly, and with hindsight, I realise slightly rashly, I said that in that case they must sleep outside. "What a good idea!" said H. "Let's do it."
One tent later here we are:
I suggested we might have a theme for this extravaganza. A degree of "discussion" took place on this and in the end we went for an amalgam of British Jubilee / American Independence Day / French Bastille Day which meant that food had to go red, white and blue and include British, American and French offerings. So far so good.
Have a tricolore burger bun anyone?! H's view is that these are "seriously weird" but I love them!
|... and after!|
These burgers are just straightforward minced lamb mixed with grated apple, grated courgette and plenty of chopped fresh mint and lots of black pepper. The courgettes nearly never made it into the burgers as H, who was helping me make these, decided they could be put to better use as baseball bats for batting balloons up and down the kitchen! Never a dull moment cooking in this house, I tell you! You can't taste either the courgette or the apple in the cooked burgers but both lend the meat a lovely juiciness and lighten the mixture beautifully. I don't put chopped raw onion in as I find it never gets cooked enough for my taste on a BBQ and if you're not careful it can dominate everything rather unpleasantly.
Again, (of course!) nobody slept at all and because I left the patio door open to enable access to the bathroom etc there were a lot of comings and goings in the small hours to recharge phones (who decides to recharge their mobile phone at 3.00am, I ask you?!) and to raid the larder in case terminal starvation set in between an enormous supper and an equally enormous breakfast. Leaving the patio door open possibly was a mistake with hindsight, as of course every time the door was slid open and shut, the noise reverberated wakingly upstairs. Also the lure of a James Bond computer game, playable by a number of people at once on a split screen, appeared to be compellingly strong around 4.00 am which was fine apart from the fact that winning or losing was an extremely noisy business!
But a lot of harmless fun was apparently had and although they are (of course) all substantially larger and noisier than they were just six months ago, which Mrs T, who feels herself by comparison to be shrinking visibly!, finds slightly disconcerting, they are a great bunch to have around.
Again deals were done and stakes dealt high, way into the small hours and beyond - never have buttons been so hardly fought for and won! Again I am amazed at just how much food hungry teenagers can put away. I am not sure whether I would put more money on teenagers or a plague of locusts in this respect! And although the sheer quantities takes me aback a little, it's absolutely lovely to cook for a bunch of people who hoover so appreciatively whatever I produce - even my weird and wonderful lurid rolls! But also ...
|a gargantuan snowdrift of cheese straws,|
|a veritable mountain of chocolate brownies,|
|and two large, red, white and blue trifles!|
|Something to go home with, in case starvation should set in again en route!|
A happy aftermath of this, is a tin of the most delicious shortbready biscuits made by the mother of one of H's friends as a thank you. They are exceptionally good and like Scrat and his nut in "Ice Age", these are going to be all mine! Thank you, Heather, so much. Shall be emailing you for the recipe and for where you got the lovely, big, flower-shaped cutter!