The pastry for the turnovers was too thin and the almond honey crust on the chicken was burnt. However, the creme brulee was, to quote Amanda, the best she’d ever had.
I was very stressed first thing so, when Mirinda went to pick Amanda and Carlos up at the station she suggested taking them for a coffee on the way home. I thought this was an excellent idea.
Lunch was planned for 1pm; by 1:15, I texted Mirinda telling her to get back quick as the chicken was burning. Well, the crust on top of it was, anyway. I couldn’t start the entree pastries (cheese filo parcels and the spinach turnovers) until they arrived so I left the chicken to warm and served up 15 minutes later.
Everyone loved the entree and were complimentary about the main course (almond and honey crust on chicken on a bed of royal cous cous) but I wasn’t happy with it. Though, I was very pleased with the cheese parcels which I haven’t made for years but were perfect. Dessert went down very well and Mirinda told the old story about how critical I was when it came to creme brulee.
What did get a lot of praise were they little pecan cakes. The plan had been to make the pistachio cakes I trialled last weekend but Waitrose were out of pistachio this week so I changed it to pecan. An excellent switch – they were delicious. Perfect with coffee or tea or just because they were sitting on the coffee table.
While we enjoyed the pecan cakes, Amanda and Carlos told us all about their new house in Portugal, showing us photos and taking us through the rooms. It sounds lovely. It’s in the country, near a couple of windmills. It looked as lovely ass it sounded. They’ll be using it for holidays (we’re invited the next time we’re in Portugal) with the eventual idea to be to retire there.
Eventually, it was time to go for the obligatory country walk. Given the weather and Carlos’ numb leg, we decided to go easy on them and go around the park instead. For city types, it was pretty much like being in the countryside anyway. The dogs loved it – particularly Emma who walked the entire way around without a lead and at a great pace.
It was a lovely day (though we didn’t get to eat any of the cheese I’d bought for afterwards), enjoyed by all.
Oh, and under my tough brulee scoring regime, I give mine 8/10. I thought the custard needed to be a bit thicker and the burnt sugar wasn’t burnt enough. I hate when there’s individual sugar grains.