There's a nice controversial sounding title, eh?
Sunday, we were cooking lunch for my Mum, Dad and brother (my poor sister was hard at it organising her company's annual 'do' and awards ceremony, so couldn't be with us sadly).
Coq au Vin was on the menu, which nearly resulted in a call to the Hampshire Fire Brigade...
...when Mr U-t-B's hand 'slipped' with the brandy, before I set it alight. Those flames kept going for a full five minutes (well, it felt like that, but may have been a wee bit shorter) whilst I looked on waiting for the cooker hood to melt! I suppose a wet tea towel at the ready might be a good idea next time!
My Mum said she'd bring a pudding, and mentioned meringues, which are Miss U-t-B's absolute favourite.
I was going to make the 'deconstructed' (ie thrown at a plate) version of trifle that goes down very well and doesn't take too long to make, being merely sliced up Madeira cake (perhaps soused in something alcoholic, though after the brandy incident, I was definitely not going to let Mr U-t-B do that bit!), whipped cream with some lemon curd marbled through and red berries on top.
But when I noted the bag of milk that was about to go out of date and the huge pile of oranges that had accumulated because Miss U-t-B was going through a phase of eating lots, then stopped (and much as I love them, they do me no good at all), and remembering my dad's fondness for rice pudding, I changed my mind and made 'Vanilla Chilled Risotto' and 'Oranges in Grand Marnier'. And then because I'd bought all the berries, I tumbled them into a bit of hot syrup so people could have them either with their risotto, or with the meringues.
So, very uncontroversially, the trouble with family get-togethers is this...
Six people for lunch - six bowls of pudding! Because my Mum, generous and lovely as she is (and a great cook to boot) brought a chocolate tart too (which was as delicious as it looks), and some Bitter Orange Ice-Cream, as well as some meringues!
We did our best, but did not manage to obliterate it all! Everyone set forth from our house with doggie bags, and we will still be enjoying pudding for the next few days. The trials we suffer...
Here's what I made for my Mum for a present...
A little, monogrammed lavender cushion with an old, gold brooch, bearing the word 'Mother'.
Vintage French fabric on the back, and ric-rac edging.
But here's where my Mum got it wrong, because she brought me this...
It was Mother's Day, not daughters!
Wasn't I lucky - a beautiful tea set for six!
It looks Edwardian to me, so perfect for our house.
Everything is such a pretty shape.
I love the bulbous bits!
The yellow and deep purpley-pink poppies are gorgeous.
Delicate little handles...
The stamp on the back says 'Caulfield &Co - Glasgow and Branches'. The only reference I can find on the internet suggests Caulfield & Co were a retailer, rather than a manufacturer of china, and that they may have been on Jamaica Street in Glasgow.
Did you spot the pretty tablecloth too?
That was also from my Mum a while back. I actually bought it in a bundle of stuff from the Maltings. It was about three-quarters done, in the most beautiful stitching, in such vibrant colours. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it justice, finishing it off, as my embroidery of printed designs is not great. But my Mum kindly offered to finish it off, and I really can't tell which is the original stitching, and which is hers, so she was clearly the lady for the job!
Pretty, pretty, pretty!
Just a little reminder (you know this is how it's going to be all week!) that I'm having a giveaway. Here's one of the prizes (thanks for the complimentary comments about my little brooch!)