Pulled pork, sourdough loaf, and lemon meringue pie.
It was a very slow and easy process.
Saturday afternoon - shop for ingredients.
Saturday night - assemble sourdough starter.
Sunday afternoon - I was going to bake blind the pastry case for the lemon meringue pie but gardened instead.
Sunday evening - mixed sourdough, kneaded (using the dough hook on Kenwood) and left to rise.
Monday morning - assembled ingredients for pulled pork and put it all in the slow cooker. This was going to cook all day. Make and bake the pastry case. Leave to cool. Turn oven up and bake the sourdough loaf for 30 minutes. Make lemon meringue filling, cool, turn oven to low, make meringue topping and bake. All done except salad.
Monday afternoon - family arrives.
The girls and I went shopping for last minute milk, butter, cream and ice lollies. It was a very pleasant day and Martha suggests a walk so we strolled round to take a close look at the strange wooden sculpture that has appeared on the river bank.
Martha wants that we continue our walk on the river path as we have their dog with us and "Gracie would really love a walk because there's no point her hanging around the kitchen with you Granny because all the cooking is done and she won't be getting any titbits."
I agreed that this would be an excellent idea. The river path was crowded with people and dogs. And why wouldn't it be on such a beautiful May Day holiday? We climbed up the steep bank beside the path and followed another little pathway that wended its way through a sea of bluebells, wood anemones and the beginnings of wild garlic. It was like another world. A fairyland. An adventure. The girls loved it and so did I. Here and there trees had fallen over the little path and while the girls clambered over these obstacles with ease, they presented a bit of a challenge for me. Oh, to be young and limber again.
We rejoined the main path and went off to see the horses and donkey. Martha asked me if I was having a good time and I answered her that I was having the best day of my life. I think that was a very honest answer. But it was time to head for home. There was a salad to prepare and dairy products sitting in a very warm van. I reached into my pocket for my key and it wasn't there. Panic! Had I left it in the van? Of course I hadn't. The van was tightly locked and my key was nowhere to be seen and I didn't feel up to retracing our footsteps with the girls in tow. Evie was already starting to tire. No phone, no money, no vehicle. We went to the garage and borrowed their phone. No one at home! All out in the garden making potato rigs, strawberry beds and so on. Victor sorted the girls out with some much-needed water and we set off walking home. Normally a twenty-minute walk it was going to take twice that with Evie unable to walk that fast. We were halfway up the road when our rescuer appeared. The girl's dad off on an errand to pick Hannah up. We told him what had happened, gathered Hannah up and then at everyone's insistence stopped by the river path to go key hunting. I checked the local shop to see if anyone had handed the keys in but no luck so I hurried off to catch up with the search party. They were (I could hear the girls chattering) up on the high path and as I went towards them I heard excited whoops and looking up, saw them all trooping back towards the car park. I knew then that their mission had been successful. It was a lovely moment in which we all played a part.
Dave who was calm, sensible and practical.
Martha and Evie who remembered exactly where I had walked and what I had done.
Hannah who was enthusiastic and said, "I'm very good at finding things" and who found the keys lying hidden in a patch of wild garlic at the very spot where I had clambered awkwardly over a fallen tree.
And myself, the very reason why we were all so bloody happy. For I was the silly sausage who had lost the keys in the first place.
So there you go - the best day of my life was still the best day of my life even though there was a big problem right slap-bang in the middle of it.
Other good things that happened (1) dinner turned out well and (2) I had my first ride on the quad while we were looking for a lost pig. It was scary and fun and we found the pig.
I didn't bring a camera but there were bluebells and there was Gracie so here is one Zoe took earlier.
Gracie, the bouncing bluebell girl. Photograph by Zoe Bowyer