Good Neighbours

I'm lucky enough to live in a small village community where people are generous, whether it be with their time or goods.

I've mentioned people like and before, and in this last week alone Bob has brought me some beetroot (which he would take nothing for), and Maurice some Marsh Samphire from his visit to Norfolk. Dad brought some back a couple of weeks ago for for both Maurice and me; it's lovely and tender at this time of year and takes far less cooking than later in the season.

But the 'pièce de résistance' is this box of veg that brought last week. I'm surprised he's not been mentioned by me before as this isn't the first box of veg he's brought me. I owe him some bacon and other goodies 'big time'!

Colin's Veg

The girl's organised a barbecue as celebrated her birthday yesterday; she's XX (censored by Pauline) years old. I'd like to say that all the sausage and beefburgers were home-made, but the girls wanted the party to be a surprise, so nothing could be prepared in advance!

We managed to 'get rid' of Pauline for an hour and a half before people were due to arrive. During this time they set everything up, including two gazebos. Pretty good work.

My contribution was to make a tandoori marinade for the chicken, prepare and cook a potato salad with home-made mayo/yoghurt dressing...

Potato salad

..prepare some of Madhur Jaffrey's Sour Chickpeas...

Sour Chickpeas

... and make a Broad Bean and Pancetta Salad.

Broad Bean Salad

I have made the Chickpeas before so know they are popular, but was surprised how many people liked the broad bean salad. I was also surprised how many people commented favourably about the Cucumber Raita I had made as an after-thought; it was only peeled seeded cucumber lightly salted, in yoghurt with a pinch of sugar and a couple of pinches of powdered cumin - as Aleksandr says "Simples!"

...and blow me down, my next-door neighbour's just popped over with some surplus rhubarb.

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