This must be the longest spell of good weather I have experienced since I moved to the UK in 2003. If this is global warming, bring it on.
We have a swimming pool in in our garden. I'm not sure why but I always feel that I have to justify myself when I say this. We don't live in a mansion with acres of grounds, a tennis court, stables and pool. We just happen to have a pool in our garden. It is a pain in the arse 99 out of every 100 days. But for the last few it has been marvellous. The boys have swum everyday and have had friends over to splash around with them. We are the envy of all.
Yesterday we had a friend over and the mum coolly whipped off all (I mean all) of her clothes in the garden without batting an eyelid before slipping into a bikini. Yes, she has a child and wears a bikini. And she looks like super model in it. I wanted to weep into my iced elderflower cordial. I decided that I really did need to give myself a good talking to and stop eating so much, not to mention cutting back on the gallons and gallons of wine I've been consuming of late.
But what's the point of al fresco dining if not to dine? Admittedly, summer foods can be a lot lighter than stodgy stews and steamed puddings, but we've BBQd so much that I'm starting to resemble a sausage. And although I've eaten my body weight in salad, I've washed it down with good helpings of creamy potato bakes. Then there are the lazy smorgasboard dinners outside in the sun, cold meat platters, cheese boards, grilled asparagus - just lovely summery food - but lots and lots of it.
And today, given the magnificence of the weather, I felt it was my patriotic duty to create a summer dessert that celebrates the infamous British strawberry. After reading a recipe in the Sunday Times magazine this weekend, I made sure the Ocado man delivered all the necessary ingredients so that I could create a dessert masterpiece, something I've not done for a while (well since deciding to sail across an ocean).
So I made this:
It was dead simple, dead gorgeous and dead tasty. It would also quite possibly result in dead me had I attempted to eat all of it, such is its richness.
So you see, this is why I can't wear a bikini. Summer food is just too good to ignore. It's a tricky choice: summer food or summer body? I know which one is winning around here.
Sod it, there's always winter to slim down.