21 March 2011

Elephant in the Room and other stories.

We are packing up the boat for another year – one more sleep aboard, one at our friend’s house and then the long slog back to the UK

The last week has been a bit frantic socially as I suddenly realised how short time is and how many people I haven’t seen much or even, in a few cases, at all!  I have visited three lots of friends in three fabulous houses in as many days, all of which make a girl who spends a lot of her life in a small touring caravan a bit miffed.

Firstly Turtle Crawl, the inspired and wonderful home mentioned in my last blog.  A lot of outdoorseyness, softly shaped adobe type walls, quirky and breezy and gorgeous with great views AND an outside pizza oven with accompanying kitchen!!!



Next the house of my good friend Kathy which is in a wonderful spot overlooking Guano Island, quiet and private, a lovely comfortable home furnished with her grandmother’s antiques.  Upstairs they are building a large and airy apartment with a jealous-making kitchen and great views.


Not quite finished yet!


Thirdly we spent a few hours at the house of friends, overlooking Brewer’s Bay, and this house features my Favourite Room in the Whole Wide World - see how one whole wall opens up onto loveliness?   (Oh and there’s an elephant in the room - it's an elephant*.)


…and probably the best infinity pool ever.


*  Fans of QI on British telly will understand this feeble joke.

Sigh …

Howsoever that may be I have enjoyed every minute and eaten well to boot.

Kathy made a great lunch of shrimp salad, cheeses, dips, crackers etc. and a delicious cream cheese, garlic, parmesan, spring onion concoction which went fabulously with a cranberry/chipotle dip.  We drank wine and nibbled whilst playing Rummikub. We did out best but were unable to eat everything and she gave us some to take home. 

That evening I had intended to teach me old mate Clarky how to cook scallops.  I had a cunning plan of serving the scallops folded into (note the evocative chef talk there) a light lemony pasta dish - comme ça ...

Linguine in Lemon & Herb Butter Sauce

A handful of coarsely chopped fresh herbs of your choice – probably parsley, basil etc.
2 thinly sliced spring onions
a little crushed garlic
a little olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of half a juicy lemon
knob of butter
Enough linguine to serve 2

~   Cook the linguini in boiling salted water to al dente, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and toss the cooked pasta with the herbs.
~   Gently cook the garlic in a little olive oil till fragrant.
~   Add the reserved pasta water to the garlicky oil, simmer, turn of the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice.
~   Toss together with the herbs and pasta, taste and season.

Serve as it is as a light lunch, as a side dish or add scallops, shrimp etc. to make a main meal.

He, however, wanted an un-cunning easy peasy thing he could do when he got home from work of an evening so I used some of the leftovers.  I sautéed the man’s scallops, set them aside, added bought in pasta sauce and  some of Kathy’s great cream cheese mixture and stirred them together over low heat to form a thick sauce.  I was going to serve them for dinner with linguini and some crunchy garlicky crumbs but we were so full he just froze it for later.  I told him he can just use cream cheese or cream instead of Kathy’s great goo.



Luckily it is what passes for a cold day here; grey and windy and therefore not quite so sad to leave.  My next blog will probably be from the UK and more down to earth!





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