23 April, 2007

Brilliant brill, bicycles and barbecue

Friday lunchtime we visited the local market to se what the fishmonger had to offer. Particularly attractive this week was a beautiful brill, not a fish we know well but, on this occasion, irresistible. We adapted a turbot recipe out of fish guru Rick Stein's Seafood book and braised the brill whole in white wine, adding a sauce of herbs and capers in melted butter once the fish was cooked. Served with asparagus (delicious local stuff, also from the market) and baby new potatoes it made a refined and delicate composition.

We got our leisure cycling off to an early start this year with a gentle ten-mile spin over a favourite local loop via Fulbourn, Teversham, and Cherry Hinton on Easter Sunday. Yesterday we went a step further and extended our route out over the Gog-Magog hills for a rather lumpier twelve mile ride. We enjoyed beautiful weather again, for the third weekend in a row; sunshine always makes life seem more joyful.

After the cycling it was time to get the barbecue fired up for dinner. We'd bought a baby chicken from the local halal butcher on Saturday and Lisa spatchcocked it then rubbed it with a mixture of oil, garlic, herbs and spices. We then set about preparing a batch of Lisa's wonderful coleslaw which was dispatched to the fridge. Once the coals were ready, the chicken was quickly cooked over the hottest part of the fire then brought inside to rest while Lisa cooked corn cobs and more asparagus (it's not at its best for long, so when it's at its peak we can't have too much of it!) on the cooling grill. All assembled it was quite a feast to see out the weekend in style.

And tomorrow the Easter Term begins: tea-break over, back on your heads!

16 April, 2007

Sunday at Ally Pally

We spent the weekend visiting our accountant friends Antony & Chris at Muswell Hill. On the Sunday afternoon we walked to nearby Alexandra Palace (familiarly known as "Ally Pally"). This impressive looking building is mostly used as an exhibition centre nowadays but Tony, sorry! ANtony, tells us there are plans to expand the usage.

At one end there is the famous BBC television mast that beams out TV to a wide surrounding area and from where, in 1936, the first public television broadcasts were made. Along one side there's an impressive colonnade and inside, under huge arched glass ceilings, there's even a palm tree growing!

Having admired the building, we spent a pleasant few hours enjoying the sunshine and admiring the views looking out over North London to the City centre skyline. Summer seems to have started nice and early this year!