So last night we invited the neighbours around for dinner and had a very pleasant evening feeding them typical English autumn food. We served a cottage pie with cumin carrots followed by an apple crumble. The recipes for the main course came from Tamsin Day Lewis' book Simply the Best. I'm not sure I approve of the awful title of the book and sometimes her prose is overwhelming however it is a book that has proved its worth time and again. The carrots were even grown in tins in our garden this year and apples for the crumble came from our neighbours tree.
Today has been an equally busy day as we have finally harvested the plum tomatoes the boss has been growing in the Finnish Monkey House Kitchen Garden and made some pasata from the same recipe we used last year. Lucky this time we managed to get two jars instead of last years solitary jar. One important ingredient in a pasata is basil and the boss was sent to the shops with the imprecise instruction to get 'a lot' of basil. This she duly did but with only two jars worth of pasata we are left with a glut of basil left over. This is of course a gift as dinner tonight will now be some gently grilled chicken served with some fresh home made pesto and accompanied by some pasta. Maybe there will be a vodka gimlet served with it, to make it all grown up.
The week ahead should be relatively straighforward. We're off to movies on Thursday and I have Friday off making a nice long weekend. I am wondering whether we will try and make a trip to somewhere like Hammenlinna on Friday or we will just be enjoying being in Helsinki. After that our week in Barcelona is coming up fast, we've been good today and sketched out a first rough itinerary. I do not want to have a relaxing week ruined by an excess of pre planning but a little thinking in advance will mean that we should use out time well. If there comes a time to tear up the plan and head off on an unscripted adventure well who cares?