Two weeks early

 

We’ve just been into the garden to bring in the first bowl of elderflowers.

 

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Unlike last year when we were pressed to make our annual supply of cordial before we went on holiday, this year we’re going to have it all done with time to spare.

 

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It’s been a busy couple of days in the kitchen.  With people coming and going here, meetings and get-togethers, Ian here painting the house and a tea party to go to tomorrow, it was time to buy in the stocks of blueberries for my favourite cake (Blueberry and Pear “Emergency cake” from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries).  I’ve made two so far and will make a third tomorrow morning.  Though the pear and blueberry combination is always a winner, peach and raspberry, apple and blackberry or any other variation on the theme work just as well.

 

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With the aroma of the poached chicken (yes, I finally got around to that!) from lunchtime filling the kitchen too (made to Rose Prince’s recipe, with a delicious combination of cinnamon, cloves and black peppercorns), it’s a good day to be in there.

 

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But I had to share these gorgeous flowers, too.  I bought them in Waitrose yesterday and were unsure whether they were tulips or peonies at first.  Once home, I saw immediately they’re tulips, but the colour and form of the flowers are amazing.

 

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Though the flowers themselves are actually quite small, the stripes of raspberry ripple with a rich vanilla centre create a striking effect and each flower is a delight, especially where the pale green calyx is showing.

 

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Sadly, of course, they smell of nothing at all. 

Not quite how I hoped

Twinkle toes