I suppose I am not the only person who thinks this, but where has the year gone? Seriously.
I can't believe that it is August and that we are well over half way into the year and that the nights are slowly beginning to creep in again. Sorry to start with such a depressing tone, but looking out onto the restaurant courtyard, I notice the earlier darkness each evening.
I am making a point of enjoying the summer days while they last.
This weekend we enjoyed a day out to yet another ruin. This time however, rather than being a ruined castle, we went to a ruined stately home. Witley Court near Worcester is a very grand Georgian house that burned down in 1937 after a kitchen fire. Now all that stands is the empty shell and recently restored gardens.
L helped me to pack up a picnic on Sunday morning and we sat on the grass and ate it with R, H and of course M, who tried to dip as many crudites as she could into as many dips as possible whilst running off towards the restored fountain and the few dogs that came into sight. It's so exciting to see her running around already.
Multicoloured Courgette, Tomato and Rice Tart
For the pastry
300g plain flour
100g softened butter
50g Trex or other vegetable fat
Cold water to bind
For the filling
200g precooked Arborio rice
Half a yellow ball courgette
Prepare the pastry by sieving the flour into a bowl with some salt and pepper. Dice the butter into the flour and use your fingertips to rub the ingredients together until they look like breadcrumbs.
Add a tablespoon of water and bring the dough together with your hands. Use more water if necessary.
Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30mins.
Grease a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 5mm thick and transfer carefully to the flan tin using the rolling pin. Carefully push it down into the corners and trim to fit. Place in the fridge for a further 10mins to help it not shrink during cooking.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and pour baking beans into it.
Cook for 15 - 20mins until just golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before returning the baking beans to their tub to cool. Remove the greaseproof paper.
Spread the rice over the pastry case then drizzle a little olive oil over.