Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The News We Have Waited Six Months For

Last Friday we found ourselves smiling, shouting and almost jumping for joy when our solicitor called and said "We've exchanged, you'll be moving next Monday!"

Overjoyed is not the word. This house sale has been six irritating months in the making and we have pestered those acting on our behalf, considered trashing the house for the next owners and almost cried ourselves to sleep when we discovered that yet another moving date was postponed because the other parties involved were not acting as fast as we would have liked.

We have entertained, lived and loved among these walls as much as we could.

We are moving from a Victorian terrace to a Victorian semi detatched cottage with the extra space we craved and a beautifully established garden. We are looking forward to a glut of eight types of summer and autumn fruits and long summer evenings spent amongst the fragrant herbs already established. We are so eager to get into the house that we have already done a lot of packing and are picturing where all the furniture will go. Little diagrams illustrating where all the kitchen equipment might go litter the dining table. We have chatted about paint to go on the walls and the possibility of a few changes to the house.
It has a new kitchen that is only slightly bigger than our current one but has a huge window and seems so light and airy. L has already started planning a house warming for once the boxes are unpacked.

There are some very busy and exciting times ahead for the three of us. We know it's going to be stressful and a bit mad for a couple of weeks, and so this will be my last post for a fortnight or so.
I'm busy trying to empty the freezer and found some puff pastry lurking at the back. All three of us seem to be tomato mad at the moment, so plenty of ripe ones had to match it somehow. A few days before I threw the words 'tarte tatin' into a conversation with L at the dinner table who confessed he'd never tried one. Okay, okay. I know this is not a traditional one with apples and a beautiful sticky caramel sauce oozing around them, but it's a start and L and M both loved it.

Tomato Tarte Tatin

500g ready-made puff pastry
40 cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp runny honey
plain flour, for dusting
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
small bunch fresh basil
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
Pack the tomatoes tightly into a 20cm/8in ovenproof frying pan or cake tin with the olive oil, salt and pepper and drizzle over the honey.
On a well-floured work surface, roll out a circle of puff pastry the same size as the top of the frying pan. Place the puff pastry over the tomatoes, tucking it around them so the tomatoes are encased.
Brush the top of the pastry with the lightly beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes, until the puff pastry is well puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for a few minutes, then carefully tip away the excess liquid and put a large plate upside down on top of the frying pan. Using oven gloves, press the plate down hard and then quickly flip the whole thing so the frying pan is upside down and the plate is on the bottom.
Remove the frying pan. Once the tart is cold, rip up some basil leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  1. Yummy idea.
    Any chance the party can wait til I'm back, if not can you throw a second smaller one for me please?
    I am very excited for you.
    Plus Im going to get the recipe for the best tarte aux noix ever and you will have to make it.

  2. I'm so happy for you. We just excepted an offer on our home two days ago. It's such a relief isn't it? The dish looks amazing and the color of those tomatoes makes me want my summer garden.

  3. Oh my goodness! This recipe looks delicious! And, congratulations on things coming together for your move! That is awesome! Good luck with everything and send me some of those lovely fruits and veggies, please :)

  4. Lovely and appetizing recipe. Good luck on the move.

    Have a great weekend :)

  5. The recipe is very lovely...the colour of the dish is so vibrant. Congratulations and good luck on the move. It would be great to have a garden full of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs.Thanks for dropping by my blog and I am glad to follow you.Have a great weekend.

  6. Glad to knw ...Congrats ...and this looks so yum...wonderful idea ..thanks for visiting and Ur nice words ..

  7. Tomato tarte tatin - how inventive. Congratulations on the move... I've swapped homes a few times and I know how horrid it can be !

  8. Congratulations!!! I'm sure you'll love the new cottage, and I hope you'll share photographs. I'm a little envious of your established garden :)
    And the tomato tarte tatin looks beautiful and delicious. I can't wait for seasonal tomatoes so I can do one myself :)

  9. Congratulations on your new home! Your cooking and photos look just beautiful! I've never seen tomatoes look so good!