Yesterday saw the end of my birthday celebrations with a Sunday lunch out, courtesy of the farmer. The house is still full of the sight and the scent of the flowers from the grandchildren and my god-daughter and my 80th birthday balloons still hang by the door.
The pumpkin stands out on the bench forlornly waiting for somebody to remove it. But, what a lovely birthday I had, and thank you to everyone who helped to make it so enjoyable and happens to be reading this blog.
Yesterday morning dawned cold and very foggy, but we had booked into a lovely inn in the village of Grantley, near Ripon, for Sunday lunch, so we set off nice and early. The Grantley Arms is a friendly, hospitable venue for a special lunch. It was full of happy, chatty people and our table had been reserved. There was a jolly fire glowing and delicious smells emanating from the kitchen.
After studying the menu for a long time the farmer opted for what I knew in the first place he would have! He had soup (cock-a-leekie) followed by roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. I opted for pan-fried smoked haddock with Welsh rarebit (if you have never thought of this as a combination, try it, it was absolutely delicious) followed by roast pork with lots of vegetables, mostly roasted.
We decided against a pudding but when coffee came it was accompanied by chocolate truffles and shortbreads, rather spoiling our saintly feeling of doing without a pudding. All delicious.
Our journey back was through the fog until we got two or three miles from home when suddenly the sun came out and we arrived home to a warm welcome from Tess, sitting waiting for her walk.
So, back down to earth this morning. The farmer has been cutting briars in all the farm hedges every fine day for the past few weeks. When we have our winter sheep it is important to keep these briars cut back, because the sheep get caught up in them and can't escape. This morning, a fine, bright one, he is gathering them up in the bucket on his tractor and dumping them in a heap to burn. What a shame there are no children in the family young enough to still enjoy a bonfire. Time was when all his parent's grandchildren came for Bonfire Night (which is tonight) and there was a giant bonfire in the field and fireworks, followed by sausages and roast potatoes in the kitchen.
Hmm.......I suppose I could still do the sausages and roast potatoes couldn't I? Better get on with them then. See you tomorrow......