I was very excited on Saturday as my best friend and her family came to visit us.
I don’t see her as often as I’d like to, as she lives in Stafford.
She brought me a lovely present:
I can’t ever remember a time when my best friend wasn’t in my life, as we grew up living four houses away from each other.
My best friend is one year younger than me so we did have other friends, but she was the one I was always with, out of school.
I have many many fond memories of my childhood with her:
When she was little, she would knock on our front room window and yell “Lisa”, rather than ringing the door bell.
We would spend hours playing with her dolls house and Sindy doll, which I was very jealous of, as it was wonderful.
There was one time when we decided to ‘paint’ my alley, (my dad was a painter and decorator at the time) as I had overheard my parents saying it was scruffy. We thought my mum and dad would be so proud of us and we were both shocked when they were angry and told us it would cost pounds to replace the paints, as we had used the same brushes in all the different coloured paint pots.
I always remember our Christmas’s fondly, as we would run round to each others houses excitedly on Christmas Day, to show our presents. Her family’s Christmas tree was always to die for, as they had a ‘real’ tree, that seemed so big every year and they were so beautifully decorated.
Her family always welcomed me as part of the family.
So many lovely memories.
We had so much fun when we were younger. We would talk, play, laugh and dream of times when we grew up and had families of our own and here we were, together with our own families, still laughing and talking.
We were going to have a Greek BBQ (as my husband is Greek Cypriot), but yet again the wet weather convinced us not too. So I cooked the second best thing:
I made some patty pan soup and homemade bread as a starter.
For the main course, I cooked a very large roast chicken, roast potatoes, pilaf rice and served it with some pitta, salad, homemade houmous and tzatziki and some shop brought taramasalata.
They brought the wine, so we also had the odd glass, or two or three (I’m not quite sure)
My recipe for houmous is very easy and cheap.
Recipes for houmous have tahini in, but I found it didn’t store very long (according to the bottle) and so I ended up wasting it. So I make houmous without using it and it tastes just as nice. It also freezes very well, so I usually make a double portion and freeze half. This is my recipe:
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
A 400g tin of chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 garlic clove chopped finely
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz round until the chick peas are thoroughly chopped and it’s creamy.
That’s all there is to it. I make my own yoghurt and grow my own garlic which makes it even cheaper for me to make. I buy larger packs of cumin and my tins of chickpeas from the ‘world food’ section in the supermarkets, as you usually find cheaper brands in this isle rather than the brands you find in other isles (the supermarkets are so crafty).
For pudding I made some courgette chocolate cakes with chocolate icing on top:
The recipe for this cake is here.
Also I wanted to make something extra special, so I made a Luxury Lemon CheeseCake. It isn’t cheap to make, but it tastes divine and it’s another very easy recipe and it doesn’t involve cooking it in the oven.
I’ve worked out that my cheese cake totalled £5.51 to make. To give you a comparison on price, Marks and Spencer sell their cheesecakes for £13.00
This is how I make it:
Luxury Lemon Cheesecake
300 grams of digestive biscuits
75 grams of margarine
3 X 250gram tubs of mascarpone cheese
60 grams icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons
Grated chocolate or lemon zest to decorate
Line a 9 inch, loose bottom tin with foil
Put the biscuits into a clean bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they are all small crumbs
Melt the margarine in a large pan. When it has melted, take off the heat and mix in the biscuit crumbs
Press the biscuit mixture into the tin with the back of a metal spoon so it is flat and even
Put the base in the fridge to chill for an hour before making the topping.
Beat the mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, lemon zest and juice altogether in a bowl and then spread over the biscuit base
Decorate with either more lemon zest or chocolate
Leave in the fridge over night to ‘set’ as this makes it easier to remove the cheesecake from the tin and foil.
I had a great time with my best friend and her family, I feel very privileged to have a friend like her.
My oldest, best friend.