Thursday, 11 April 2013

Don't get your hopes up but spring may have sprung

After the snow over the Easter weekend, I was beginning to fear that spring would never arrive. Day after day of bitterly cold winds, flurries of snow and ice that didn't settle but didn't stop and unrelenting grey skies had me feeling that this year we were just going to have twelve months of winter.

Then on Saturday, the sun came out.

Of course, we were terrified that it would be the only day of sun for the whole year, so we determined to make the most of it. We jumped in the car and went for a country drive, followed by a walk at Ashridge Estate. Paul was particularly keen on the idea, because there was a stand of Scots pines that he wanted to photograph.

As we pulled up to the pines, we spotted these lovely creatures wandering through the trees.

There have been fallow deer at Ashridge since the 13th Century, and while the stags kept an eye on us, they weren't particularly bothered. It makes the "deer crossing" signs on the roads around here quite pertinent. They put the hert in Hertfordshire.

After our walk, we skipped the delights of the National Trust tearoom and went home to barbecue some burgers. Paul thought venison burgers, but I felt that would be a bit rude. And anyway, we had some very nice beef burgers in the freezer that have been waiting for a fine day.
East London Steak Co Blue Label burgers

While the burgers thawed, I made Dan Lepard's slider buns and a quick celeriac slaw.

We melted slices of pepper cheese over the patties. Because we trust our meat supplier, we were able to leave the burgers deliciously pink in the middle. No additional sauces, just a few thin slices of raw onion.

It's grey and wet again today, but at least we had a taste of spring.


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

"we were terrified that it would be the only day of sun for the whole year" - Hilarious! Looks like you ended up having a lovely day.

The Cat's Mother said...

I understand your uncertainty re: the seasons. I can remember Bill telling me "it never rains in Brisbane after March". The forecast is rain every day for the next week.

Mary said...

What a lovely way to spend a sunny day. The burgers sound delicious. I hope your weather holds and that your weekend is off to a great start. Blessings...Mary

grace said...

that's a fine day indeed! i love, love, love the melted cheese just gripping that meat! :)

Simona said...

I hope spring comes for good soon. I'd be just as impatient as you are. This afternoon, I saw a small tree labeled calamondin and I would have not known what to make of the label had it not been for your posts abou it. I was tempted to get one, but before I do, I need to get a better sense of how much care they need. And your idea of dyeing pasta dough to make black cappellacci is brilliant. Thank you so much! I will try and do it. It's actually not easy to find uncleaned squid, which is what I need to get the ink sac, so it may take me a while, but I'll get to it.

Joanne said...

i am SO excited for spring!! And I definitely hope it's here for good. I miss spring/summer foods!

kat said...

We just keep getting more snow and cold. It is the longest winter.

Foodycat said...

Leaf - we did! And it then took a week for us to get another sunny day.

Mother - crazy weather.

Mary - I think spring is here!

Grace - we were pretty happy with that cheese too.

Simona - I've only bought sachets of squid ink, I've never tried to gather my own from them!

Joanne - I know! I want to have big salads!

Kat - hopefully your spring won't be too far away now!

Joyti said...

what a nice way to celebrate spring!

And I always love spotting deer, its a bit magical. Last time I did, the mom ran in front, but the two baby deers kept turning back to stare at me, which was adorable!


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