Another absolutely glorious day here. Pleasantly hot - low 30s - and with a gentle breeze just to keep it bearable. Lay out around the pool with a book this morning. Bob did a few odd jobs. Our bathroom fella was hard at work upstairs. Pleasant day. I had made my raspberry red slut jellies yesterday afternoon and they have been setting in the fridge to wobbly perfection. It's a Nigella recipe if you couldn't guess from the name and I've made them before. Really delicious and really easy. A perfect end to a summer meal. Here is the recipe:
Slut Red Raspberry Jelly
300g raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 bottle fruity chardonnay wine
250g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways.
16 gelatine leaves or 3 sachets gelatine powder
Pour the wine into a bowl and add the raspberries. Let them infuse for about an hour. Drain the wine into a saucepan, retaining the raspberries. Add the vanilla pod to the wine. Heat the wine almost to boiling and then let it sit for about 30 mins. Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Add the sugar to the wine, stirring till dissolved. Bring it nearly to the boil again, remove from the heat and add the gelatine stirring till dissolved. If you are using leaves, soften them in a small amount of boiling water first. Put the raspberries in the bottom of individual glass bowls. Clear is best so that you can see the colour. Pour over the wine mixture and put the bowls into the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Offer cream with the jellies. They taste as good as they look believe me. It's a very grown up jelly!
So, a very special night ahead. We were invited to join one of the tables at the annual Music Concert Picnic at the British High Commission in Nicosia. Our friends, Pamela and Eddie, are very active fundraisers for the Royal British Legion and they were hosting a table and invited us to join. The concert is held in support of the Army Benevolent fund which supports our service men and women. Each table brings its own food and drinks. Some people come in fancy dress.
We were travelling by coach which picked us up at the bottom of our hill and took us to Shakespeare House, the home of the British High Commission on the Turkish side of Nicosia. The house itself as absolutely stunning. A lovely Levantine style mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens. There were around 40 tables set up in the garden with somewhere over 400 picnickers in place when we arrived. We quickly set up our table and settled down to tuck in to the fabulous food and drink. We had amazing savouries from Brenda and Tony, Pamela and Eddie made some gorgeous salads, we contributed the jellies and Heather and Chris finished our meal with an amazing cheeseboard. To say we were stuffed would be an understatement. Once we had finished eating we were welcomed by the High Commissioner and then the music began. We had a band made up of two military bands: The Band of the Prince of Wales's Division and The Band of the Army Air Corps. Wow! They were tremendous. They played a great programme which combined some traditional pieces with other very lively pop and rock hits. Excellent singers too. Not what you might expect of a military band. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course we ended up with a "proms" section and all the flags came out for that plus the mansion was illuminated with the various flags of the UK. Everyone had a great time and we raised something like 6000 euro for charity.
Got back to the house about midnight. Very tired and still chock a block with food and drink. We really felt privileged to be part of such a great evening and to see the High Commission mansion under such special circumstances. An amazing night and our great thanks to Pamela and Eddie for letting us share it.