Monday, 6 July 2009

Dinner Parties, Markets and Stonehenge

We had a busy old weekend this weekend!! Our lovely friend Onelia (Neils) came down from Manchester to visit us so my Friday was spent in a cooking frenzy!! I made Tom Yum Goong (Hot and sour spicy soup made with prawns) for a starter and followed that up with Kua Gling (Pork mince with loads of lemon grass, chilli and garlic), Penang Curry (Beef simmered in coconut milk and then cooked with loads of spices and coconut cream) and Jasmine rice. I managed to have everything prepared by the time she arrived so I got to spend some time with her rather than spend all my time in the kitchen!!.

Neils used to work with Chris so had arranged to meet with him at work and then the two of them travelled here. We gave her the grand tour of the house and then cracked open a bottle of bubbly and had a good old catch up as we'd not seen her for ages!! The weather was beautiful so we took her down to our local pub 'The Smoking Dog' for a couple of drinks before dinner (which was fab because she got to see Malmesbury at it's best). I'm happy to say that the meal turned out really well (I was a bit nervous as I'd never made Penang Curry before!!) and we ended up sitting up till the wee small hours drinking, chatting and generally having a really nice night!!

She headed off about lunchtime on Saturday so Chris and I went to the Veg Shed to stock up for the week and then when into Tetbury for a wee mooch about. We had a lovely relaxing afternoon....something to eat in one of the cafe's and then a look round the Saturday market. I ended up having a long chat about Thailand with a woman who makes her own jewellery...she was telling me how expensive she found buying Thai silver but then told me that she sourced it from Rome. I suggested that she might want to buy direct so she gave me her address and asked me to send her some information which I'll do later today.

Yesterday we decided to get up early and go visit Stonehenge as neither of us had ever been there!! It's rather impressive but I think I actually preferred Avesbury because you could get up close to the stones whereas Stonehenge is roped off. Still, we had fun walking round and taking lots of photo's and we had ice-cream then stopped off at one of Wiltshire's top 50 pubs for a drink on the way home. It was a lovely way to spend the day and then when we got home Chris cooked a Cottage Pie with garlic mash which was absolutely divine!! All in all we had a rather fab weekend.


HelenMHunt said...

The Penang Curry sounds gorgeous. Glad you had such a good weekend. How are the splats?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I just love Thai food and your menu looked great. Those kind of weekends are just so relaxing, You sound happy!

Lily Sheehan said...

Great pics. I've driven past Stonehenge a few times and i vaguely remember visiting here when I was at school.
The food looks yummy. You should do Come Dine with Me. You'd win hands down. (I really should stop taking about tv lol)

Lindsay said...

Agree about Avebury - a little less publicised than Stonehenge. The Veg Shed - too much weight of soil sold with the veg!!!!

Carol said...

Helen - I love cooking but get really stressed when I'm making something for the first time for someone who's coming for dinner. Normally I test the recipe first. I'd planned to make Pomello salad but couldn't get a Pomello so had to improvise...I was so relieved that it turned out well!!

The splats are fine :-). Totally at home here now...I can't believe how quickly they have settled!! Lugs even came out and said hi to Neils which was very brave of him!!

MOB - If you like Thai then you should give me your e-mail address and I'll send you the recipes :-).

I am happy...feel like we're finally getting's not been the easiest year all in all but things are definitely on the up!!

Lily - OMG I love Come Dine with Me!! I'm astonished at some of the characters that take part (will never forget the bloke who hid paper under his plate and then noted down everything he thought was wrong with each meal!!). I would be rubbish...would much rather get a group of friends together and cook for them :-D

Lindsay - Avebury is much less commercial and much bigger. I'm glad I've been to Stonehenge (and will probably take some of our visitors there) but Avebury has a nicer feel to it!!

C x

French Fancy said...

I don't know which I would rather eat - your delicious Thai feast or Chris's cottage pie - they both sound yummy. It sounds like you are really enjoying your new UK life - I'm a bit envious (in a good way)

Kevin Mullins said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend. I actually had dinner in the Smoking Dog on Saturday night - a lovely steak. I also have never been to Stonehenge - it's a travisty really and I should go. I lived in London for ten years and never really saw many of the tourist things there either!

Debs said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend all round. You live in such a beautiful place too.

Carol said...

French Fancy - Well, next time you are in the UK let me know and if your anywhere near our neck of the woods then you can consider yourself invited :-)

Kevin - Really!! We were in the beer garden at the back!! It would be lovely to meet you at some point :-)

Oh you should definitely go!! I bet you would take some really wonderful photographs of it!!

I lived in London for about five years and, like you, didn't really go and see many of the attractions!! I always intended to go but never actually got round to it!!

C x

Carol said...

Debs - You sneaked in there!!

It was a lovely weekend...lots of good food, wine and laughter and we even managed to fit in some culture too!!

C x

Ann said...

Oh how delicious, garlic mash, never thought of that, drool, garlic mash, I love garlic on anything, well within reason, doesn't do much for the cream doughnuts.

What a wonderful weekend you had, loved the idea of you both wondering about, though pity you could not get near the stone.

Sometimes Carol you have the most perfect times, and you look back on that and hug yourself.

Carol said...

Ann - I can highly recommend the garlic mash...he cooked the clove in with the potatoes and then squeezed out the pulp when he was doing the mashing!! There is a restaurant in London which has garlic in everything...even the ice-cream!! (Can't remember the name of it!!)

It was a shame that we couldn't get closer...I can see why they did it (there was some vandalism a few years back) but it does spoil the mood somewhat!!

I think that's one of the lovely things about keeping a blog!! Once Chris and I had been in Thailand a year we looked back at the beginning of the blog and chortled our way through it :-)

C x

ladyfi said...

Garlic mash sounds delicious! And I'm impressed that you can cook Thai food. In fact, anyone who can cook is impressive...

Lane said...

What a fab weekend. You certainly picked a beautiful part of the country to live in.

And your food looks just .... droolsworthy:-)

Carol said...

Ladyfi - It was yummy!! He's a great cook :-)

Once we knew we would be leaving Thailand I made it a priority to make sure that I knew how to cook all the things that we loved!! (When I was younger I couldn't even boil an egg...I've improved with age!!)

Lane - It's a stunning area!! We have even been known to go for a drive of a Sunday afternoon but don't tell anyone cause they'll laugh!!

The recipe's were not as difficult as I thought they were going to be...but they were tasty (even if I do say so myself!!)

C x

Ann said...

I shall be having garlic mash tomorrow, buying lots of garlic cloves, when I go to the supermarket.

Somehow garlic ice-cream does not appeal to me Carol, wonder why, though I am not over fond of ice-cream, apart from the delicious ice-cream in the Italian cafe's in Glasgow, and Nardini's in Largs, now that is so delicous.

Double nougat and oyster coming my way, I can dream I suppose.

Facilitator for Creative Children Workshops said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

DJ Kirkby said...

So much yummy food, I think I put on a couple of lbs just reading your post. xo

Carol said...

Ann - Nardini ice-cream....I had forgotten about the existence of Nardini ice-cream!! (Mouth is watering at the thought!!)

Enjoy the garlic mash :-)

DJ - Hahaha, Yeah...I'm trying not to think about the weight I put on over the weekend!!

C x

cheshire wife said...

Sounds like the perfect weekend and you didn't even have to leave home.

Ann said...

Okay decided to go to supermarket, dreams of creamy garlic mash had something to do with it.

Hurried home with my loot of potato's, garlic, boiled, poured the water out, and most of the potato went with it, I know Ireland has a history with potato's, but I have to say they are the worst in the world for boiling, we always buy the new potato's, friends bring bags over, jerseys, mmmmm, lovely.

Anyway, stop drooling Ann, vaguely had a taste of garlic mash, not much fun though when the mash runs through the fork, will wait until my next lot of potato's are brought over.

Next time Mr Man is making mash, could you leave a bowlful, aka goldilocks and the three bears style on the window ledge for me please, I will eat, and return empty dish.

Have to say I was very disappointed with my endeavours.

Off to watch Torchwood now, yeah, sometimes they do have good stuff on the TV.

Pat Posner said...

What a fantastic weekend.
The soup...ah, the soup - recipe pretty please!
Glad the splats have settled in


Carol said...

Cheshire Wife - I think people forget just how much there is to see and do in the UK.

We both love exploring so we joined the National Trust when we went to Stonehenge and got a free guidebook to England. Tintagel Castle in Cornwall looks amazing so I think at some point we'll take a long weekend and go visit :-)

Ann - Oh no!! There is nothing worse than really looking forward to eating something and it doesn't turn out as you hoped :-(. I'll make sure that Chris leaves you out a bowl next time he's making it!!

Torchwood was great last night!! (I hated the first series and didn't get to see the second one so was very pleasantly surprised!!). I'm looking forward to tonight's episode!!

Pat - Quite a few people have requested it so I'm going to type it up and post it here :-D

Let me know how you get on with it

C x

Ann said...

Will be hanging around your house waiting for the hot bowl of garlic mash to appear on the window sill Carol.

Torchwood, I sit on the edge of the couch watching it, Mr Ann keeps telling me to breath, I love it so much, spin off from Dr Who, though I am sure you know that ha!, Jack is amazing, this story is amazing, it actually makes you wonder just how much goes on with governments in real life, don't you think?, I doubt they would hesitate for one second to get rid of anybody who stood in their way, looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.

Carol said...

Ann - Ahhhh, wondered who that was hanging about outside. I should have known it was you really...wild hair, green eye shadow and looking a bit hot....who else could it possibly have been :-D

C x

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