…St Clement’s curd, wild swimming and a thief in the garden…

…the glorious sun has been beating down on our little patch and we can’t quite believe our luck. Day after day of blazing sunshine and long summer afternoons have lazily stretched into deliciously warm evenings.  Despite not feeling like being in the warm kithen very much, I have had a surplus of eggs from our hens and so meringues it is, followed by thick, ambered St.Clements curd…

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For the meringues I followed and halved a recipe by Nigella in FEAST and simply used 6 egg whites, whisked until stiff, and then slowly whisked in 350g of caster sugar until the mixture was firm and glossy – I like to make large meringues, piled high, and cooked in a  low oven at around 140 degrees C for just shy of an hour…

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…for the St Clements Curd, I used the left-over 6 golden yolks, whisked in 250g of caster sugar and then over a bain marie I continuously whisked the mixture over a low heat, adding the juice of 2 lemons and 3 oranges and half of their grated zest, whisking until the mixture started to thicken, coating the back of a spoon.  At this point I took it off the heat and slowly added 75g of cold, unsalted butter (cubed), whisking continuously until I had a thick and luxurious curd the colour and taste of summer…

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To cool off I have been dragging a slicked-with-suncream boy and my hot dogs down to where the River Teme and River Clun meet, meandering through our wonderful village of Leintwardine.  Old fashioned Choc-ices and mini-milks have abounded, and we have joined hundreds of little fish darting in the shadows, jumping into the icey waters from the shaley banks after the heat of the day…

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…the thief in my garden happens to be my boy.  One of the things I have always wanted is for my children to understand from an early age how to care for animals and how to grow their own food.  He certainly knows how to pick peas in their pods, wrenching great clumps from their frames and stuffing his bounty into his wheel barrow…

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…I wouldn’t mind but we haven’t grown that many, and so far today he must have eaten the contents of 30 pods – seriously.  Oh well, he’s so sweet I can’t really tell him off for eating too many peas, if it was my St Clement’s curd it might be a different story…

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