Saturday, 5 July 2014
Atkins & Potts sauces - and a hint of raspberry trifle
So the Welsh summer started in earnest today. After weeks (yes, absolutely - weeks: plural) of wall to wall sunshine, it's gone chilly, and it's howling a gale round the house on a hill that we're living in. Of course, we are almost holiday makers here (we were good-naturedly accused of being such by a couple of lifeguards not long ago), with the holiday maker's inability to remember all the sunshine we've had recently, I'm feeling miffed that the happy holiday weather is over, and that it will PROBABLY NEVER BE SUNNY AGAIN.
It's funny, isn't it, how the mind plays these tricks on us. My abiding memories of our childhood holidays on the west coast of Scotland are of glorious days full of picnics, boat trips, wall to wall sunshine. Turns out, talking to Mum, that we had about 2 days of sunshine, picnic trips, jolly boating escapades, in all those years of Scottish fortnights, and the rest of the time, it rained, the midges bit, you get the picture.
I am sure that I will remember this first summer in Wales as the former - sunkissed and blissful after the first few stressful weeks after the move, but just today, I've forgotten that we ever felt the warmth on our faces, spent long days at the beach, whipped out in the boat after work and school...
You'd also never have believed that we properly BBQ'd 2 weekends in a row. Actually if you count camping out, we have BBQ'd more than that, but on this occasion, I'm talking about proper big BBQ for other people too, two weekends on the trot. Practically unheard of.
I've seen loads of great BBQ recipes around, but I've got to say that I've pretty much given up trying to do anything particularly impressive on the BBQ itself. Decent sausages and burgers and one other thing, a couple of good salads, and then you can concentrate on doing something lovely for pudding. The 'one other thing' - well that can be kebabs, some lamb perhaps, chicken pieces - if you're brave, there's plenty to be squeamish about with any BBQ meat, chicken in particular.
On both our most recent BBQ-ing sessions, the 'something other' was belly pork from a local butcher, marinaded in some lovely Atkins & Potts Smoky Barbecue Marinade that I was sent, along with a Mexican chipotle chilli sauce and a beef and horseradish sauce.
I usually roast belly of pork slices in a tangy concoction of ketchup, worcestershire sauce and various other bits and pieces. and could no doubt have applied that for the BBQ, but the marinade was a pretty good substitute. Not quite as spicy as the version I'd have made, but kept the meat moist. The other 2 bottles I was sent are full of fabulousness. The Mexican chipotle chilli sauce was a big hit with everyone - it's flavoursome and spicy without being too hot (great for the kids), and works with sausages and burgers, chicken pieces etc. It also tastes fab with eggy bread...
The beef & horseradish sauce on the other hand is pretty firey. No hardship for me - that's how I like my horseradish, but I got a bit confused about what to pair it with. As it's already got 'beef' in it, it feels wrong to eat it with meat, and it's quite strong to have as a dip with crisps. So the jury is out on that one, but if you've tried it and have any suggestions, do let me know!
Of course, not having to make a marinade, and concentrating on just a decent home made potato salad and a straightforward coleslaw gave me lots of time to make puddings. For the first BBQ we threw, for some of the Husband's work colleagues (no pressure, then) I went for Nigella's Swedish Summer Cake, this time sliced into 2 layers and sandwiched with thicker custard than the last time I made it, and a luscious cherry trifle that Blue had spied in an old Good Food mag. The second BBQ was smaller scale, for lovely friends from where we used to live who came to visit us, so one pud - this time a raspberry trifle. Homemade madeira cake, homemade custard - a joy to behold, if I do say so myself.
to be continued...
Just to be clear, I wasn't paid to write this post, or even required to write this. Atkins & Potts sent me 3 sauces to try, and I have chosen to mention them here because I liked them. The opinions expressed are my own!