All for the good though, as I suddenly felt like re-creating a dinner we had with the Rule family when we were on holiday in Yorkshire. Roast dinner doesn't feel right when it's 30 degrees and you need to feel strong to even put the oven on. But the constant rain and lower temperatures have made me much more inclined to take my time again in the kitchen.
Tom Rule also gave me a fabulous lesson in Yorkshire puddings when I was there. No 'only in Yorkshire talk', he made me feel that it was entirely do-able, and told me that he had taught himself. That totally bolstered my confidence, as I thought it would be the age-old tale of the family recipe that had been passed down.
The key, he told me over and over, was super hot pans that are pre-heated, along with the vegetable oil (that sits in the muffin pan). You've also got to be super-organised so that you can leave the Yorkshire puds until the last minute, and not need to open the oven. If you do that it takes all the puff and rise out of the puds, and they collapse on the spot.
He recommended Jamie Oliver's recipe, so we went with that.
My first yorkie puds. A very proud moment!
Of course, this has to be accompanied by all the usual suspects: beef, roast potatoes and parsnips.
I ground some black peppercorns and sea salt to roll the beef into.
Searing the beef prior to roasting in the oven.
Beautiful beef. It disappeared within 10 minutes flat.
Maybe not the perfect match to the meal, but I felt like whipping up a pavlova. Perfect way to end a lovely family dinner.