Easter Weekend: an embarrassment of riches

I always feel that the four-day Easter weekend – much like New Year’s Eve – comes with a pinch of pressure to Make It Count.  Rather than subject myself to the inevitable rail-engineering-works-bus-replacement-induced rage that comes hand-in-hand with visiting my family at this time of year, I chose to stay in London.  I planned only one thing in advance and left the rest of the weekend wide open.  It paid off.  I had four of the most rewarding, restorative days I can remember.  Highlights included:

Fabulous dinner with Mike and Michelle (long-serving readers might remember that it was these lovely folks who introduced me to the life-changing phenomenon of Christmas Pie) and George.  I even managed to get there early enough to meet their beautiful, smiley baby daughter Eva before bedtime.  They cooked up an absolute storm, including homemade smoked mackerel pâté, Yotam Ottolenghi’s chicken with Jerusalem artichokes, shallots, saffron and other delicious things, finished with a totally sinful and yummy trifle.  I have rarely felt so full.

Discovering that I’m not quite as hopeless with a needle and thread as I had always believed.  I had bought a navy jacket which I liked, but which fit everywhere except the ribs, where it bagged far too much (smug face).  So, after trying on about a dozen other jackets and finding nothing I liked more, I stared my ineptitude in the face, gritted my teeth, furrowed my brow and dug out my rather sparsely furnished sewing kit.  Not only did I successfully tailor the jacket to nip in at the ribs (ahem, don’t look at the lining, ahem), I also customised it.  Gok would be impressed.  Actually, he probably wouldn’t be, but my Mum is, and that’s good enough for me.

Discovering that Kensington High Street was a ghost-town on Easter Sunday but that the gorgeous art shop was open, and a perfect place to indulge my creative side with some quiet browsing.

Using up leftover Christmas giftwrap to make three large origami boxes for organising my sock drawer.  I realise this seems unfeasible.  Something that NO NORMAL PERSON WOULD EVER DO.  I did it.  And I rather enjoyed it.

Completing a brilliant bread baking class at the Notting Hill branch of Jamie Oliver’s Recipease with my buddy Cat.  It’s utterly fantastic – book yourself a lesson if you have the chance.  The place is custom-designed for these classes and you get to take home a bounty of wheaty-goodness.  They even feed you a bacon sarnie (made from the bread rolls you baked) while you wait for your loaves to bake.  Amazing.

Recipease spoils: white bloomer, white rolls, focaccia and white bread filled with Parma ham, sundried tomatoes, olives, Camembert and rosemary

Recipease spoils: white bloomer, white rolls, focaccia and white bread filled with Parma ham, sundried tomatoes, olives, Camembert and rosemary

Recipease spoils: white bread filled with Parma ham, sundried tomatoes, olives, Camembert and rosemary

Recipease spoils: white bread filled with Parma ham, sundried tomatoes, olives, Camembert and rosemary

So, it’s now Easter Monday evening and I am spending my time glued to my iPhone, anxiously awaiting news of my dear friends Liz and Olly, whose baby girl is considering relocating from the comfort of The Mother Ship and taking up residence amongst the rest of us.  It’s taken her longer than anticipated to make her move – these decisions are important, after all – so we are all very impatient to meet her.  Come on, Tiny Person.  It’s time.

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