As I alluded to on Thursday, we have just returned home from a long weekend away. Our journey south first took us to Windsor on Friday, to spend the night with Z's Mum and Step-Phil. We set off after breakfast and broke the journey up with a service station lunch. Z and R had a brace of sandwiches between them and I, in a fit of gay abandon, had what can only be described as a Double Whopper*. We made Windsor in good time and Z's mum was able to get a decent grandson fix before we put him to bed.
Once R was safely tucked up in bed, Phil and I cracked on with the the evening meal; Tapas. Z's Mum had looked out recipes and bought all of the ingredients, all that was left for us to do was follow them to the letter and all would be fine. We cooked; garlic prawns, patatas bravas, garlic chicken, tortillia, albondigas, and of course, chorizo cooked in white wine (only because there was no sherry) and butter beans in tomato sauce. The meal was finished with a gorgeous and light crema catalana that Z's Mum had cooked in advance.
On Saturday we left Windsor behind and hot-footed it to Poole for my niece's 3rd birthday party. I used to work in a children's centre and love kids but I will never have the energy, or bottle, to be a children's entertainer. The woman at the party managed to keep dozens of 3 year olds happy for ages and left them with just enough energy to sit down for a party meal of sandwiches, savouries and cake.
After the party, my brother and I went to the local to watch the FA Cup final and to have a good catch up. A few light ales later it was time to go to our hotel and try to settle R in his new surroundings. Luckily he was so exhausted from the party he went out like a light. He slept so soundly that Z and I got room service and ate in the room. We shared a meat platter, a portion of garlic bread and a bottle of red wine. For the record, I'm definitely not reviewing the hotel or the restaurant.
The 3rd birthday party aside the main event, and the reason behind the mad mileage this weekend, was the Christening of my nephew. Hatches, matches and dispatches are the events that pull families together regardless of distance. After the ceremony, at which all of the children were well behaved, we went back to my brother's house for champers and pulled pork baps. Two pork leg joints had been roasted in a low oven overnight. The meat fell apart as soon as you looked at it so there was no need for carving. Crackling, stuffing and apple sauce made for a brilliant celebration lunch.
Today, bank holiday Monday, we have had to brave the traffic. I normally try to avoid driving whenever a mass-commute is in effect but working on Tuesday meant we had to get home today. After a bottom numbing 6 hour drive**, we finally made it back to Leeds. What I really wanted was a huge salad to try and redress the balance of excess that the weekend had delivered.
Alas, we arrived home after the shops had closed so we were faced with the contents of the store cupboards. Z worked her magic and soon a tuna and tomato pasta sauce was born. A glass of wine and some garlic bread accompanied this meal too.
*this is because it was a Double Whopper. I'm not really a fan of BK or McD's but no matter how much work Heston and his cronies put into saving the service station's beleaguered reputation, the food on offer really isn't that great. We need to start taking packed lunches and having A1 layby picnics.
**including a couple of comfort stops for Z and R.