Fox on the Run

Wednesday, 16 March 2011
It is always a sad moment when a weekend comes to an end, but this past weekend was particularly hard. Luke and I spent it in Milton Keynes, which if jobs permit will soon be our new home, this time with Neil and Nic. (We were in MK the previous weekend dogsitting for them.) 

Friday evening we chilled out and had a lovely dinner made from the duck Luke's colleague sent him from France and Nicola's scrumptious dauphinoise potatoes. Topped off, of course, with a couple of bottles of red wine.

Saturday we spent the day wandering around Stony Stratford, a small village near Neil & Nic's where the phrase 'cock and bull story' comes from. While there Luke finally got his hair cut so it no longer looks like I'm married to Cousin It. In fact it no longer looks as if I'm married at all as Luke and I both turned in our rings to be resized. Mine was 4 sizes too big for me!!! 

After a trip into Stony, we went into central Milton Keynes to have another lovely dinner, this time at Raymond Blanc's Brasserie Blanc. We were joined by Neil & Nic's friend Dave and his three-year-old daughter, Matilda. While she was initially shy, Matilda soon decided I was her best friend and gave me a fairy princess sticker. I'm told this is a high honour, as she usually doesn't bestow new people with stickers so quickly. Luke also got a sticker a few minutes later, his was a plane. My sticker is decidedly more cool. Neil received a text after dinner from Dave telling me that I was a hit with Matilda. She said, "I like Erin because she is pretty and she held my hand." Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

The best part of the weekend, and the whole reason Luke and I were down there was to go to Twickenham (England's rugby stadium) to watch the England v. Scotland 6 nations match! While I didn't enjoy getting up at half-seven to get ready for the mini-bus to pick us up, I was surprisingly upbeat. I jumped up as soon as the alarm went off, while Luke just grunted and hit the snooze button. We were all kitted out in our England rugby shirts and on the mini-bus by 9:15. Which meant we were sitting down in a pub with our first pint by half-eleven for a 3 o'clock kick off!

The atmosphere at Twickenham is like none I have ever experienced, I can only liken it to what I assume the Super Bowl could be like. Everyone is happy and their is a buzz about. Their were kilts any way you turned, England was after all playing against Scotland, and English flags being waved with enthusiasm. All around the grounds were little stands selling all sorts of trinkets and food ranging from English favourites (i.e. fish and chips, Cornish pasties) to South African BBQ.

Our seats were excellent, only twenty rows back from the try line, which meant I could see all my favourite rugby boys in pretty good detail. :) The entertainment of watching the players warm up was surpassed however by a rather naughty fox, who somehow made his way onto the pitch. This fox stayed there for several minutes, much to the annoyance of officials who were trying to get him off and the delight of fans who cheered him on. In hind sight cheering for the fox was not the best of ideas, it probably scared the poor thing

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

The game wasn't the best I've seen, but for me that didn't matter because the atmosphere was so good. It was a close game, but this was due to the number of penalties each team got, not trys. My boy, Toby Flood, was not at his greatest but England got the result we wanted and need to win 6 Nations. 22-16. If England beats Ireland this weekend they will have won every game the entire tournament and thus win the tournament with a Grand Slam. I hope they do, but it will be a tough match for them, Ireland can be a formidable team and if they play how they did with Scotland I don't like their chances. I can only assume they'll play harder as everyone (including myself) always thinks England is going to crush Scotland which means England doesn't play as hard. A foolish mistake, and one that could have cost them, but no matter, like I said they won!

This coming weekend is another one to look forward to, as Amy, my friend since we were 9, is coming to visit for a week. We're spending the weekend in London, where her mother has generously gotten us a room at none of than Ruben's At The Palace - the hotel I stayed out when I came to the UK for the very first time. I wonder if Nathan the doorman will be there still?

Erin x

Recipe: Tarte au citron

Thursday, 10 March 2011
Q: What could be greater after a dinner of spaghetti carbornara (Luke's and my staple dinner in France) than a tarte au citron?
A: Absolutely nothing.

Luke and I weren't feeling quite satisfied after dinner last night so Luke suggested we bake ourselves a little treat in the form of a tarte au citron. Neither of us had ever attempted this before, but how hard could it be? After finding a recipe online we found that in truth it was very simple. All you really need are some basic ingredients like flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and of course lemons.

The two things that make this recipe hard are the prep work (which isn't substantial but still zesting three lemons doesn't happen in 2 seconds) and waiting the 20-30 minutes after it's in the oven to eat it. It seriously smells so good! Luke and I had a lot of fun with this recipe and a great time making it together. It probably didn't turn out perfect, but it didn't matter to us in the slightest, the flavour was phenomenal!

Our yummy tarte!

Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy

Tarte au Citron



For the pastry:
  • 150 g (5oz) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g (3 1/2oz) unsalted butter
  • 50 g (1 1/4oz) caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • Few drops of vanilla extract*
 *Luke and I didn't have vanilla extract and it tasted fine just the same

    For the filling:
    • 3 medium eggs
    • 100 g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
    • 142ml carton double cream (that's heavy whipping cream)
    • Finely zested rind and juice of 3 lemons
    • 23 cm (9 in) fluted pie tin

    Optional: Icing (Powder) sugar for dusting.


    1. To make the pastry: Tip the flour and salt into a bowl, and add the butter, cut into chunks. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix to bind the ingredients together.
    2. Tip the dough out onto a floured worktop and knead it very lightly to give a smooth surface, then roll it out and use it to line the pie tin. Chill the pastry case for at least 15 minutes. Set the oven to 190 C. Bake the pastry roughly 15 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 180 C.
    3. To make the filling: Beat the eggs, then add sugar, cream, lemon rind, and juice, and mix well. Pour mixture into the pastry case, filling it almost to the top.
    4. Bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of the filling have set and it is just slightly wobbly in the centre. Remove from the oven, slide the pie tin on to a wire rack and leave the tart to cool in the tin for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely. Chill the tart well, and dust it with icing sugar just before serving.  

    Erin x

    Find the original recipe at Women's Weekly Recipes

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