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Dangerous Curves

Where The Cider Apples Grow

I returned last night from Somerset, where I'd spent part of the week staying with Howard and several members of his family, plus friends and partners, in a five-bedroom house rented for the occasion.

My own family is minute and doesn't go in for large gatherings, so being in a household of ten adults was a very new experience. But everyone was easy to get on with, and there was enough space - and enough vehicles - for people to do their own thing or be sociable as they chose. There was a tennis court outdoors, and a table tennis table in the garage which, due to the weather, got more use. There were two pubs within walking distance. Most of us went to Bath and some of us went to a cider farm, which nobody else seemed to enjoy quite as much as I did.

On Thursday Howard and I cooked dinner for twelve (full house plus Howard's niece's partner's parents, who were staying nearby and had come over for the evening). This was not something I'd attempted before, and although I'd picked an easy menu (baked Camembert, my tried-and-tested pasta alla vodka and a fruit salad of assorted melons served in a watermelon shell) I still got plenty stressed about it all, and missed out on my allocation of starter due to having to jump up and check saucepans every two minutes. But it all worked out and there were compliments to the chefs.

The table tennis was the best bit, though. I could have spent the entire week just doing that.
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Who knows? Maybe you saw me along the way. Eep!

pasta alla vodka

Is that pasta with vodka in, or accompanied by? =:)

There were two pubs within walking distance.

There definitely are good qualities to Somerset. =:) I happened upon one new to me at the end of my walk yesterday evening - I'd been roving around for approaching four hours, and was really in the mood for a good pint or two. So I get to the point where the trail met the road, and there was a pub, with a few good casks, and a very tempting menu.

What is the point of temptation, I ask, if not to be acquiesced to now and then? ^_^

(Now, if only more pubs would offer a good snooker table..)
Oh, I've not seen that icon before! Cutes!

The pasta is in a simple sauce of tomato puree, cream and vodka, with some chopped ham fried in butter. Pretty foolproof and always gets compliments - and from an Italian cookery book, though it doesn't sound like it!
Is the vodka added just before serving, or is the alcohol intentionally evaporated first?

Oooh, pasta flambée! =:)

Presumably the quality isn't overly critical? (eg Sainsbury's own brand, versus Standard or Grey Goose. Mmm, Grey Goose.. I suppose it's just as well it's a bit expensive for an everyday tipple)

Yep, djinni just released the last Free Icon Day results! There are three new ones in my collection now, all easily up to the standard you'd expect from one as talented as he. ^_^
pasta alla vodka

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
It's from an excellent Italian cookbook called 'The Silver Spoon'. Highly recommended if you like pasta!

As a general rule, I find people enjoy food more when you tell them there's booze in it :)
Oh, yes, I've seen that one in bookstores — marketed as THE Italian cookbook to get. I think it's on my amazon wishlist, too.

And yes. :D