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Keeping out of the kitchen this morning was just not an option. The enticing aromas of tonight’s dinner would not permit it. Preparation of Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi was under way. The spicy fragrance and enticing colours of food from the Indian sub-continent would, if necessary, compensate for lack of taste. They don’t even have to think about that, for their flavours are second to none.
Initially I resisted, until the bubbling sauce got the better of me;
and the tomato puree added rich colour.
Jackie normally likes to fry the chopped chicken pieces separately, but they had not been defrosted in time, so
in they slid,
and the tempting mixture continued cooking, until,
with the addition of ample chicken stock, the pan simmered away the early part of the afternoon,
until the lid was removed to release the condensed liquid and allow the meal to thicken up.
Heavy overnight rain and a thick cloud layer rendered the garden an inverted version of the pan lid. When the precipitation ceased
a bedraggled fly still sought shelter among the liquid drops on the crab apple blossom;
our first large blue clematis bloom had taken a battering;
and the first offerings of an early rhododendron,
rose Shropshire Lad,
and tree peony, were all somewhat soggy.
Early this evening the weather was dry enough for us to sit in the rose garden for pre-dinner drinks. The higher and brighter notes of the small birds combined with the deeper ones of the wood pigeons, against the repeated refrain of The Needles lighthouse fog warning.
A weeping Madame Alfred Carriere had popped out during the day,
in time to catch the mist rolling in from the sea.
Meat samosas, egg fried rice, and paneer in a curry sauce, were served with the aforementioned stependous jalfrezi. Sticky toffee pudding and cream was to follow. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I started another bottle of the Cotes du Rhone.