So, in 2015, for one reason or another, we stayed in Britain. Apart from weekends visiting family and friends we took just the one holiday – two weeks in Wales and the West of England. As I reported during the summer, of 24 lunches and dinners consumed, 22 of them had been “Out of the Bag”, i.e. ready meals heated up by the “Chef”. It is a disappointing catering scene – even our local hotel-restaurant has succumbed, despite the owner being a good chef (in fact, he cooks for “special” occasions, such as a monthly “themed” lunch for around 25 regular customers – such as Italian, Swiss, Lebanese and so forth, but for the rest of the time he uses pre-cooked stuff).
One meal that was memorable – a home-cooked tableful of Cyprus-style food with six friends around us: tahinisalata; taramasalata; melitzanasalata ( yogurt with mint and cucumber; fried Halloumi; Greek salad; olives and pickled cucumbers; pitta bread; BBQ chicken; bulgar wheat pilaf; roast potatoes. For dessert, Mary made one of her favourites from our Cyprus years, orange and almond tart, which is really Spanish in origin. It is delicious, and with the oranges in season now, it is well worth doing.
I am far too long in the tooth to make New Year Resolutions. My intentions for this year are the same as last: to try and bring you thoughts, reviews, recipes and items about enjoying eating and drinking, with the emphasis on getting the best out of Cyprus. (Amen to this in 2016! I followed this with a recipe adapted from a Claudia Roden book on Middle Eastern Cookery. It tastes just as good today)