It has been pretty amazing really.
We shared some special times together and we will most definitely miss it a lot.
Quite a lot.
Toby and I decided, it is about time we say our good-byes.
Farewell to our beautiful little garden!
Our little but perfectly formed garden has been the super star of this flat.
Over the years, we spent a lot of time and effort making it into the little urban oasis we love to be in. We wrote our history with the collections of odd objects we'd come across in places.
An old bath tin from Toby's nan (my dear nannie Dubery who always looks after us from high above the sky), vintage apple boxes we bought to find a home for my fat belly Buddha, a little white bench that provides wonderful spot for the afternoon nap, all cracked but still going strong chiminea kept us warm outside all the way through the cold month, selections of bottles with joyful memories... and so on.
Moreover, the garden itself has nurtured us and helped us to be calm.
It taught us to be the souls that respects of just being.
We wanted to make the most of it and that is just what we did.
Toby stirred up the most refreshing Moscow Mule while making sure of the barbe.
I was in charge of the BBQ for two that turned out to be more like a banquet for two. A good one it was, very good way to start the holiday.
Such a lovely weather carried on and we enjoyed doing normal everyday things. A bit of tidying up, putting the washings out and just pottering about doing nothing much really.
And then the heaven opened.
There was a thunder and some heavy rain that came from nowhere. For hours and hours it carried on.
The tiger was getting married perhaps. My mum used to say this a lot when we have a shower with the sun still smiling at you in the sky. Funny, isn't it?
Blackened pork belly with salty maple glaze
500g pork belly
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 lime juice
some black pepper
for salty maple glaze
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
10 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3 tbsp sake
1 tsp sugar
mixture of peppercorns
Start by marinading pork belly. Make sure to score the meat to ensure the marinade to penetrate and to create good crackling.
Mix all marinading ingredients and rub them in and around the meat. I do this with my hands so I can push those lovely flavours into my meat. Don't worry about wet skin. I promise you, you will get a good crackling as you finish it off the barbe.
You can leave the meat for anything between 1hour to overnight.
When ready, fill your baking dish with some water half way up to the meat while making sure not to touch the crackling part of the meat. Cover them with foil tightly.
This will be cooked in the oven (175º) for around 2 hours.
To make the salty maple glaze, add all ingredients together into the small sauce pan apart from maple syrup. Bring them up to boil and simmer until the mixture thickens and become syrupy. Take it off the heat and stir in the maple syrup.
Now get you barbe ready (or you can do this under the grill if you like), and cook your pork belly skin side down first to crisp them up. It will take no time. And don't panic if your crackling looks dark. It is the soy giving the belly a little more colour.
Once you are happy with the result, put them on the board and brush them with generous helping of maple glaze.
I prefer to glaze them at the end. However, if you like the belly more sticky, you can glaze them while they are on the BBQ (or under the grill) as well.
I had them wrapped in round lettuce and some chilli dipping sauce, Korean way.
Hope you enjoy.
So this was our farewell.
The weather was on our side, stunningly warm and glorious. The time was also on our hands, giving us all the opportunities to plan and proceed. And more importantly, our friends were here to take part, engraving the most wonderful memories of all time in this garden for us.
I opened Tokaji.
It has been waiting for long to be celebrated sitting quietly in our booze corner and it seemed like a perfect moment.
The first ever garden that made me have fun connecting with the all things green and those flies.
The first chapter of our life together and the first place that made us strong.
And I wish not to, forget...