Sunday 27th February
‘Come for supper and Scrabble,’ says my friend.
‘I’ll bring pud,’ I say.
‘Something easy,’ she says. ‘Don’t cook anything’.
I decide that roasting a pineapple doesn’t count as cooking. I look at some recipes on the internet for inspiration - vanilla and ginger seem to be common theme in all of them. This is my version.
Scrape out the black sticky streak of seeds from a split vanilla pod and add them to a thick slice of butter melting in a pan. Slice a finger length of fresh ginger root into slivers as fine as needles and drop them in, together with long glugs of maple syrup, clear honey and Madiera wine. Simmer for several minutes and then pour over the waiting pineapple slices, arranged in a shallow dish. Bake in a high oven for nearly an hour or until the black speckled juices have turned amber gold and glazed the pineapple half moons with a glossy sheen.
To stretch my pineapple pud which rather diminished in size in the oven, I take along a wedge of seville orange almond cake and a tub of vanilla honey yogurt left over from supper with my dear sisters last night.
When we are stuffed full of fluffed cheese souffle and succulent roast veggies - as well as the caramelised pineapple - we lay out a scrabble board and tussle with vocabulary. And the thorny question of what to put down when your hand holds only vowels.