Sunday, June 17, 2012

A day at the races

When I said I was coming to England, my friend Jacky told me that another school friend suggested we come down to the south coast and go to the races with her.  She is a member of Goodwood race track and we should bring hats and fancy dresses! I had visions of drifting around in the sunshine in my fascinator, fancy dress and amazing shoes bought for the occasion. Drinking champagne and sitting outside in the warm sun.  The weather Gods had different plans the day dawned with pouring rain and high winds, but the races were not cancelled.

So we had a picnic to prepare and pack and of course as it was the Jubilee week we would take the Queen with us in the picnic basket.

There were over 13 of us going in several vehicles, but we had the picnic in the back of our car.  The idea was to have a type of tailgate party at the car which we had parked just a few minutes walk away from the champagne tent in a grassy field.

Our portion of the picnic was coronation chicken, served in corn tortilla trays, salmon wellington, white asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and individual pissaladiere. I made the pissaldiere exactly the same as before  but in 2 inch squares, and as we did not have any olives we placed a small piece of roasted pepper in the middle of each one.

We may or may not have snuck some of these pissaladiere in to the champagne tent as the weather really was not conducive to sitting outside. They made a lovely accompaniment to champagne, which apparently is the only thing that you drink at the races.

Jacky had peeled and steamed white asparagus and wrapped it in prosciutto, a quick but very tasty appetizer.

The British are a resilient and stubborn people.  Though I have been softened by my time in the Colonies and chose to hide from the elements in the Champagne tent, there were others, seemingly oblivious to the horrific weather who steadfastly sat outside. Inappropriately dressed for the conditions in the howling wind drinking their champagne, pretending it was summer.

There were six horse races apparently, though this did seem to be just a side bar to the main event, which was seeing and being seen and drinking champagne. I really wish the weather had cooperated, as it would been a lovely way to spend an afternoon and evening, especially as there was to be dance outside when it got dark.  Fortunately there was a power outage and the dance was cancelled or I fear I would have been forced to dance in what can only be described as gale force winds until the wee small hours.

When we got back to Candy's we found the jubilee cupcakes that Jacky had made.  These were inspired by the cup cakes that we had bought at Chipperfield Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Jacky made a basic cup cake recipe and added lemon zest to the batter and then we made the icing also with lemon juice and zest and they were delicious little bite size treats.

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