Why is it that food tastes better when you eat it outside? I am a big fan of dining alfresco, even simple menus like pear and blue cheese salad can be spectacular when you take it outside!
With Summer heralding the promise of warmer weather, anticipation rises about the great summer institution that is barbequing. I find barbequing such a great way to not only cook meat, but also vegetables take on a whole new flavour when griddled on some hot rocks. Take the bell pepper as an example, there is nothing nicer than a barbequed bell pepper, the taste is totally transformed when sizzled on a hot griddle, the naked flames force the pepper to release a delicious sweetness that is perfect accessory on a fancy hamburger.
There are a plethora of other vegetables that take on a whole new persona when barbequed including controversial asparagus! barbequed asparagus drizzled with lemon butter topped with toasted pine nuts is sensational, and who can ignore barbequed corn on the cob?
So, whilst flicking through my photo album from the Beach House we rented in Patonga Beach during our Australia holiday in December, I was once again reminded what a pleasure it is to enjoy food with family out on the back deck. Every night was spent eating outside, we worked our way through a variety of menus including a traditional Italian night, bruschetta, Ragu pasta, followed by affogatos for dessert, to barbequed lamb with a variety of salad accompaniments, to Kingfish given to us by a very generous local fisherman.
The Beach House encapsulated everything that a beach house should be, its all about enjoying the outdoors, enjoying the summer, enjoying company, and for me, enjoying food :-)
And to that end, I thought I would share with you some of the more memorable pictures taken or our dining extravaganzas which serve to remind me that summer is coming, and dining alfresco is a must, regardless that Ireland is a couple of degrees colder than Sydney… I will forever be the eternally optimistic.
(Photography by David McClelland)