What a smashing weekend!

I know that it is still early in the year but the weekend of the 8th and 9th of April was so sunny and warm we could not resist digging out the table and chairs from the shed and lighting the BBQ. It certainly felt like summer had arrived even though it turned out to be short lived. We were obviously not the only family who decided to fire up the BBQ and take advantage of the early sun. The empty sausage and bread shelves at the supermarket seemed evidence of that.

Being in the business of selling wipe clean tablecloths I have a choice of covers for the table, so I opted for the very cheerful and classy Garden Gem, it is so summery it really puts you in the mood for being outside and enjoying a meal with the family. Of course the best bit about using a wipeable tablecloth is at the end of the meal when it is getting dark, a quick wipe down and it can be packed away.

I used a fantastic recipe for a fresh mango chutney which was an ideal accompaniment to the grilled meat and it went down a storm. They said it keeps in the fridge for a few days but there was no chance of that with our guests!

Please find the recipe in case you get the opportunity to give it a go. It was originally given to me at a ski chalet in the Alps, they served it with duck and it was delicious.


Quick Mango Chutney

2  tablespoons of water

1/4  teaspoon of ground fennel

2  teaspoons of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water

1/2  teaspoon of salt

2  teaspoons of vegetable oil

1/4  teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1/2  teaspoon of ground cumin

1 oz of raisins

1 lb of mangos chopped into small cubes

1 oz of light brown sugar (less if your mango is very ripe and sweet)

1/2  teaspoon of crushed yellow mustard seeds

1  onion finely chopped



Combine the Mango, sugar, fennel, cumin, pepper flakes, salt, water and raisins in a saucepan and bring to the boil cook over a medium heat until the mango is soft. Stir in the cornstarch and continue cooking until the chutney thickens. In a shallow pan, heat the oil and quickly fry the mustard seeds for about 10 seconds then add to the chutney. It can be served hot or cold and any left over can be kept in the fridge for 4 days.