While the Cheltenham Buttlers (emphasis on the 'butt') entertained the hens at Littleton Manor, and the champagne flowed, I got on with preparing the barbecue.....
Honey and mustard Home Farm pork loin steaks with glazed apples
I got a whole pork loin from Home Farm where their pigs are Berkshire/ Gloucester Old Spot cross. I took off the top layer of skin, and cut that into strips and cooked it in the oven to make crackling. Meanwhile, the loin I cut into steaks and marinaded those in honey & mustard. Apples I pan-fried in a little butter earlier in the afternoon and re-heated them in the oven prior to serving. There was actually a lot more crackling than that shown - it was so popular/ tasty it all went.
Although I've done these before so many times, these turned out the best. A little dusting with flour before they go on the barbecue means they don't stick to the grill.
No picture of the chicken poached in plum and brandy wine and wrapped in parma ham - but you can see that from a previous barbecue.
Homemade walnut, raisin and rosemary bread rolls and a few salads accompanied this:
Cous cous with barbecued vegetables
Cucumber, yogurt and mint
I picked the mint from the kitchen herb garden to mix through, and the chive flowers, now in their brief season, to sprinkle on top.Salad of spinach, blacksticks blue, baby plum tomatoes, red onion and olives
Then it was a 30 minute dash to the next party of the evening......
Also useful -
Taste of the Grape - Entertaining and informative wine tastings in your home (or holiday home). We cooked for one hen party after they had had a wine tasting afternoon with Taste of the Grape - it seemed to get the evening off to a great start.
Update 6 June 2009
We normally cook for at least one hen party in the Cotswolds a week. On the 6th June it was 4 in the same evening - I cooked for one, my brother Adam cooked for another, Gill cooked for another and one was delivered ready for the hens to finish off themselves.
As it was so busy organising all those events in the same evening, we only managed to get three pictures of the food - the spelt bread which was for one guest who was on a low gluten diet, the muffins cooked early next morning for one of the hen party's breakfast, and the assiette of desserts I served at Upper Court: