Once a month or so I get together with a group of girlfriends I have known for the past 16 years or so, since my eldest daughter started school. We take it in turns to cook, and spend the evening gossiping, drinking, reminiscing and generally putting the world to rights.
Tonight it is my turn to cook. I have already turned the leeks from the garden and the poultry stock, which turned out to be thick and glutenous and full of flavour, into leek and potato soup. I had a packet of dried apricots in the cupboard so they have been soaked overnight in wine, pureed, and mixed with double cream and whisked egg whites to make a boozy apricot fool. For our main course I am making chicken breasts in cream, garlic and white wine sauce, and will probably serve this with rice, mange tout and carrots.
All the ingredients except the apricots came from Aldi and, with a nice bottle of Cava, cost about £25. Not bad for a meal that will serve 5 of us plus the two daughters who are home. I could easily pay that just for myself if we went out to a restaurant, so I don’t mind pushing the boat out for once.