An evening that was almost balmy and I'm out of the house before you can say Barbecue!
In the garden, the trees are alive with blossom - the apple is particularly beautiful - and birds are trilling everywhere, especially in the old pine that rises high out of next door's back yard. The setting sun casts its golden glow over everything, including my mood.
The coals in the barbecue are glowing, the table is set (check tablecloth, nice glasses) and a gin and tonic is sitting there saying come and get me with its lemon slice smile.
So I come and get the gin and tonic and I sit back and I sip it and I think to myself, what a wonderful way to spend summer evenings.
Then I remember we are moving to a new house next week. With not so nearly as beautiful a garden.
(Hmm. That's OK. It's a blank slate. And I have already started planting - a score of hedge plants, a camellia, a couple of roses and a few other things. And a vegetable garden down the side - tomatoes, zucchini, herbs.)
Where were we? Putting the chicken on the grill. I'm cooking it on the bone, and I've wrapped each piece in foil with a lot of lemon juice, garlic and a dash of olive oil so it stays moist and tender longer. When it's three-quarters done, I pick some sage, rosemary, parsley and oregano from the herb garden and, removing the foil from the chicken, I place each piece on a bed of herbs back on the grill for a lovely fragrant taste. And aroma!
Slices of zucchini and red and green capsicum have been grilling away as well. Some nice fresh bread and a green salad, and that's our first barbecue for summer.
Now the sun has almost gone, but a full moon is rising.
Dessert? We had called into Achillion earlier in the day for some galaktoboureko and baklava. I don't know what it is about Greek cakes, they just go with early summer so well, especially when you are eating outdoors. All that unctuous honey ... delicate filo pastry ... sensuous custard.
Chocolate cake just wouldn't be right, would it?