We had a very successful cookery demonstration last week. The theme was Spring Entertaining and Alison and Claire had gone to a lot of trouble to produce a balanced and interesting menu.

For starters we had an aubergine pate along the lines of baba ganoosh, this was served with homemade flatbreads and really started us with an eastern Mediterranean feel. Along with delicious artichoke and pistachio pate and a carrot and cardamon mouse we were appealing to the vegetarian within us! These dishes made a lovely spread of starters but would have equally done as a light lunch with crispy salad or marinated tomatoes and feta.

Then in contrast to the light vegetable flavours, we were treated to duck and sherry pie. This had a beautiful rich flavour without being too strong and ‘gamey’. Alison made her own duck fat pastry which was lovely and crispy even though there was plenty of sauce within the the pie. This was an unusual dish and would sit as easily for a dinner party with friends as it would for a warming winter family supper.

Again another contrast was the teriyaki and coriander salmon. This reminded us of warmer days to come and the spring time freshness that encourages us away from heavier comfort food. Served with Asian noodle salad, we were all struggling to save our appetite for desserts!

However, one spoonful of Claire’s almond parfait and we didn’t need any convincing that pudding was unmissable! Teamed with her delicate brandy snaps, this was a firm favourite.

Finally, we enjoyed a raspberry meringue roulade which rolled up beautifully and sliced to provide 20 helpings of pudding heaven.

These recipes not only gave us a delicious lunch but have also provided some great ideas for forth coming Easter entertaining.