The moment the sun comes out for more than a day, I turn in to a lazy sloth.  I was about to make that fantastic Jubilee pudding as a special treat for a gathering of friends.  but the sun came out – and instead, I decided to change thiso complicated recipe t an easy-to-prepare Lemon Posset.

This set me thinking.  Preparing a meal for friends shouldn’t take all my energy;, so  here is my

Summer Lunch Party menu:

Drinks – lots of friends are now tee-total, so I’ll make a big jug of Virgin Mary, which can become a Bloody Mary for those who want something stronger  This always seem to go down well for a mid-day drink and looks very healthy!

  • Tomato juice – allow about 5 ozs per drink

(if you have  a glut of tomatoes you can make your own by cutting tomatoes in half, cramming into a blender and whizzing up (if you don’t like seeds scoop them out of halved tomatoes with a teaspoon, before blending)                                                                                                                                                                                                             Then add whatever you like from the following

  • Celery salt
  • parsley by the handfull
  • watercress or spinach leaves by another hsndful
  • spring onions – about two per pint
  • Green pepper and/or chilli (if anyone is on cancer or other medicinal drugs leave these out)
  • Salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice to taste

Blend these all kngredients together, tasting as you go along, then keep it in the fridge until time to serve.- if liked you can put a stick of celery in each glass


Get out your largest flat serving dish or plastic tray  :  Spread out slices of ham/chicken/cold roast beef or any other substitute meat, cheese, feta, hard boiled eggs, tinned tuna or allternstive you like and surround with lettuce hearts, tinned artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumber and other salad.  It looks pretty if you scatter radish roses (made by cutting into radishes and leaving to open up in a bowl of iced water)

Serve with potato salad or cold new potatoes scattered with mint leaves


Cookbooks say this simple but delicious dessert was around in the 13th century, and and often contained Sack – a fortified sherry. It was so popular that people often had their own posset bowls, and you can still find silver ones in antique shops

  • 600ml double cream
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • zest 3 lemons, plus 75ml juice (freshly squeezed, NOT out of s bottle)

    Put the cream in a big saucepan with the sugar and gently heat, stirring, until the sugar has melted. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 1 min. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.

    Divide between pretty pots or bowls, or into glasses or coffee cups – anything that looks pretty.  Cool to room temperature, then place in fridge for at least 3 hrs, or up to 24 hrs.

    Serve with little biscuits or fruit salad on the side


  • Enjoy – and get others to help set the table in the garden!