Ruby Tuesday

The table is set
This week we  had a special dinner booked in. An expat couple,living here in the Algarve were celebrating their 40 married years together.(I have changed the names to initials in this post to protect the privacy of the individuals).They had been given,by their daughter across the oceans a present of an away day ( and night ) at Casa Rosada.She gave them the choice of a night at one of 6 selected Algarve bed and breakfasts and they chose us. When we get a booking like this we pull all the stops out to make it special.The menu was sent to Australia ,and was very rapidly given the seal of approval. A little fine tuning was done and suddenly it was all upon us.The sun shone for them and they enjoyed morning coffee in our garden.Having settled into their room they set off at midday to spend the rest of the day exploring the local area.

8.30am Shopping in  market for flowers and fish.First hiccup of day.
Due to the recent storms at sea,the fishing boats have not been going out so there is very little choice of fresh fish on the stalls. My plan to serve a "signature dish" main course of pan fried red mullet with spinach and saffron potatoes must be abandoned.I revert to the plan B - main course with Quail.Next stop my butcher,closely followed by  flower stall. Mission accomplished, return home with flowers and fowl, fresh bread  and prepare myself to greet our guests.

10.30am  Guests arrive half an hour early.throw arms up in the air - exclaim, minor expletives. Pass task of their welcome to  thespian who serves them coffee in the garden.

11.00am Kitchen prep begins...

1.00pm 3 menu items for starter prepped, main course marinating in fridge and  desert  already prepared in advance.Cook can now relax for a few hours.

6.30pm Glass of Ninfa Bruto in garden

Anniversary couple move indoors to be seated for anniversary dinner

7.30pm Starter served of warm beetroot parfait, Manchego cheese and home made marmelada (quince cheese) lemon scented meatballs roasted in lemon leaves.
Anniversary couple asked what they think of show so far- daughter in Australia done ém proud.

8.00pm Main course of oven roasted five spiced quail served with a jewelled Ras al hanout cous cous and Tunisian carrot purée.Complete silence from dining area. Silence is golden or as many present-day feminists would prefer it:
"Silence is a woman's best garment."
"everything perfect" anniversary couple thoroughly enjoying their dinner. 
Apron off, thespian and I can sit down to dinner at kitchen table till time to serve desert....

9.00. Dessert of Ruby poached pears with peach, wine and vanilla granita. garnished with frozen grapes.

9.55. Coffee for one served. the day is done,time to put feet up

Dear diary what a busy day, able to go to bed relaxed,more happy customers.

J and J´s
Ruby Wedding Dinner
Saturday 29 October 2011

Ninfa bruto Reserva

Manchego Cheese with hme made quince jelly
Beetroot parfait  with artesan breads
Lemon scented meatballs

Main course
Roasted 5 spiced quail with jeweled Ras al Hanout
cous cous and Tunisian carrot puree

Drunken poached peaches,
with wine and vanilla granita

J and J drank

Quinta da barranco Longo Escolha 

Valdepenas Reserva 2004, Tempranillo


  1. I love quince cheese! But on a more serious note, what a lovely thing do do (the daughter for the parents). Charming!


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