It has been a little bit random, but the weather has finally settled, and we are having some gloriously long, hot sunny days.
The last couple of months have been fantastic for the gardens, but not so good if you want to get a healthy suntan.
The forecast now though is 'scorchio'. And that can only mean one thing - it's time to fire up the BBQ.
We are very lucky because where we live there are some great local farmer's markets and we can get everything we need for the barbecue. Limoges is the closest (14 km), and there is a market on every day. Or there is Saint-Pardoux every Wednesday (16 km), and Saint-Junien every Saturday (19 km).
From locally-sourced meat - chicken, pork, and amazing Limousin beef - to home-grown vegetables, cheeses and fresh, crusty bread. There is plenty to choose from every day.
So now we have got you thinking about the barbecue, what are your family's favourites? Anything goes doesn't it? Even delicate fish fillets can be cooked in foil over a gentle heat. And what's not to like about a hot mixed-fruit kebab, served with a scoop of ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate sauce?
We have put together a few quick and easy barbecue recipes for you to try out this summer. Tell us which ones you like the best, or share your favourites with us. We love trying new tasty dishes.
BBQ Corn-on-the-cob with melted comté cheese – comté cheese is delicious and gives this dish a bit of extra flavour.
Perfect Barbecued chicken – if you are planning to have a few friends around, then try to marinade the chicken overnight. It definitely makes it more succulent and tasty.
Charred courgettes, haricot beans and ricotta - this has got a little bit of a kick with the hot chilli. Don't overdo it though
Asian-style Beef Salad - a light salad with barbecued steak and Asian-inspired dressing. Delicious
Fruit skewers - If you're still hungry after al the meat and veg, and the BBQ coals are still going strong, then put some fruit on. Charred fresh pineapple pieces are divine with a little lime, honey and black pepper. Or halve a few strawberries, put them on skewers and barbecue for about 5 mins. Drizzle with honey or a dash of Pimm's just before serving.
We don't want to be party-poopers, but if you are going to be having a barbecue and inviting a few family and friends around, the last thing you want to do is give them food poisoning. Food needs to be prepared, stored and cooked properly. Try and keep as much of it in the fridge as possible, and don't bring fresh meat out to sit in the sun. Serve up a sensational barbecue while keeping your guests safe.
And barbecuing safely doesn't just refer to the food side of things. If you’re not sure about how to light the charcoals, or worried about burning your kebabs, then read ‘tips on starting a barbecue‘, and how to tell when the coals are ready for cooking.
Cool it down
Summers are also made for hot tubs, but without the 'hot'. When you have been out in the sun and you're feeling hot and sticky, relax in a cool tub with a chilled drink. You'll be amazed at how refreshing and revitalising your Cotswold 'Cool' Tub can be. Happy BBQ-ing!