It is a perpetual quest to remember that you don’t need to think “outside the box”, but that there is NO Box! This of course is emphasised by the long-established development of fusion food primarily where East meets West. My recollections of having Foie Gras filled Wantons in a Michelin Starred Restaurant in Lyon some years ago.

The challenge on many occasions is of course to create something delicious and edible by seeking ingredients in the fridge and cupboards. Perchance I spied Sunday Lunch leftover vegetables into which I carefully folded some softened Cream Cheese put into an ovenproof dish topped with grated Cheese and baked in the oven till golden. Served with the sliced Cold Roasted Lamb and some Mashed Potato – job done. Leftover mash and vegetables mixed together either by hand or in a mixer or food processor can quickly be shaped into bubble and squeak potato cakes. Crisped either side in a frying pan and then finished in the oven – go a stage further and coat them with breadcrumbs for that extra crispiness. If you make too many freeze them for another day.

The most popular title of Cookery Days has always been Dinner Parties Simple but Impressive with an ethos of everything done in advance – a nice bath and a drink before guests arrive and serving lovely food feeling as confident and as cool as a cucumber. To this end it is well worth having that special folder of Dinner Party show stoppers that you can produce at a click of a finger with no effort at all – and beyond the usual repeated old favourites. It is more than worth writing your menus in a book with accompanying recipes / ingredients and guests who attended so repetition doesn’t happen too often.

What is your Dinner Party Entertaining regime if you have one that is? Friday Supper nights are always good as they make the weekend seem longer for some reason. Mid-week Suppers are usually two courses Main with Pudding and or Cheese there may even be a nibbly starter like a Guacamole or some other concoction blitzed up and served with

Melba toast or some other crispy something. Saturdays evenings tend to be more formal and of course one cannot ignore the institution of Sunday Lunch. How many of us still do it I wonder?

For this month a little something to whizz up

Raspberry and White Chocolate Tart

8ozs Ginger Nuts broken up and crumbed

2- 3 ozs Melted Butter

5ozs white chocolate – melted

250g Mascarpone

200g Crème Fraiche

3 punnets of Raspberries

Red Currant Jelly or Seedless Raspberry Jam

Combine the Ginger Nuts and butter and press into a loose bottomed sprung cake tin (I line the bottom with baking parchment)

Cream together the Mascarpone and Crème Fraiche – then fold in the melted chocolate

(it mustn’t be too hot)

Refrigerate – a few hours or overnight

Top with the Raspberries and then glaze them with melted Redcurrant Jelly or Raspberry Jam.

(You could of course add some Blue Berries of other Berries / Fruits of your choice)