I think us Brits can be forgiven for getting a little over excited when we get get hot weather as we get such little of it, relatively speaking. I guess we appreciate it all the more because of that, and we know to make the most of it while it lasts as it's so fleeting in the UK. Although we are now in sunny springtime there is a good reason for the phrase 'April showers' so the last thing we were expecting was a heatwave, especially as we had snow just a few weeks back, but that's exactly what we've had. It was surprising but very welcome and just what we've needed - everything is just so much better when the sun is shining. Shorts come out from the back of wardrobes, music blares out of open car windows, shops get ransacked for barbecue food, it's fabulous!
This year hasn't been as I'd anticipated so far, getting off to something of a false start for me. As last year drew to a close I had to say goodbye to a dear friend, my cousin-in-law's father, when he sadly passed away. Unfortunately this was to be the first of several bereavements, the next being an uncle at the beginning of the new year and then my own father at the end of January, the latter throwing me into a turmoil with not only the grief to deal with but also a funeral to arrange and my father's affairs to sort out.
Lemons were the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of this series. They are one of my favourite ingredients, adding refreshing, bright, zesty flavour to such a wide range of dishes, both sweet and savoury. I love their fresh smell and sharp taste and most often use them just as they are, squeezed over lightly poached salmon fillets, rice dishes or salads. They will always very simply and easily liven up a dish.