Last night we were invited to a party at the beautiful Vedado residence of the new British Ambassador.
It was my first official invitation to an embassy actually in my name ….. The party was essentially an excuse to meet the new ambassador and his family, who I had already met briefly outside the French school gates and at the reception of the Guatemalan embassy a few weeks before.
Tim Cole and his family appear to be exceptionally down to earth and normal, and the party was fun, the excuse being an Olympic handover to the Brazilians. So a bunch of miscellaneous Brits and Brazilians were hanging out in the gardens with a smattering of Cuban Olympic stars. I already knew most of the Brits but met a very nice teacher from Wolverhampton and the head of Virgin holidays who lives in Varadero (all inclusive beach holiday central). There was a very large Cuban wrestler with an impressive neck measurement, a female Asturian bag pipe player (I was informed), a few friendly journalists and us. After a short speech the Union Jack Umbrella baton was handed over to the Brazilian Ambassador as the Scotch Eggs and mini Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings were whisked past my nose.
This afternoon, my wonderful chef will arrive to concoct my randomly acquired food into delicious dishes for the rest of the week. So this morning, I had the pleasure of planning menus knowing that I shall not be the one that cooks it. How fantastic is that domestic arrangement? And the fun is that in Cuba you just never know what we will get our hands on. It is a bit like Ready Steady Cook in your kitchen once a week. This week we have a very large rabbit so I have two rabbit recipes one with white wine, thyme, cream and garlic (Jamie) and the other with olives and tomatoes (Delia). I bought some quite expensive baby aubergines a couple of days ago and intend to have them deep fried in olive oil with a yoghurt dip and then make the rest into a parmesan bread crumb gratin.
Recently I have also had an abundant supply of quails eggs, which hard boiled and chopped up on a lettuce based salad … rather delicious, or just dipped into mustard mayonnaise. Saskia eats them likes sweets some days when she gets back from the nursery. And then a few shortbread biscuits that we can eat with Vanilla icecream and a strawberry coulis. The good frozen strawberries appeared again in 70 supermarket last week.
Later I am meeting with Amado my diminutive 80 year old upholsterer as I have finally found some material in Havana Vieja so he can do my art deco chairs and sofa.
Rafa is off to Margerita Film festival tomorrow with strict instructions to find a Zara and buy himself some clothes. I shall be filling the house with friends to keep my children amused and eating lots of rabbit and aubergine ……………….. happy that life is slow and easy in Havana.
Next week will I get to do a one week workshop on script writing ……………….? Or is that just pushing my proverbial luck!?