Food is a very important part of any retreat. Especially a writer's retreat. After all how can anyone possibly concentrate when they're hungry? It doesn't have to be cordon bleu or elaborate - melt in the mouth lasagne, bubbling with golden brown cheese, teamed with a crisp green salad and crunchy garlic bread does the job. Or sleek and flavourful cold chicken, anointed with home made mayonnaise, teamed with tiny new potatoes and firm green beans dabbed with butter. Simple is often best. Only last night we dined sumptuously on a salad of homemade bread pieces sauteed in olive oil and garlic, barely flashed in boiling water garden peas, a generous helping of flageolot beans, a chopped lemon and a handful of basil leaves. The whole thing was well tossed in a generous dollop of very good olive oil and a sprinkling of Thyme.
At the last minute I decided that more was needed, and stuffed some large flat mushrooms with a mixture of softened onions, tomato puree, a tablespoon of plain yoghurt (as if you'd use a fruit one) and some fresh Rosemary. They baked in the oven for 25 minutes, while the salad chilled in the fridge. A meal fit for a king and his queen. Who said life's too short to stuff a mushroom? Personally I think life's too short not to.