Spring has started to creep almost imperceptibly closer this week. I cut a bunch of early daffodils for a friend and noticed that buds were forming on the trees, luminescent with newness. Mornings are milder, evenings lighter and birds cluster on the telephone wire chatting like a string of old women.
Suddenly the comforting soups and stews, slow roasted meat and crumbles of winter seem a little heavy. I long for something piquant, zesty and fresh to pop into my mouth. We're not quite into salad season yet here but my body craves for something light and cleansing to brush out the cobwebs and air the house.
So this month's theme for Go Ahead Honey! is Canapes. Those delicious flavoursome morsels that can be consumed in a single mouthful. Who but the sourest curmudgeon can fail to be delighted by a something that owes everything to delicacy and not even a nod to the concept of filling or stodgy.
Care must be taken over a canape, the delicate balance of softness and crunch, sour and sweet or salt and heat must be closely observed. A surgeon's touch and painter's eye are required to ensure that the finished mouthful looks like an edible jewel.
With all this in mind, canapes are a wonderful chance to let your imagination run riot and choose ingredients that would be too costly or overwhelming on a larger scale. A little truffle oil, smoked duck breast or enoki mushroom can really shine when you treat it with such respectful economy.
Canapes can be sweet too. Why not serve up a number of courses, all in tiny portions? A minute birds nest meringue or tiny cupcake can be completely enchanting - and offer the opportunity to eat more than one dessert in a sitting. Surely an alluring prospect?
The rest is up to you. Make just one kind of canape or a whole smorgasbord, sweet or savoury, just as you like. Write about it and hopefully provide a recipe and a gorgeous picture for us all to salivate over. Email me the link by the 25th of March (also my birthday as it happens) and pop by for a delicious soiree here at the end of the month.
I'm salivating already!