MY annual leave of absence from major kitchen duties during Wimbledon fortnight looks like being considerably extended by the demolition of our existing kitchen before a complete refit. “Duncan the builder” is jetting off on honeymoon midway through the work so I can foresee the barbecue being in constant use whatever the weather.

For a party last year I successfully spit-roasted a whole lamb that was basted with olive oil, garlic, lemon and rosemary and having just attended an all day herb course I have been inspired to plunder herbs from the garden to marinate some juicy tender lamb for this month‘s recipes for the barbecue.

To give the lamb time to marinate in the herb paste it is best to prepare it 4-6 hours in advance. The herb paste will keep in the fridge for up to a week and is just as delicious used with other meats and vegetables. To go with lamb I use some seasonal sweetcorn which I immerse in a bucket of water for at least an hour before use to plump up the kernels and to prevent them drying out and burning over the hot charcoal.

To use up August‘s abundance of courgettes I wrap strips of the vegetable around pieces of chicken breast which are then threaded onto pre-soaked bamboo sticks. This not only keeps the chicken moist but also entices the children to sample courgettes which they are not over-keen on eating.

They need no encouragement at all, however, to devour icecream cones which have been filled with cake mix and baked along with a little surprise of fresh raspberries in the middle. Remember to use the flat-bottomed cup cones as they have to stand up in the oven.

Have a fun packed summer holiday and don‘t forget to get those skewers and sweetcorn into soak.