6 August 1999

Veterans enjoy the midland ambience

MEMBERS from as far afield as Cornwall and Northumberland, and all stages in between, gathered at the annual meeting of the Crystal Set – members of 15 years or more standing.

The weather was perfect for enjoying the Warwickshire countryside and chatting with friends over a drink before lunch. Quite a few menfolk came along in their capacity as chauffeurs and also enjoyed the scenery and convivial company at the Woodhouse Hotel, Princethorpe.

A few years ago I had a vision of long tables with damask tablecloths filling the lawns of the hotel with a couple of hundred members milling about, maybe next year the response will be so great to celebrate this milestone that my dream will come true.

Welsh speakers make foreigners at home

THEY do things differently in Wales. For one thing, the Merioneth FWC leadership changes every two years, which is no bad thing as some contact leaders will tell you that meetings are not so enjoyable when you have responsibilities to fulfil.

On a hot summers evening we sat overlooking the river valley above Dolgellau surrounded by magnificent mountains and welcomed Margaret Rees as the new contact leader. She has taken over from Gwynedd Leigh, but will be supported by Ann James. Rona Jones remains secretary and Angela Balchin treasurer – their terms of office dont finish until next year so there is always an overlap to keep the club running smoothly.

With quiet efficiency the programme planning took place and although many of these members first language is Welsh they make the English-speaking ones at home and much laughter was had at my attempts to speak a few Welsh words.

Jean Howells




Spiced Lamb Chops with Summer Vegetable Rice

Serves 4


1 pack Waitrose Fresh Mint

15ml (1 tablespoon) Bart Spices Picante Pimenton

1 small onion, grated

1 garlic clove, crushed

30ml (2 tablespoons) Waitrose Olive Oil

8 lamb loin chops

1 bunch salad onions, trimmed & sliced

1 small butternut squash, about 450g (1lb) peeled and de-seeded and cut into 1cm cubes

30ml (2 tablespoons) Waitrose Olive Oil

pinch of saffron strands

200g (7oz) Waitrose American Long Grain Rice

600ml (1 pint) water

180g pack legume medley

1 X 397g can Waitrose Artichoke Hearts

Mix 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint with the marinade ingredients and reserve the remaining mint for garnish. Smear the marinade over both sides of the chops, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Cook the salad onions with the squash in the oil for 2-3 minutes, then add the saffron and cook for 5-10 seconds. Stir in the rice, then add the water. Bring to the boil, stir cover and cook for 8 minutes. Grill or barbecue the lamb chops for 6-8 minutes on each side or until cooked. Stir the legume medley and the drained and halved artichokes into the rice, cover and cook for a further 6-8 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Season to taste, then stir in the remaining mint. Serve on warm plates with the chops and a tomato salad.

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