Karen Wright: Family time is the best time!

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I am very fortunate to have a large extended family and we try to spend time together throughout the year.

Karen Wright writes: In summer we have barbecues or even a holiday together as a large group.

It’s my favourite way to socialise – relaxed, easy and comfortable.

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This is how we make our memories and when something happens within the family we can look back on the memories and take comfort from them.

Karen and family enjoying their weekend breakKaren and family enjoying their weekend break
Karen and family enjoying their weekend break

My beloved Uncle Graham died a couple of weeks ago. You might remember seeing him feature in my column in the past.

He had the best 90th birthday party last year in his own garden.

The year before that we made a cooking video together and I put him on YouTube, fantastic!

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Just before he died, he was encouraging us to take a trip together this summer.

Geoff, Phil and John in charge of the barbecueGeoff, Phil and John in charge of the barbecue
Geoff, Phil and John in charge of the barbecue

He knew he was too frail to join in but he was looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing about it.

We had booked a weekend on a campsite in North Yorkshire.

We decided to continue with the trip and enjoy the time together. It was an opportunity to share our memories and heal our grief a little.

We were a party of four couples made up of my cousins – Janet, Geoff and Phil, their better halves and of course myself and John.

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Good company and good wine - perfect!Good company and good wine - perfect!
Good company and good wine - perfect!

Catering in a group can be tricky as there are so many preferences to consider but we are nothing in our tribe if not organised! We planned everything before we set off.

The first night was a curry night and we each cooked one at home and shared the spread between us.

I made a chicken tikka masala and spinach and lentil dahl.

The second evening we had a barbecue. We had three gas barbecues on the go and I handed over my tongs to the chaps and let them deal with the cooking.

My husband never cooks a thing in a regular kitchen but is quite happy flipping burgers outside!

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I did make some fougasse to go with the meat. It’s a flatbread, shaped like an ear of corn and can be cooked on a stone inside a barbecue with a domed lid.

We had a lovely time – cooking, eating, drinking, playing games and reminiscing and inevitably, more memories were made.

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