It's June. We should be enjoying the summer sunshine with barbecues and garden parties. Unfortunately, this year, the summer has something a little different in mind.
While we sit inside, watching the dark grey clouds fill the sky, wishing for the sun to make an appearance - for just a few days - and remembering fondly those glorious two weeks that we had three months ago, it's likely that you're also thinking about all that delicious food that you're missing out on because of the dreadful weather.
Never fear! If you're craving a summery meal, there are plenty of options that will bring a little bit of metaphorical sunshine into your life, if not the real thing. Just put on your favourite cotton apron and get creative in the kitchen.
For example, you could make a big pot of fresh tomato soup. The zingy flavours and vibrant colour will brighten up a gloomy summer day - plus it's full of vitamin C, which will help to ward off any summer colds that might be circulating.
To make a wonderful tomato soup, start by roasting a big pile of tomatoes - a kilogram or so should do - in the oven for about an hour at 190 degrees C. Cut them in half before you put them in to cook, and season them with a bit of salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil.
As the red beauties are baking, go ahead and chop up a large onion, some garlic and a carrot and fry them lightly until softened. You can also chop up some basil and add it to the pan just as the veggies are about done.
When the tomatoes are finished, put them in a large pot with the onion mixture and pour in some chicken or vegetable stock and bring it all to the boil. Then turn the temperature down and allow everything to simmer together for about 20 minutes.
Once it's all ready, allow it all to cool slightly, then give it a good whizz with a hand blender. Stir in a dollop of creme fraiche and up with some crusty bread drizzled with olive oil. Bon appetit!