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  • It was our turn to be in Mini's house, that is to say, Mr Dardani's house, this early-dark evening. Our neighbour had prepared Tiger Prawns for supper. I had baked Savoury Cheesecake, a vegetarian recipe from one of the most enchanting cookbooks ever, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen.

    The big Tiger Prawns were a first. I had never had prawns that weren't shrimp-red before and after cooking. We abstained from vegetarianism this meal and appreciated seafood with our host.

    We admired Mr Dardani's dwelling. We were in elegant shelter put up in 1825. "Old Bert" showed us the changes he had made in the house Colonel Matthews built.

    The antique cape has since been extensively renovated. Perhaps Mini would have to reorient herself if she saw the inside.

    But not the outside. The house looks the same as when the family of Mr and Mrs Dardani lived there, and doubtless Colonel Matthews would have no trouble recognizing the brick facade he built so rigorously to last. With the contemporary renovations, the original Matthews residence is all set for its bicentennial, a dozen years away. And many more suppers beyond that. That will please Colonel Matthews. And Old Bert.

    Photo of Antique Chamberlain-Worcester Supper Service Plate circa 1825 by Ruby Lane
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