Friday, October 20, 2006

This Week

A slightly complicated week after a hugely enjoyable long weekend in France. Coming back Sunday night meant little in the house by way of food. After a magnificent seafood lunch overlooking the beach at Biarritz we weren't wildly hungry when we got home. I made a simple standby of spaghetti with butter, nutmeg and Parmesan - pale, delicate and utterly wonderful.

Coffee and cereals for breakfast Monday, I bought a piece of honey roast chicken, a corn fritter and some roasted vegetables from Flaneur for lunch - I had wanted to sample their food for a while and I wasn't disappointed. I picked up a few bits and pieces from the vegetable shop and, with some sausages from the freezer we had sausage and mash and peas for a simple supper.

Tuesday was goat's milk yoghurt from Waitrose, which is light and flavourful to start the day, as well as cereals and coffee for breakfast for the rest of the week. For lunches till Thursday it was another freezer dish - I had half a boned rolled hand of pork from the summer and also, in a separate tub, the braising juices that I had cooked the last one in. So, having defrosted both overnight, I simply fried some finely chopped onion, garlic and rosemary in a little olive oil, browned the meat, added the stock and fresh bay leaf then slow cooked it for a couple of hours. Cold, with white bean salad made with herbs from the garden and a few sprigs of fresh basil, this was a very good lunch box. Dinner was wild mushroom risotto, with chicken stock from the freezer - spotted the theme for the week yet? - and the rest of the bunch of basil.

Wednesday and things started going a little less well. We went to see Frozen Land, a strange and funny Finnish film that confirmed my feeling that Helsinki may be aptly named and came home to what was meant to be a quick and tasty supper of mussel and noodle soup with coriander. The mussels were a purée I had frozen from dinner a few weeks ago, noodles were fresh egg also from the freezer, herbs were fresh. The mussels, unfortunately, seemed to have deteriorated and as I warmed them they tasted very salty and bitter and generally nasty. By now it was late, we were hungry and a little tired and we had next to nothing beyond a couple of eggs with which to conjure a meal. So I chopped an onion and a couple of garlic cloves, stir fried them briefly in some spiced chilli oil added the noodles and some soy and oyster sauce, cooked for a couple of minutes, stirred the beaten eggs through like a carbonara, then finished it with chopped coriander and a glug of sesame oil - about 7 minutes total. And it wasn't bad. Then we slept well.

Thursday I was home late after practicising feminine adjectives in my French class and we had spiced beef and rice from - you guessed it - the freezer, and it was okay.

Friday nothing left for lunches beyond clementines and biscuits so I had a very good freshly made pappardelle with wild mushrooms and cream from my favourite caff - the Barbican Grill on Whitecross Street. May well be pasta for dinner too.

The freezer had definitely started to fill up a little but it came into it's own for getting us through the week with the style we are accustomed to. But I am seriously looking forward to going to Borough Market tomorrow.

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