Yesterday, when I finally prised myself from the grip of my nice warm bed, I found that Julia had left me porridge and a bacon sandwich. It’s at times like those that you realise how fortunate you are in your choice of wife.
It seemed only fair that I reciprocate this morning, so I took her to McDonalds. It’s slightly less impressive as a gesture but it’s a lot easier and there is no washing up.
Tonight we are having our traditional vegetable stew with dumplings. It’s low in calories, low on additives, cheap and delicious. It’s also a reliable recipe we have now been making for some months.
I have not exactly covered myself in glory this week, with a couple of new recipes that went slightly wrong. I say “slightly” but in one case we’ve been staring at it for five days. I would feel bad if I threw it out, as it’s a terrible thing to waste food. On the other hand, I will probably feel bad if I actually eat it.
What I did was to make a base for a vegetarian cottage pie by using small diced vegetables, onions and beans. It looks good and the texture is good. If only I hadn’t followed the advice of jamie Oliver to use a teaspoon of Marmite all would have been well. If you follow his recipe exactly it may well have worked, but I didn’t. I mixed and matched and ended up with a dish that is abominably salty.
If I boil a potato or two in it I’m likely to reduce it to soup. If I dilute it and pour the salty liquor off I can’t guarantee an improvement. And if I add more ingredients I just risk wasting more.
It looks like it will be heading for compost, and a valuable lesson will have been learned regarding recipes, though it’s not the first time I’ve been let down by a recipe from a celebrity chef.
The second was nothing like as bad. In fact I quite liked it, though Julia was less keen. I made a root vegetable hash and baked it with four eggs on top. I didn’t quite get the balance of vegetables right (too much swede/rutabaga), and the baking dried it out a bit but I think it has potential. The problem is mainly that it didn’t have corned beef in it, which keeps it moist and gives plenty of flavour.
At work, we finished the banknotes. AS you can see from the note below, I reached Zambia. Eddie did Zimbabwe, and we both heaved a sigh of relief.