I have just come to the end of a pleasant glass of chilled white wine. Looking back over the day – our last in the office for 2012 – the inescapable theme has been one of creativity. Planning and designing brand new training for the field, articulating the beginnings of a strategy for arts and media in our work, interviewing for the next issue of Beyond the Horizon – and that was all before midday! And finally my third Jamie meal!
Asparagus and bean lasagne, Tuscan salad and mango sorbet …. hmmm! So one of the main lesson’s I am learning is ‘trust Jamie!’. Trust is an issue for me, I am beginning to realise just how much. So far I have cooked his crispy salmon meal and the pork chops. Half way through preparing the yummy mustard potatoes that go with the chops, I decided I knew better. “Why would you boil potatoes in a microwave? we have plenty of time, I’ll do it on the stove!”. A few minutes later I read on and realised that he wanted me to bake them in the microwave, not boil them. I apologised humbly and changed my ways. The potatoes were GREAT! I left out the anchovies – “yuck, who would cook with them!!!”. I chopped the peppers, chillies and other yummy stuff, and threw them into the rise …. then realised I was supposed to mix the rice with them and the dressing on the board – like he said! It would have been much nicer that way too!
So this time I got the anchovies and the capers – neither of which I think much of. I used the fennel seeds and grated the lemon zest, rather than just squirt in some juice from the bottle. And surprisingly the flavours were fabulous! The bitter salty anchovie slap was nowhere in sight. I reckon its more like the effect of putting salt in a dish, you dont taste the salt itself but it makes a huge difference to the flavour. I didn’t have enough asparagus, I made up too much stock so had to reduce the mixture by simmering. I forgot to buy fresh lasagne, panicked because of time and tried cooking the sheets in water, they all stuck together and I ended up throwing a chunk out. Here’s another thing – I thought it would be light on for filler as a result, but it turned out OK… I think I am less ‘hungry’ with these meals because the richness and flavours satisfy in a different but real way. Interesting!
Thanks to my lasagne experiment and having to reduce the mixture it took over an hour rather than 30 minutes get everything ready!! I am not sure which meal I will take on next, but I know that the more I trust Jamie, the better it will be for everyone!!
We ate at the table with candles and nice crockery, chilled wine and gentle chatter. Skye had two friends over from London. It was a lovely, if late evening rounded off by ‘Salmon fishing in the Yemen’ we had the mango sorbet as we watched; I have to say that went down very well!