Tuesday, 24 January 2012

January 24th - Fairies make biscuits and the two Hoover family

Dear Nigel,

I'm just recovering with a glass of something dry. Molly had a friend to tea. I'd forgotten how intense these sessions can be. As if realizing time is relatively short, they got through several games, dressed up as fairies, and  had a fine time making biscuits. Most of these had been welded to the table, and rather a large amount of uncooked dough seemed to be disappearing into their mouths. Maybe with hindsight, choosing to cook half an hour before tea was not a very good idea.( I hope the mother doesn't blame me when her offspring is sick in the night). At least Molly has moved on from the days when she used to eat Blue playdough. I remember, i didn't discover that one until nappy change time.

My second son, Chris,(the only one of them reading my blog), rang up to moan that he was the only one who didn't get a mention. I told him it was probably because he was quite normal, with no hang-ups or food phobias. And he is; but he does have this amazing psychic power that i haven't quite figured out as yet.

 I regard him as my second hoover - the first is obviously the dog. Nothing is safe for even a moment with Poppy. If i want to nip up stairs i have to put everything in the cold oven or the microwave, or five feet up on the top of the fridge. The Turkey spent Christmas eve in the back of the landrover because i didn't want to come down on Christmas morning to carnage in the Kitchen.

My second hoover is a more selective vehicle. Whereas my first vehicle will remove anything in its path, animal, vegetable or mineral, my second vehicle has an alert sensitizing device. You know those times - well most times - when you go out shopping for washing powder, loo rolls and Breakfast cereal, and, just to get you through to the checkout, you slip a 'something special' into your trolley. It might be a small piece of special cheese, a packet of biscuits or a little bowl of olives. Whatever it is, it has your name on it and anyone touches it at their peril. You take it home. You have to pop out. You realize other people are in the house so you hide it at the back of the fridge behind the jam jars and the milk. Or you put it in a high up cupboard where only plates and bowls live. It matters not. By the time you come back through the door, that morsel of prosciutto you'd been thinking about for the last half hour will be midway between two slices of a doorstop sandwich. "This is great Mum," he says. I'd like to say i approve of his good sense of taste, instead I just feel bereft. Again. Could someone perhaps invent a biscuit tin with a false bottom where you could hide all the chocolate ones? Or a cupboard with a retro safe opening handle? I rather like that idea - three clicks to the left, two to the right...

I am making Kuku - an Iranian omelette with saffron, from Sam and Sam Clark's "Moro East". I must remember to freeze the rest of the pine nuts.  I tend to leave them in the cupboard and they always look a bit  rancid next time i come to need some. I'm not as good as i'd like to be at using up leftovers. I had this dilemma at Christmas. I was making Delia's Christmas pudding, as I've done religiously for the past however many years it is. Waitrose decided to produce a kit to make Delia's Christmas pudding, with everything weighed out. Then a little time went by and the kit was reduced in price. I went into the shop to buy exactly the same ingredients in the box and yet  i couldn't somehow bring myself to pick up the kit instead, even though it was probably considerably cheaper.

You make a wonderful sounding herb butter with blue cheese and dijon mustard. It's a shame that you find chard a disappointing accompaniment. I used to grow lots of it in my garden in Cornwall. I think i was always  somehow amazed that i could get something to grow that we could actually eat. My results with carrots were less than impressive.


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