Friday, 6 July 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

I am absolutely unconditionally awful at this blogging marlarkey. I talk about food approximately 89% of the time, yet find it hard to put these conversations, thoughts and desires into words! I shan't make paltry excuses about time, workload, general not-eating (unfortunately it's probably all of the eating that gets in the way). I like writing and so I will see if over the next couple of months I can try a little harder before my job gets truly crazy once again.

It's not like I don't have much to say is it? Plenty to write about - I even keep a list of things I want to write about here. Well, maybe my absence will now make your heart grow fonder of this erratic blog.

Last night I was at my parents house, as I like to retreat there with the dog when The Scouser is working his shifts and the house feels a little empty. The dog runs around like a maniac and I indulge in an attention that only your parents can give you. I do like to hear the sound of my own voice but I'm not sure everyone else does. Even more of a treat, my auntie was there and she asked me about my job - a surefire way, when around family, to get me yabbering on for hours.

The Marigolds I bought for Marion

So we had a favourite of mine, as ever produced by my amazing cook of a mother who has taught me a lot about cooking, amongst other things - spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola. It is very easy - I used it for a dinner party and it's good for lining the stomachs because at my house, the wine does tend to flow quite freely.

Anyway, after dinner we got into a conversation about all the recipes we love and our 'go to' chefs. If you've read this poorly-maintained blog before, you will know mine is Jamie Oliver. I have a lot of his books and it's always a success. My faves would be the Spicy Salami with Fennel pasta dish, and the Incredible Roasted Shoulder of Lamb (another dinner party fave). I will post the spicy salami recipe in due course, I can't find it on his website. My mum says her chef is Delia Smith and so ensued a very amusing conversation from my auntie about how my cousin thinks that Delia is 'a bit of a goer once the cameras are off'.

In danger of it all going a little '50 Shades of Grey', we continued to discuss recipes and I extolled the virtues of Mr. N. Slater and his newest book (I think) called Appetite. I urge you to go and buy this book as I think it's the best book I've got. It needs a bit of reading so you can understand how it's written - no measurements (control-freak-chefs avoid), lots of ideas and guidance towards making something you like rather than tricky recipes that go on for pages. You can tell he is a food writer.

What else can I witter on about?

MEATLiquor perhaps. Undoubtedly the best burgers in London, a hotly contended accolade. I shan't attempt to describe their meaty goodness as if you google the restaurant/bar/hole, you will be overcome by hundreds of bloggers and their photos of these beauts. Just go, it's cheap (I haven't spent more than £15 a head in there, with drinks) and the queue really isn't that bad. Just don't be silly and go at 8pm on a Saturday night. And when you do get in, have the fried pickles, they are wondrous.

I'm off to their 'bastard lovechild' MEATMarket next Wednesday to see what that's like - substantially lighter and quieter I expect. They appear to have alcoholic milkshakes so it's already a winner in my books. Have a look here for something a little more explanatory - a much better blog about MM

Then next Saturday I'm going back to Polpo. I'm going to write a separate blog about this dream of a restaurant. I went with The Scouser and my brother. We very much enjoyed it - not overly cheap but the quality was excellent and it's got a really good vibe (god, I hate myself for saying vibe).

Next week, as me and The Scouser have some time off together we'll go to the Two Brewers in Windsor for one of their fantastic steak sandwiches. They allow dogs so we all head off for a very middle class walk down the Long Walk then cosy up in this lovely cave of a pub with very reasonably priced and tasty wine. 

Finally, before I risk sending you to sleep, The Scouser and I will be going to Rome for my birthday in October. It's all booked and I'm already salivating over the food, planning how much I can eat in three days. If you've been, tell me where you went and where you loved.

Thank you for reading this, I'm glad you got this far. I'll treat you with a picture of the orchid my mum has grown. Not sure how she's done it, and neither is she!

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