Am feeling pretty horrendous…I thought I had managed to avoid getting the cold while everyone around me was dropping like flies. Sadly, when my ball and chain succumbed at the start of the week it was only a matter of time before I were to spiral after him.
Naturally, given my trend with luck, it made its presence known in full with the arrival of Saturday. Despite feeling like my head was swallowed whole by a deep-sea cotton wool monster I have decided to make the most it by indulging my recently developed obsession with cooking.
There was a time when I had myself convinced that I couldn’t cook for shit, save for the family recipe for chicken soup which I think is part of my DNA so doesn’t really count. With an entirely relative degree of accuracy I think I can trace back the point when things changed to when I started visiting my mother, as standard, every Sunday. She has an abundance of cookery books, in particular those penned by that deviant food diva and personal heroine, Nigella Lawson. In time I found myself rifling through them, out of idle interest more than anything else because I don’t recall there being a self-motivated decision around the subject of cooking for oneself.
In either case, it began with a Belgian beer-braised beef stew and went from there. Now I can’t get enough and am now gathering my own little collection of recipe books…on semi-permanent loan from my Mother if I am being honest…have you seen the price of celebrity chef cook books?!
Well they were my jumping off point, now I collect recipes from the ether and transfer them to my own notebook. Recent favourites include a Swiss Cheese and Smoked Ham Bake, inspired by what one might eat after coming in from a day’s skiing in the Alps. Indian Butter Chicken Curry, ideally enjoyed with friends because it’s freaking amazing! And I also perfected the classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich; not a recipe in the traditional sense I grant you but still a snack worthy of the book. Ideally made with two different kinds of cheese - I recommend Emmental or Raclette and just a little bit of really strong cheddar. Also, make sure you use really good bread; chunky slices of a bloomer or something equally rustic. The perfect post-pub midnight snack, I guarantee it will keep your hangover at bay.
Nursing the first stage of my crappy cold, I stayed in bed for most of the afternoon watching the Food Network and harvested recipes. The result of which is a menu plan for a Festive Dinner Party I intend to throw (four glorious words, Ginger Ale Baked Ham). And also tonight’s activity; to combat the “I’m ill on a Saturday night” blues I whipped up my classic Ice-Cream Cake (a ridiculous hit with my friends) to be enjoyed later but have also indulged in a new recipe. It’s a posh take on a very standard dish, Meatloaf. I have never made Meatloaf before but the version I am undertaking is a pork and steak mince version with a garlic and butter sauce. Entitled 1770 House meatloaf, after the East Hamptons (NY) restaurant where it was created, it’s actually meant to be a three meat kind of loaf. The third being ground veal, however I find myself too lacking in funds to be frivolously buying ground veal. That and the Maryhill Tesco to which I am adjacent doesn’t have it.
Anyway…it’s in the oven now…smelling and looking (as much as meatloaf can) amazing. I will let you know how I get on.