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Showing posts from February, 2014

'Put the spoon down and step away from the pudding!' To share or not to share?

I'm fine with it, as long as what I have in front of me isn't too small. If I have three grilled scallops as a starter I'm not going to give any away, no matter how much I love you! I'll happily order some more though. But a slice of my steak, a forkful of the baked fish I've ordered, some of my chips, a spoonful of my risotto, lasagne... sure, no problem. Here. Taste. What do you think? And as someone who doesn't usually order dessert I'm more than happy with the 'dessert and two/three/four spoons' trend that's drifted across the Atlantic in recent years. 
What about Indian and Chinese meals? Are you a fan of the 'let's all order what we want and then share everything' approach? Or do you like to have what you're having? And enough of it. Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that some people change their minds over what they thought they wanted, their pedestrian Chicken Biryani for example, and then chow down heftily on…

The Great British Bakery

It is just before 9 on a Friday morning and I have tucked myself into a corner, while I wait for my car to be serviced, next to a chiller cabinet, that growls intermittently like a reluctant tractor, with a bacon bap and a milky coffee, the foam swirled and peaked like a cloud and thick enough to eat with a spoon, the only customer here. 
And then it begins: a clutch of mothers returning from the school run, men in work boots or jangling keys, one man with a swept back wave of silvered hair who beams, ‘Helloah!’ into his mobile as he pushes through the door, an old man with a damp umbrella, some office workers, according to their shoes. Like a flood erupting into the warmth and light from the dull and drizzled street. 

Farmhouse, cottage, bloomer: seeded, granary and rye. Bread pudding, Belgian buns, cherry Bakewell tarts with bright red noses. Lemon drizzle cake and carrot cake and Eccles cakes, and doughnuts filled with vanilla and jam. And sausage rolls, bacon wrapped in pastry blank…

A Big Friendly Giant thank you. And a hello.

And the occasion? It was twenty nine years ago, on 3rd February 1985, that I met Tony on a blind date. I knew by the time my main course arrived (Lobster Thermidor - you knew I'd remember what I ate, right?) that I'd fallen in love with him and could feel a small whirlwind of panic spinning around my solar plexus as he told me about his future work and travel plans. I'm not going to see him for over 3 months! Why are you being so stupid? a rational brain cell responded. You've only just met him.  
How many more years do you think we'll have? I asked him last night. 
I think I'm going to live until I'm 88, he said.
Can you make it 91? I asked. Then we can celebrate 50 years together.
Of course, neither of us can really know the when. Or the how or why. There's a pop-psychology/philosophy question that bounces around the internet: if you could know the date of your death, would you want to? The argument for is that we would fully live every moment known …