Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Comfort Food

Yesterday was a total write-off in terms of productivity, seeing as I'd spent the previous evening sitting around my kitchen table (yet again!) drinking red wine and listening to highlights from the Phil Spector Christmas Compilation, the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack and various soft rock epics until around 3am. This would be a very sad scenario indeed were it not for the fact that I was not alone; the Gascoyne Place boys agreed to shift allegiances and ventured up the hill from town to join Mike and I at Mouchuck, the cute (though utilitarian) BYO Indian diner conveniently located less than a three minute walk away. Yummy food, excellent company - and total exhaustion the day after! It was worth it, though.

This evening, England are playing ... somebody (football really isn't my strong point). The match is live on TV, so Mike has invited his buddy round to watch it with him. While they're doing that, I'll once again set up camp at the kitchen table - though this time, without the wine or the accompanying disco - and attempt to put an outstanding (in terms of lateness, if not quality) feature together, seeing as the deadline passed yesterday. Praise be for understanding editors! But let's not tell her that actually, I'm about to spend the afternoon cooking - it's as though the oven is calling me.

While I'm in no way obliged to do so, I'm going to slow-roast a beef casserole (beef, shallots, thyme, red wine, carrots, real stock), adding a handful of homemade suet dumplings to the pot 30 minutes before completion. I've never made dumplings before, but this morning, my local friendly butcher spent 25 minutes telling me exactly how to go about it, and now I'm fascinated. If they don't work, I'll just scrape them off the casserole and make a pile of steaming mashed potatoes instead. While the oven is on, I might as well pop a treacle tart onto the top shelf, as well as tomorrow's sausage casserole, wherever I can find the space. The comfort food season is upon us and I'm already making the very most of it. Mulled wine in the pipeline ...

Cheers, discoites! Come back soon.

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