Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy, happy Easter Sunday

'That' lamb (see previous post) is in the oven and, on the shelf below, 'those' dauphinoise potatoes (ditto previous parentheses) are doing exactly what I wanted to do, namely slump their neatly-sliced selves (no thicker than a pound coin) into that rich, garlicky, creamy sauce. Okay, DP's do neither your waistline nor your heart any favours, but as a once-in-a-while, to hell with Nanny treat, they serve a wonderful purpose. I made a smooth smoked mackerel pate to be served with mini oatcakes for starters, and I rustled up the lemon tart yesterday, to allow it to set nicely (which it looks as though it has). All in all, this Easter lunch was all preparation; I'll steam some carrots and green beans while the lamb is resting, then all that needs to be done is a quick gravy (think I'll sluice the roasting pan out with a glass of port before I thicken it) and plate up. That should all take place at around 5pm; my prediction is that I'll be snoozing it all off by 7.30pm, and bringing the curtain down on Easter Sunday in proper, Bank Holiday slob style. Might this be the effects too much rosé with lunch? Nopey - not for me, anyway; I think I probably drank a fortnight's worth of units last night, so therefore won't be indulging again for at least 36 hours.

Last night was fun. We ate at The Circus (a chichi little contemporary bistro on the Hollywood side of Bath and not, unfortunately, the kind with clowns and dancing horses) which was quite delightful, even though the aioli that came with my steak was way, waaaay tooooo garlicky (but I ate it all anyway) and I was wearing a frock that displayed waaaay toooooo much cleavage (our fellow diners all had that stylish/sophisticated look that doesn't incorporate low, high or cheaply cut frou-frou). As anticipated, we did indeed see out the rest of the evening in GP, which is where the units were imbibed. Afterwards, we threw ourselves into a cab and sang along to George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' all the way home, carrying on as we climbed the stairs (sorry, neighbours). When I eventually worked out how the key to the door to the flat works, I succumbed to the worst bout of hiccups I think I've ever experienced. So while Mike got a head start on some much-needed sleep, I treated myself to a Morrissey/James disco in the kitchen, and sat up drinking tea and reading Jay McInerney's recent short story collection ('The Last Bachelor - it's really, really good) until the birds started singing and the hiccups had become a distant memory. So all in all, it was a pretty darn perfect evening (although I doubt my liver would agree).

Okay, time to set the table and cut the carrots into pretty little wedges. There are just a couple of random atmospheric observations left to share this time around:

(a) The fairground has come early to Victoria Park. I can see it from my window. It looks gorgeous at sunset, all lit up and promising; if Mike behaves himself (and I promise him he can have a hot dog), I might allow him to take me over there tomorrow.

(b) I've added Morrissey to my Fantasy Dinner Party guest list.

(c) Despite what lots of recipes may tell you, don't rinse your spuds after you've sliced them up for dauphinoise; they won't go as deliciously gloopy if you do.

That's all for now, folks! Have a treatsome Easter Sunday. If you've been given enough eggs to fit into one basket, go and pilfer somebody else's stash...

*VITAL UPDATE* (either funny or tragic, depending on how you get your jollies)

The lamb was OFF! And I mean totally and utterly rancid. I thought something a bit odd might be going on when all I could smell when it was roasting was rosemary and soap (how weird!). Then, when it came to carving time, it got weirder (no rosemary at all, just soap). So we tasted it.

Mike ate his bit and made a sort of "hmmmmm" noise. I had one chew and spat it into the bin - which is where the whole leg ended up two minutes later. So Mike dashed to the Co-op and came back with two packets of sausages (at least they were really good ones!), and he grilled them and we ate them with all the accompanying paraphernalia I've been banging on about here, none of which - thankfully! - was off. It actually turned out to be a lovely dinner anyway (Medad, bless him, said "I've never had such delicious sausages in my whole life"). Lordy, I can't wait to pay a visit to Waitrose tomorrow. Compensation will be sought...


Anonymous said...

You have to question whether this was some sort of cosmic suggestion.

Is something like a leg of lamb really compatible with Bank Holiday slobbery?

I would suggest that sausages and dauphinoise are far more appropriate comfort foods for a few days doing as little as possible while reading and watching highly entertaining rubbish on telly.

Melissa said...

Theo, I congratulate you on your rightitude - I'm experiencing similar reflections myself.

Now riddle me this: how come you never replied to my email regarding our rescheduled trawl of Bath's salubrious watering holes? Have you been too busy attempting to digest dauphinoise potatoes?

Ben's dad's missus said...

Bang goes that promise of roast lamb sandwiches for tea, then? Although Ben's dad says cold sausages will suffice. But we hope you've still got some of that lemon tart left, otherwise we're not going to bother making the journey down the road! And NO, we don't fancy coming for curry!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sadly not, the last time I attempted to prepare dauphinoise potatoes I ended up with what could best be described as a very tasty potato milkshake, and I have not attempted it since.

Riddle you that, I did respond, on the 5th of April at about 0943 according to my mail client. I can only assume the internet at the message.

I shall re-send now.

Melissa said...

Those of you who have been following this little saga might now be glad to hear that Theo and I have rectified our email problem and adjusted our diaries accordingly. I think. I hope. Watch this space...

(Thanks for the resend, Theo! Expect a masterclass on dauphinoise potatoes as we enjoy our first salubrious cocktail)