Picture the scene. Saturday evening and the Wife is getting a bit fidgety, sticking her head around the kitchen door and asking when we will be eating. I am with her long enough that I should know the signs. I have bought a couple of nice pieces of plaice and plan to do something. Something that I should photograph as I do it. My mind is on the cooking and not where it should be. On her plaintive questions…..
(We are married for over 20 years so please note that bracketed bits occur only inside my head.)
Wife to me: “Should I have a snack now while I wait?”
Me to Wife: “No need dear, I have a dish planned that I want to do for you. It will only be a few minutes.”
Wife to me: “I might have some crisps or something?”.
Me to Wife: “No need, I’m nearly there.”
(Me to me: “Skin the fish, chop the chilis, peel and chop the garlic and the ginger, wash the mange tout, boil the noodles, fry the noodles, bread the fish, warm the plates, fry the fish, chop the lime, pour the beer, set the table…”).
Wife to me: “How long…?”
Me to Wife: “Have some crisps.”
Wife to me: “No, I’ll hold out.”
Me to Wife: “It’ll only be a few minutes. Why not go and sit down?”
(Me to me:” Oh, Crap!”)
Like I say, I know the signs. So I got busy, very busy. I skinned and boned the fish, cut it into goujon size pieces.
I did this while the water was boiling for the noodles. While the noodles were cooking, I washed the mange tout, chopped the garlic, ginger, chilis and mangetout. I poured out some Panko breadcrumbs from my large sack of same (another story altogether), beat an egg. Then it was time to drain and fry the noodles. First thing was to fry the ginger, garlic and chili to flavour the oil.
Then added the mange tout then the noodles.
Meanwhile, with my other hand, I egged, breaded and fried the fish, cut the lime and poured the beer. The table set itself, as it usually does in our house. I warmed a couple of plates in the microwave and called the Wife in for her meal just as she was opening the door to see when it would be ready. Victory by a hair’s breadth!
Wife to me: (Through mouthfuls of noodle) “This is delicious. I’m so hungry. Sit down and eat yours.”
Me to Wife: “I hoped you’d like it. I did it for you.”
It is also hard to shoot the plated dish under the steely gaze of the hungry Wife. This is the best I could do. Be grateful. I did it for you.