Pretty aggressive headline, don’t you think? There are a couple of reasons for this. Reason number one is because that’s what the people around the table told me. Reason number two is that I want some reaction. I am fed up reading recipes for meatballs (and all sorts of other stuff) that just can’t be any good. In my research for this post, I came across one recipe that recommended boiling the meatballs in the sauce for three hours. Fine if you want to fire them out of a canon to sink a ship but not much use if you want to eat them. Get real.
No, I did not steal the fish. Though, the fish was a bit of a steal. John Dory fillets can be horrendously expensive. When one sees JD on restaurant menus it tends to be priced up there with the lobster and truffles. In my own experience, it tends also to be overcooked and pretty awful.
On my Saturday shopping trip, I saw that they were on special and I bought the John Dory thinking “These will be nice.”
My revered mother in law Noreen is an excellent cook. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things culinary. When called upon to feed a small group or a large crowd, never has she disappointed. When she prepares a soup, a future fond memory is born. Her leg of lamb is legend. Her almond merengue with cream and raspberries is truly ‘to die for’. We don’t get to enjoy her culinary triumphs often enough.
I’ll admit it. There is a dumb-assed competitive streak in me that most men will, and no women can, understand. I leave my eldest daughter out of this as she is the only female I know who has a peppering of this lunacy. When she’s with me, every flight of stairs is an opportunity for a race, every doorway a chance to get through first and even getting groceries in the supermarket is a test of speed and endurance as tins of beans and fresh vegetables are thrown into the trolley as she runs by to finish her list before I do mine.
Seven years ago, I made a wrong decision. I set my relationship with the Wife back. So often, one does these things and the marriage never recovers. I take responsibility for my actions back then. I feel it’s time to make it up now. She deserves having things put right. My children deserve my putting the record straight. I deserve a future with a clearer conscience.
I have a conundrum. My problem is literary rather than culinary. I caused today’s difficulty when I wrote about The Man Who Wasn’t There. It was pretty straightforward writing about something that didn’t happen and somebody who wasn’t there to see it not occur. All that was easy enough. My issues started when I was handed this note by my friend who may, or may not, have made his second trip home from Australia since Christmas.
I had laid my hands on a nice piece of smoked salmon. That is, I had fallen victim of subtle retailing tactics. I am a sucker when it comes to buying good food. “Something around one and a half kilos?” Lisa, she of George’s Fish Shop, had suggested to me. Not wanting to look mean or less than masculine, I of course, accented.