Saturday, 26 May 2012

May 26th - The waving of fish and a sweet shop risotto

Dear Nigel,

Supper in our house has become a bit of a Mother Hubbard affair at the moment. As we are moving to our new home in five days time i have decided that we will, as best as possible, eat up the contents of the cupboards and the freezer.Today things were looking a little sparse. I discovered the Samphire i bought at the back of the fridge, together with half a tub of creme fraiche slightly on the wrong side of its sell-by date, but it smelled OK to me.

 Of course I'm sure you would never dream of using produce 'past its best'...and i have been a little more cautious since the case of the exploding egg. However, i still remain a bit dubious about those dates; suspicious, even, that it has more to do with supermarket profits and sales than rotting food. I decided to use the creme fraiche anyway and no one keeled over at the table.

You are making a risotto of Asparagus and lemon - three of my favourite things in one. The stock you use is a chicken one as you think a vegetable one would make the risotto 'lack the soul, not to mention the silky texture, that can only be achieved with a fine, gelatinous chicken stock.' I couldn't agree more. A good risotto is about the finest comfort food around, a bad one is an effort in digestive engineering.

I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only one with a sweetshop mentality when faced with a wonderful array of fresh produce. I usually get quite carried away and over-ambitious about all the meals I'm going to create, then find the produce going limp and brown in the vegetable box several days later. Like me you prefer your Asparagus plain, in general, but you 'bought too much yesterday, as you might expect of a townie let loose in a farm shop', hence the risotto.You are forgiven this once, i made your recipe last week and it was sublime.

I'm on to box a hundred and fifteen now in the removals inventory, and severely losing the will to live over the whole enterprise. I know when we get there it will be wonderful but the weather is wonderful NOW and I'm inside with a dozen rolls of parcel tape and some bubble wrap(and no, it's not some kind of kinky game).

 I'm catching up on all the news, though - it's amazing what catches your eye when you're packing away the china in old newspapers. Not getting a newspaper myself i decided to liberate a few blue bags around the neighbouring streets before the recycling men did their rounds. I'm becoming quite an avid fan of 'The Angling Times'...the things i never knew before.... I've taken to playing 'spot the token woman' as i wrap my teapots. Here's one magazine definitely for the lads. I must have leafed through five or six copies before i chanced upon one of the female species. Usually they looked like somebody's daughter dragged along and given a great fish to wave in the air for some completely unknown reason. The waving of large fish seems to be a national pastime if this particular newspaper is anything to go by.


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