April 18th, 2004


Beef à la I've-never-seen-one-that-big

I went shopping today, and I came back with exotic things: balsamic vinegar, lemons, chives and dill. I also bought things which scarlatti won't be able to touch, like halva and strong cheese.

But the thing which impressed scarlatti the most was the beef. She said something like "Yikes, I've never seen a piece of meat that big". It was just a little over three pounds in weight, I think. So with my instructional head on my shoulders and her excellent knife in my hand, I demonstrated to her just how to trim out the fat and leave us with a great slab of fat-free meat, just lightly marbled. I told her about throwing what I'd trimmed into the pan tomorrow while I'm braising the root vegetables, and I described to her the rules about the correct positioning of raw meat in the fridge.

And then I cut two wonderful steaks each from the end of this magnificent piece of beef. These were fried in a little olive oil and a little butter, with the mushrooms. The jacket potato in the microwave was served with low fat cream cheese and chives. And once again, I basked in her admiration, accompanied by my protestations that I'd not done anything at all complicated.

Oh, and she has her steak well-done. Hers went into the pan before the mushrooms went in. Mine went into the pan after everything else was already on the table. When I cut into my steak, she looked across and told me that it looked like a raspberry Newton.

A word of explanation

It might seem that I'm writing a lot of cookery posts this week, when I might be engaged in other activities.

Well, so I am. But it's worth pointing out how much the act of cooking for someone means to me.
You see, it's a very symbolic act. The whole process of going shopping, choosing what to buy, bringing it home (yes, it does feel like home), cooking and serving it, the whole business of standing in the kitchen tinkering with food whilst the person I love looks on, it's immensely significant. It makes a huge difference to how I feel.


That is all.

Ouch. One last thing before bed.

Just to reassure you that my time here hasn't all been spent cooking. I've been spending some time in bed with scarlatti, and today one muscle group in particular is complaining about over-use. I don't mind at all -- I quite enjoyed how that came about.

The perverati amongst you might enjoy guessing to which muscle group I refer.