LIFE SAVING LAMB: BEATING THE “I DON’T WANT TO BE IN LONDON” BLUES.
After nearly eight months on the road and while still mulling over last week’s extraordinary visit to Islay, I have found myself becoming increasingly depressed in the last few days.
People in the know told me that a journey like mine would change me fundamentally, make me a different person (who said “thank God”)
I scoffed at the idea. Of course I thought I would see amazing sights and meet new people and, as I set out to do, eat new and wonderful things. But, I fully expected to be able to slip back into my life of indulgent, urban hedonism quicker than you can say “Madagascan vanilla extract”
But, they were right. The few days since I got back from Scotland have seen me sink deep into the slough of despond as I fight my way through the cold, grey city of London which has become increasingly alien.
Part of it, I am sure is just being out of touch with people and places. But, it is more than that. Perhaps, even an understanding that, at the end of the trip in another year’s time, this is no longer going to be my home and I need to live somewhere else.
At times like this, the opportunity to potter around my own kitchen is a necessary blessing and one of the things I miss most of all when travelling.
So yesterday, in between Googling places to stay in Manila and flights to Penang, I spent a good few hours chopping, frying, grinding and simmering.
The result was a variation on Atul Kolchar’s “Marathi Lamb Shanks” which are slow cooked in a sauce made from frying onions and a garlic & ginger paste before adding ground and whole spices, water and the lamb. It takes a good few hours of slow cooking but, the final result is well worth it. Soft, melting meat and a deep, dark sauce with an end note of heat. With a large bowl of LSD “ Life Saving Dahl” was as good as anything I have eaten in far flung places.
There may be many places better than home right now but, there is nothing like home cooking.