BACK IN THE KITCHEN AGAIN
There are obviously upsides and downsides to returning home.
One upside is that I have the opportunity to spend an afternoon luxuriating in my bath (sorry if you are eating) drinking a nice Chablis and listening to Vaughan Willams' 5th on the radio.
Another is that I can actually spend time in my kitchen and do some cooking of my own, all too welcome after months on the road.
The downside is that all the people I know, mostly of the opposite genital grouping, come crawling out of the woodwork in search of free food.
Take my friend, Chelsea for example (remember her? Desperate for a man, bit frayed around the edges) The wheels of my plane had barely left a mark on the runway before she was demanding a free feed using the paltry excuse of her 40th birthday as a reason.
I knew she would not stop until I fed her, so spent the afternoon preparing a meal of Indian specialities which I had sampled on my travels
First up, Shingara, Bengali Samosa, plumped out with potato, green chilli, cauliflower and peas served with two sauces, a fiery chilli and corriander dip and a classic mint and cucumber raita. My folding skills being, quite frankly a bit crappy, I made them into spring rolls rather than the standard triangles, different shape same taste.
Next up a raan. A whole leg of mutton marinated in spices overnight and then rubbed with a yoghurt and almond paste before slow roasting for four hours until crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Finally, a Hyderabad style biryani made with chicken marinated in yogurt and spices ( with the skin removed to provide a chef's treat of chicken craklin' natch) layered with par-cooked rice, almonds, fried onions and a sauce I had made the night before.
The fact that she took a load of it back with her in a doggy bag (without asking permission of course, she is Australian) gave me a clue that she may have enjoyed it.
But, then again, so did I.
It’s good to be home.