ANOTHER PHEASANT DOS HERMANOS SUNDAY LUNCH
I received a few e-mails following my last post about our trip to Madrid. Apparently I set rather a sad tone for the whole piece as I discussed the end of an era. Well, I am sorry to drag you down the same path, but I feel I am about to do the same with a discussion of yesterday’s Sunday lunch prepared lovingly by Hermano Primero.
You can’t really blame me. 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of our joint move into Casa Dos Hermanos. A few months before our arrival, we were leading very different lives, HP ensconced in a bachelor pad in Putney and me in the small but comfortable garden flat I had purchased in Harrow on The Hill during my first marriage.
We were both ready for a move and began separately looking for flats closer to Central London. I had already seen a couple near to The British Museum that I considered suitable when HP telephoned one night with the suggestion that we combine our resources and look for a larger place in fast becoming fashionable Hoxton and Shoreditch. I didn’t take much persuading. The places I had looked at were tiny, but together we were able to afford the palatial duplex, which is Casa DH and we moved in a few short weeks after the dawn of The Millennium.
The last ten years which followed saw us living an existence somewhere in the middle ground between Niles/Frasier and Oscar/Felix (I will leave you to comment on which one of us is which) but despite encountering most of the typical sibling moments, usually caused by less than equal sharing of a piece of meat, it has never been less than fun and I have taken advantage of HP’s knowledge and generosity to support my own desire to find out more about the food I have been shovelling in my mouth.
The next decade will inevitably bring with it a change. Although I am hugely excited about my new life across the pond, I will, of course, miss so many of the things I have enjoyed about the last years. Most of all I will miss the meals we have shared together. We have eaten hundreds of them as we have sat opposite each other in restaurants. Huge plates of fish & chips, stupidly large steaks, meals at new and exciting fine dining restaurant and meals at tiny holes in the wall. We have eaten the lot, but, above any of them, the meals I shall miss the most are the leisurely Sunday lunches we have prepared at home on the all too rare occasions when we have both been in the same place at the same time.
We have taken it in turns to prepare them and used the opportunity to go in search of the very best ingredients we could buy to make certain we do not let the other hermano down and give them opportunity to criticise (something Bengali males can do at a professional level). They have nearly always involved a slab of meat (“Fish” as HP puts it “is a starter, not a meal”) which is supported by all the traditional trimmings and more than a bottle or two of good wine. There has often been a martini or two involved as well.
There are more than a few accounts of these meals posted on here and as we hurtle towards Christmas we both decided that it was time to have one last Sunday blow out before the end of the “00’s. This time it was joint effort involving two plump pheasant purchased by me at O’Shea’s Butcher in Knightsbridge and all the accompaniments provided by HP. I left the cooking to him and while I flopped on the sofa and watched the football, the smells of roasting game birds wrapped in bacon began to fill the flat, so that by the time lunch was served I was ready to rip them apart with my hands.
It was as good a Sunday lunch as we had enjoyed in the previous ten years and as we speared meaty pork sausages, spooned up creamy bread sauce and fought over the last bits of bacon, we both raised a glass (soft drink in my case, I am on the wagon) to the pleasures of the last ten years and the excitement of what is to come for both of us in the next.
I have so much to look forward to and I can’t wait to get started on the next stage of the journey. But, I also can’t wait until the next time HP and I manage to sculpt time from our hectic schedules to share a meal. Particularly if it is in Casa DH and it is on a Sunday.