On a bit of a post-Waterstones high (see yesterday’s blog) decided to ‘do an Ottilenghi.’ No, this isn’t a new martial arts craze or paper-folding activity, but, where in years gone by, we used to ‘do a Deliah’ now it’s, ‘Darling, do keep up, we’re eating Ottilenghi tonight’. Not the man himself, obviously – though from what I can see he looks a fairly tasty morsel – but his very scrummy food. Have made his carrot cake recipe for years although, impatient cook that I am, I just bung all the ingredients from his recipe into Kenny (my very favourite man after my husband, George Michael and, of course, Professor Brian Cox) rather than separating, sieving, whisking, re-whisking, flossing, doing cartwheels and re-sieving upon which the great man insists, and it tastes and looks just as good. (I know this because the first time I made it I followed all directions including ‘do not go to bed even though it is 1am and you have to get up for school in the morning’ and the result was just the same as ‘bung it all in Kenny and press the switch.’ Anyway, I digress.
I’d suggested daughter invite boyfriend (‘for heaven’s sake, Mum, he’s a friend, not a boyfriend’– anyone who can tell me the difference can have a piece of the next Ottilenghi carrot cake) and big sister (mine, not daughter’s, do keep up) invite new boyfriend. She’s obviously of my generation and understands the meaning of ‘boyfriend.’ Granny was coming as well. By the time I’d scoured Sainsbury’s for all the –way out and weird – ingredients, the last thing I felt like doing was cooking the damned stuff.
Five hours later – I kid you not – food went on the table. Big sister’s new man had been unable to make it after all, Granny was looking rather the worse for wear after several, keep the hunger at bay, sherries, and daughter was asking why we weren’t having the usual Sunday roast. Beef and lamb meatballs with sautéed thyme and broad beans; roasted date, almond and spinach salad and a ratatouille inspired rice dish (my concoction not the Great Man’s) and we were off. All followed by a huge, over-the-top banoffee pie.
Yummy, Scrummy. Bring on the Ottilenghi!