Friday, 23 October 2015

Recipe - Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

I have two days off work! Hooray! With various work and life stresses converging disastrously last weekend, I have basically felt like a clock that's gone like this:
(Credit to Tom McLellan for visually representing my state of mind in the past week.) So as I was walking around aimlessly in Shoreditch wishing for cigarettes (I don't even smoke) being reassured that things will get better by someone who I'm impressed still has faith in anyone / anything's capacity to change, I thought about all the things I could do that are more than material and might be transient but fall in the category of being good to yourself. A list: get nails done cool colour and make friends with manicurist who reminds you that there are people who aren't exactly like you who are fun and still have real human feelings, make a fun costume for Halloween, watch films, read the last four issues of the Economist back to back NOT because you're desperately trying to stay in the know but because you're just interested, get hair coloured and put shamelessly upload photo on social media, get eyes lasered so you can SEE because really no career or personal success will ever beat being able to see with your very own EYES, write blog, cook. This is what I cooked.
(That's a photo of the food plus a cup of tea with the bag still in and a print out of an article from the FT about whether you should multitask or not #me)

Baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 180. Wash a bunch of spinach and wilt in a frying pan. Leave in a colander to drain. In the same frying pan, melt half a tablespoon of butter. Chop half an onion and a garlic clove and fry gently for a couple of minutes until translucent. Add a handful of mushrooms, chopped. Gently fry for 5 - 10 minutes until everything has taken on a colour. Add 150ml double cream and return the spinach to the pan. Grate about 70g cheddar and add to the pan. Stir well, season with salt and pepper. In a small baking dish, place the creamy mixture. Make two wells and a crack an eggs into each. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until the eggs are set and eat with toast. Almost fall asleep at manicurist's house because of all the cream and cheese.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Review - The Lord Tredegar, Queen of Sheba

The Explorer's family were visiting and this led to more strange, uncharted handling of situations such as: do we need to tell family members about a 'conscious uncoupling'? If the idea is to go back to the pre-going out stage like the stage way before you're established and it's appropriate or necessary to tell family members, do we need to tell them when it goes the other way? Since having had to have probably over fifty conversations on what it means in practice and in theory with similar time of life / education / liberal world view peers, trying to explain to older, more traditional people who will probably find 'look it's the 21st century and we all do what we like whenever we like as long as it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings there is no right or wrong OK' seems like an impossible task. So we didn't and went and watch rugby instead which triggered lots of internal monologue about how I'd forgotten that actually going out with someone with a normal family feels like you have a normal family yourself and that's a very sad thing to give up. Sigh.
The Queen of Sheba
Friday involved pre-party Ethiopian food. We had a selection of lamb curries and dahl on top of an injera which is like a big, sour roti that you place the curry on and it becomes the plate for the whole curry and absorbs all the delicious sauce. There was a mince dish that was all sweet and fruity and a delicate lamb thing that was all glossy. The spinach was my favourite. The only downside - and this is no criticism of the restaurant but more of my tastes - is that I don't like injera. I love everything about the way of eating but there's a sourness to the pancake is just too much for me. Still - the Queen of Sheba is a cute little restaurant in Kentish Town and I'll revisit if I'm ever in the area.

The Lord Tredegar
So, of the pubs near me, The Lord Tredegar is probably the closest to perfect. The Hemingway is my favourite but it's a little bit more fancy and a little bit further away. But the Lord Tredegar lets you book, has an outdoor space, has a lovely cider on tap, good food, sports screen (if you're into that) cosy armchairs. I've never been there and managed to resist the black pudding sausage roll. I've had the whitebait a few times - consistently delicious but the first time it had lost all traces of salty headache that battered stuff sometimes incites. Also - the roast - wonderfully moreish pork belly - like in a roast recipe when you have to do lots of seemingly unnecessary stuffing and seasoning and it feels in the prep like it might be pointless but then when you eat it you completely get it? That's what the Lord Tredegar pork is like. Crispy potatoes, rich gravy. Simple and casual and satisfying.