Ooooh I’m so busy! Look at my Outlook calender – I can’t possibly meet you until next Wednesday…I’m in demand. People need me!
What am I going on about? Work. People at work who define their importance/brilliance/superiority by the number of meetings they have booked into their ‘diaries’ (in the UK we call them diaries – everywhere else its a calender).
Frankly it gets on my tits (which, BTW, are slowly evaporating as I am on yet another diet). I mean I don’t give a shit how many meetings you have, you still don’t deliver the goods and I need that Powerpoint presentation NOW!).
Anyway I am busy. Lots to do. Deals to make. Presentations to present. And I also need to prepare family-friendly fare that will be eaten at home and not shoved round the plate like the last stale custard cream on the plate at a particularly tedious strategy meeting.
So I decided to try out the French version of Shepherd’s Pie – Lamb Parmentier. It’s so easy – lamb, potatoes, stock. Period.
Whilst sitting staring at the Boob Tube (as my father used to call it; well he might still call it that but seeing how he now has a 3D 50 inch Samsung LED job I suspect he doesn’t) I found myself watching a piece about the disaster that met the poor folks in Roman times in the foothills of Vesuvius. The mountain blew it’s load, so to speak, and many people died.
That took me back to my Geography degree (dead useful a geography degree in my current role as a corporate development ‘professional’ in a software company) and the time I studied the explosion of Mount St Helens.
Where the hell is this going? Oh yes, that infamous event reminded me of my latest creation – a ‘Steak and Kidney Pudding’. Why? Let’s take a look:
Here’s a steak and kidney pudding; note the collapsing outer wall, the innards spewing forth. And here’s a shot of Mount St Helens:
Note the similarities – the collapsed outer wall, the innards spewing forth….
In the world of food some things were simply meant for each other. In fact some food items are so compatible it’s a bit of a mystery why God didn’t just save some time and bring them into existence in their final, delicious form.
Take, for example, bacon sandwiches and tomato ketchup. No one would even consider one without the other, so why bother producing them as separate things? And lamb with mint jelly. What else can you do with mint jelly except eat it with lamb?
And so the list of inseparable foods goes on – cheese and pickle, steak and scallops, chocolate and jelly beans…I’m stopping now before I start chewing the keyboard.
However you can go too far. Sometimes a food combination sounds better than it tastes. For example ‘Chocolate Chilli’.
Now on paper this sounds like it should work.
When I started blogging (who created that word anyway – what is it, a Blather Log? No its a mash up of ‘Web’ and ‘Log’…so that should read ‘Wlog’ or ‘Weg’ but those words are crap, so I guess ‘Blog’ is good) I thought ‘The world is my oyster’, and ‘I’ll never run out of ideas’.
But I do. Frequently. I mean there are only so many ways you can boil a piece of beef. Or fry some prawns. Or burn some pastry.
And lets face it; the internet is a pile of crap. Type in ‘beef recipes’ or ‘interesting things to do with a potato’ and it’s not as if Google comes up with anything different – it’s just the same old, same old…
However if you should happen to type into that little rectangular box something like, oh I don’t know…’Roast Duck and Pork Belly with Caramelised Endive’… you might find a recipe for something interesting, like ‘Roast Duck and Pork Belly with Caramelised Endive’, for example. Maybe.
And so I did. Such inspiration came from the ‘Great British Chefs‘ website. It’s packed full of random dishes which may or may not have actually been tried out. Anyway combining duck and pork and other things sounded good to me so I tried it out…
I think I’ve given up trying to be a gourmet chef. I’ve tried, God knows I’ve tried. But it’s hard. The attention to detail. The need for quality ingredients. The hours of preparation. But, in reality, I’m more a Man v Food kind of cook: pile it high and …eat it.
For this session I tried to create something that employed food rings – I mean anything that requires food rings has to be haute cuisine right? Even cheese and chicken pancakes.