Me and He have just returned from a spectacular weekend in Rome. Without the offspring to boot. It was a Christmas present, which seemed an age away at the time, but which came round very quickly. It was like an out of body experience heading to the airport on my own. I got myself a fancy cocktail and read my book, uninterrupted. The whole time I expected a hand to appear on my shoulder – “I’m terribly sorry madam but there’s been a mistake. We’re going to escort you home now. Please do not try this again”. But no, I got away with it, and landed in the warm evening sunshine to be greeted by my smiling husband. It all feels like a dream now. The nicest dream I’ve had in ages.
But Rome. What a place! Amazing sights and smells round every corner. And by goodness do the Italians know how to eat!
We used to live in France. The French know how to eat! I was trying to weigh up which country does it better. It’s a close run thing, but I think the French still have the edge for me. I am willing to concede, however, that I have eaten a lot more meals in France than in Italy. And a lot more ‘home-cooked’ ones at that, which always taste better in my opinion.
I’ll just have to keep going back to Italy, and possibly even befriend some big Italian mama, before I can say case closed!
Was I feeling inspired to rustle up an authentic Roman feast? Not really. I think I was feeling pretty peeved to be back to the old grind. My lovely mum had cooked us a most delicious pork and bean casserole for our return, so that delayed my moodie for a night at least.
The fusspot enjoys eggs. And cheese. A foolproof winner in our house is baked eggs. Is this called coddled??
I butter little ramekins (those ones you get free from M&S). Line them with ham. Smear the ham with some, yup….you guessed it, Spinach! Crack in an egg. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche (plus mustard for us grown ups). Then some grated emmental cheese. Gruyere works well too. Or whatever you’ve got in the fridge.
Pop in a hot oven for about 10-15mins until the cheese is bubbling and the eggs are to your taste. If I can be bothered, I make my own potato wedges to go with it, or some toasted ciabatta fingers.
Today I cannot, so it’s oven chips all the way.
Must get my cooking head on and plan some more imaginative meals. Must try not to be grouchy about being the house Frau once more, instead of the cocktail-supping jet setter.
And as we wrestle the bambini into their pyjamas, a rueful little smile. We’ll always have Rome.