Since we last spoke, I have made a discovery. I am old. Not ‘getting old’. Just proper old.
Me and He have just had a busy, boozy, birthday bonanza of a week. Pub quiz with friends, a day at the races, many visitors. Last night I was out at a fundraiser with some girly mates. Drank too much, cried for no apparent reason, boogied on down to some old school indie. Tired and emotional personified.
Today I feel like death. The kids have upped the volume just to get on my wick. They are crazed. I wonder if He has been drip feeding them sugar and food colouring as payback for my lack of input. I long for those days when I could just get back into bed with a film, a massive bag of doritos and a vat of coca cola (‘The Black Doctor’ as my brother describes it).
Alas no. I get up to do my chores in foul temper. We have visitors this afternoon so I need to get cooking. I think of the easiest way to feed 8. I look to Nigella for the answer, and she delivers of course.
I’ve made this loads. It’s one of those meals that looks like it’s taken hours when really it takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Sounds a bit wanky to call it a deconstructed roast chicken dinner, but that’s exactly what it is. All the same flavours done differently.
Chicken pieces are marinated in lemon, olive oil, worcester sauce, sea salt, mustard and dried sage. You also add an onion chopped into eighths. Once it’s had a couple of hours, it’s roasted with some sausages for 30 mins. This gives all the flavours of sage & onion stuffing. Yum.
To go with, I make Nigella’s bread sauce potato gratin. Sliced potatoes boiled in an artery-furring brew of cream and full fat milk. The cream has been infused with clovey onions, mace and bay leaves. Once the potatoes are just cooked, the whole lot gets a 15min blast in a hot oven.
We spend a lovely afternoon with our visitors, His younger sister and her sweet little family. He likes to take us on yomps. Massive unending walks. This one was just to feed the ducks on the canal while the oven preheated. Of course we find ourselves in the middle of some field miles away. My mood is not helped by my growling belly and my reemerging headache.
We finally get home and devour our less than healthy tea. I get right back on the horse with a glass of fizz. My mood improves magically. My sister in law has made us a magnificent chocolate cake for our pud. We chow that down too. Who needs a waistline anyway?? Sclerotic deliciousness 9/10