Friday, 29 March 2013

my job for the day is to stay out of the way

it's good friday
(n: what's good about it?
k: they killed jesus
n: oh that's good)

i'm working. correction: i am watching other people work. i am clearing out a building so asbestos testing can start next week. there's a crew of about 20 guys breaking down furniture and ferrying it out to the lorry like large loud ants. i'm tucked up in a corner trying not to get in the way.

and trying to stay awake - i met up with guys from work after i finished the move last night and didn't get in till after midnight. 5 hours of sleep are not enough. i know all you people with kids are now snorting and thinking that i have no idea what tired really is, but you know, it's all relative. just like how at the pub you say - hey - who cares if i'm tired and hungover tomorrow - i don't have to do much (except get out of bed at 630 in the morning and get on a train - GAH) why not - sure i'll have one (two three four) for the road...

it all looks so different in the morning. certainly more bleary at any rate.

today's staying out of the way will be followed by three days of doing bugger-all. unless you count knitting, eating, and drinking wine, and i don't, really.

happy easter

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

19 march plate

it's the consistency that's so impressive, isn't it?!

ok - this whole plating thing is really wearing off now. who's idea was this? i don't know how many more we can be bothered with (i can't even remember what we ate last night let alone think about pictures. oh. n tells me filo pie with spinach and feta. you'll have to use your imagination).

but tonight, i did have another go at making food pretty. see my lime garnish? i looked it up on youtube. it's surprisingly difficult to slice lime that thin. took a whole lime in the attempt. lime carnage. but hey, it's not parsley!
soft corn taco with chicken, rocket, avocado, and jalapeno sauce (and LIME)
one thing i have really noticed is how much what we eat differs from restaurant food.  i always just think about the taste, where i think we hold our own. but you may have noticed a distinct lack of jus or garnish, or anything that would require tweezers in application. 

we're losing momentum. i think the end is near.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

10 -11-12 march plates

how exactly is it thursday already?? 

beef stew with champ (potatoes and green onions) and bread
roast duck, beet, feta and watercress salad
ham hock soup with sourdough bread

stew - plating - ugh
salad - much better. note - no parsley
soup - what, really, can you do? 

this is actually quite hard. i'm not sure i'm learning much beyond how little i can be arsed with this sort of thing.

and are you amazed that i can whinge abut even this? i'm amazed.

Monday, 11 March 2013

10 march plate

roast guinea fowl, potatoes and parsnips 
ok i know this is a little pathetic but bear with us, it's been a hell of a week, and we did have a go. we probably should have plated individually, and it would have been better if we hadn't burned the cabbage, and our reliance on parsley as super-garnish that will mysteriously make everything look fabulous is obviously not really working, but it tasted mighty fine.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

plating fail

last week got a little out of hand. it turns out that having a challenging job where you commute everyday and going out every single night do not mix well once you are over 35.

so thursday we drank too much wine and roasted a duck.

roast duck with roasted potatoes and broccoli
i know. i'm sorry.

friday was not much better - spinach and ricotta ravioli with tomato sauce - which should have been fun to plate properly, but not when you're that knackered.

saturday - pork chops, cabbage and mash potatoes, er - also not plated.

we'll do better. back on the wagon today. not going out much this week.

will try harder...

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

6 march plate

the eagle-eyed among you may notice the distinct lack of 5 march plating photos. we had soft corn flour tacos with leftover cowboy beans, habanero sauce, feta, avocado , coriander and lime. it was lovely. it was also inhaled at a rate of knots mostly over the kitchen counter as the tacos came off the grill. tastes better that way. thought about pictures about 24 hours later. still haven't thought about plating.

we have in no way made up for this failure tonight. n met me up in london and we hit the london drinker beer festival (coincidentally right beside my office - it's fate, surely!). supper was on the train home:

salmon wrap, chorizo chicken club salad, ready salted crisps, sour cream and chive dip,  swiss milk chocolate, claret.
the classiness - it positively oozes.

and from the beer festival - listed brewery first, beer second (combined - not each!)

    • beavertown (!!!) - smog rocket smoked porter (have i mentioned how much i love england? have i?)
    • dark star - hophead (still my favourite)
    • fuzzy duck - ruby duck
    • hackney - golden ale
    • hadrian border - farne island pale ale
    • london fields - hackney hopster
    • moorhouse's - black cat
    • oakham - jester's ferret
    • redemption - hopspur

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

4 march plate

we struggled yesterday. lamb hotpot is just one of those dishes whose beauty is in the aroma and taste, and not necessarily the look I'd still favour a steaming casserole of good stodgy lamb hotpot over fancy food most days though. we did try, but parsley can only do so much.

lesson? maybe some individual oven pie bowls would not go amiss...

lamb hotpot

Monday, 4 March 2013

3 march plate


"cowboy beans" with feta, avacado, corriander and lime
the shocking state of my photography has annoyed n who i think will now be taking the pictures until he gets bored. you will be able to tell...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

2 march plate

we had differing views on this one - and i think in the end neither of us was right.
lessons learned:
1. less is more. we are tending to go on the idea that if garnish is good - a lot of garnish is really good. results do not support this.
2. keep back some of any interesting ingredient - like a slice of those lovely red chilies say.

chicken spinach curry with rice 

chicken spinach curry with rice

Saturday, 2 March 2013

march challenge - plating!

n and i love food - eating food (of course), but also buying food, making food, thinking about food, reading about food, dreaming about food. i have often woken up on a saturday morning, rolled over, kissed n, and asked happily "what should we make for dinner?" (this is probably how relationships actually survive - i'm pretty sure romance is over-rated). one thing we haven't paid enough attention to is how we present food. we are exceedingly admiring of a good looking plate - and always swear that we will try harder next time, but the allure of actually eating takes hold and we skip the presentation completely.

this is all going to change. we've set ourselves a challenge to plate, to the best of our ability, every evening meal we make in the month of march. we came up with this idea over whiskey (obviously) and decided it was a fabulous idea, whereupon i promptly forgot about it entirely. imagine my surprise then yesterday evening when my jacket potatoes came to the table looking like this:

"stuffed" potatoes with cottage cheese, salmon, and green onion
i was delighted. really - much more than a potato with cottage cheese would normally engender.

so people, it is on. i will post the pictures here and you can have a good laugh at how much we have to learn. considering where we are starting from, i have no doubt you will see a dramatic improvement over the course of the month.

feel free to critique and leave tips - we are going to need all the help we can get!