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Chewing over

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The aftermath of the referendum - time to cook some bacon.

Thu, 30 June, 2016

All hell has broken loose, we don’t know if we’re coming or going, we're all at sea. Enough of the rubbish metaphors but the (middle-class, southern, young-ish and out of touch with the roots) part of the UK that I live in (no, indeed, nothing to boast about) feels pretty down in the dumps and the rest of the country is at least uneasy. What can I say?

I just want to cook.

What do you fancy eating when you’re unhappy? Uncertain? Anxious? Or triumphant? Is there a food to suit every bad mood? Let’s give it a try.

Bacon - bacon is bound to cheer up everyone - except vegetarians. I wanted to cook something comforting but summery with bacon and came up with this rather fantastic warm salad of all things reassuring: new potatoes, asparagus and pancetta (yikes! not allowed now! bacon only from now on!) - okay, bacon. Recipe coming very soon!

And a really good steak can make anyone feel better about themselves - especially if they’d cooked it, and to perfection. What is the secret? At the risk of being repetitively boring: room temperature, meat, brought to. Let it sit around, it will only get better from that. I do sometimes have the steak hanging around the kitchen for most of the day before it’s cooked, it gets beautifully dark from oxidisation. The other secret is in flipping as often as you can manage, every 15 seconds is what I bravely do, high concentration required. 

No, I’m not forgetting vegetarians, having in fact just noshed a plateful of plain filled pasta made sublime by crisping it up, pot sticker-style. But if you’re willing to forget about everything and can afford a couple of hours - spinach ricotta lasagne is your answer. Just don’t climb the scales after all that pasta. Why make things worse?

Ah but where’s the sweet? Where’s pudding, dessert, postres, afters? No - cake of any kind would just end up in tears but the clear way forward is to make an awful lot of biscuits. You can a/ nibble them continuously and nervously and b/ making biscuits is therapeutic. Well, fine, I made that one up.

Just cook - it might be escapism it might be but it’s better than shouting abuse on trams or swearing at politicians on social media.

 

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