I have been so spoilt this week on the food front. Allow me to go into details ...
It all started, friends, on Thursday when I went over to M's for dinner. I've blogged about M's gorgeous cooking before and he is just way too self deprecating because whatever he rustles up is always unbelievably lovely.
On this occasion it was a big, handsome bouillabaisse that would just make every fishmonger on the land weep with pride.
There were stewed plums and strained yogurt after- sorry, no pictures, but frankly, if the above doesn't satisfy you you deserve nothing else.
Yesterday night I had dinner with my much adored friend, B. We went to St. John Wine and Cheese, a place she loves and being a fan of their bakery, I was excited to try. It was an absolutely amazing meal, I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a meal out at a restaurant this much. Every single thing we ordered was delicious ...
Potted hare on fresh brown bread with pickles.
Pork chop with butter beans and cabbage.
Duck with lentils and black cabbage.
We also had purple sprouting broccoli with anchovies and ailoli (eaten too quickly, no photo.)
And for pudding there were beautiful little madelines.
Sadly, a bout of flu is setting in and I'm in bed feeling sorry for myself, though I am in the most charming cottage in Kent this weekend with my friend H.
I have had a week off from work and so I set myself a fairly mammoth goal- to complete all of my Christmas shopping and to sort through every single wardrobe, drawer and cupboard in my bedroom and get rid of any garment I no longer fit into, like or 'plan to wear one day, maybe, if the occasion is right ...'
Now, I often set myself tasks like the above and honestly, I rarely complete everything on my to do list, but this week, I DID.
Like a woman possessed, I rummaged through grey knickers, tangled tights, dusty shoes and fading leary prints and threw away lots, as well as gave away and sold on EBay for a fifteenth of the price, some things I had forgotten I had ever bought (a flip cam, some knee high suede boots ... )
I also trawled the streets looking for gifts and lovely wrapping, which included my always much anticipated trip to the haberdashers for colourful ribbon. But in actual fact, there wasn't a huge amount of street trawling because I did about 90% of my shopping online, as always.
I love a bit of Internet shopping. I get my food shop, my books, my bras, my cosmetics, my Bluetac, my lovers (I joke) all ONLINE. It's bloody marvellous. I can be watching Gogglebox, eating a shepherds pie and ordering myself some new bedsheets, all at once!
As I've mentioned before, I'm sure, this is not always the most reliable form of shopping, reader, BE WARNED. I have had a few irritating experiences in the past- wrong sizing, delayed delivery etc. but nothing too awful and on the whole I just adore this gorgeous invention. It's a lovely way of sourcing special, unexpected items and, let's face it, saves you many a trip to the crammed and noisy shops.
Now for a confession. I did wrap a few presents this eve. But, in my defence, as I said to my friend M, who rightly so, was somewhat horrified when I informed him of my hideously early wrapping plans, I will wrap the majority a few days before Christmas with carols on in the background and mulled wine in my tummy, as I usually do. Joy to the world, indeed.
Something else prematurely festive that I did this week was buy some cranberries and got stewing! I made a batch of cinnamon spiced compote and my brother loves it on his porridge. It's so easy and satisfying to make, so do get involved. Oh, when those plump little berries pop, I tell you ...!