Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A dish served hot

I'm not quite sure when it was, but at some stage during my late teens or early twenties I acquired a mild phobia of spaghetti....whenever I looked at it all I could see was a bowl full of squirming worms. 

Last week we went to see Prometheus, Ridley Scott's new masterpiece, or not, depending on your own likes and dislikes. Full of wriggling-worm like creatures, it's stomach-churning. 

We used to live in Borough High Street and took to going to the now world famous Borough Market. The Boy and I loved the smells, the colours, the of course the flavours as market holders thrust samples of their wares for us to try.  The best stall was the fishmonger's which had every fish you could imagine on display.  Not all of them were dead.  The molluscs were kept alive, but chilled on a bed of ice.  Amongst them were the Razor Clams, and not surprisingly they took the opportunity to stick their fat white heads out to sense what was going on around them.  I saw them, and like fat pieces of spaghetti, they turned my stomach.

This weekend, we had been treated by Queen Anne to a special event.  A meal cooked in front of us, masterclass-style by Mark of London's top chefs.  He hails from Dorset, and the meal was cooked in his kitchen at his home in Charmouth near Lyme Regis.  Nine of us sat round the bench table whilst he talked us through what he was cooking and how he was doing it.  He's a most amiable fellow, and it turns out that he only became a chef because at school he was given a choice of metal work or domestic science.  He couldn't bare the thought of turning out another key ring so unknowingly took his first steps to fame and fortune.  How strange is lady luck?

First course?  Razor clams.  I nearly threw up.  And whilst everyone looked on intently, he blathered on in detail about what he was doing and I de-focused my eyes, looked up at the ceiling, started thinking about life, the universe and everything.  I couldn't avoid the smell, it was hard to stay in my seat.

But the meal was prepared.  It was all (including the clams) absolutely delicious.  Of course it was. The other people there were lovely, even the lady who'd badly poisoned her (now ex) husband by picking mushrooms from under the yew tree and seemed to spend summer evenings drinking strawberry daiquiris in the graveyard next to her house.  It was wildly extravagant, and the one thing we never forget is just how lucky and privileged we are to be able to do these things.

P.S.  It's been a week since I did a proper has been that busy I've been barely able to think.  Worse still, I've not really had the chance to read everyone else's writings...and I know that once I've fallen behind it's almost impossible to catch I feel I've missed out.  I'm desperately trying to catch up, as it is always a joy and a pleasure to read everyone's jottings