Recently - a very acceptable (yet apparently unmemorable) bit of seafood, elevated to the most fantastic heights by a dessert of flourless chocolate cake served with marmalade ice cream, cardamom syrup, and candied orange peel, so exquisite that I seriously considered ordering a second piece. Or a tower of roti, filled with spiced aubergine, chana dal, and spiced tomato chutney, followed by a melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding with bailey's ice cream and a coffee (two separate restaurants.) Much less than recently - my mother's tandoori chicken and home made chapatis, with apples-straight-from-the-tree pie and evaporated milk. Fluffy, cloudlike vanilla cupcakes, straight from the oven. Chapatis and honey. A prawn dish at 11pm in a French restaurant, when there were no prawns on the menu. We were fresh off the boat, and so were they.
My current drink of choice:
I really wish I could:
Spend more time and money on food and ingredients. I would eat lobster bisque for breakfast every day, until I turned into a lobster.
My most tattered cookbooks:
I used to spend ages when I was little pouring over the Reader's Digest 'The Cookery Year' (circa early seventies I think) and some garishly illustrated cookbook - I forget the name, but it featured such delicacies as Duck a la Orange Squash, 'curry' cooked with pretty much no spices, Jam Roly Poly, that sort of thing. The bright colours and 'exotic' looking foods in the latter (which, thankfully in hindsight, never seemed to get cooked in our house) opened my eyes to a world of dazzling grub that existed, somewhere, outside of the world I lived in; and the wealth of recipes in the former (broken down by season - very in right now) became absorbed, spongelike, into my as yet unawakened culinary consciousness. Without those two books and many a bored winter evening, I don't know if I'd be 'in' to food in the same way that I am now. When I left home, the handwritten recipes from my mother for things like marmalade, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth roasted parsnips, and her signature chicken curry (in no way related to the curry mentioned above!) were somewhat cherished, the ultimate in comfort foods! But, I soon found I couldn't make them her way... Eating them like that was for trips home only, shared with her.