Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's a carve up

The OH is on his knees. We have the Welsh grandchildren for three days.

It’s lovely, of course. In fact, it’s the first time their mother (the OH’s second son’s wife) has ever allowed them to stay with us - so that makes it extra special. Particularly for the OH.

As we see far less of these grandchildren than the others it gives him a chance to be In Charge. 

Yesterday he fell back on an old rainy day stand-by – the RAF Museum in Hendon. So while they looked at planes and helicopters, I stayed at home and cooked a lasagne without any input from Masterchef.

Admittedly, when they came back he moved it down a shelf in the oven and turned the heat up a little, but I let that go and was pleased to see that everyone cleared their plates and even asked for seconds – even the youngest.

This was particularly gratifying as, despite their parents’ reassurance that the children (and I quote) ‘eat anything’, it turns out that ‘anything’ does not include courgettes and red peppers, tomatoes (unless they are cooked), crusts on sandwiches, home-made carrot cake and strawberry yoghurt.

I am not sure – yet – how they feel about pumpkin. The OH has just taken them off to the supermarket to buy one, possibly two, although I feel he may baulk at the price. His plan is to carve (with the grandchildren’s help) Halloween lanterns.

In the past, this was a task always left to me: he has asked for no advice, so I have offered none. But there’s a way of cutting off the top so the lid still fits, and there’s a fine line between removing so much flesh that the pumpkin collapses and not enough so that it hardly glows at all when you light a candle inside.

And it’s much harder than it looks – unless you go for a very basic design.

And children get bored after five  minutes!!

And I’m just wondering if he will have the stamina to create a pumpkin pie (which he used to insist I made with the leftovers) once the morning is over. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sit Rep

The dinner party went well. The OH abandoned plans for a souffle which was probably as well although I am not sure what I am going to do with the carton of egg whites in the fridge - make meringues, possibly.

It is now half term and we have the oldest set of grandchildren for three nights. As I am a step-gran to this lot, my input vis a vis meals, entertainment, teeth brushing etc is neither welcomed nor required. The OH has gone into Supergrandad mode. I suspect it is more of a strain then he lets on.

This morning I received this text from him, headed Sit Rep.
After Seale to 11.45, tube to Piccalilli then tube to South Kent. Queued for Bat Hist Musee fir 30 mibs then gave up and went to Siennce Must.  Now having gabguette in V&a. xx

Rather him than me :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stewing in his own jus

We are back from two short jaunts to Spain and hostilities have yet to break out. However, I suspect tomorrow will see the temporary truce stretched to breaking point.

The OH has invited an old school friend and his wife to dinner. That’s fine – but he has also decided to do all the cooking. In addition, he has announced that he is meeting another friend – one of his journalist pals – for lunch.

So far I have managed to keep calm, but I anticipate that at lunchtime at least one bottle of red – if nor two – will be consumed in keeping with the old ways of Fleet Street. And I fear that this may have consequences in the kitchen later.

For one thing, he has announced that his ‘dessert’ (I usually cook what I call puddings) is to be pear and ginger soufflé. He has never cooked a soufflé in his life and I am pretty sure that by the time he has greeted his guests with a drink, then dispensed wine in the manner of a generous host during course one and two (celeriac soup and beef pie – sorry carbonade de bouef en croute) his sense of timing may be a little impaired.

So far I have merely asked if he knows that the soufflé recipe he is planning to follow has to be cooked at the last minute. He said rather snappily that he did.

On top of this he has been to the Iranian shop to buy onions and such like and came back with the beef for the pie. Triumphantly he explained that it was topside and had cost a fraction of the price Waitrose or even Sainsbury’s would have charged for braising steak, and it was incredibly lean. He showed me the meat. It looked very pale. It may well be beef. Or not.

He is now cooking it in the oven and I am not sure about the smell.

Meanwhile the daughter-in-law is bringing the baby for me to play with tomorrow afternoon, so I am planning to let him stew in his own juice. Or – as he would say – jus.