Guess who’s Going Out To Dinner

Ina was this morning making a gorgeous dinner for Jeffrey, who came home on time adorned with arms full of fresh produce and a heart full of love, an I thought how different my life and world is than Ina’s. Pete and I’s Friday night reunion was after only one working day and consisted in me waving to him through the door as I did Body Attack (which is a nice masculine way of saying aerobics). He duly pissed himself at me doing weird hoppy things and high kicks and such like. I must admit I do look like a complete nerd as I do them. A strangely uncoordinated nerd. I do wonder what Ina, in her romantic world, would make of a Friday night chatting over a Reebock Step whilst loading up a bar and preparing to do a warm up to that horrendous song Where Do You Go My Lovely by the 90’s shitty group No Mercy. Somehow this feels horrendously unromantic in comparison.

What feels even less romantic is that post body pump, our weekly Friday night torture before we descend into pure indulgence, we walked home, had cod fishcakes, chips, tinned marrowfat peas (a dirty, indulgent, guilty pleasure I’m completely unapologetic about) and tartare sauce, a bottle of Shiraz and creme brûlée. All whilst watching the only film that has overtaken Transformers 2 The Revenge of the Fallen in my mind as the most awful film I have ever had to sit through. And what completely deflated the romanticism of there was any was the fact we both fell asleep, woke up with a start and went to bed at 9.45pm on a Friday night. Rock on people, rock on.

We woke up this morning about 8.30am, had a cup of tea, watched Graham Norton on catch up then started with our day. Task one, sausage sandwiches, was not much of a task. I washed up, showered then off I trotted to Aldi to get the final ingredients to this weekends main attraction- operation Christmas Cake. Or should I say Christmas Cakes. For today is the day I began the 24 hour task that will be making these cakes. I have over a kilo of raisins, the remainder of a packet of dried cranberries, 500g of currants, a load of glacé cherries and some dried dates soaking in 700ml of bourbon that I brought to the boil. It was only supposed to be 600ml but I added a bit more dried fruit just to finish off packets. I went to Aldi as there is still an inner tight wad in.me that refused to pay £20 for booze I’m cooking with, so JD or Makers Mark or Jim Beam would never make it as a cooking Bourbon. But the Aldi equivalent, Clarkes or something, at £10 a bottle was just the ticket. Once it’s bought to the boil with all that fruit, in that mass quantity, I tell you it’s like nothing I have ever experienced. The fumes were horrendous. I felt sick and a bit hammered. I had to open the door and let it escape, It was terrible. But over seven hours later, the fruit is back to life. What were once hard little things that it’s difficult to believe were once fruit, are now little soft fleshy boozy drops of fabulous. They are the start of what promises to be a gorgeous addition to the festive season.

The two cakes are due to the fact I’m off to a festive shin dig in Plymouth in December, and the Nigella Christmas Cake will be an offering for the table. That and the obligatory cava that is an almost statutory requirement when myself and Mme Anne Smears get together. Its funny to plot the booze progression in Anne and I’s life since we have gone from office goon, to trainee to qualification. From house Chardonnay, to gin and tonic, to cocktails in Harvey Nichols to copious it’s not just Cava and the decent wine on a wine list in whichever establishment we lunch in. Seven years down the line, whilst our life and lessons may be hard to summarise, our socialising chart is easy to plot.

Tonight, seeing as I’m on duty for work we are taking it easy. Rather than a big Halloween night on the tiles, we are off to Le Bistrot Pierre for dinner. The good thing about being on call in the modern world is the phone is no longer inexplicably placed in the draughtiest part of the home, the hallway, but is a portable property. The calls can come with me to dinner, should they come. You better not come, I love Le Bistrot Pierre. I’m getting myself in the mood by watching Julie and Julia for the 1,000,000th time. French food and the promise of it is like some form of aphrodisiac. Pete has promised to accompany me to Paris next year. I have bizarrely never been, but I do long to. I never did before but now I do. Now I feel like I can do it the way I would like to- eat my way around the city, not on some £20 a day including board budget. The promise of it all is quite thrilling. Here’s to Paris 2011.

We went into town for a stroll, nothing was purchased. Well, food was purchased but I don’t count that. I find myself bored at the thought of just buying shoes and jumpers. But put me in the kitchenware department of any store, or a cookware store, and I’m suddenly thinking that I have nothing I need. I needed everything I saw today, but secretly said nothing. Pete would surely kill me if I bought anything more. I need to sort out the cupboards I store this stuff in, seeing as we have to contort ourselves when we currently open it. We literally have to creep the door open, and move into the cupboard to replace the security the door offered, and then prevent the items falling out with our own body parts. I must clear that cupboard out. Note to self.

Alas, time is ticking on. I must start getting myself ready. See you all on Sunday. I hope I’m as rock and roll for you tomorrow. I know this stuff is very darn exciting for you all. Who knew at 30 I’d be such a thrill.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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