It’s been a long time since we last spoke. I’m really sorry. I was very busy having a second baby. Reuben Booben (the ‘Booben’ bit is not actually official, I’m afraid – it merely refers to the fondness he pays me, his mother, during snack times) is nearly seven months old and he’s already noshing away like he’s “been here before”. Yes, as my mother would say, he is an old soul… and he’s simply remembering just how fun it is to eat good food.
And what else have I been up to these past seven months? I hear you say. Well, apart from popping out The Booben in the living room of the mother-in-law’s house in a speedy two hours, I have actually been doing a great deal of cooking. I just haven’t managed to document much of it or shout about it from this here digital rooftop. (Probably because I also haven’t been getting that much sleep in either.) But I just miss you so much and I want to tell you about my food.
Oh, and the mother-in-law returned. (Her month-long antipodean adventure and our month-long take-over of her home met their fate in a head-on collision of jet-lag and pregnancy hormones in the middle of the kitchen. I had, apparently, turned off the AGA in an attempt to turn it down. It was BURNING THE FOOD, for crying out loud!) And then went away again, for a month of gayness in Paris.
Anyway, back to the food…
Over the past half a year, I have created an excellent recipe for challah, which I invite you all to make, for you will be anticipating the sabbath every week just to get your hands into the dough and your lips around the sweetest, spongiest bread. There’s been Baba’s ganoush – Baba is what Zippy calls the mother-in-law – a creamy, lemony aubergine dip that the AGA was built to make. I made a heavenly Syrian lamb stew with dried limes for Rosh Hashana, which elicited some rather amourous reactions from our dinner guests for it was, apparently, so divine.
We turned our green tomatoes into chutney, our cucumbers into pickles, and the grapes from the century-old vine in the conservatory into grape juice and grape jelly. And, most recently, I whipped up some empanadillas for an impromptu party of seven, to test drive the wonderful new Claudia Roden book of Spanish food given to me by my lovely friends, Sarah and Keith.
Noshing – to eat food enthusiastically or greedily
Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year