Monday, 15 November 2010

The four Cs that make for a great weekend

Well, here we are at Monday again after an excellent weekend which was long on self-indulgence and short on sleep, but packed some of my favourite things: conversation, cooking, cards, champagne.  Friday night was curry night, and my contribution was an aubergine dish from Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful book, Indian Cookery.   There’s something so satisfying about cooking curry – a pinch of this, a bit of that, whizzing up ginger and garlic, chopping and peeling  … It's a good thing to know what restores you most and for me it’s cooking.  It would be helpful if it were writing, of course, but when I'm feeling overwhelmed or off balance, planning a menu, writing a list (I’m a Virgo, after all) shopping and then putting all the ingredients together does it for me every time.

So I was very happy pottering around my kitchen, and was so delighted with my ingredients I even took a picture.  Aren’t those aubergines beautiful?  I love food – I love thinking about it, and preparing it and eating it – and I can’t relate at all to people who can’t be bothered with it.  My current hero is one of those men who just eats for fuel.  He doesn’t care what the food is like as long as he doesn’t have to do the cooking himself.  Totally alien to me!  And Lotty is one of my few heroines who isn’t obsessed with food and can’t cook.  I’ve even included a scene where they share a ready-made meal they’ve bought from a supermarket (hey, who says I can’t do glamour?) I wrote it with my face averted from the screen and my nose wrinkled with distaste.  

More cooking on Saturday, which kicked off with kir royale, followed by tomato tartlets and roast duck with avocado salad (yum, yum) while we played bridge – absolutely my favourite kind of evening.  And in the course of the conversation, we even developed an idea for my next book.  When it comes to getting ideas, you can’t beat sitting down for a good old chat with friends – oh, and a glass of champagne never hurts either!  

As if that wasn’t enough in the way of treats, an excitingly large box was delivered to the front door on Saturday.  It turned out to contain a beautiful orchid from Mills &Boon for  being the winning  New Voices mentor – so thanks, Leah, if you’re reading this!  A lovely surprise: what could be nicer than getting flowers unexpectedly?   Here it is, bringing a touch of the exotic to my kitchen window sill.


  1. Kir royale ... Mmmm, haven't had that in over a decade thinking about it. Going to put that right this Christmas! Bet it went beautifully with the duck, Jessica.

    And you have a clean kitchen floor now, I see. Good luck with Ch.7!


  2. Oh, yummy - indian food!

    I'm with you, I love to cook. For me, baking is my favourite thing, and I'm always quietly horrified when someone brings supermarket-bought cake to a work morning tea :)

    That orchid is lovely! And very well deserved - I couldn't have done it without you and Meg :)

  3. Isn't that orchid lovely! I'm glad the mentors weren't forgotten! It was a win for you too after all :)