Anyway, I am detracting slightly here with this rant so lets get back to the thread of explaining an aspect of my job that is particularly annoying, having to work late into the night. Whilst everyone else is out there gallivanting across town, I am stuck behind my desk waiting for some PR bod or lawyer to get back from the pub and sign off a press release or some M&A document. Now please do not weep and put your tiny violin and hankerchief away, as over the last few months, I have at least had the good fortune to eat very well when I work in the evenings. And this is all down to a little project called Where's My Pork Chop? Meeting up with different people and getting to sample their food has been fantastic. I am having a ball with it.
However last week, I was incensed beyond belief as I was left in the lurch to...- THIS PART OF THE POST HAS BEEN EDITED OUT AS IT GOES OFF TANGENT, IS FULL OF SELF PITY AND GOES ON AND ON ABOUT BANAL OFFICE POLITICS - ...needless to say I was very busy and didn't get time to eat the very wonderful spread that Naomi aka The Ginger Gourmand had prepared for me for that evening. I was so looking forward to her sumptuous vegetarian feast too, entitled "A Last Taste Of Summer". Instead I spent a cab journey home at 2AM, feeling angry, starved and faintly ridiculous with a large froufie Bonne Maman bag on my lap. As the car picked its way through the quiet streets, I formulated a plan, I would have her picnic for breakfast instead.
Six hours later, I found myself in the kitchen getting ready to get stuck into a full on three course meal which was quite unusual. In the morning, I'm normally a mug of tea and couple slices of toast kinda guy. But as the saying goes breakfast like king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. Although I don't think I looked particularly regal slouching at the table in an old, moth ridden t-shirt and boxer shorts, I was bloody hungry, I can tell you that.
So what did Naomi serve up? Well the menu went like this:
Leek & Gruyère Tart with Puy Lentil Tabbouleh and Lollo Rosso Salad (with Mustard Dressing)
Lemon Drizzle Cake and All Butter Shortbread
In other words, there was rather a lot.
As this was the first meal of the day, the gazpacho was a perfect start to kick off proceedings, a nice light chilled soup full of vitamin C goodness. Vibrant in colour and with peppery undertones, this Spanish speciality certainly perked up the grey matter. Naomi's tart combined nutty cheese flavours with soft caramelised leeks which worked really well although the pastry itself seemed unusually sweet to me. I later asked her about the recipe and Naomi replied that she had used a simple all butter shortcrust for the tart, seasoned with salt and pepper making me wonder whether perceptions of taste differ at certain times of the day. Any food scientists care to answer? I've coveted Naomi's tabbouleh in the past and having finally tried some, it was certainly good, although perhaps the puy lentils were a little too earthy for this dish. The salad leaves amazingly enough didn't suffer overnight and was still crisp and crunchy with the dressing adding just a gentle touch of mustard heat. As for the lemon drizzle cake, well Naomi provided a massive bar and I am supremely grateful that she did because it was heavenly. Moist and soft with a sugary, citrus crust. The little people who gathered around the table were very impressed with it too. Utterly delicious and destroyed in minutes. I was so full by this point that the biscuits ended getting divvied up between the twins. Probably not the best of ideas as they launched into sucrose overdrive shortly afterwards and went spinning about the house for about an hour.
For the exchange, I gave Naomi some John Doe potatoes from the allotment, named so because I can't remember the variety I planted but they're great for roasties. She also took charge of Verity, the third daughter of Veronica and some bottles of Duvel as I had gathered from her tweets on Twitter that she was rather fond of the stuff. When I met her at the Monument for the swap, I found out that she had in fact lived in Belgium for a period of time. With brews as strong as 8.5%, I was surprised she could even remember.
Thanks for breakfast Naomi and thanks for making me walk through the city with the most frou-frou bag you could find. I don't think I shall return it you now. I think it rather suits me.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
The problem with breakfasting is that you have to share it with the little people