Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Simon Hopkinson's latest missive "second helpings of roast chicken" is an inspirational read. It's been seven years since the first serving of roast chicken and Simon is taking no prisoners. Woe betide an over enthusiastic use of either olive oil or coriander. Simon feels that as a nation we've forgotten how to 'cook nicely'. And I think he could be right and as much as I really enjoy the whole cooking experience I am also pleased I don't have to put on the full all singing all dancing performance every day. I am always being asked why I don't set up a restaurant. There are so many reasons why I believe this would never happen but I normally cite the reason as it all being too hard work and not fancying the hours. Truth be told most of the time I am organising some elaborate feast I am also running around working too many hours trying to do a demanding job and all those other things we fill our lives with and I don't know what it would be really like if that's all I did. Though saying that I think it would be seriously hard work and I'd worry that the joy would go out of it all. I think I'll stick the odd spectacular, the occasional mad splurge a la Kobe and some damn tasty rustle up meals on the remaining days. I definitely live to eat and not eat to live. Last night at dinner we were discussing our colleague in Germany who's adopted an uber vegan diet, macrobiotic raw vegetables and a few nuts only. How sad is that? I am sure Simon would agree, each of the fabulous 47 ingredient chapters starts with a little story around the particular food he's championing and a wonderful little illustration. He describes a chicken pie as requiring a 'modicum of toil' and this phrase delighted me, personally I think a modicum of toil in the kitchen is a vastly enjoyable way to spend time but as I've already said, I ration my toiling to an acceptable level. Oooh I am feeling so inspired!

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