Put the weather behind you

‘Put the weather behind you,’he said. ‘There’ll be another day that will come along and you’ll be a feck of a lot wetter than you there all stuck down and bad tempered. If it is bad enough a man will look at you take you’ve just been out there for a walk in the water and bein’ an idiot you went into it too deep with you clothes still on your back.’

He took at his pint bringing the glass up to his mouth and taking a gasp at the black liquid. He wiped at his beard with his fingers.

‘You rub it in like that,’ he said. ‘It’ll an old man like me keep some colour there and stop out the grey.’

‘So you will have a day and the rain will come down so thick and heavy that it does nothing else but push you flat against the ground so there is nowhere to move forward and every strap of strength in your body feels wasted. Feck it and feck the rain. It’s only a bucket of water and it will be back in the sea as soon as it is down. You’re a man aren’t you and unless you’re out drowning with a pair of heavy boots on you can stand there and let the water wash off you. And when the rain stops and it will then you will be onto another day and if you’re lucky there’ll be a sun out and you can go take a boat on to the water and thrown in a line and you can catch some fish for your sins.’

He finished his pint and put the glass back on the bar.

‘So will yer put away that face and buy me a pint?”



A roast rib of beef

The pistachio, almond and carrot cake was fine a fine success. We ate it with dollops of rosewater flavoured cream. I now need to make three more of them next week.

Before the cake we had a rib of beef. Every time I go to The Farmer’s Market I eye up the beef without getting round to buying it. Yesterday the was a relatively small rib and I reckoned it would do for supper.

The oven has just been mended so it went on to its hottest setting. I rubbed the meat with olive oil and gave it a good coating of sea salt and pepper. In then went into the oven. After 20 minutes it had started to crackle and spit. It stayed in the hot oven for another 10 minutes then the heat was turned down.

In the meantime I had been making a quiche with peppers and onions and so that went into cook.

I took the beef out after another 40 minutes and covered it with some foil and a tea towel to rest for twenty minutes.

We ate it with fried potatoes, salad and a light gravy made in the pan the beef had cooked in. A a bottle of very fine Rioja.

I will not be waiting long before I get myself another rib of beef from The Farmer’s Market.

More from Sabrina Ghayour

We have people coming for supper next weekend and unusually we have thought about the food a good week in advance. There was to be no pudding as such just bowls of fruit and cheese.

But then we saw a recipe for a pistachio, almond and carrot cake in the same Observer Food Magazine I seem to have been cooking out of over the last few weekends. It is another recipe from Sabrina Ghayour’s new book Persiana.

I was very good this week. I saw the book in Waterstones when I was in there one lunch time and managed to resist the temptation to buy. I was probably helped by the fact that they had the Morito book as well and I couldn’t decide which of the two I wanted most. So they both went back onto the table. I suspect I will have one of them at home by the end of next week.

I have had a practise run at the cake this afternoon.

The cake was straightforward to make. Just one bowl, starting with eggs, sugar and vanilla extract beaten together, and then adding ground almonds, desiccated  and cinnamon and then melted butter, grated carrot and chopped pistachio nuts. It all went into a cake tin and then into the oven where it is now.

Lunch was pitta bread stuffed with pieces of lamb coked in garlic and cumin and long thin green chillies. There was a plate of chopped veg and some of the mint flavoured yogurt from last weekend.


May Bank Holiday Sunday Lunch

Having left the lamb to marinade overnight I cooked it on the barbeque yesterday afternoon. It took about 45 minutes with some time added on for resting. I turned it every 10 minutes or so and slathered more of the marinade over it as it cooked so that it formed a sweet dark crust.

We ate it with a yogurt sauce made by putting handfuls of mint and coriander through the Magimix  with garlic, green chillies, crushed cumin, lime juice and about half a pot of Total Greek Yogurt. The recipe for both the lamb and yogurt sauce come from Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook. I remember first seeing the recipe in the Observer Food Magazine and it was one of those that you read and then straight away want to set about cooking. There is no doubt that it works best on the barbeque.

We ate it with new potatoes (Simon Hopkinson would not have approved as I was too lazy to scrape away their skin), a chick pea salad, made with baby cucumbers and green pepper, and a tomato salad which came from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana. I didn’t quite follow the recipe using up pistachio nuts instead of walnuts and introducing pomegranate seeds into the dressing which was made by mixing pomegranate molasses with olive oil, sea salt and sumac. This was poured over and stirred into a bowl of roughly chopped tomatoes, sliced red onion and green chilli.

Very good it was to although not quite warm enough to eat outside.

I will need to get the cookbook.