Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cooking up a storm

I have threatened to write a regular restaurant review marked on opportunities to forget cancer amongst other things and so far have only done one. I could have waxed lyrical about the meal we had on the way back from France because unexpectedly (the hotel doesn't appear in any good food guides) it was fantastic. It was in a posh manor house built by an antiques dealer for his mistress, very acceptable wages of sin in my opinion, as long as he wasn't as antique as his wares. I had scrummy ris de veau (veal sweetbreads)and lovely flaky turbot served with risotto and winter veg all in a champagne sauce, well why not?. I didn't turn down the cheese and ended up with a grand marnier soaked pud as that is the local home brew. We splashed out on a good bottle of red and there were enough other tables occupied to give us plenty of opportunities to speculate and, dare I say it, bitch about our fellow diners, our favourite occupation.

Nothing like the meal we had last night, although fish did feature in it, but I can truthfully say our fellow diners were a scream and I didn't have time to think about chemo or cancer for a second. We had Harry and Danny overnight and Harry was "very exciting" about it. I had promised him his favourite tea so could be observed frying fish fingers, boiling spuds for mash and microwaving peas; oh and mixing Bisto, aah Bisto, for gravy because Harry likes gravy on his fish fingers and Danny couldn't care less what he eats as long as there is lots of it. I had clearly forgotten what it is like to cook for kids who are spreading toys at your feet and demanding to "help" because I was also cooking our slightly superior version of the menu, hake, mash, peas and parsley sauce and I almost lost control of the whole thing. I used to do this every night for us and four kids.. or was that Stewart? He does claim to have done all the cooking. In the middle of it all Jess called to make sure Danny hadn't maimed himself again and there were two calls from recorded voices congratulating me on being chosen for I don't know what as I threw the phone across the kitchen.

Harry loved every mouthful and kept showing me the gravy on his fish fingers with great relish; so it was all worthwhile and I managed to retain enough post-op, pre-chemo energy to build his train set, give him an illegal bath and read the next chapter of Alice in Wonderland before getting him into bed, having in between, straightjacketed Danny into his sleeping suit and tapped his back till he went to sleep.

Of course I could not help but reflect that next weekend I am not likely to be able to be such a proactive Nan and Harry did bring it all back to mind when he asked me why my hair was going to fall out - his Mom is preparing him and anyway he had been giving me marks out of 10 for my headwrapping skills; we voted the purple one best, so expect to see that on parade very shortly. Harry clearly thinks I am clueless when it comes to medicines as he has had lots of medicine and he has a lovely head of hair. I said mine was very, very special and anyway what does he know - he like gravy with fish fingers!

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