Sunday, October 11, 2009

...And I Even Had Pearls and a Shirtwaist Dress!

I have officially discovered something about myself: June Cleaver is my alter ego. Who knew?

I went in early to church today in order to conduct the choir. A surprisingly successful (surprising because of my lack of prep work, *not* the calibre of the choir!) rehearsal out of the way, it was then time for the meeting block, some post-church chatting, and then off home for dinner and a viewing of "The Best Two Years."

Sebastian and I debated (read: sat and wondered and felt stumped) about how to dress up our intended menu of (essentially) beans on toast. There were sausages begging to be used up before they went off and started mooing like the hides and flesh in the Odyssey. Joining the mute chorus of pleas to be eaten was a baguette from the other day inching its way slowly towards staleness and - if left too long unattended - fossilisation. Luckily, eerily mooing animal flesh and fossilised French bread were still only distantly looming threats which tonight's dinner put to paid.

In the midst of hopelessly bandying about ideas in the Tube station on the way home, we decided that some Boston Baked Beans could be improvised on the side of sausages and baguette - which were to be done up as posh hot dogs, really. This settled on, I set to in the kitchen once we got to the house and as Sebastian was on the phone, the idea came to me: there should be gravy to go with the sausages!

My flash of inspiration having struck, I checked the pack of sausages for the description which mentioned some of the spices and herbs added to the sausages in their packing. Quickly, it was over to the spice rack (something that came with the house and which I have commandeered) to find some complimentary spices. Success! I had them! Still having my Julia Child-meets-Dr. Frankenstein moment, I dashed over to the fridge, pulled out the butter and buttermilk and then, back to the hob to heat a saucepan. Add some stock and flour to my seasoned milky base and within minutes I had improvised my own gravy. Happily, I found out that my off-the-cuff concoction was a triumph! It nicely complimented the sausages, and tasted quite nice on its own when mopped off the plate with little slivers of baguette. Martha Stewart; eat your heart out.

This is the second time now, since habitually making dinners with Sebastian, that I've bluffed my way through inventing a recipe with (if I may say so) quite brilliant results. Though I was the girl in my family who steadfastly avoided the culinary arts for years, apparently I managed to learn through osmosis! Who knew that there was a competent cook lurking beneath this frozen pizza-loving exterior? Suddenly, I don't despair at the prospect of having malnourished little urchins of children who subsist on French toast and chili alone.

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