Today was spent getting frustrated with not being able to get cracking on today’s food, on account of the yellowing pools of congealed piss coating my toilet rim and the realisation that I could scratch my name in the sink walls. Apart from finding it personally disgusting I was aware that, restaurant or no restaurant, you can’t serve food to someone and then let them relive themselves in such squalor.
I eventually got started at around half past one with the desert, throwing some butter and sugar into ramekins and into the top of a hot oven, just leaving me time to clean up the various pieces of broken crayon, play dough, toys, paper, books, socks, teething rings and cups&plates that had accumulated, before filling the pots with sliced apples and putting them back into to caramelize. Which they did, but only just.
I then set about slicing some aromatics for a bean stew, sweating them off in pork fat that I had trimmed from the belly then doing away with the can of cider from the fridge that has been hanging around for Far Too Long, followed by the soaked flagolets beans, pint of fleshy chicken stock and a fat bouquet garni. Once that was simmering away I took out the apple pots and left them to cool while I made a dry crumble topping. I then withdrew the marinated pork belly from the fridge and put it in a hot oven, leaving only a quick apple sauce to make and a visit next door to pick a few blackberries for a sweet coulis. It is a pain to find good, dried flagolets, and you need good stock, but it really is hard to beat the crispy fatty pork, sleepy earthy beans and a tart apple sauce. It was 25 degrees today, which sounds far too hot for such a dish, but the cider and plenty of flat-leafed parsley at the end, not to mention the mustardy salad of leaves, kept it summery.