Sunday, September 24, 2006

Kitchen clockwork

Today I got the neighbours across and assembled a meal to christen the kitchen in style. A leg of best lamb slow roasted with garlic and olive oil, served in a little pile of moist brown slices over which I poured a fresh rosemary jus and topped with a fingerfull of wild flower and herb salad. The bottomless depths of flavour of the sauce hit everyone’s soul. The weather and scene outside were autumnal, yet the sun was hot and I wasn’t sure which way to go with the roast accessories.

But my eventual idea came good. So, with the little pile of tender lamb I threw out three bowls of veg: boiled tiny new tatties rolled in butter, leeks and parma ham; glazed carrot batons cooked in an aromatic vegetable broth; and a salad of runner beans and a sharp lemon-Dijon vinaigrette.

My virtual breakdown induced by the kitchen build was making me may close attention to what I was doing, and I went about the broth with rare precision and reliance on the subtleties of the flavours. It paid off, nobody able to stop putting the liquor into their mouths in some way or other. And the desert pushed it even further: a rude apple crumble spiked with oats and almonds, made with equal ratios of flour, sugar and butter despite the consistency being more gooey than usual and baked on a high heat for a good 40 minutes. It turned into a chewy cross between crumble and flapjack, a substance that almost disgusted you with its ability to make you gorge yourself on it until you were ill. It sat atop a deep layer of sweet but firm apples, and I served it with a spoon of good vanilla ice cream and a zigzag of concentrated blackberry&lime cordial reduction. The kitchen functions like clockwork.

No comments: