My housekeeping skills are inconsistent at best. I’m not really very sure where the hoover now lives, since we re-jigged the utility room a month ago. I don’t entirely believe in dusting. Guests have used the iron more often than I have, and even they have only used it twice (in fact, come to think of it, I don’t think I know where the iron is now, either). Luckily, I have a high tolerance for fluff, and a boyfriend who has forgotten what flat shirts are for – and who has kept slightly more of an eye on the hoover’s whereabouts.
This is possibly painting a worse picture than I deserve: everything is clean that should be (apart from the windows), and all of the tea towels are beautifully flat and neatly folded (very important), but really, the main area in which I like to think I contribute something to the household is the food. It’s very strenuous, you know – leafing through recipe books, drawing up meal plans, arranging for the veg box to turn up and hunting down delicious things to do with its
radicchio chard (it turns out you can’t do anything nice with radicchio). All of this incredibly hard work means that I do – usually – manage to cook something healthy and tasty for the two of us that isn’t cheese on toast. What? That seems a perfectly fair division of labour to me. I do also make sure the books stay colour co-ordinated, if that helps.
In a continuation of the worrying trend, though, where I fail to remember anything at all and instead waltz through life leaving behind me a wake of very important things, my excellent planning skills (ahem) have failed me recently. I very smugly got some of Nigel’s root vegetable korma out of the freezer before work, and failed miserably to realise that – somehow – we had run out of rice. I certainly don’t remember eating it.
I have lots to share with you at the minute – there’s some recipes, and also the benefits of wearing legwarmers to work – but my train was delayed on the way home, and I have spring rolls to eat and an episode of the Bake Off urgently requiring my attention, so instead of writing up one of the recipes that I have already cooked for your reading pleasure, I made a whole new one to tell you about. Illogical? Me? Surely not.
Actually, I might also tell you about the legwarmers now. Mine are a particularly fetching pair of rainbow-striped ones that I bought millennia ago, in my teens, but you can wear whichever style you like (kind, aren’t I?). Underneath trousers would be my recommendation, though, unless your workplace’s dress code is a lot more relaxed than mine.
The other day, a colleague followed me part-way down the corridor at work in order to compliment me on my shoes. I was, of course, flattered (particularly because they are very old, and slightly odd), but after very little time I found myself entirely at a loss as to how one is expected to continue a conversation about shoes. This is fairly shocking, especially given that I can have long and involved discussions about the best way to prepare courgettes. Only with appropriately vetted people, mind, don’t worry – I’m not that person.
When pressed for a definitive answer, I tend to plump for long, tagliatelle-esque ribbons. Although I wouldn’t dream of roasting anything other than ¼-inch-thick rounds, ribbons are far more fun to twiddle round a fork, and cook in no time at all. I suppose you could use a mandolin if you were the sort of highly organised person to have such a thing, but as we have managed to move into the only flat with a kitchen smaller than the one we left, I use a vegetable peeler.
Once you have ribboned all of the courgettes you currently own for the sheer pleasure of seeing if you can get all the strips to line back up into a courgette shape (no? just me?), by far the best thing you can do with them is turn them into either garlicky-courgettes-with-gruyere pasta, or these little balls of deliciousness. Strictly speaking they are a starter, but I have eaten them for dinner – on their own, off the baking tray, on those evenings where you have just enough time to strip 3 courgettes, mix up a big bowl of stuff and shape and bake your dinner before running out of the door. Cheese on toast would probably be the most time efficient option in these circumstances, but I do like a challenge.