A case of the Sunday blues was setting in here as the realisation set in that the wedding and honeymoon are over and it’s back to work. Normal service shall be resumed. Except not quite, because I need to fill in forms, change my name and figure out a new signature. From now on I shall be Mrs (the Dr) L, as my parents have taken to calling me. I’m taking Mr L’s surname, but am on the fence about what title to take with it. It might depend on who’s asking.
In the meantime, while I figure that all out and pick myself up from the floor having seen the fee to change my name on my passport, it’s back into the kitchen for me like a good little wife (ha!). For the first time in years I didn’t cook whilst we were away, and it was very strange indeed. One of the things I relish most about our trips to Italy is the opportunity to cook with the local ingredients, often using the oil, vinegar and wine from the fields adjacent to the palazzo where we are sipping our evening Negroni.
Ten whole days of being in Italy and not cooking was a very strange sensation indeed. Not that I minded being presented with fresh from the tree fig lunches and four course “we caught this boar last night” evening meals, but I wouldn’t have minded mucking in and stirring a pot here and there, peeling an onion, chopping a tomato. Although I’m not quite sure that my boar hunting skills are up to much yet.
I think it’s possible that Mr L had an inkling of how I would feel, which may have been why, on our first morning as a married couple, he presented me with a new cookbook as a present. A cookbook I had been coveting for a long while, longingly stroking in book shops and drooling over and yet not quite being able to bring myself to buy.
Some people might think it somewhat presumptuous that a husband would present his new wife with a cookbook, as if perhaps he expected his meals to be cooked for him from now on, but let’s be honest, the kitchen has always been my thing, and I’m more likely to chase him out of it while I throw ingredients around than complain about being stuck in there. I think he’d quite like a chance to cook every once in a while, but I’ve hidden all the utensils and pans in the wrong cupboards, and just can’t stop myself from “helping” whenever he begins. We all know that’s a recipe for separation if ever there was one, and so he stands and supervises with a glass of wine and appreciates whatever is put in front of him, no matter how random (and my weeknight experiments with what’s left in the first can get pretty random)
And so to kick the Sunday blues I decided to make something really special from my new book. Lamb neck and aubergine stew. A recipe that it clearly states is nothing much to look at, but tastes so good you should only share it with those you truly love. What could be more perfect for our first home-cooked meal as a married couple.
Full Disclosure: I got distracted by the football and burnt the stew to the base of the pan. I hope this isn’t setting a precedent for what’s to come! I’ve rescued what’s left into a new pan in the hope that no-one will notice and I can get away with it. Well, except the burnt pan is sitting in the sink waiting for someone (Mr L?) to deal with it.