One of our life’s luxuries is having weekly dinner menus that read like a restaurant’s. Although I’m not a great lover of cooking Mark seems to care about it an awful lot. I’d even go as far as to say if I was on my own my weekly meals would probably consist of beans on toast and eggs. Whilst Mark, even in my absence, would continue to cook like a chef. Sometimes his best creations come in those times I am away as he gets to throw in things that I would not normally eat.
So let me give you a snapshot of a weekly sitting at our house; easy moussaka pots, teriyaki salmon with parsnip mash, BBQ prawns with herbed potato salad, sumac lamb with coriander yoghurt, warm Persian beef & black-eyed beans with pomegranate salad and turkey & fennel sliders with radish slaw.
You may be able to tell with a list like this that we use both cook books and online recipes. Here is our foolproof system. I sit down most Thursday nights and create the menu for the week, with the odd contribution from the head chef. I write the shopping list whilst creating the menu. On a Friday, after work, I head to mine and my mother’s ‘church’, more commonly known as La Manna Supermarket to collect the goods. The menu is stuck on the fridge for the week and the meals that follow are loving prepared and cooked by Mark and sometimes begrudgingly by me. We have been following this system to close on twenty years.
Being borderline OCD this kind of system is one of those things that helps keep a calmness about our home and reduce the need to make decisions mid week. It is just one of a number of home created routines that I have come to love. I can not tell you how many times we have sat down to dinner and commented on the amazing food we cook, it’s very much a scene from The Castle, we are totally complimentary of ourselves.
On top of the nightly meals Mark is a keen preserver of olives. We live in a suburb where they literally fall off the local trees and he will often walk the streets collecting up this wasted fruit. I’m not a fan but I’m told by olive lovers that they are truly delicious. I’ve taken to calling this olive business ‘The Stolen Olive’ and recently created designer labels to match.
Mark has over the years been a keen home brewer, a very amateur bee keeper and more recently a curer of salmon. His Scandinavian influenced salmon gravelax is quickly becoming a yearly Christmas treat, this I do love and look forward to it in coming weeks. I constantly marvel at his foodie persona and the level of motivation he has to deliver all food he creates at an exceptionally high standard. Sometimes his attention to culinary detail drives me absolutely insane but, at the end of the day, this reviewer gives this home chef three Michelin stars.