Today I am cooking Prawn Risotto.
Yes, I know I don’t usually feel the need to tell you all about my Daily Diet but
on the last day of my lovely stay with the Middle of the Darling Daughters I took down, at her dictation, the recipes for all the delicious meals she had cooked for me over the duration of our stay.
I can hear you muttering, wasn’t I supposed to be the one looking after her, recovering as she was from a Caesarean birth and caring for a newborn baby? Why was the New Mother in the kitchen cooking while
the Not-So-Very-Helpful-Mother-And-Grandmother sat and sang nursery rhymes to His Royal Cuteness? All I can say in my defence is that it seemed to work perfectly for us. And I have come home with recipes with which to delight Mr B’s taste-buds.
The first challenge is to read my own writing. The Middle of the Darling Daughters talks quite quickly when she is in her Masterchef Mode and my handwriting
is fairly disgraceful at the best of times. Moreover in dictating the recipe to me, my daughter did not follow the normal rule of recipe-writing, as followed by Nigella, Mary and the Delectable Delia, which is to first provide a list of ingredients and
then move onto the method. Instead she simply talked me through the whole process, as if she were cooking, starting off with “Chop one large white onion” and finishing with “Grate fresh parmesan and fresh coriander.” So I have
to read through the whole recipe and note down every time she mentions a new ingredient in order to put together my shopping list. Even then I have a few problems because of gaps where I had obviously struggled to keep up with the dictation. There’s
one line which reads: “Chop up fresh p....” Guesses, please? Parsley, perhaps?
Mr B says we will certainly not be buying prawns from Thailand. This
is on account of a lurid description of the diet enjoyed by prawns from that neck of the woods, as told us by one of our fellow players at yesterday’s cribbage group. I am surprised that Mr B is paying such attention to this particular person’s
opinion as he and her had a bit of a falling out over the cribbage board yesterday when she dared to criticise his habit of not laying his cards down on the table for everyone to see and work out the score. He was still hopping mad with her as we drove
home afterwards. Be that as it may, it seems he is prepared to take the Critical One’s word on the Prawn Front so we will be opting for the North West Atlantic variety.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters also advised us to buy a mini-chopper, one made famous as one of Delia’s “Cheats.” Mr B likes buying new appliances and besides we had one of those “£5 off if you spend £40
or more” supermarket vouchers which had to be used by tomorrow – so spending £22.50 on a mini-chopper made perfect sense. Though I do wonder how many people buy things they don’t really need in order to redeem a £5 off voucher?
We surely can’t be the only ones? Anyway I am looking forward to trying out my mini-chopper, though it is perfectly possible that Mr B will wander into the kitchen just as I start feeding vegetables into its capacious mouth and take over. He will
say he is being helpful but really it will be because he wants to try out the chopper for himself.
There are very few exact measurements in the recipe,
I note. There are lots of somewhat vague instructions such as: “May add a little more oil if necessary.” How much is “a little more” and when will I know if it is necessary? Likewise: “Put boiling water over the top. Add
as needed.” How much boiling water? And when will I know when more is needed? There is one very specific instruction: “Taste regularly!” I told you the Middle of the Darling Daughters was in Masterchef Mode.
I have written enough – I need to get on with the cooking. It’s a simple enough recipe, after all, how can I go wrong? Mr B is already licking his lips in happy anticipation.
Salmon Bake tomorrow?