Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Once and for all. And spinach.

WHY, if you could have a dog, would you have children? And WHY, once you had a dog, would you WANT children?

This is something that is foxing me. My friends all seem to think that I'm someone who'll definitely have children. I suppose statistics are probably on their side. But seriously. WHY would you want them? Pets - nice, simple, adoring, funny. Children - nightmare hassle. Never. I'll be crazy aunt to my brothers' children. After all, Ed has a girl he actually seems quite keen on for once, it's all looking promising. But no. I have enough trouble running my own life without trying to run someone else's as well.

And with that, a recipe.

This is Tamsin's spinach idea, which I've tweaked a tiny bit and will continue to tweak, because it's that kind of thing.

A bag of spinach (I reckon about 100g a person, but that's a guess...)
A lump of butter, or a large splash of really good olive oil - enough to coat the bottom of a pan big enough to fit all the spinach in
A tablespoon of pine nuts per person
A clove of garlic between two people, sliced thinly
Other things - either the juice of half a lemon or a dessertspoonful of balsamic between two people, and, depending on whether it's going to go with whatever you're serving with this, a grating of parmesan
Black pepper, salt

Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan, and when lightly coloured add whichever fat you had to hand. Throw in the garlic and toss around. Turn the heat down and add the spinach. Carefully manipulate the spinach to coat it in the flavoured butter - it's quite important to get the pine nuts and the garlic off the bottom of the pan at this point or they risk burning. I always get the spinach everywhere, no pan is big enough for whatever quantity of spinach you're cooking. Turn the heat off and put the lid on the pan while you tweak whatever your main course was. Give the spinach a stir - it should be mostly wilted or on the way. If it's not, put the lid back on and put it back on a gentle heat for a minute. Just before serving, season with lemon or balsamic, black pepper, and parmesan if you fancy it. Taste - you will probably need a bit of salt, unless you're using parmesan or are having a salty main alongside.

I made the meatballs thing. I need to find another easy-to-cook, easy-to-like meal to make for random dinners. I'm quite keen on something along these lines from Smitten Kitchen but not sure it's really nice enough for a NICE dinner. Quite easy to tweak the concept for veggies though, and more or less impossible to dislike. We shall see. Will test. Probably on Carl. He suffers.

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