Last week I did a strange thing: I volunteered to make Moussaka. My wife could be described, without exaggeration, a being something of a moussaka fiend. She loves it. I am somewhat ambivalent about it, mostly because I don't get aubergines. I know people rave about them, and I know in Southern Spain they deep fry them in batter and serve them with honey and they are lovely, but somehow the ones we buy and cook here in Finland seem to be missing something. Or maybe how I am cooking them is wrong? I should qualify further and say I love how they look - they are definately one of the cooler vegetables but somehow there is something lost between the time I begin chopping them and when they arrive on the plate.
However to come back to the moussaka, I was pre baking the aubergines in the oven and I had sliced them in the mandolin but they were too thin when they were finnish cooking. So my tip to myself and to whoever reads this is to be brave when making moussaka and slice thise aubergines thicker than you initally feel is wise.
Today is a day off and I have some serious menu planning to do. There is, of course, this week and as an extra I have to organise next week as well because I will be in Stockholm with work. She will have her hands full with the baby but will still need to eat while the chef is away! I cannot let her eat her standard Pasta Surprise for 4 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I will use this week to make some good food that can be used next week. I suppose that one advantage of not speaking the language of the country you live in is that is makes her ordering take away pizza by phone nearly impossible...
We have some cracked wheat sitting in the cupboard so I think I am going to have a crack at some tabbouleh as hopefully it's Mediterranean flavours will freshen up the dark days we have as we wait for the shortest day. I think that will be the theme of the menu: sunshine and warmth.