Saturday, 16 January 2010

Tears and inspriations

Next week the Kitchen will be in Germany. I am travelling again and leaving the boss to fend for herself and for my daughter and heir while I have fun in Hamburg. I am not relishing the 06:00 flight but am looking forward to catching up with colleagues and working on the subject at hand for this session. And maybe, just maybe finding time to enjoy a small glass of German beer.

Work in the Kitchen has been a hotch potch recently and I must admit to having borrowed ideas liberally in order to keep myself and the boss fed. I haven't had the energy to be creative on my own. Instead I have been reliant on finding inspiration from others and then either following the recipe or more often than not using it as a guide and following my gut.

Today I have had a double dose of this just at the point when I can do nothing about it. However this does mean the boss can look forward to an Aubergine and Lentil Moussaka and some kind of Naan bread topped with aubergine, courgette, pine nuts, feta cheese and mint. The latter came from an home furnishing magazine I was reading at lunch today. It was only two years old and while it was in Finnish I understood what was needed to make the does half reading and half taking notice of someonelse's recipe written in a foreign language count as stealing it? I think the answer to that is yes.

Tonight our little girl howled at the moon in such apparent pain that dinner was at best just a fuel stop for two parents confused at their little baby going bananas on them. I started out by riffing on a Japanese dish of rice with 3 toppings: chicken, egg and green beans. Luckily once it was all cooked I was able to pop it in the oven to keep it warm until our little girl was convinced to sleep. Nothing seemed to work for her: even entreaties in English, Spanish, French and Finnish had no effect and that is unusual. Normally she finds Daddy cooing in French or Finnish to be very amusing.

So despite my best efforts to pacify an upset daughter with Finnish I am generally quite pleased with how my Finnish is coming on. Admittedly when a lady spoke to me at length about the Finnish pension system for entrepreneurs in Finnish this week I had to pretend I had a clue what she was talking about. I am just over the moon I have made the leap with the "Puoli" (meaning half) to extending its context to include the idea of a side (as in "this side" and "that side" or the Swedish side of the border). I can't yet use it in a meaningful sentence but I know my Finnish colleagues do so. It is little victories like this which keep you going with a language that is as alien to my English mind as Finnish. In a strange way I find it quite a beautiful language even though it frustrates me on a daily basis.

To come back to travelling the kitchen will also be in Toulouse in February and I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. Well first of all I am quite upset that I cannot get back on the day I want to due to flights but Toulouse is the home of Cassolet, one of my all time favourite foods in the world. While I am in Toulouse I wonder if I can eat Cassolet every night in a different place?

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