I’m not what you might call a born do-it-yourselfer. My calling in life is not to erect shelves, install recessed lighting or re-grout the tiling. If you need someone to choose shelves, pick out a table lamp or wax lyrical about a handmade terracotta tile, I’m your man.
But actual hard graft, no.
Fortunately, my partner Damon, ahem, enjoys being directed – so yesterday he did the bulk of the work of putting up a trellis on a wall of our garden.
My skills lay elsewhere. That’s why I cooked roast beef last night in return.
Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I’m a dab hand at cooking rare roast beef, and my roast potatoes are, frankly, second to none. However, I needed a side of vegetables to go with the meal – and I didn’t want to serve the same old veg that I always serve.
“I found a side dish that originates from the Centre region of France: spring peas with romaine and mint”
So I reached for one of my favourite cookbooks, Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of French Cooking. In it, I found a side dish that originates from the Centre region of France: spring peas with romaine and mint.
I used frozen peas, of course – who wouldn’t? Coupled with butter, shallots, chicken stock, fresh mint and a chopped head of romaine lettuce, the result was a refreshing change from my stock vegetables sides.
It was delicious, so I’ll definitely make it again. Hopefully, I won’t have to put up a trellis again – or even supervise Damon while he does it.