Saturday, January 07, 2006


Today at 11:00am, I was sitting at the computer, doing my own thing when Dad walks in…

Dad: Hey Sarah, what are the plans for lunch?
Me: Huh? I dunno…
Dad: You know that we’re all home for lunch today? Daniel’s only working at night.
Me: We’re ALL at home…?!
Dad: So are you going to cook something?
Me: I don’t have anything planned!!! … NOOOOOOO!
Dad: Yeah but if you’re tired it’s ok, we can go out and eat…
Me: No, no! I’ll cook! Let’s go to Box Hill to buy stuff!

So we drove off to Box Hill, with me furiously flicking through How to Eat. Luckily, I already had a dessert ready. Having been totally enamoured with the Rhubarb Meringue Pie and the other rhubarb-pulp-based treats I've made recently, I was inspired yesterday to poach more rhubarb. I kept the pulp in little baggies for future use (on cereal, in yogurt, perhaps another pie?), and made another vagina jelly out of the juice.

As for the lunch part of lunch, I chose Nigella’s SPRING LUNCH FOR 8, in halved quantities. For this menu, Nigella suggests baked salmon, with either a taboulleh and fennel salad, or a pea, avocado and mint salad. I chose the pea, avocado and mint salad, but as for the taboulleh and fennel salad, I’m not sure whether Nigella meant for there to be two separate salads, or for the taboulleh and fennel to be all mixed up as the one salad.

The pudding in this menu is “Almond sponge with orange syrup”, which I believe is actually the Moorish Cake, not the Almond and Orange Blossom cake for which she gives a page reference. Either would be good, I suppose. But at any rate, I was having the vagina jelly for lunch, so had no need to worry about which almond cake was the correct one.

236. Salmon baked in foil
237. Pea, avocado and mint salad

You have to start off by doing the peas, as they need an hour of steeping in a dressing of olive oil, vinegar and chopped mint. For the fish, you rub it with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then wrap in a tightly-sealed-yet-baggy foil parcel, and bake it at 150C for 12 minutes per 500g. Once the peas have had their steeping time, you toss through some mixed salad leaves, some chicory (I couldn't find any, so substituted baby cos lettuce leaves - these look appropriate, but taste different) and some sliced avocado.

Lunch. As you can see, I took Nigella's garnish suggestions into consideration. There are the necessary lemon wedges, and some flat leaf parsley on the rim of the plate; "there is something about an unadorned fish on its platter that makes it look beached".

Pea, avocado and mint salad

The salad was fantastic; all the flavours complemented each other wonderfully and it was a great dish for a summer's day. The salmon just tasted as you would expect it to, no surprises there. But it's a good, simple method for cooking a whole fish with not too much fuss or mess.

And here's a shot of the rhubarb and muscat jelly. Like I said, I've made it before, but I thought you might like to see a photo of it anyway.


jelly with icecream - I filled it with some sauternes ice cream, just for fun. But I think fruit would probably have been a better aesthetic choice. (Golden raspberries would look lovely, don't you think?)

Serving - I had mine with some double cream instead of the ice-cream.

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