Friday, 5 March 2010

Triumph and disaster

The Spam carbonara and the spinach and mushroom sauce respectively, that is. The carbonara was a simple roux made with some fat and a finely sliced whole small onion with plenty of flour added to make the sauce as thick as possible. Half a tin of Spam diced up and some chopped mushrooms, then a gentle heat whilst the pasta boiled.

The spinach and mushroom sauce was a simple roux made with some fat and a finely sliced whole onion and my 2oz of cheese for this week. Plenty of flour to make it thick, then the mushrooms and... the spinach. I should've known better. Fresh, raw spinach is excellent in everything. Lightly cooked fresh spinach is also good in many things. I didn't have either available. So I bought tinned.

My first experience of spinach was in the late 1970s. My dad had been in the States (or possibly Canada) with NATO and brought back booty. Mainly this was a big bag of potatoes: the British crop had failed (or been ploughed back into the land because the price wasn't high enough for the farmers) and a hundredweight sack in the hold of a Vulcan bomber came in useful. He also brought canned spinach. I can only have been about 4, but I vaguely remember the spinach being served, then taken away again by my mum, with a little polite retching. It was a long time before I had spinach again: possibly 15 years.

Thirty years later, lesson not learned. I stirred the tin of spinach into the sauce and ruined it. As CJBS gobbled his carbonara down without it apparently touching the sides of his throat, I picked at mine but each mouthful was like a spoonful of castor oil. So, for the first time in this project, I think, I've wasted food: it got thrown away. CJBS had seconds of his, whilst I filled up with garlic bread.

So tonight I'm treating myself. Sausage hot pot. I've fried off four faux sausages, a red onion and some mushrooms. I've roasted half a dozen tomatoes, then pureed them. I put the two together in a frying pan, and will now transfer the lot to an oven-proof dish. I'll layer sliced potato on top, then melt a spoonful of butter and brush the top with it. Finally, I'll cook in a medium oven for an hour and serve with some crusty brown bread on the side. There will, this time, be no waste.

By the way, for a funnier culinary disaster, read what happened to Michelle when the Rational Living household had lemon liver the other day. At least I got more than a mouthful of my disaster!

1 comment:

angygraham said...

That actually looked like some kind of frog spawn from here. Yes tinned spinach is totally disgusting.