06 December 2011

Perfect - Roasted Savoy Cabbage

In the perfect world, I would be home all day trying out recipes from my latest cookbook (thank you Sherwin and Vivien, I adore it!) or my favourite food magazine, and dreaming up recipes to test out on Ed when he returns home in the evenings. In the perfect world, I'd be rolling out almond tart dough at 3pm, caramelising fresh figs at 4pm, filling the almond tart shell with some sweet vanilla custard, the lightly wrinkled figs and crunchy toasted hazelnets an hour later, and savouring a glass of delicious Frontignac by 6pm with a rack of lamb slow roasting in the oven. In the perfect world, all this would be done in a huge and rustic looking woody kitchen with hanging copper pots and the kitchen island of my dreams. In an even more perfect world, endless rolling hills of tulips would sway in the wind when I peek out from the french windows dotting the walls of the kitchen.

Alas, tis not to be.

Apart from the fact that rolling hills of tulips are a little far-fetched for this little red dot, I recognise that there are trade offs I have to make. If I want the kitchen of my dreams, I need to stay gainfully employed to afford it. Kitchen or time, kitchen or time? I choose kitchen anytime!

I may not be building the ultimate kitchen of my dreams, but I daresay it will be nearly there - complete with a dishwasher. Finally! Ed has been most sweet by indulging me in my longtime fantasy, by suggesting (on his own volition, I swear!) to turn our newly purchased 3 bedroom apartment into a 2 bedroom apartment to expand the already sizeable kitchen. Of course, this fantasy does not come cheap. The little fortune that our impending renovations will cost us means my perfect world will not exist, at least not for the next couple of years.

In the meantime, I make do with any spare time I can find to dabble in the kitchen. Every now and then, Ed and I would find ourselves at the nearest 24-hour supermarket at 10pm 'just walking around'. It is an odd habit, but one I love and look forward to. Sometimes, even though it is pushing our bedtime, we (read: I) would go so far as to attempt to cook a full dinner/supper of a protein and a salad. With Ed, there's hardly a bad time for a 'snack'. One particular night, with the help of my iPhone and
this awesome free app, I put together a meal of seared lamb rack with roasted savoy cabbage.


By the time we brought the groceries home, cooked and sat down at the dining table, it was close to midnight. But my fatigue from the long day was overtaken by the inexplicable happiness I experienced during the entire preparation. I know, I'm quite an oddball. I delighted in my small victory as I sliced the lamb rack and found just the right shade of pink staring back at me. While I accidentally burnt parts of the savoy cabbage, the large portion I managed to salvage were incredibly tasty and almost meaty even. It had a deep, earthy flavour that would really have benefited from the raisins I thought I had but didn't and therefore omitted. The dish may not have been perfect what with burnt bits and all, and I may not have been in that perfect world with figs and hazelnuts, but looking at Ed polish his plate and bones down to the last crinkly cabbage leaf with such rigour, I knew life was perfect.

And now as I gaze upon the unfamiliar, shiny band around my ring finger, life feels surreal, and that much more perfect. Who knew that the grubby-looking tennis teammate from junior college, with those massive (and scary) forehand drives, would clean up so well and become the man waiting for me at the end of the church aisle, 10 years down the road? There, I've finally said it. I'm married!

Click here for recipe of Roasted Savoy Cabbage.