Sometimes I enjoy the preparation of food more than sitting down to eat. There's the pleasure of being by yourself in the kitchen; just you and the the radio, the soft clunking sound of the knife on the chopping board and the odd swig of wine. Rustling in bags and putting things away, cleaning up as you go. There is a meditative quality to it, like an all too familiar dance. I know things can get hectic in the kitchen, it can be quite a stressful place if things go badly, but when your in tune with your task, it's a magical feeling of things coming together almost effortlessly.
Tonight, I set about cleaning squid, a fiddly messy task but one that I really like. It's one of those things that I get a lot of pleasure from, the knack needed to pull the skin off, the simple smell of sea and metallic twang of the ink and the sheets of pearly white flesh that your left with at the end. The cooking is a little more fraught, one of my favourite starters from the first River Cafe book, a lightening fast searing for the squid served with chilli, lemon and rocket.