Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday of the Year

Squid Ink Pasta with Ventresca Tuna

It struck me buying a few groceries yesterday that Valentine’s Day was close. I say it struck me in the most literal sense possible, as a shop assistant pushing an enormous trolley of heart shaped gift ideas rammed into me as I was pondering my wine selection. I must remember to have a word with the manager when I get enough feeling back in my dialling arm. This is not a post about Valentine’s Day, though the day itself holds no fear for me; it was long ago banished from our home, sent skulking like the no good dirty rat of a day that it is. Sure, the hearts and flowers are everywhere, but you just have to practice your breathing and achieve a Zen like calm and you can get through it without clubbing someone to death. The irony is that whilst people scramble about with booking restaurants and the like, the last place you should actually be on Valentine’s day is in a restaurant. It’s like watching a hundred car crashes over three courses. Anyway, this is not a post about the 14th February. It’s about February itself.

Like Tuesday is nowhere in the week, February is nowhere in the year. It’s just a terrible cold, wet waste of twenty-eight days. I convinced that’s why it is so short, it just sort of gives up and let’s March have a go. It really has nothing to recommend it as a month. I read the other day that they have calculated that the 21st of January is the most depressing day of the year. I don’t agree, the 1st February must rank as the crappest of days, simply as you have that strange misshapen month to get through before spring even starts to show up.

Even though it is technically the end of winter, it’s the most miserable part of the year. I can happily cope with winter through Christmas and January; it just starts to get a bit tedious by February. There’s isn’t that much that’s interesting in the way of fresh fruit or vegetables apart from the odd cabbage and some chicory. There aren’t even any decent holidays to get excited about and even though the days are getting longer, it’s only lighter in a grey watery kind of way.

I suppose its just time to hunker down and get on with it really. It’s a time for strong, robust flavours but with a sense of freshness. I’m craving lemon and chilli, lime and lemongrass, anything to break though the gloom. I’m craving the heat of curries to warm me up in the cold snap but the craving for stodgy and rib sticking dinners is beginning to hit my waist so simplicity is key right now. I’m looking forward to the weekly organic fruit and veg box with ferocious intensity these days, scanning the website to see what I’ll be getting and tweaking my personal preferences. Black pasta with Ventresca tuna and lemon, crisp stir fries of chard, celery and purple sprouting, a green pumpkin curry, a simple pasta sauce of Italian tomatoes; guilty imported greens and tinned produce with winter basics are the order of the day. Still, it being the beginning of the year means there is so much to look forward to. Man, I can’t wait for the asparagus season.


Catherine said...

I enjoy your dark mood writing.

Valentine's Day is for kids. I have two young ones so that's 40 valentine's cards we have to write and send in to school. Groan.

lovely photo. ghoulish dish.

jess said...

What does the girlfriend have to say about this?