In keeping with the weekend so far I decided today would be Japanese pork belly for dinner. It’s another one of the long meals. Not long in terms of the length of the table, but long in time terms. (That may sound silly but I have previously created a Japanese feast that was long enough to completely cover the table.)
It takes around four hours to do a decent job with the pork belly so, given a dining time of 7:45 (one of Mirinda’s special times) I started at 3:45. Of course the four hours is mostly the meat cooking and the veg turning to mush but it does need constant watching. The liquid needs topping up as well.
Before I started, however, there was a very important job to do. The gardeners are coming tomorrow to complete the raised bed. I’ve organised the top soil/grit mix to arrive but the bed needs an 8cm base of gravel to aid in irrigation. The top soil/grit mix then goes on top of that.
The bags of gravel do not have a measurement of any kind on them. This is a nuisance. We knew how many cubic metres we needed (.144) and I know that the 1 cubic metre top soil/grit mix weighs around 850kg so Mirinda could easily work out the weight we needed. But, as I said, there were no measurements on the bags. At all.
I find it a bit odd given things like cereal boxes have the weight on them then a big bag of gravel doesn’t. For one thing it helps when you are about to pick it up to know it’s not beyond your capabilities. For another it just helps when you’re trying to estimate how much you need.
They were buy two get one free so we bought six. It looked about right. Fingers crossed.
Having returned laiden with a few tonnes of tiny rocks, I emptied Max while Mirinda organised the girls for a romp up to Farnham Heath. I then started cooking.
Between tasks I did some research for Surrey in the Great War. Yesterday I discovered that one of the memorials is for a boarding school which had boys from all over the country. Which goes some way to explaining why I couldn’t find anyone from Caterham. I stopped and sent an email to Kirsty then started on the next Caterham memorial which, being a church, is in fact about Surrey residents.
Mirinda and the girls returned. Emma returned with an unwelcome smell under her ear which was rewarded with a quick wash in the laundry sink. She didn’t enjoy it much but I think my lack of enjoyment of the FSI was far greater.
Freya, on the other hand, didn’t smell of anything but herself. During her farting stage that would not have been a good thing but since the advent of the gobble bowl, her farting is minimal and so she doesn’t smell so bad. Well, apart from her breath.
Dinner was lovely (though the crackling was a bit rubbery – I made a note to reduce the cooking time) and included griddled vegetables, miso soup (delicious) and tofu with caviar and sesame oil (delicious II). It was followed with the last of the carrot cake pudding.
And I still feel European.