When we bought the Emile Henry Tagine for Toby's mum for one of the occasions that requires a gift, I absolutely adored it.
It was gorgeously coloured in deep rich aubergine and rather handsomely crafted. Beautiful silhouettes of its top was sexy enough to seduce you to touch its lines and appreciate one's hard craftsmanship.
I was quite tempted. Not that I needed any other pots and pans to aid better cooking as such, but it had a great potential; enough to influence the way of cooking, I thought.
The problem was though, it wasn't a necessity.
It was more of a desire. That lust of wanting made it a bit of naughty thing and I couldn't justify to dig deep enough into my purse.
That is the thing about gifts.
I think it has to be something that you cannot possibly justify buying it whatever the reasons that may be. It could be that the object concerned is just a bit of laughing matter or simply a lavishing corker.
And going back to the beginning, for H, it was a corker.
She loved it.
Loved it so much when she redecorated her kitchen, she used the aubergine purple as an accent colour scheme. She even bought another one for J, Toby's brother, in burned red.
I could see its well deserved benefits. People seemed to enjoy its durability. The multi purpose hard wearing casserole-like dish that is perfectly presentable with its showy-like character, this is the winning type for any dinner party.
I really wanted it.
And the morning of my birthday, my dream came true.
A gift. The object matter that I longed to own for so long, that I couldn't wait to get my hands on. I now had the Emile Henry Tagine in dusty charcoal black.
You know, I really wanted to share a tagine recipe with you last night... until for some reason that I could not explain why, it decided not to participate, cracked on my little electric hob. Right there.
And there was my excitement, shattered with the dream.
couple of nice multi seeded muffins, sliced and toasted
couple of slices of beautifully smoked salmon (mine was smoked with Lapsang Souchong Tea)
perfectly poached egg or two
garnishes of chopped chives and some flowers
good crack of salt and pepper
not to forget a generous helpings of hollandaise sauce
for hollandaise sauce (inspired by Masterchef goes Large)
some white peppercorns
1 egg york
100g unsalted melted butter
salt and some lemon juice to season
Make reductions of sake, vinegar and peppercorns by boiling them. When you get about table spoonful, take them off the heat and cool.
Place a bowl over a barely simmering water in your sauce pan, start whisking york with the vinegar reduction until they appear pale and double in volume.
Take them off the heat, and add melted butter little at a time. Whisk them well to incorporate the butter before you add more to it to make sure it doesn't separate.
You should be able to achieve good pourable consistency and pale-ish in colour.
Season it with salt and some lemon juice to taste.
So you get this instead. My lazy Sunday breakfast.
Nothing to do with Emile Henry Tagine or my favourite tagine recipe and I cannot tell you how brilliant it was to finally own one of those because so far, it is pretty shit.
I'll get over it and luckily Mr. 'John Lewis' will rescue me with the replacement.
I just need a strong G&T to get over with.
Any excuse, hey?
I couldn't tell you how to make a good Gin and Tonic.
It's kind of personal thing really. Needless to say, mine was more heavy on Gin.