Son number one, nearing the end of his work experience in London before heading back to university, is being wined and dined by various agencies as a thank you for all his hard work this year. As he walked through the door last night (slightly unsteadily), he regaled his dad and me with all the details as to where he'd been. Apparently, he'd been taken out for breakfast (Freshly squeezed orange juice, Eggs Benedict, artisan bread, fresh coffee) then taken out for lunch (French salad, perfectly cooked rare steak with a secret sauce and the 'best chips ever').
I had already made dinner, and the husband and son number two had polished it off very quickly, apparently loving the Moroccan-style salmon which I had cobbled together. I didn't have all of the ingredients which the recipe demanded, so I had used spring onions instead of red onions, and a lime instead of a lemon. The recipe also called for fennel which I didn't have. I did think about adding a dash of Pernod instead, but I didn't have any of that either. Looking in my drinks cupboard, it was a choice of Baileys Irish Cream, or some very dodgy looking Peach Schnapps, so I decided to press on without using anything aniseed-based (I don't like it anyway, so I wasn't worried, and the men are on a need-to-know basis anyway so they wouldn't have picked up the fact that something was missing - they're male, enough said).
So son number one, took one look at his cling-filmed meal for one, and asked, 'What's that?'
The husband, never one to pay attention to the finer details of the meals I cook, simply said, 'It's lovely. If you don't want it, I'll have it for lunch tomorrow'.
Son number one, not satisfied with this, pressed on. 'Yes, but what is it? And what's that stuff on top?' The husband, now on a roll, replied that it was sort of spicy and quite unusual. That word always triggers my warning bell, as it says, 'The jury's out on this one. Don't ever cook it again'.
I had to intervene in the end, before it needed re-heating a second time. 'It's Moroccan Salmon with harissa paste and honey with crushed roasted new potatoes. Now eat...'
While he was eating, he went on and on about the marvellous places he'd been to. The expensive restaurants and the roof top bars. And of course the sun shone all day.
Feeling slightly miffed, I said, 'Well I had a pot of tea in Bean and Brew (my second favourite café) so you're not the only one who has dined out today'.
We both looked at the husband, who had given a long sigh and who was looking rather crestfallen.
'I had a flask...I even had to make myself'.
He's so hard done by that man...