Meet the Meat…


For a short while tonight I thought somebody was having an October cook-out, for the smell of roast beef hung temptingly in the air. After a few miles I realised it was following me home. Yesterday my lid was hanging in the kitchen for the three hours that a particularly fine slice of cow was roasting in the oven and it seems to have taken the experience to heart. It’s an improvement on the usual ambience of slightly mouldy rainwater, though it did make me head straight for the fridge when I got in.

Though, in all honesty, I would probably have done that anyway. I live in a happy rose-tinted world where all you need to do to prosper is work hard at the thing you’re good at, not deal with schoolboy games from someone old and well-paid enough to know better. I can work hard, it’s the bullshit that kills me.

And makes me fat. Proponents of slimness like to say “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I think that’s because they’ve never had yesterday’s roast potatoes sitting in the fridge waiting for a quick zap in the microwave and a topping of extra-mature cheddar, stuck under the grill until brown and bubbling.

My excuse is that it’s not just about the joy of carbs. It’s also second helping of the joy of having a great Sunday. Two of my lovely friends have three small boys, for whom I’m a kind of mad Auntie with a house full of odd toys. Yes, that’s a keyboard that you have to pedal. Yes, that’s a record player. A bit like CDs but bigger. Yes, that’s a shark on a stick. And very bravely they come round every few months and test my Sunday dinner skills before running round the park. My roasties were fine, my yorkies were more like little biscuits, but the lump of cow was a triumph, because I took the advice of the blessed Delia who said “start with a good cut of meat.”

Lurking in an industrial estate on the edge of my village is an excellent butcher. I told him that I needed enough roast for three small boys and three big grown-ups, he chose me a bit and put it on the scales. I asked if I needed to take the string off before I put it in the oven. He sized me up and said “You’re not very good at cooking, are you, love?”

I like to think it’s more that I’m out of practice.

Anyway, I had a point when I started this post. It turns out today is World Mental Health day. My mental health was sorely tested today but there are two infallible cures that I can recommend to everyone.

Food for friends, and riding motorcycles. And if your lid spends a week smelling of beef, well, that’s just a happy reminder.

PS: This weekend was also my 2nd Plinthiversary. Which is why there’s a photo of Rufus on the plinth up there instead of something more relevant.

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