Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The One with the Midsummer Casserole

Today is Midsummer's day, the longest day of the year!

I could argue that other days, when the boy has been playing me up and screaming the house down have felt like the longest day of my life let alone the year but technically and meteorologically it is today.

It just doesn't "feel" like Midsummer though. The sky is grey, there's a threat of rain, the breeze is less warm and barmy more chilly and crazy, and to compound the "Are you sure it isn't March?" feeling I've made a beef casserole and put it in the slow cooker.

Not very summer cuisine is it!

In my defence there was an admin mix up on my part yesterday, when I thought I'd got mince out of the freezer for Spaghetti Bolognese and realised too late that it was braising steak instead. Such is our love, in the Random Household, for Spaghetti Bolognese that I had to hold the steak off until today and go out and buy fresh mince! You see once I had it in my mind we were having Spag Bol I needed Spag Bol!

Apparently the worlds favourite food now is pasta: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13760559,
and I can't say that surprises me. I adore the stuff! I'd eat it everyday. In fact on holiday with Lemon Cake Lady, Lemon Cake Hubby and Lemon Cake Son we played fantasy last meal and mine was Spaghetti Bolognese. It was questioned as too ordinary, too everyday for a last meal request but in my humble and random view, a fine Spag Bol, with plenty of pasta, parmesan on top and garlic bread on the side, can be a triumph of culinary delight if done right.

Having discovered in the last couple of years that I am 1/16th Italian (a fact of which I am very proud and explains a lot about me, dark hair, likes too cook in a vast pot for everyone, loves pasta, pizza oh and glass of red wine anyone) my love of really good pasta has grown and grown. What does surprise me about the BBC article is that after Italy the second biggest consumer of pasta is Venezuela! I thought it'd be the USA or even the UK but no. I've never been to South America, maybe I should take a trip?

Luckily the boy loves pasta too. He's pretty much eating what we have had the night before now (chilli con carne and spicy curries excluded) so for this I am most grateful. He is after all 1/32nd Italian and I'd be mightily stumped if I couldn't give him a bit of chopped up cannelloni for his lunch.

So today's casserole is filling the house with warm and tasty aromas and cheering me and my nostrils up as I look up at the gloomy sky above.

It might be Wimbledon, it might be the height of British strawberry season, the last of the asparagus may still be clinging on and I know on Midsummer's day we should be having a BBQ or poached salmon with salad but give me my slow cooker and a comforting casserole any day of the year.

I might even pop a bit of pasta in it. You know, just for a change.....

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