How times have changed. As husband and I hurtle happily towards middle age we are becoming increasingly intolerant of mediocre food and prefer to cook our own – or as most of you know, prefer it to be cooked by me or my mother when she is with us.
Now all this is very unusual and surprising for us as it may not be immediately obvious but we are great lovers of non-Indian food as well. In fact, when the son was two we entrusted him to a babysitter every weekend for a couple of years whilst we went out to find a replacement for our local pub The Orange Tree in Totteridge (it had recently been gastrofied and we had self-imposed a ban in protest). The search continues.
A parallel search began a couple of years ago for the best tea and scones in England. Well, since you ask, The Caste Tea Room at Dartmouth is the winner so far, followed by The Café in the Crypt at St. Martin in the Fields (there are a couple more contenders, write to me if you are curious).
Anyhow we went to the picturesque Cotswolds for a few days recently and I found myself packing dal, rice and masalas in glass bottles a day before our trip. It’s very unlike me to a) forward plan like this b) not want to eat out. The husband was impressed and very relieved that he would get his dal and rice in a luxurious cottage in the middle of nowhere, and the son whooped in delight when he heard about it. My mum of course did the honourable thing and offered to cook.
We were a very well fed, content family at the end of our stay and what’s more – there were absolutely no turmeric stains on the kitchen surfaces. So I am sure the owners of the cottage are happy and content as well!
A recipe for dal will be posted soon.