p.m. Monday 15th January 2007
What sort of a woman stands over a bowl of half a kilo of Tiger Prawns, deveining them, shelling them and washing them in salt when she has acute tonsillitis, a body aching all over, and knees shot through with pins and needles? The kids are already tucked up, and I should be too! “Rub coarse salt all over as if soap” (the prawns, not the knees!) “rinse and repeat” – apparently this will prevent them going hard during cooking and also allow them to taste better, says good old Jamie Oliver. If they’ve had their heads removed, where all the fat and flavour is, they’ll need it. Also, give the tail a light twisting motion to remove all the available meat from the end of the shell. This I do for my husband, or maybe more for the huge tiger prawns which were defrosted overnight and which otherwise will spoil. I’m trying my best to prolong our marital truce, remembering Bollywood supermum Pinki’s words of wisdom (I’ve hidden the parking ticket I got yesterday: it would be akin to a powder keg!). I was so happy about the prospect of schlepping around house viewings - the chance at last to move onwards and upwards in life! - that I’d even decided on an impromptu candle-lit dinner with hubby for sanctioning the move! – but, admittedly this was all yesterday before I woke up infected. Nevertheless, I solider on and stand over the prawns, counting them down as my fingers work on autopilot with the crispy little shells, and my legs shake. And all the while, just as my husband might possibly dream of sex as he slogs on late at the office, I visualise the new kitchen in my dream residence, full of fancy appliances: that flat screen extractor which disappears into the worktop with the touch of a button; steam oven; convection hobs; refrigerated drawers for fiddly things like all those jars; even those LED tap fittings which turn the water pretty colours like Natalia’s, hedge fund wife extraordinaire! As for the design, it’d have to be Poggenpohl kitchen: top of the range, designer German, the Ferrari of kitchens! And, why not? a cook to go with it! - to de-vein prawns for me when I am ill! …(Why I don’t just get real and call for a pizza I don’t know).