The steamy, sultry late afternoon sun was peeking in through the window. The temperature was still rising, it was much hotter in this part of the world than the cooler climes she had been vacationing in a few hours ago. Still, it was good to have unpacked and settled in to her room again. She tried to keep her mind on her book but found herself driven to distraction, in fact unable to think of nothing else, with building anticipation Rebecca lay back on her bed, picked up her laptop and…looked up a dinner recipe.
I have toyed with many loose themes to my posts, including recipes inspired by music and recipes inspired by locations. Another naturally developing trend seems to be recipes inspired by books. Every time I read, whether intentional or not, the book in my hands seems to influence what I feel like eating. I recently read Life of Pi and craved fish; read a book about America in the 20s, had to get my hands on corn on the cob and black eyed beans, The Hobbit makes me want to eat stew.
I just finished reading one of the classic love stories, truly an unaging fiction that will go down in history for its engaging, thoughtful prose and challenging approach to traditional gender roles – A Surgical Affair by Shirley Summerskill. You may Google this title and judge me for reading a Mills & Boon novel from the 60s but in response I would say
a) it was $1 from the Cooks Beach Gala 2013 (which raised at least $80,000 for Whenuakite School, a whole $12 of which came directly from me)
b) where else will you find romantic, melt-your-heart lines like
Mark was looking keenly at her. “You’re fatter!” he grinned.
“I’m not!” She protested, but knew in her heart that he was right.
If anything makes you feel like a summer pasta salad for dinner it is 158 pages jam-packed with talk of cotton frocks, bathing costumes and flaking sunburned nose skin falling inside people during surgical procedures (if this book doesn’t skyrocket to fame at the same time this blog does then I’ll have to conclude that people just don’t know a good read when it is recommended to them), so the following recipe is dedicated to A Surgical Affair’s protagonist and heroine
Dr. Diana Field’s chicken honey mustard Summer pasta (adapted from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7027/honeymustard-chicken-pasta)
3 Tbsp mayo
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp honey
300g chicken, cut into chunks
2 spring onion, finely chopped
large handful spinach, chopped roughly
handful spinach, chopped roughly
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Mix the mayo, mustard and honey together (I find it easiest to shake it up in a jar)
Fry the chicken on medium-low heat till tender and cooked through
Boil pasta till cooked al dente, then strain and run through with cold water
Mix pasta, chicken, veges and sauce together and serve
For extra points, channel your inner Mills & Boon heroine by cooking this up for your significant other and staring lovingly at them while they eat it, feeling extremely nervous they won’t like it but thankful to know that no matter what you will have them in your life forever now that you have tamed their wild bachelor ways