Yesterday while grocery shopping I picked up Jamie Oliver’s new cook book. I am a sucker for this guy. I have read almost every book he has written, watched all his TV shows, have an automatic link dumped into my FB account about the status of his garden, etc.
Lately, I have been taking his books out from the library, they didn’t seem worth the spend. But with 30 minute meals – each page devoted to a meal, not just one recipe, well say no more. I couldn’t pick that up fast enough. So all last night, the book sat on my counter…waiting patiently for me. This morning, I couldn’t wait a second longer. One cup of coffee later, I had several menus picked out, including a salmon dinner for tonight.
So the book promises that anyone with a little practice, basic skills and equipment can make a full course dinner in 20 to 30 minutes. Surely I am not just anyone. The book is also specific that a home cook must not free-wheel at all. The professional Jamie Oliver chefs have checked everything and you will not have the desired results if you change it up. Now the first problem pops into my head that I have several items in the fridge that need to be dealt with today. So, no worries, I’ll make up the celery soup and the chicken meat balls at the same time as I make dinner. As well, the rice I have on hand needs 50 minutes cooking time, so I’m going to run an hour for sure.
I go about my day and at 4pm think that I better get started, since my official “1 hour” will begin at 5pm. So soup is going, chicken meatballs in the oven and I’m just starting to deal with the salmon at the stroke of 5pm and then the phone rings. My husband is at the dock and has 5 large Dungeness Crabs. Arghhh….my first attempt at a quick dinner where I can then spend the rest of the evening doing things I want to do is completely shot! Did I just complain like that about fresh Dungies?
Needless to say, the salmon is in the fridge marinating for tomorrow. There was so much crab, there is leftover for a decent amount of crab cakes. The side dishes for the salmon meal are all great, including the raspberry spritzer. But I spent 4 hours in the kitchen. Luckily the lilacs and the peonies are at the height of their glory right now and the fragrance is amazing.
I have hope that tomorrow I can stick to the recipes in the menu and have a nice dinner in 20 to 30 minutes. If it can be done, which I’m sure it can, this cookbook is the answers to my prayers. Having food that everyone will like at the same sitting….not so sure about that!