Friday, 30 January 2015


Hello, hello.

There's been quite a gap since the last Friday Date Night, in fact the longest gap since we started doing these many many years ago. Obviously, our relationship is entirely built on this one night a week, it's our bedrock, so it cannot go away.

FDN returns bigtime.

We start off with a simple theme of "favourites". Favourite dish, favourite cocktail and favourite tunes.

Let's crack on.

Music: Spotify playlist of XFM's 100 top tracks (though there are 905 on their list) and that's an impressive 62 hours of music. I have been listening to XFM quite a bit recently and mostly enjoy their vibe. Let's see how this list goes (though I do see some Snowpatrol, urghh).

Cocktail: Jenson Martini

65ml Jenson's London Dry Gin
35ml Lillet Blanc
35ml Noilly Prat
Splash Angostura Orange bitters

We went to a gin festival in Glasgow organised by a wonderful friend last November, and that's where we - in the very far away place of Scotland - discovered a London made gin that we just love. It's really gentle balanced and is a perfect base for a martini. We like quite wet martinis (high on the vermouth) and he has mixed our two favourites. His thinking was that Lillet can be a bit too sweet, and it overpowered this gin, and Noilly was fine, but the combo was worth trying out. Trying out the orange bitters but they were a bit lost here.

This is a delicate, slightly sweet martini. Thumbs up.

This is also my first alcoholic drink of the year. 29 days of being sober. No big reason, just didn't drink on the 1st January and carried on because I didn't want to need a drink, as I sometimes I have. A bit too much. Having spent sometime on forums for stopping drinking and also researching, I can confirm that I am not an alcoholic. I didn't need to pour everything alcoholic in the house down the sink to stay with it (and that would have taken a good hour; we have a lot of obscure spirits for cocktails!). I also don't think alcohol in our house is usually about getting drunk. We like the ceremony.

The music playlist is well received. I'm Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage. This song. Wow. This album is one I got from the Britannia Music Club. Do you remember those guys? This was one of the six, maybe, 'free' albums I got to be tied into their contract of buying one full price album each month. And, as was their unethical way, they would send you their monthly recommendation if you didn't quickly reply to say you didn't want it. And that's how I ended up with some Celine Dion.

Ren's Goan Fish Curry

Last April was my Mum's 70th birthday and I took her for a private Indian cooking class at Ren's Kitchen. Ren is EPIC. She LOVES what she does and she's genuinely interested in the people she meets on her courses. We talked about all sorts, as well as cooking and she is a fascinating person with interesting views. She rocks.

For Christmas, my Mum got me the wonderful tray of proper (AKA non Schwartz) Indian spices. As well as looking beautiful, just sitting on the counter, it prods me towards a future of lots of incredible homemade curries.

As he marinates the haddock, mixing the fish pieces into the lime juice, he suddenly starts squealing like a girl (that's not true: it was a manly squeal). He has a papercut, which, as we know, is the most severe kind of wound. I had much sympathy (and laughing).

When I took Ren's course, I was all about how I sucked at rice. And I am now following the recipe she taught us which is a totally different approach. I hope it works out well.

It doesn't this time. but hey. It cooks far quicker her way than I realised.

This was a really lovely curry, and I am super pleased lovely husband had a good crack at it. Definitely need more of these during these cold Winter months.

Thumbs up.

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