Crikey friend, it’s been a wee while since I last checked in.
So what’s new? Oh, another lockdown huh? Same man – and I’m with you, it really whomps.
You know what I’d kill for? Well yes, for this whole nightmare to be over and for everyone to be safe – in close second place is to enjoy my thirtieth with the people who have gotten me to this monumental check point, and the third would be to have an evening in a restaurant, my favourite restaurant, an affair that extends past 10pm. Where the focus is on what I want to eat, not what I have to eat to earn the 9EUR minimum that will grant me the side bottle of wine.
The pandemic has put an extended intermission on the theatre of dining, and whilst we can click our tongues at the inconvenience – that doesn’t mean you can’t still put a performance on in your own home (whilst simultaneously purchasing vouchers to restaurants as Christmas gifts for your loved ones to visit post-pannyd. It’s a good way to help your favourites survive this shit-storm in what would be their more lucrative months).
Now, back to your sold out show. This lockdown doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – and to do that, I urge you again to discover the pleasure of staying in-in, whether that be with your family, housemate, S.O or on your own (hel-lo no judge-y eyes for drinking straight from the bottle).
Pick a recipe – your favourite one, it might be a quick, easy et encore elaborate dish, or a slow and sensual soupçon collective – whatever you want, the chef is at your command (well actually, YOU are the chef – so try not to piss yourself off too much by ordering the lobster which requires 24hrs notice). I’ve included a cornucopia of the dishes I’ve enjoyed as of late below:
Sausage and mash (you don’t need a hyperlink for this – make sure you add mustard to your mash).
Try and shop independent – they need our help more than ever right now. Visit your local fishmonger or butcher, the greengrocer for seasonal produce – pick up at least 2 bottles of wine.
Draw the curtains and light some candles to make the lighting as flattering as poss. Handpick a vinyl – or if the task of flipping said vinyl every 23 minutes seems laborious to you, create a playlist to shuffle (the latter of which you shouldn’t agonise over as you try to specifically select songs that you think will give your identity more of an interesting edge).
Pour yourself a handsome glass of wine – down and repeat.
I’d recommend some kind of edible aperitif; good salami, mozzarella topped with basil and a kiss of balsamic is my current favourite – sour cream Pringles also work.
Try not to burn yourself – ALWAYS use a colander to drain pasta, serve hearty portions and don’t forget to tip your server.
Pudding should be fuss free and functional to allow for kitchen dancing to music loud enough that you are not self-conscious but quiet enough so your neighbour cannot ring the council.
Forego the taxi – slumber is a mere 5 steps away (the one time I am not angry at the nominal square foot I can afford in Dublin).
Fall asleep satisfied that your hand is free from an ink splodge containing an illegible name of a bar.
In the morning, check if your favourite brunch spot (i.e your kitchen table) is taking reservations. They are? ACES! Order the bacon and Philly bagel and wait approximately 2 self-frothed oat lattes for your sanity to return.
This won’t be forever, and there’s no need to feel like you’re kept waiting in the wings. So until then, take control of your own dialogue and enjoy your own no-rules restaurant – and don’t attempt to flambé unless under the influence of dutch courage, have your partner poised to extinguish at all times.