The last week has seen me at a training centre, deep in the wilds of Lincolnshire. Well, I say deep in the wilds – it is actually just a couple of miles outside of Lincoln town centre. But it feels like the middle of nowhere.
After five days there I did feel a bit like a mole. Classrooms, bedrooms and dining room are all under the same roof and so, unless you make a conscious effort, or take up smoking, you never actually need to set a food outside.
And oh, the joys (or not) of mass catering. Actually, they make a fairly reasonable fist of it, but still…had I ever been allowed to have school dinners (I brought a packed lunch for my entire school career) I am sure this would have invoked flashbacks. L-Hall is kind of legendary in certain circles; people have been know to gain as much as half a stone after a week of three course breakfasts, lunches and dinners. They quite literally feed you into a sort of bemused submission.
I am pleased to report that I did not gain half a stone – in fact, a quick hop on the scales this morning, and I appear to have stayed the same, which I take as quite the victory. The week started well; I hit up the salad bar at lunchtime and stuck to one course, generally a veggie or fish option for dinner…however, by the end of the week I had made a couple of evening visits to reception to purchase a twin pack of Cadbury’s Caramel Bunnies to soothe my jangled nerves.
It was lovely to be home, and to be reminded of the pleasures of great home cooking. We’ve had quite a fishy weekend, the highlight of which was an amazing warm salad of pan fried mackerel fillets and grapefruit. It was D’s creation, much as I would like to take credit, and I’ve told him he needs to cook it again soon. The combination of the rich, oily mackerel with the sour grapefruit and a hit of wholegrain mustard was absolutely gorgeous – and I’m not usually a grapefruit lover.
I also realise I never got the chance to post here about the Valentine’s Day dinner I cooked before I left for Lincoln – but rest assured it was fabulous, even if I do say so myself. I do plan to share the pudding recipe here because actually it is a very WW friendly dessert, and easy to whip up midweek if you feel like indulging.
Right, off to plough through my inbox…