Now, you would be forgiven for thinking after reading this blog that I just swan about Bristol ramming some combination of pulled pork, gelato and noodles into my face. And, to be fair, you’re not entirely wrong… but sometimes, in fact actually fairly often, I just have normal food.
You know – average, run of the mill, meal deal, that’ll do, non-instagrammable food. Most often this takes the form of The Desk Lunch.
I was actually feeling pretty #Smug about my Desk Lunch today because for once I had planned to take in delicious leftovers. In fact, with leftovers such as these I might have even ventured beyond my desk and braved the staff kitchen; where The Organised People sit. They bring in their homemade lunches every day without fail and always seem to feature halloumi, pomegranate seeds, a rocket salad and occasionally, for the sake of whimsy, a quail’s egg.
However today I would take my place amongst The Organised People for I too would have delightfully middle-class leftovers. These would be the kind of leftovers that would inspire a deep-rooted, food-lusty envy from my fellow Organised People, who would surely demand to know where this deliciousness had come from. In answer, I would toss my hair (which would be shiny and free flowing…not in a scraggy lady bun of sadness) and laugh at the sheer ease of bringing in something delicious, thrifty and probably organic. I would be wearing Real Lady clothes – something a little tailored and probably white – and I wouldn’t end up spilling anything on me or find that for most of the morning I had been walking round with toothpaste on my ear. Yes, these would be the leftovers of dreams and I would probably get a promotion just for bringing them in.
However, I didn’t mention any of this plan to Mr TGE at any point. I didn’t mention it when I browned the chicken thighs. I didn’t mention it when I added the ras el hanout (the spice, not the Batman villain) and I certainly didn’t mention it when I added the preserved lemons which were specially bought from Waitrose. I didn’t mention it during the 45 minutes of beautifully spiced simmering. No, I did not mention this at any point and do you know why? Because WHO EATS A TAGINE MADE FOR 4 PEOPLE IN ONE SITTING?? WHAT KIND OF MONSTER DOES THAT?? WHO BRISTOL, WHO? Mr TGE knows who, he knows VERY WELL who.
So, without my lunch of dreams I was stuck and that is how on this particular lunchtime – pre-pay day and post a weekend filled with steak and cocktails (Thanks to the wonderful Hawksmoor Air Street and Graphic Bar for this. What? Sometimes I eat things in London too) – I opted for this.
If I’m honest I think claiming this is ‘Moroccan inspired’ is probably pushing it. I don’t know why they added cauliflower to the cous cous, has adding cauliflower to anything ever really helped a situation? The chick peas were hard, the cous cous was watery and the chicken was dry and tasted like sadness.
Ignoring the spring sunshine, I headed back to the one place I knew such a lunch was suitable. A place such a lunch deserved to be eaten. Goodbye to The Organised People table and hello to The Desk Lunch…