It was a perfect plan. After three days of salads for lunch and fruits for dinner, we needed a protein meal.
- Pan fried salmon with capers
- Couscous with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and spring onion
- Amaranth leaves with mustard seeds and garlic
- And something completely unknown for us, alugbati greens with garlic and olive oil, chilly flakes and dash of fish sauce
- As a starter a simple vegetable soup
After an hour and the half in the kitchen, me in charge for soup and greens, him for salmon and couscous we sat to eat.
And there it was, complete disaster.
Soup was not tasty at all. The mixture of leek and ginger, zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic, chayote and green bell pepper (and everything else what we had in the fridge) did not combine into perfect combination.
Salmon was tasteless and dry despite medium rare cooking method. Probably was frozen for far to long.
Couscous tasted like buttery pasta, we didn’t put enough spring onion and cherry tomatoes in it.
Alugbati, alugbati, it can be the healthiest vegetable on the planet, but this is the first and the last time for me. The leaves taste sweet and similar to beet greens, on the other hand the stalks has that okra, slimy texture. Maybe they shine in some kind of a stew.
Amaranth greens with mustard seeds was a bright momentum of our lunch. Tasty as spinach and crunchy because of mustard seeds.
It wasn’t enough, we were hungry.
And not just hungry, we needed something to comfort us. It’s not easy to put entire lunch into the trash can. I was thinking about all the hungry people around the globe. And had that feeling of committing a mortal sin.
It is even harder to try this and that from the plate and tell to your significant other: Darling this meal of yours is completely failure. At the same time you know all about the effort and love he put in preparing meal for you, and you know all about that sink full of dirty dishes waiting for him and… vice versa. That is the reason for us behaving like children for few minutes, playing with the food in front of us saying: Oh, it’s not so bad at all. It was. Not even the fear of mortal sin could make me eat this lunch.
Luckily there is always some pancetta in our home. Pancetta is the last resort, comfort food, something I can eat every day, and I’m eating it almost every day. Especially this one, homemade and smuggled from Croatia to Philippines in our luggage. They sell pancetta in Manila, we were buying it in Santis or in Rustans, Italian smoked, French smoked, American smoked pancetta, but they all weren’t dry enough to eat them without prior cooking.
The one we brought from home is perfect. The best part of it is that my husband always prepare a full box of carefully, thinly sliced pancetta for us (ME). Ready to eat pancetta box is always at stand buy in our fridge.