I tested out Nana’s new phone this afternoon, and I’m pleased to report we are GO on the telecommunication front. She picked up after several rings, and told me she was preparing for bed. She’d turned down the sheet and was about to hop in. It was 4:30 pm.
“Did you have dinner? It’s quite early.”
“I had a snack,” she said. “I was going to eat in the dining room, but then I decided I’d just stay here. And it was sufficient, anyway, the snack.”
(as an aside, I love it when children and elderly people talk about snacks. I don’t know why but it tickles me.)
“Well, did you have a big lunch?”
“Oh yes,” she said, not that she’d know. She wouldn’t have a clue. “And eating is not a problem for me. Eating is one of my favourite things to do.”
(see? We really do have things in common.)
“I’m so happy this phone works,” I said.
“Yes,” she said. “It’s a very nice phone.”
“I’m glad you think so,” I said. “It was exactly the style I was after, and I was so happy when I found it. I think it’s perfect for that space.”
“I was just getting into bed when you called.”
“I’m glad I caught you. Have you met some nice people?”
“Oh yes,” she said. “Everyone’s very nice. I might not have been here when you called.”
“I know. But I’ll just call back if I can’t get through.”
“Okay. Well, it’s bedtime for me.”
“Night night, then, sleep well.”
And we said our goodbyes and off she went. It was a dark and stormy afternoon here and a dark and stormy afternoon there, so it was probably as black as night, and anyway, what of it? It can be bedtime if she wants it to be.
I have to run now as I am making dinner. I found some lovely looking tuna steaks at the fish mongers this morning, and I have to go make the sauce. I’m going to share the recipe with you now. I first made this for Llew, his mum and his sister back in the very early days of our courting. It was probably 1997. I’ve made it a couple of times since, but not for years. The sauce recipe comes from a cracking little book I bought at the supermarket when I was still an undergraduate. I’ve probably used it more than any other single recipe book I own (and I own a few), and it set me back the princely sum of $2.95. If you ever see it, grab it. It’s a Family Circle number called ‘The Essential Book of Sauces and Dressings,’ and it’s great. So here you are:
Shiitake Mushroom Sauce (serves 4 -6 in these quantities so adjust as needed).
200g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tblsp muscat
1/4 cup rich beef stock
2 tblsp wholegrain mustard
3/4 cup cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1. Melt butter in a small pan, add the mushrooms and stir over moderate heat until the mushrooms are soft.
2. Add the muscat and stir until almost evaporated. Stir in the stock, mustard and cream, then bring to the boil while stirring. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly. Season, add parsley and serve.
Serve over pan-fried, grilled or roast beef or pork, with grilled lamb cutlets, pan-fried tuna steaks (mmmmm….!), or chicken fillets, and beef or lamb burgers. Or you could toss through hot pasta.
Yum. My mouth is watering. Tonight I am serving this with blanched snowpeas and garlic kumera mash, followed by warm chocolate brownies and ice-cream. What can I tell you? Storms make me want to rug up and chow down.