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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Food, glorious food!

In which misfortune turns up a happy ending
This story really begins last Saturday, when Tony and I were playing Conflict of Heroes. Games over, I was in the kitchen, cooking. Our dinner for the night was to be haddock with bacon and mushrooms, from Good Food for Busy People, a really handy little book for the everyday cook. Before attending to that though, I had to prepare the first stage of Sunday's dinner, the first I'd cooked in some weeks. For the sake of simplicity, I'd chosen to 'do a Delia', cooking a spanish pork casserole from her stalwart Complete Cookery Course (you can find an updated version at DeliaOnline).

So there I was, beavering away at one thing and in a hurry to do another, a situation which you will realise is a recipie for disaster. And disaster duly struck. While browning the meat for the casserole I tried to shoogle the meat by flicking the pot instead of giving it a proper stir, using, y'know, a spoon. And so it was that I was splashed by a lick of hot fat, which left me with a burn stretching some dozen or more centimetres up my forearm, including a livid raw patch about the size of a £2 coin.

Preoccupied as I was with cooking 2 meals, I paid the wound as little attention as I could get away with, treating it as something of a joke as it oozed throughout the evening. Arriving the next day for our Sunday session, Donald said he thought it should be checked out at hospital, but, well, we had games to play. (Yes, I was being really clever about it all, wasn't I?!) Long story short: I finally had to go the Accident and Emergency today, where the first dressing - Donald's work - was carefully removed; the wound - thankfully not infected - was cleaned; and a new dressing was applied.

And what, you might be asking, is the happy ending in all this? Well, the Western General Infirmary where I'd gone is on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow, where only last week I'd spotted a seafood restaurant which goes by the name of Two Fat Ladies (a reference to the bingo call for 88 - the restaurant's street number, not to the 2 celebrity chefs who had a TV series of the same name). So, as you can imagine, I decided to treat myself. I really had no idea what to expect from this place, if only because its size and location are both quite unassuming. But I really like seafood, and have wished I knew of a decent seafood restaurant for years, so I had nothing to lose by giving the place a try.

By now, readers will have the idea that I liked Two Fat Ladies. Indeed I did. I liked it a lot. I liked the food, I liked their style, and I liked the atmosphere. I had Cullen Skink, north-east Scotland's legendary fish soup, to start. I just had to really, because I'd never had this before. It was lovely, with rich smokey aromas, a tasty creamy stock, and lots of nice chunky bits - real good soup in other words. I followed this with cod on a bed of tabbouleh accompanied by a pomegranate sauce. This too was utterly delightful, right down to the last carefully-scraped mouthful. It was the sort of taste sensation I've been hearing professional chefs and fulltime foodies talk about these past few years on TV programs such as Masterchef Goes Large, but which is frankly beyond my own skills. That's one thing cooks want from restaurants, something they can't do at home.

Two Fat Ladies, 88 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow is one of the most exciting restaurants I've visited in years (up in a shortlist of 4 in the last 3 years, to be precise), as witness the fact that I knew I was going to blog it even before I'd finished eating! I'll be back. In the meantime, I can give it a wholehearted recommendation to any of my readers who might find themselves in Glasgow looking for a classy eatery. ;)
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