I worked late today, which meant that a salad was good news in the cooking stakes, but bad news in the shopping stakes, as I wanted to try something different from yesterday’s dressing, a creamy dressing rather than a vinaigrette.
Caesar dressing was the obvious choice.
“I’m working late,” I said to LD#1. “When you come home from school, will you go to the shop for some Parmesan?”
They have some lovely cheeses in the village shop opposite my house. How, you might ask, can I bear to move away from a shop that stocks local goat’s cheese, and olives, and different types of flour, and sweet salty perfectly cooked ham, and home baked cakes? I wonder that myself sometimes.
A shop, of course, is no good if you can’t get to it, nor if your daughter refuses to go for you, on the grounds that she doesn’t like interacting with other people.
Luckily, I found one of those pots of ready grated Parmesan in the fridge, so when I got home, I was able to make Caesar dressing as follows:
1 egg yolk, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1tsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp fish sauce dash of Worcestershire sauce. Mix it like mad with a whisk. Mix in finely grated Parmesan to taste. Job done.
I’d made some pasta the night before – 1 egg + 100g pasta flour + salt. Mix it all together and run it through the pasta machine. Job similarly done. I know Delia says that the dried stuff from the shop is just as good, but it’s really not.
Here is the finished salad, with cheddar shavings on the top in the absence of a good, hard cheese. Obviously this recipe could be improved by the addition of a sociable, shop-going child:
The school blog says that Year 8 have been caving and climbing and are a little wet now! I worry about LD#2, as she gets cold very easily. I hope her wetsuit kept her dry.
At home, things are still quiet. I ask LD#1 whether she wants to practise her GCSE French speaking controlled assessment on me, but she says she is OK. I hint that I could help her with her accent, as, although she is adept with the words, she pronounces them like the proverbial vache espagnole. She says a firm No Thank You, explaining that she doesn’t like sounding too French.
The controlled assessment is a weird thing. I remember when I learned French at school, we were taught how to write and how to speak because we would be examined in those very things at the end of the course. I was really surprised when I found out that one of the exam boards no longer runs exams in speaking and writing. Instead, they do controlled assessments, which are pre-prepared tasks, which the students write for themselves, then remember and regurgitate at some point during the year. It doesn’t seem quite so rigorous as an exam, somehow.