Thursday, 9 April 2009

Guilt and the Spanish egg dish

Guilt, it has to be said, can be utterly stupid.

Yesterday, after finishing work, I really didn't feel like doing very much – and I hadn't planned anything for an evening meal either.

When The Other Half got home, we sat outside briefly with a cup of tea before I realised that, with time ticking on, I probably should make some sort of effort. I had to eat, after all.

So I sliced a couple of onions, shredded a leek and chopped a courgette, before cooking them all very gently in a sauté pan with a little olive oil.

Once they were pretty much done, I whisked up some eggs and poured the seasoned mix over, letting it gently over the vegetables for around 15 minutes, before popping the pan under the grill until it had browned nicely.

So, that'll be a frittata.

And I realised that I felt guilty about it – as though it wasn't a 'proper' meal; as though I should have spent longer planning and preparing something.

How utterly and completely crazy is that? Three stops short of Upminster!

Okay, maybe it's appropriate for Holy Week, but come on ... a frittata is real food: it's a proper dish.

It's extraordinary how many times I find myself doing guilt. At least these days it isn't because I've just enjoyed lecherous thoughts about someone; now it's about the stupidest things. Like behaving as though frittata isn't a proper meal to serve as dinner in midweek. Guilt must have seen my liberation coming and sneaked away from the part of my brain concerned with sex to the other bit – that's right, the tiny section in the corner over there: that's where it's hiding.

I feel guilty sometimes about not 'doing things' on a day off. I've been known to feel guilt about leaving the office 'early' – when I was in early and have easily worked more than my actual hours. This is the Protestant work ethic meets good old fashioned religious guilt and having a party.

How long will it last? Will I be having to shake myself (metaphorically, you understand) every time I become aware of this guilt for the rest of my days?

Oh well – it's a better situation than it used to be. Perhaps what we're indoctrinated with as children never completely goes away: we're hard-wired with it. Or perhaps it will fade?

One thing's for certain – it won't have much chance to crop up this weekend, at least not in terms of any culinary slacking. I have a big, big food day planned tomorrow, with more baking and cooking to follow over the course of the weekend. And I absolutely am not going to start doing guilt over the delights I have planned – including (probably) a first effort at making my own chocolates.

So take that, guilt!

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