This evening I decided to set aside some time for a person very dear to me.
A whole meal, no television, no telephone, no distractions.
I put a lot of thought into what this person would want: main course, pudding, wine, coffee, music, lighting…
I came up with stuffed rainbow trout with a mushroom risotto (one takes the trout, including head so as not to waste the tender cheeks, and fills it with thyme, lemon slices and garlic, before roasting it in salt and olive oil for not too long at not too hot), and an exemplary Gavi di Gavi (La Monetta; citrus, nuts, touch of grass, crisp) to drink.
Accompanying this was the inimitable 1981 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould. This was played, via my iPhone 4 and streamed wirelessly so as to avoid any physical restrictions. The recording has to be heard to be understood: Gould can be heard humming in the background over the music. Not a full hum, but a restrained hum. He is lost in the sequence of notes, echoing them unlike anyone else through the keys at his disposal.
Sadly Paul was not present to help clear the plates and get the coffee (bonus points for anyone who gets the film and scene reference, and Paul’s surname), but once cleared and a stove-top espresso of a rich, spicy and smooth Mocha Sidamo was on, pudding of lactose free ice cream and dark sugar meringues (with an incredibly flaky crust and gooey centre) was served.
Pudding was chased by coffee, and to coincide with the last two tracks of the recording, a measure of the Glenrothes, chilled with whiskey stones.
The dear person? Dear me. One so rarely takes the time to spend with oneself, one can quite forget how enjoyable it is. (For the curious, the music was streamed to a pair of Nokia BH-905s, with the noise cancelling set to ‘off’.)