Some days are jinxed.
A few weeks I had one of those days. Everything that could go wrong – went wrong.
It started early. I got up and missed the first step and fell on my back. Luckily it was only about six steps and there were no broken bones. But this slip created a ‘knock-on effect’. I dusted myself off and went to my 9:30am meeting. Nerves were a plenty – this meeting was important. But alas, just as I had told the girl behind the coffee machine I was here to see so-and-so, I sat down and thought ‘why didn’t my calender alarm go off?’. At that point I scrolled through my emails and realised – I was a week early. I got up and apologised then excused myself before swiftly walking out the door. Head down and thoroughly embarrassed.
Determined to make the day better and get on with things, I decided to shoot a few recipes that have been on the waiting list. My first two blips had sent me into a styling flurry and everything I placed (I thought) looked terrible. Somehow, things just weren’t working for me. Then as I went to pour hot water into a jug I heard a crack. Looked at the rim of the jug and saw nothing so continued to pour. As I lifted the handle the bottom fell off sending hot-boiling water down into my cutlery draw and onto the floor. Surely, that is all that can go wrong.
Nup. The tart that I wanted to shoot on white just didn’t shoot well. And the reward of going to the beach at the end of the day was short lived. Four blocks from my garage, the car bleeps ‘puncture detected’. I U-turn and as I unlock my front door my neighbour stops to talk about her 7 month long job hunt. At this point, I’m craving a snorkel – to cure the-worst-day-ever. I get the keys to the other car, drive then park. Thank heavens the water looks pristine. There’s only 3 other people here. As I step into the water, it’s warm. And as I sink down under the water I’m greeted with so many fish (big and small) everything that has gone wrong, totally escapes my mind.
And I think, I’m so lucky to have this place so close to home. And, that bad styling placement wasn’t so bad after all. It was just my frazzled state of mind…
EGGPLANT, CHILLI & PARSLEY DITALINI
250G OF DITALINI PASTA (OR ANY PASTA YOU LIKE)
4 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
1 GARLIC CLOVE, PEELED
2 ANCHOVY FILLETS
1 LARGE RED CHILLI, SEEDS REMOVED AND FINELY DICED
½ LARGE EGGPLANT, CUT INTO 20MM CUBES
HANDFUL OF PARSLEY, roughly chopped
LET’S GET COOKING
STEP ONE Cook pasta in boiling salted water til al dente.
STEP TWO While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small fry pan over medium heat. Add the whole garlic clove, anchovies and half the diced red chilli.
STEP THREE After a minute, add the eggplant and remaining olive oil. Fry til the eggplant is tender and crisped on all sides.
STEP FOUR Turn off the heat and remove the garlic clove. Squeeze over the lemon. Season with salt and pepper.
STEP FIVE Add the pasta, parsley and remaining chilli. Mix and season with salt and pepper again to taste.
Serves 2. Serve with extra chilli oil.