The silver lining of being forced into recovering at home for a week following eye surgery was that I saw a lot of my close friends during the week and caught up on some great audio book and movies.
Furthermore my friends were so unbelievably sweet that one evening in particular turned out to be one of the best and most fun diner parties of the year.
Following the eye surgery I had to keep my head face down for a week and was allowed up for just 15 minutes of every waking hour. So they came round and made the supper. I laid the table and got some prosseco ready for their arrival in my previous 15 minutes up time.
They made supper and timed it so I could have my main course during one of my 15 minute respites and desert during the next. In the in-between 45 minute intervals I was perched on a massage chair face to the floor with a glass of wine and a straw in my hand. I’m sure drinking bubbles through a straw makes you happier even faster and I was exceptionally convivial all evening!
My friend Kulsum had mentioned she had given the recipe for Keema (Pakistani/indian dish with mince meat, cumin, peas or potatoes and ginger) to her son and I said I remembered how delicious it was when her mother made it for us when I was at school. To my surprise and delight she said it was her mother’s recipe she used and offered to come round and make it for me for our dinner.
Well this is what I got and it was pure heaven. Comfort food bliss. utterly delicious and we had the best ever conversation and catch up.
This is how the keema and daal looked in the pan:
It makes me hungry just looking at the photos!
We served with with Geeta’s mango chutnay which I buy at Waitrose. Kulsum lives in Washington DC and thinks so highly of it she takes back 8 jars at a time!
By the way spicy food isn’t always easy to pair with wine but it all went very well with the Tesco finest St. Emillion which is a steal when it is reduced from 16 pounds by 20%. The friends wanted to know what they were drinking as it was so smooth and soft. The Tesco finest Margaux is even better but I had run out (and if you recall was off work for the week so not shopping). At 20 pounds it is more expensive but a couple of times a year it also gets discounted by 20%.
Meanwhile another friend rang to say she’d heard about Kulsum’s keema and could she come round and gate crash too making it a veritable get together! A further treat was in store over and above having everyone together (which would have still been just the best even if we’d had Pizza!) as she arrived bearing a box of Fortnum and Mason chocolates. I have to say they are some of the best I have ever had in one of the prettiest boxes I have ever wanted to keep to use for something. The chocolate is rich and velvety. The fillings are intense but not sickly or overly creamy. They are perfectly balanced. If you are looking for a present when you are next in London then this would be a lovely one to get.
For this one night of the convalescence I felt positively amazing – unbelievably spoilt and buzzing with happy chatter with everyone. And omg the keema was to die for – as good as I remember from all those years ago when we were at school and her mum would welcome us all over to their flat and to share dinner with all the yummy Paskistani food she would make.
The rest of my week off work wasn’t too bad either. On one day another great friend came and we ordered sushi for lunch and I looked one eyed at a lovely Italian fashion magazine she brought me. Then for the rest of the time I had downloaded the audio book of Love in the time of cholera (Marquez) and watched most of the Harry Potter movies, several for the first time as I could just about watch something for a couple of hours with the good eye without feeling any eye strain. Altogether I shall look back onto week as having had some real high points.
Anyway I hope this encourages any of you to plan for a great week if you or your friends are ever forced to take time off from work for recovery!