Thu 5 May 2011
Remember a while back when I introduced Mountaineering Man on the blog? It’s hard to believe it’s been almost eight months since we started dating but it has, and now we’re taking the next step: cohabitation!
So yes, I’m moving in with MM. Though we were initially going to look for a two-bedroom place we’ve decided to move into his one-bed until that gets sorted. A lot of couples have their starter apartment and this will be ours, complete with a major lack of closet space and one, small bathroom.
Despite the tight quarters, I’m really looking forward to it. While it’ll certainly be more convenient (I’ve been living out of a suitcase half the week for the last several months, commuting between my Drogheda digs and his Dublin apartment), that’s just one small benefit. I’m excited about taking the next step with someone I not only love but really like; I genuinely enjoy spending time with him. Whether we’re lounging around and reading the paper or hiking up in Wicklow, it just feels…easy.
By easy I don’t mean perfect, but I never wanted perfection (and thankfully for me, neither does he!). What I mean is there’s no major drama, which is something I grew quite accustomed to in past relationships. Sure, we have our little battles – most of which are typical and almost laughable: I am certain that every time I walk into the bathroom, the toilet seat will be up, and he can say without hesitation that he’s not fond of all the hair I leave behind after my daily blow-dry routine. He reluctantly but respectfully puts up with my mania for kitchenware shops and I support his preoccupation with all things mountaineering. I tolerate his penchant for playing Tom Waits way too loud and he accepts my love of Come Dine With Me and even watches with me every Sunday night, though I know he’d rather have his head in a book.
There’s a good deal of balance between us and we both carry an even but different distribution of weight, if you will. I cook, he cleans. He’d rather walk in the rain, I’m all for a taxi and we’ll end up on the LUAS. He’s relatively private and I blog very publicly about my (and now our) life. Naturally we also have a lot in common: We’re both a bit OTT with planning and organization; we adore weekend getaways; we tend to lean toward sarcasm when it comes to our senses of humour; and we share a mutual dislike of anything twee. And, thankfully, we both love food.
I don’t think that I could be truly compatible with a picky eater. My last boyfriend saw food merely as something that resolved hunger – he had no appreciation for a good meal and was perfectly happy with a granola bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But MM really enjoys food, has a wide range of tastes and – perhaps most important of all – is very open to trying new things. For our second date he chose Yamamori, because he knew I love sushi. And though back then he struggled with his chopsticks and didn’t have a clue what he was eating he’s now quite skillful with the hashi and is mad for scallop sushi and the soft-shell crab roll. He is a willing guinea pig to my cooking experiments and always complimentary of the dishes I create (well, except for the time I made an ill-fated hash of beetroot, asparagus and under-cooked potato).
At the risk of sounding a bit Suzy Homemaker, I’m really excited about the meal planning and cooking I’ll be doing in our apartment. But moreover I’m thrilled to be taking this leap of faith with my MM.
Rustic Onion and Kohlrabi Tart
I made this recently when we housesat for MM’s parents in Wexford and MM loved it so much I’ll definitely be making it again very soon. I use a deep pie dish – actually I just bought one of those throw-away pie tins – because then you can fold down the crust to make it look like the one in the photo. To do this simply put the pastry in like you would a regular pie – all the way up the sides of the tin. Pour the filling in, which only fills it up about half-way, then fold down the pastry crust and pinch the creases to create this rustic look. I served this as a main course with a side of farmer’s market greens and roasted purple sprouting broccoli.
Pastry dough from your favorite savory shortcrust recipe
1 kohlrabi, sliced thinly
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large egg
12o ml heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Roll out your pastry and place in a deep, 8 or 9-inch pie dish or tin. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry and put into the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 170 (fan) or 190. In a large sauté pan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the kohlrabi and onions until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper as you cook. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the egg and cream and add a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the kohlrabi/onion mixture until incorporated and pour into the pastry. This will only fill the pastry about half-way, so fold down the sides of the pastry and pinch to make creases. Brush pastry with egg wash (one egg beaten and a bit of water, or just brush with leftover cream or milk).
Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry is a golden brown.