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An abject fridge raid failure

So Ok the selection of ingredients that needed using did not look that enticing - indeed when I looked closer the eggplant just had to go. It really had gone off. I thought there was a bit of it that was usable. But no. The little piece of fennel was saveable though - when you cut half of it away, and the capsicum was fine. In that jar was a blended mix of various wilting herbs I had found in my fridge, a very few walnuts, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. A kind of pesto - but no cheese. The lamb chops were perfectly Ok having been bought a couple of weeks before and then frozen until yesterday.

However, the end result looks Ok doesn't it if brown? My husband, however, utterly rejected it - he really didn't like the taste and I am left wondering what I did wrong.

Just to explain what I actually did. The spring onions were actually rejected, because they didn't fit with my plan, which was a vaguely Middle-Eastern stew. So first I seared the lamb chops. Then I fried a sliced onion, the fennel, also sliced, the grated carrots, and a couple of cloves of sliced garlic. So far, so pretty ordinary. Then I added that kind of pesto - two large spoonfuls of it, plus a teaspoon of paprika and a dessertspoon of dried mint. When that had all melded together I added my peeled and chopped tomatoes, a dollop of tomato paste, a couple of potatoes cut into small pieces, half a tin of rinsed red kidney beans and a couple of big spoons of yoghurt. Bring to a boil and simmer with a lid on for an hour or so. When it was ready I added the juice of half a lemon.

Ok it was probably a bit too much - I didn't really need both the potatoes and the beans, but we don't eat enough beans and I do love potatoes. Maybe the yoghurt was a mistake, perhaps stock would have been better, or nothing other than the tomatoes. And I definitely had much too much for two people, but that's a different kind of problem. When you start adding a lot of ingredients, you inevitably end up with a lot. Usually this is not a problem, it's either reheated or remade into something else.

I confess the taste was not quite as good as I had hoped, and it did have a vague Middle-Eastern vibe - maybe from the dry mint? But it really wasn't that bad. So what was it that made my husband recoil in horror? Well that's a question I still can't answer. The walnuts? I know he doesn't like walnuts, and they may have been past their best, but there were only a very, very few of them completely blended in with the herbs. I couldn't taste them at all. The dried mint? But he's eaten lots of dishes with dried mint in them in years gone by, recently as well and it's never been a problem.

I guess I shall never know. The horrifically bad thing about it all, however, is that lots was thrown away. I have saved the potatoes - they will be reconstituted into an omelette with no problem. I have also saved most of the sauce, but I fear I shall just have to throw that too. Maybe I need to throw out the remains of the pesto like stuff too. I hate throwing stuff out, even if it does end up as compost.

They say you learn from your mistakes. And indeed this is true. However, this is even more of a failure than usual in that I really have no idea what made it uneatable. Maybe not great, but not uneatable. So what can I learn? And I know it doesn't look that great - difficult to make brown food look good Nigella once said.

Maybe I should just keep to recipes.


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