Dinner itself was a shocking success; it was some cut of meat I didn't recognize that I couldn't get to show up on either my Joy of Cooking beef picture or the one that goes with the Silver Spoon. The directions on the package said to cook it at 200 degrees (C) for 2 1/2 hours to get it to "rare" (130F) but I was going with the Joy of Cooking directions which said you wanted your beef at 150. I was mystified about how to prep it, and wound up pulling out most tricks except for a marinade, which I don't usually bother with. This means I tucked rosemary inside the folds of the meat, poked holes and stuffed garlic in them, coated the whole thing with sea salt and black pepper, poured a little bit of white wine over it, then covered the top with a layer of sliced onions just for the heck of it. Then I got paranoid and put four fat slices of bacon over the onions as I was very afraid the whole thing would turn into a giant dried lump of nothing. Instead, it was juicy and yummy. Oddly, I took it out at 150 and it kept cooking on top of the oven (just sitting in its pan) and went right up to 167 without any additional heat. I was shocked (but thrilled with my electronic thermometer). We also had roasted parsnips with orange zest and garlic kale (again). Ultimately we had slices of the raspberry star cake from Maison Blanche. I'm very sorry they're closing their Putney branch. Morons.
I don't want to indicate all we've done is eat, but my tendency now is to talk about having biscuits and gravy for breakfast and then sausage and booooooze I mean butterbean gratin for dinner. This is probably because today is a holiday in England and you can't really do much because most of the shops are closed and public transportation is limited. But instead, I'll talk about Stephen Frye's Cinderella at the Old Vic, which we saw this afternoon. Er ...
Oh, gosh, my tummy is so full, it's just hard to focus right now! Okay, we had pretty good quality acting overall for this shows - the background dancers were all on time and on key, and the costumes looked quite well done and not the least bit tacky. That said ... it was all a little ... too good. Where was my camp? This was SERIOUS panto, that was taking itself VERY seriously, and people just didn't have enough room to be silly. All of the panto "elements" seemed a bit forced - the pie fight had no context, the singalong was not even tied into the theme of the show (in any way), and the audience talk-backs were ... quick and perfunctory. Yay, we mocked Cinderella for being just too good for her health, yay, Buttons was gay .... but where were my drag queens, where were my fun and goofy songs? Where were the outrageous costumes? Where were my tears of "It's just too much" laughter? Instead we got many little political (and other) inside jokes ... but it all seemed to come at the expense of what it is that makes panto fun. At least when you write for an 8 year old you can write with abandon. Cinderella wanted to be clever but seemed to forget how to laugh. Yes, yes, the basket of food had the missing data CDs, now where's my corny pun? Where's my OTT costumes?
Afterwards, the four of us went to rosamicula's for drinks, which becames drinks and hors d'ouvres AND dinner and dessert (I mean, she said she was going to feed us but I did not expect such a spread!). Wow. We just yacked away - she and souldier_blue are great company and I know butterbee was feeling right at home. We finally got home at 10:30, and ... I've got a whole 'nother week with no work to look forward to! Damn, but it seems like I still haven't had time for my long winter's nap. I'll get to work on that now.