Anyone for lunch?

I love to lunch and even on those days when I am at home alone, I always make time to sit down and eat lunch, I never stand and quickly re-fuel, I always sit and digest. When the sun shines I eat in the garden, soaking u
p the warmth, mentally adding Vitamin D to my list of nutrients.

I know many people who skip lunch, some of them even skip breakfast too, I marvel at how they last all day on a diet of tea and coffee. I cannot imagine leaving the house without breakfast, I can recall those occasions when I have been rushed, perhaps on my way to catch a boat or plane and I have delayed breakfast thinking I will pick something up mid-transit. Before long I feel jittery, weak and queasy, my empty stomach churns, reminding me that this could have so easily been avoided.

Lunch I will skip if I must and it is rarely a heavy affair. We eat our main meal in the evening and I do not believe I would enjoy the heavy lunches of old, well, I might enjoy them but I would slump in a sleepy heap for the rest of the afternoon. So something light is fine, I love sandwiches, I never slap a piece of ham between two slices of bread and my heart sinks when this is requested of me but on the other hand, last night's gammon when thickly sliced, dressed in mustard mayonaise and sandwiched by a fresh, soft granary bread is a feast. Perhaps a little piece of local made extra matured cheddar, tangy and nutty and something ripe and juicy to follow that gammon, the ripest of peaches or a nectarine, sliced and dripping juice. A bite of sandwich, a slice of fruit, a piece of cheese, heaven. I eat lunch whilst reading at the table, something I couldn't do if I had company. It is lovely to slowly eat, flicking through the pages. I don't read novels at lunch but flick through the pages of recipe books, japanese craft books, Ceramic Review, a Rowan magazine, something that can be dipped in and out of, something pleasurable to look at.

Today's lunch was indoors, the day is mild but heavy rain frequently interrupts the sun. I ate pate and spicy apple chutney on sourdough toast. I often make bread but this is my first successful sourdough loaf, I began the leaven last week, following Dan Lepard's instructions. The result is very satisfying, and the chewy toast with its crunchy crust is a perfect companion to the creamy, rich pate. I leafed through the pages of The Handmade Loaf considering my next loaf, planning another lunch, perhaps an Irish Soda with smoked salmon and a mustardy dill dressing?


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