Everything we’ve had for our evening meal this week has proven to be just not quite right.

I don’t mean that everything has been horrible, or inedible – far from it. Some things have been really quite nice, but just not quite right.

Something has been missing from them flavour-wise, or the cooking technique has missed somewhere along the line, or the flavours haven’t been to my preference.

All of which makes me sound terribly pretentious, but I do try to cook dishes to the best of my ability.

Sometimes I’m let down by a poor recipe – one that sounded great in first read-through, but during the cooking, or at the final tasting stage, just hasn’t quite met with expectations. Sometimes I’m let down by the ingredients – like when the potatoes for a lovely mash just turn to water in the saucepan. Sometimes I let myself down – like when I know I should be allowing two and a half hours to cook something, then get sidetracked by the washing machine refusing to work – and land up with just an hour!

My culinary week begins on a Tuesday, when I do the shopping. This last Tuesday, because of various commitments throughout the day that I knew would leave me with little energy by the evening, I had booked in our son’s favourite meal – pizza.

You wouldn’t think that could go wrong at all, would you? Well, we tried a new pizza. It was supposed to be ciabatta based, with an assortment of meat products on board, as well as the usual tomato and cheese. However, they didn’t mention the stealthy pieces of rosemary that were sneakily sprinkled around. Every so often, you would get a really big hit of rosemary, a flavour that just didn’t sit well with its companions – and which spoiled the pizza for me. I certainly won’t bother having it again.

Wednesday was to be a Beef & Cauliflower Curry, using Shin of Beef – which takes a minimum of 2 hours to cook. I refer you back to the washing machine comment above. Not only was dinner very late, but also the beef wasn’t as buttery as it should have been and – which I can’t quite believe I did – I forgot to include the cauliflower. Which was an integral part of the dish. I guess it just goes to show how distracted I was – or how bad my memory is getting!

Thursday was to have been a Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya. However, I felt absolutely bushed by dinnertime on Thursday and just couldn’t face the cooker. So the Jambalaya was bumped to the next day and we had fish & chips. (Which was very nice, thank you).

Friday evening hove into view and the Jambalaya was made. I’m really not sure what I did – as I weighed out the amount of rice, so it should have been fine – but the rice took FOR EVER to cook and required a good 500-600ml more water than was originally cited in the recipe.

The flavours were nice, albeit very one-dimensional (even after the addition of a few ingredients to pep up the interest), and I was quite sure that if we hadn’t have been watching t.v. as we ate, I’d have left an awful lot more than I eventually did. This one will have to go down as a “work in progress”, I think. Perhaps a change in type of chorizo might help, and maybe the addition of some paprika – and maybe some prawns. Or maybe I’d just be better off finding another recipe!

Saturday was hubby’s day to cook this week and he had decided to go for sausages, red cabbage & apple, together with mashed potatoes. All of which was fine, until we got into the supermarket and found they didn’t have any red cabbages. Nor any pre-cooked in the freezer department – and we weren’t prepared to pay through the nose for some from the pre-packed chilled department. However, we did have a Savoy cabbage doing nothing since its meal (Bobotie – which will now happen next week) had been bumped off the menu list completely. So, he opted to make the good old favourite of cabbage & bacon.

Which, I am pleased to say, made a great stand-in for the red cabbage.

Looking at how this week has gone, I’m getting seriously worried for the success of the Oriental Beef & Butternut Squash with fried rice that is on the menu list for Sunday! As for the celeriac & cheese slice that’s booked in for Monday, an awful lot is resting on its vegetarian shoulders!

Bearing in mind, however, that this blog is supposed to be about the best thing I’ve eaten this week – the winner of that accolade goes to the cold pot roasted brisket of beef that I ate for lunch on Tuesday, with home-made coleslaw and a home-made chilli pickled onion. Goodness, but that was some glorious eating!