Many years ago, John came to my house for his birthday supper. After a three-course meal, John never left.
I have Nigel Slater to thank. The first meal I cooked for John was a simple hot prawn starter followed by Nigel Slater’s lamb shanks, slow cooked in red wine with whole grain mustard and lots of garlic and rosemary. The dessert was also a Nigel Slater recipe, a strawberry mascarpone tart.
John is a coeliac and gluten free cooking was a new concept for me. It wasn’t that difficult to adjust most dishes but it did involve reading labels very carefully. It almost meant that I made a lot of my own sauces for pasta from scratch, and pesto too.
A few weeks after I started cooking for John, he happened to notice a grater on the side in the kitchen. He asked me what it was for. I was slightly perplexed by this question as I did think most people would recognise a grater and be aware of the concept of grating cheese. At this point it turned out that John doesn’t eat cheese. I had been adding Parmesan to the pesto that he had happily eaten.
Despite a few cooking hiccups along the way, John and I are happily married and I am still cooking for him. He still doesn’t eat cheese though, but that means more for me.