The joys of my life are, it must be said, manifold. I do often have to pinch myself or take a step back and remind myself that I am, frankly, a lucky old bugger. The downside - if it can be seen as that - is that the experiences and opportunities often come so thick and fast, it's all too easy to take them for granted (and, admittedly, end up weeks behind on actually writing about them).
I will then get around to discussing the lunch at Tom Aikens (although Niamh has already written about it in her usual elegant style), last Friday's lobster session at Belgo (when I finally got to kill something and eat it in a fine afternoon already documented by Chris Osborn at The Londonist) a couple of other fantastic meals from last week's Greek trip and my own attempt to recreate one of the dishes. I will also, no doubt, do some heavy namedropping having recently interviewed the ubercool John Densmore of The Doors.
Before that though, I think a simple pleasure is needed. And they don't get much better than the weekly market in Sallanches.
Fantastic meats, fantastic fruit and vegetables, perhaps the best fish stall I've ever seen, and all in the sort of setting you can barely believe: waterside AND in the shadow of snow-capped mountains.
The smells were amazing, the stallholders charming, the products mostly incredible in the way that simple fare so often is - and today I rediscovered the 600-odd grams of beech-smoked "filet mignon de porc" we brought home. It's moist, rich, incredibly flavoursome so I'll be cooking with that a LOT in the next few weeks so if anyone has some recipe suggestions, shout. And if my plans work out - and I'm kicking the diary around a bit to try and make them happen - there will be much more cooking on these pages. Watch this space.
Oh, and the best bit about the day? Spending time with our good friends Valerie and Edward, then returning to their lovely home, their very efficient oven timer and a large pot of Valerie's excellent slow-roasted chicken and several glasses of excellent red. Because even if the career withers and dies tomorrow, the good friends and good meals will still be there. It's good to remind yourself of that every now and again.