I'm starting to settle into a routine now. This is a great thing- I like routine. I'm a real creature of habit, getting up at the same time each morning, following the exact same routine in the shower, flicking the kettle on while I potter around the kitchen making breakfast and preparing my lunch.
I used to time my commute by the Chris Evans Breakfast show- if I wasn't by a certain point by the time the kids came on to talk about what they were doing for the first time that day, I knew I was running late. Now, I put my iPod on shuffle as I walk the two miles from home to work and get frustrated by traffic lights changing and students getting in my way.
I've not quite got into a routine with walking home, though. At the moment, I generally can't follow the same path walking home as I do walking in- on my morning commute, I walk through a park, which is locked for the night at dusk. If I get in and leave early- I'm golden. If, like yesterday, I get caught in a meeting and leave late, I have to walk the longer way home, and I get home feeling frustrated and flustered, and annoyed at the fact I have to make supper for myself. And on top of this, last night I was dashing off to a pilates class with M so had to eat quickly when I got in.
On nights that I have to eat quickly and run, the only thing I want to eat is pasta. It just reminds me of being a student, and chucking whatever I had in the fridge into a bowl with some pasta. And though I'm slightly more adult now, and my fridge contains slightly fancier ingredients, that's essentially all this is. Follow with these brownies and wine and you'll end up with a scene like this one:
Apologies for the lack of pictures- I didn't even think of blogging this until I'd actually finished eating it, and it's pure luck that I snapped a picture before tucking in. The recipe below serves one- though of course, if you're cooking for more than that, just multiply up. And as I don't measure things, you may need to use your judgement at times. Sorry...
Creamy Salmony Pasta
You will need:
A salmon fillet
1 tbsp creme fraiche
A chunk of lemon
Parmesan (the fresh stuff, obviously)
A fair few basil leaves
One spring onion
A small handful of cherry tomatoes
A handful of frozen peas
Salt and pepper
A pan, a couple of bowls, tin foil, a sharp knife
Begin by chopping your salmon into small-ish chunks- you don't have to do this, but it will work better if you do. Put as much spaghetti as you'd like to eat into a pan of boiling water, and find a bowl/ dish which fits over the top like a lid. Put your salmon into this bowl, put it on top of the saucepan you're using to cook your pasta, and cover with foil- your salmon will essentially steam in here, giving you one less thing to wash up. Success!
In a small bowl, mix together a tablespoon of creme fraiche, a sprinkle of lemon zest and squeeze of lemon juice, a good grating of parmesan, and some salt and pepper. Finely slice your spring onion and tear up your basil leaves, and add them to the bowl too. Chop your cherry tomatoes in half.
Keep a vague eye on your salmon, and when it's cooked, take it off the top of your pan, and use two forks to break it into smaller pieces.
When your pasta is almost done, add a handful of frozen peas to the water to cook while the pasta finishes. Drain your pasta and peas, put them back in the pan, and add your salmon, creme fraiche mixture, and cherry tomatoes. Give it all a good stir before serving immediately, with more parmesan to taste.
It literally is as simple as that! Perfect midweek fodder, and light enough that even if you eat an enormous bowl of it, you'll still be able to complete a pilates class. I'll count that as a success.