6 – 12 November 2010

It can’t be true. the moment that I have been dreading for weeks now is finally just about upon us. The final episode of Season Two of Mad Men is only 90 minutes away from being over. hell, I know I could just go out any buy the series, watch it online, or get Foxtel (or just Google it and read the synopsis on Wikipedia). However, like making a promise with myself not to read the last page of a book before I’ve even finished the first chapter (though, We Are All Made of Glue is sorely tempting me at the moment), I’ve decided to just stick it out til SBS decides to grace us with Season Three,  even though I’ve been waiting an eternity for Big Love to return to our screens – will I make it to July 2011?

There’s been a favourite TV show for every decade. In the 70s it started with Sesame Street and ended with Charlie’s Angels. In the 80s I had This Life and Northern Exposure to keep me company, and in the 90s it was  (dare I admit it) Melrose Place and then the infinitely more respectable Six Feet Under, with an onoing love affair with Survivor ever since (except this season, which I simply can’t stand – casting has strayed too obviously into the caricature territory for me). And, now it’s Mad Men. Besides it’s nuanced take on the gender wars of the time, intimately drawn female characters, fabulous clothes and even more fabulous interior design, I don’t know why it has captivated me so. Hell, yes I do; it’s all of the above, plus the fact that I thank every feminist whose come before me that life now doesn’t have to be about being either ‘a Marilyn (Monore) or a Jackie (Kennedy)’, or even a Betty, Joan or Peggy for that matter either.

So what does this have to do with meal planning anyway? Nothing really, other than that it’s been a meat-and-three-veg kind of a night so I’m feeling right at home in the 60s, and I’ve broken my ‘no-dessert-unless-there’s-company’ rule and made Nigella Lawson’s take on chocolate fondants (it involves  melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave – I lIke!) to get me through the night.

With the planning of a birthday party on the agenda this week, I’m envisaging something like this:

Saturday – leftover pumpkin, sage, fontina and penne bake. Got to clear out some room in the freezer to make room for the pastizzis, ice cream and other party supplies.

Sunday – rosemary, hazlenut oil and verjuice roast chicken, kipflers and sweet potato with sauteed asparagus and broccoli. Had planned to make chermoula chicken tagine with couscous, but what with my son being rushed to hospital with a mystery allergic reaction (a bee sting, perhaps?), spring cleaning and lots of chatting at the opening of the new local water park, then a surpsrise call from my bff in Prague, good old roast chook it was.

Monday – Thai-style chicken fried rice, using the leftover chicken and vegetables I dind’t finish up last week as we had pizza and gelato with S & N at their (very patient) local on Friday night and it was a freezer job on Saturday after a mammoth 4-hour shopping expedition, that was as fruitful as it was exhausting.

Tuesday – Bulgogi beef with steamed rice and stir-fried Asian greens. (This will become chap chae, the Korean beef and sweet potato noodle dish I love, if I manage to get hold of the right noodles between now and then.)

Wednesday – Barbecued steak with field mushrooms, mustard creme-fraiche, corn on the cob and a big green salad. Better check the weatehr forecast for that one!

Thursday – Panko-crumbed fish with Japanese-style coleslaw and potato salad.

Friday – Pasta with semi-dried cherry tomato pesto, cherry tomatoes and bocconcini.

Until next week’s dinner…


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