Risotto is the ideal food for toothache, not only because its oozy texture makes it easy to eat, but also because it is bowl-food, comfort food like soup or mashed potato, that warms you up from the inside. It is the kind of food you can eat when you are too tired to bother and when your mouth has been aching for days. I should say at this point that my mouth is much better; the ache hasn't gone completely but it has waned considerably and I feel much more human. This is helped by the fact that I have stopped work for at least 10 days, which has probably kicked my spirits up a few notches and filled me with an extra surge of festive cheer. The gingerbread syrup hasn't arrived by the way - the company Simon used seems to have a particularly unhelpful notion of customer service. When an email is sent informing you that your order has dispatched, you assume it has, well, dispatched, but in the crazy world of British customer service, it could mean anything at all, really. Simon rang to complain and a zombified voice informed him that he couldn't be sure when it dispatched, except that it certainly wasn't on the date that the email had been sent to tell us that it had. Anyway we bought some creme de peche as a substitute and had some with sparkling Pinot Grigio last night, and I can hardly believe that gingerbread syrup could be as good (although I am still furious that we pay for the kind of service that we so frequently get).
Another bete noire of mine is the Royal Mail. I know they are incredibly busy at this time of year but why can't they plan ahead and employ temps? Students on holiday from university need something to pay their drinks bills, after all, although I appreciate that the early mornings might cramp their style. It isn't just the erratic service (some parcels arrive spookily quickly, others outrageously slowly) but also the bizarre behaviour of my postman that makes me turn into Victor Meldrew. Just now, I was talking on-line to my brother (who is at work, poor soul), sat at the computer in my pyjamas, and the doorbell rang. I ran downstairs as fast as I can at 8 am and opened the door, by which time the postman had fled. Again. He saw me and came back with an air of resigned grumpiness. I am convinced that he knocks and runs, in the manner of a small child playing a trick; he seems to move with lightning speed. In any case, he delivered a lovely box from the US, which is exciting - and which arrived pretty fast, having been posted on 12th December. 10 days seems really fast from the States, as opposed to 10 days for a package I just received from another part of England. I will stop ranting, though, because I am on holiday and therefore not allowed to complain.
Spinach and goat's cheese risotto.... I made the usual risotto base and then wilted the spinach in melted butter, garlic and nutmeg, before chopping it very finely and stirring it into the risotto with Parmesan, butter and a squeeze of lemon. I rested the risotto with a lid on briefly, folded in some goat's cheese, sprinkled with lemon zest and more crumbled goats cheese and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and served.
In the book, this risotto is entirely green, rather than lightly shaded and flecked, like mine. I have no idea where I went wrong, but the flecked effect is quite pretty anyway, and it certainly didn't hurt the flavour. I love goat's cheese, but I am aware that it is not a taste universally shared (like fennel...); for people who do like goat's cheese, this is a tasty risotto which is incredibly easy to eat, even for a person with toothache.