|You are not reading The White Oaks of Jalna|
What? You don't know what that IS?
I'm pretty confident that you will have heard of its sister test, the Random Fuck Test?
I'm sure you have practised it, even if you haven't heard about it. What you do with the RFT is that you open a novel, usually a Jackie Collins one, at random and check the two pages to see if there is a raunchy scene on either/both pages.
With Jackie Collins there usually was and it usually involved some lovely evening wear too. Do this three of four times and, if the book passed the RFT (and Jackie Collins books usually DID) they were promptly bought and snuck home to read surreptitiously in my bedroom between the covers of 'The White Oaks of Jalna'
(#massiverandumfucktestfail) or a Jackie annual.
And thus began my foray into sexual relations with men.
And sometimes wildlife.
The Random Ingredients Test is similar only it's about the ingredients and this is how it went with Ottolenghi's 'Plenty' Cookbook the other night in bed:
Hestia: flicks through the book until a picture catches her eye:
ooooh that looks lovely and tasty....
garlic - ok
puff pastry -ok
Za'aatar. ZA'TAAR? What the fuck is THAT? There is no WAY our Co-op will stock that. They won't even stock Caramel Kit-Kats, for feckssakes......
The recipe is then dismissed and she flicks on to the next one that catches her eye....
Aubergines - ok
pomegranate seeds - ok
Iranian lemons.....Iranian lemons????? *audible sigh*
She flicks through the book to the next recipe that looks tasty - and most of them do - a salad:
watercress...yeah, possibly ok
basil leaves - yep
coriander leaves - yep
pickled dill. Pickled Dill? hmmmmm - not sure about that. Hestia adjusts her specs. Oh PICKED dill!! It's picked dill, not pickled dill. Hmmmmm.....
Shelled salted pistachios - possibly ok
By this time I'm getting excited. There is an outside chance that I might be able to make this recipe.... I move on to the list of ingredients for the dressing
Olive oil - no bother
lemon juice - yep
orange blossom water
oh for fuck's sake
She flicks onto the next appetising photo - baked eggs with yoghurt and chilli. Surely to God I can get the ingredients together for this!
rocket - yes!
olive oil - yes!
eggs - yes!
Greek yoghurt - yes!
Garlic - yes!
unsalter butter - YES!
Kirizi biber? Might that be Justin's older, more talented brother? Frankly there is more chance of me getting my hands on Justin Bieber's older brother and pinning him onto a plate of food than there is kirizi biber*.
I sigh for the final time. 'Plenty' is gorgeous with its plump, squashy cover that promises unctuous loveliness within; it has wonderful photography and VERY tasty looking recipes....but really, it fails my random ingredients test. I snap the book shut with a disappointed school-teacherly thwack and replace it on the pile of books beside my bed. It shall remain my favourite bit of food porn (until the next sexy book comes along) but many of its recipes are just not within the bounds of Scottish shopping.
I turn to the other pile of books and pick up a novel. Jackie Collins. She never lets me down.
*turns out they're Turkish chilli flakes. Who knew?