- Sainsburys run out of seabass and send me Bird's Eye frozen Basa in Chilli Sauce. It gets sent back.
- My dad, very kindly, offers to get me some more fish in return for dinner. Great, except he returns with skin-on haddock. Too long for the pan and a little flat for what I had planned. I try to make it work.
- I make the Asian dressing for the vegetables and it doesn't taste good. The flavours don't seem to meld.
- The chilli I'm using makes my tongue sweat after just a tiny taste-test. It's already making the dressing taste like it's been drowned in Tabasco.
- I add the mango syrup to the crushed sweet potatoes and it tastes like a dessert. What was Jamie thinking? It should also have had chilli and coriander in it. I decide to use lots of pepper instead of the chilli to avoid mouth-arson and have to leave out the coriander because my dad hates it. He bought the fish, so it's only fair.
- I end up on the phone while trying to cook the vegetables, fry the fish and fry some chorizo. The original recipe used pancetta. I didn't have any, but white fish and chorizo also go well together. The lack of concentration from the phone call results in a total mess.
- The vegetables overcook. The tips of the asparagus break off and the broccoli florets begin to collapse.
- As suspected, the Asian dressing tastes weird on the vegetables.
- The fish seems OK but has probably overcooked. The chorizo has definitely taken on too much colour but still tastes amazing because, you know, it's fried chorizo!
- I assemble it on the plate and give the diners an advanced warning that it's "Weird and doesn't go together" and that "Jamie really dropped the ball on this one."
They eat everything and don't think it's the failure I had billed it as. I can't bring myself to eat the mango'd sweet potato but I do manage to eat the strange tasting, too-soft vegetables. The haddock and chorizo are passable.
During this state of kitchen panic, while everything fell to bits around me, I turned off the television so I could focus on instigating a rescue mission. Without even realising it for the first few minutes, I found myself singing this out loud on a loop. It's one of the most relaxing songs I know, so I suspect my subconscious was flicking through my inner iPod to find something that would calm me down. Thanks, brain. It helped. "High on my headphones and walking to schoooooool."