It is Friday evening, and I am in a contemplative mood. The no-man's land between the end of the week and the start of the weekend does that to me.
I bought four thick slices of pork belly earlier in the week, and then realised that I've never cooked pork belly before. I'm not a great fan of eating slabs of meat, so I rarely cook them. This became an exercise in winging it. I put the pork in a bowl of fennel seeds and apple juice for two days, while I looked up recipes. If in doubt, apple and fennel always work well with pork.
I didn't find a recipe I liked so in the end I took the pork out of its appley bath, patted it dry and just roasted it. I used the soaking liquid to make apple and onion gravy.
While I pottered around the kitchen sorting out the meat, listening to podcasts and laying the table, I opened one of the bottles of wine we brought back from France and I poured myself a glass. This enhanced the reflective nature of my Friday evening.
It has been a hard week; but then I looked out of the kitchen doors onto the garden and I realised that it wasn't raining, the pork was smelling very good, the gravy was looking magnificent, and the children had finished their homework already. I decided we would have cake for pudding.