In my mind I had planned a lovely day. An early morning swim squad, take Alfie to school, do a quick job, relax at the hairdressers, enjoy lunch with a friend, be home in time to welcome the plumber who would replace a dodgy bathroom taps, collect Alfie from school and take him to the library for a talk by Andy Griffiths, author of so many entertaining and fabulous books for children.
Not a problem.
I didn’t think that was overly ambitious. I started the day at 5.30am and read a few of my favourite blogs then went and did the swim squad where I thought I could not only exercise but de-stress. De-stress? I was so stressed. The coach had written up a ridiculous 60-minute set that had us constantly behind the clock and as a consequence I had to sprint for the entire hour and when I climbed out of the pool I was puce and couldn’t lift my arms above my shoulders.
I limped home and took Alfie to school, then did the job for the company I work for and on time, I left the house to head to the hairdressers. I stepped into my car to find it littered with McDonalds wrappers and empty cans of Red Bull and when I started the engine found there was not a whiff of petrol. Teenagers!
I drove to the nearest petrol station and opened my hand bag for my wallet only to find it wasn’t there. Then I remembered. Arabella had an appointment with the osteopath and she had asked me for my health insurance card. Like a fool I said, ‘It’s in my wallet’, so she had removed my wallet from my handbag and not put it back. Teenagers!
I had to turn around and head back home, hunt for my wallet then set out on my journey again. For some reason known to no one I see a hairdresser who lives nearly an hour from where I live. Now I would be at least a half hour late. I phoned him from the petrol station and he wasn’t very pleased as instead of his clients arriving in an orderly and timely fashion we instead would be walking in all at the same time. And he’s a solo operator.
From the car I phoned my friend to confirm our lunch and she said, ‘Oh Charlie, I’m so sorry, I have to cancel. We got back from our holiday last night and found out my uncle died while we were away and the funeral’s today. We’ll have to make lunch another time’.
‘I understand’, I said.
And so I beetled on towards the hairdresser and walked in to find someone with really, really thick hair was in the chair having it coloured, slowly, and as I was late, I’d have to wait until the process was finished. I waited and waited and waited while the minutes ticked by and his magazine selection left me disappointed. I checked my watch and it was a good thing the lunch was cancelled because I never would have made it.
Then the weather changed and what had been a beautiful sunny and warm day of 25C became a windy, wet day of 14C and I was wearing a t-shirt, had no umbrella and was freezing. I shouldn’t have bothered with the blow dry because by the time I went from the hairdressers to my car my new hairdo had been destroyed.
I realised I would be late for the plumber so I phoned and left a message to cancel and reschedule. Then I phoned Carl and asked him if he could pick up Alfie from school because I wouldn’t be back in time to collect him. I phoned the library and asked if I could collect the tickets to the Andy Griffiths talk when we arrived at 4.30pm and was told as I hadn’t collected them earlier that day they’d reallocated them to someone else and without a ticket we wouldn’t have entry and it was now sold out. Reeling from that disappointment my phone then rang and it was the plumber saying he was at my house and why wasn’t I there to let him in. ‘Didn’t you get my message?’ I asked.
‘I left a message saying I was running late and could we reschedule.’
‘I didn’t get it. I’m here now. Can anyone let me in?’
‘No one’s home and I’m half an hour away.’
And sometimes you wonder how on earth your day could just unravel like that and other times you just block it out and reach for a wine. And that’s what I’m doing as I cook this Jamie Oliver recipe.
Jerk Pork Belly
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Pork belly is one of the cheaper cuts of meat and I think it’s one of the best.
- 5 spring onions, roughly sliced
- 15 whole allspice berries
- 2cm ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli (I used birds eye)
- 3 tbs white wine vinegar
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1/2 bunch of thyme
- 1-2 tbs sunflower oil
- 750g pork belly, skin scored
Blitz all ingredients except oil and pork in a blender with 1 1/2 tsp each salt and ground black pepper. Slowly add oil pulsing until you get a thick marinade.
Put pork in a snug, non-reactive dish with marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 200C. Replace plastic wrap with foil and cook pork in the oven for 75 mins or until cooked and juicy.
Preheat BBQ or chargrill pan until hot. Cook pork for 10-20 mins, turning often to get a smoky flavour through the meat, until skin is crisp and is charring in places. Serve with rice and coleslaw.
I found this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Delicious Magazine.
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