Sometimes you meet people, and you get to know them quite well, but it’s only over some time that you realise that actually, they are not very nice. Sometimes such people really like you, are quite fond of you even, and because they have never done anything or said anything against you or your other friends, and because you’re in a particular situation – a social situation, a work situation, any other sort of situation which ties you into being in their company from time to time, you just let your dislike ride. The particular thing about them that you dislike doesn’t affect you in any way, it’s not a political or moral thing where you’re on opposite sides, so maybe being even though you are being two-faced yourself it carries on – and you are, as I said, in their company from time to time.
This long preamble has nothing to do with the next topic for our writing group, except that the title we have been given has not inspired me. I will have to do what the person I’ve described above often used to say, ‘think outside the box’. The topic is ‘jealousy’, and my immediate thought was how on earth could I be original with that? How could I write something which wasn’t predictable or similar to something else? I know one person in the group has abandoned the topic and given a completely different offering. There isn’t a three line whip on this, the topics are merely suggestions, and quite often they trigger an idea with me which I write and am quite pleased about. But jealousy, jealousy?? “O beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
I’m going to write about jalousie, not ‘a blind or a shutter made of a row of angled slats’, which is one dictionary definition, but a pastry. A jalousie in this sense is ‘very similar to a combination of a turnover and a strudel, this food item is a delicious French pastry containing a sweet filling.’ Jalousie the pastry was so-named because apparently it looks very much like jalousie the shutters or blinds. We are still meeting on Zoom, if we had been meeting in real life I might have made a jalousie to share with my writing friends.
Most recipes seem to be of a festive nature, and in fact there’s one which looks the perfect thing for Christmas, filled with mincemeat – preferably home-made (which reminds me of another true story, where I was preparing early for Christmas and had three bowls of fruits macerating in rum and brandy, for the pudding, for the cake and for the mincemeat, and then I couldn’t remember which was which!)
I found another savoury recipe which looked intriguing – so many options, but which will I make, which will I write about? Jalousie, hmmm…
So how about a smoked salmon jalousie – this could be festive, or it could just be a nice thing to serve for dinner? What would I need?
Puff pastry to serve as the shutters – shop-bought as I’ve never mastered it, salmon – and the recipe I found suggested hot-smoked skinned salmon, pitted olives – black or green – rather nice, a roasted pepper skinned and diced, fresh, chopped herbs and diced sundried tomatoes. I may have to buy some puff pastry and salmon next time we shop, and a lemon for garnish.
Salmon jalousie? Yes, I think so!