I don’t know whether it’s a January thing, but I’m surrounded by whingers. First there’s Léo who says I should take a leaf from his grandmother’s book and buy him clothes that are big enough. According to his theory, I refuse to buy him bigger clothes because I don’t want him to grow up. He might have a point – there’s something very disconcerting about rollicking a 6ft tall 13-year-old. But to be honest I think it’s more to do with the fact that clothes shopping turns me into a perspiring, hyperventilating, irascible wreck. Even more so than usual. You know those parents that complain that their teenagers don’t talk to them? Well that’s not me; mine talks to me in spades and the words are incisive and abundant. I’m preparing myself for further stories of woe about freezing-cold ankles and wrists.
And then there’s Hugo who is displeased with his new food. As you might imagine, he’s not subtle in his revulsion and sneers at his bowl before leading us to the cupboard in search of something more palatable. He is also very put out by the fact that we prefer he lie on his bed than the sofas and, to top it all off, is quite underwhelmed by our new choice of camembert.
On the other hand there’s little Java. I bought her a new collar and, if her look was anything to go by, I don’t think the colour can have been her absolute favourite. But did she go on and on about it? No, she graciously refrained from chewing it to bits and quickly moved on to other things. Oh the joys of the innate Attention Deficit Disorder of young English setters!
This dish is very easy and very delicious, perhaps even more so as I used my husband’s rather expensive, fragrant honey. Anyway, we won’t dwell on that or I’ll be in for another ticking-off. Mind you, it’ll be water off a duck’s back because I’m about to invest in some heavy-duty earplugs.
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 chicken thighs, skins removed
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a small saucepan over a gentle heat, whisk together the mustard, honey and olive oil. Add the garlic and seasoning, mixing well.
Arrange the chicken thighs in an oven-proof dish and pour the sauce over the top, making sure that the thighs are well covered. Bake for abour 45 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelise. I serve this with mushroom risotto and a green salad.