It's all pants after last year's ambitious intentions
Sophie White has decided to keep her 2014 resolutions on the simple side
It's the first Domestic of 2014. Hooray! January is a time to take stock, to reflect on the year that was and to look to the future. It's a time for a bit of self-improvement. Unfortunately, last year I detailed my aspirations for self-improvement in this very column. In doing so, I unwittingly preserved my resolutions for Himself to throw back in my face in the harsh light of the new January dawn a few days ago.
"According to your column, your resolution was to be more mature. You were going to learn how to operate the washing machine and make more calls to the tax office," Himself said. He had just walked in on me hoovering the kitchen counters. I maintain this is an efficient, practical use of the appliance.
"I did learn to use the washing machine," I protested. "I know!" he answered back swiftly. "You proudly recount it every time you put a wash on. Normal people don't feel the urge to tell everyone they know every time they do the laundry because, for them, it's not a novelty -- usually, it's just a given."
As he continued quoting me back to me, I realised my biggest mistake last year was not publishing my aspirations, it was making them too ambitious.
What I learned during the course of 2013 was that the washing machine is not as mysterious as I once believed. Putting a wash on is not the difficult part -- the annoying bit is hanging it all up. Himself maintains that I haven't cracked this bit of the process.
Apparently, there's something with his jeans that I'm neglecting, which then causes them to dry unevenly.
As for calls to the tax office, I have cracked it. Dial the number, follow the instructions until you are put on hold, then put the phone on speaker while getting on with your day.
I like to do gross body-maintenance tasks, such as underarm shaving or eyebrow-plucking, as a kind of private revenge during the on-hold period.
When someone finally picks up your call, ask if they could hold, and then hum Greensleeves until they hang up. It's not productive, but it is satisfying.
For this year's resolution, I'm keeping it simple: eat more fish, starting with these tasty salmon burgers; the perfect light antidote to last month's feasting.
Makes 8 mini-burgers.
For the burgers, you will need:
- 500g (1lb 2oz) salmon fillets, skinned, boned and chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 generous tablespoon wasabi paste
- 6 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 40g (1½ oz) flour, plus a little for dusting
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil, for frying
For the salsa, you will need:
- 4 tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped; or 2 tomatoes and 2 mangoes, finely chopped
- ½ red onion, very finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or honey
- Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Noodles, or baby gem lettuce, to serve
Remove any small bones from the chopped salmon. In a bowl, mix the chopped salmon, the chopped spring onions, the wasabi paste, the toasted sesame seeds, and the flour, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shape into eight mini patties, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To make the salsa, in a bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, or the chopped tomatoes and chopped mango, whichever you're using, the very finely chopped red onion, the finely chopped green chilli, the finely grated garlic, the lime juice and lime zest, the pomegranate molasses or honey, whichever you're using, and the roughly chopped fresh coriander.
Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Dust each of the fish patties with a little flour and fry them for 3-5 minutes each side, or until they are golden and firm.
Serve with noodles or, if you're in need of some restraint, serve with the baby gem lettuce leaves. Top with the salsa.