1. The greatest houmous the world has ever known.
About a year ago, my darling flatmate JoJo was very poorly indeed. Various parts of her insides were conspiring against her, so she spent a few days hanging out in hospital with a whole load of people recovering from tummy tucks. So that Friday evening, rather than heading out for our planned fancy-restaurant-date, Mark and I went to hang out at Jo’s bedside for a few hours (and convinced her not to discharge herself into the night).
By the time we left, it was after eleven and we were beyond hungry. On an impulse, we ordered a set menu for 2 from a Lebanese takeaway that my fellow postcode-dwellers had rated highly (<3 you, JustEat).
If it had arrived five minutes later than it did, I think we would have started eating non-essential parts of each other’s bodies (upper arm chub). This intense hunger meant that every morsel of Lebanese food we ate was THE BEST MORSEL OF LEBANESE FOOD IMAGINABLE. The chicken wings! The falafel! The potatoes! The baklava! And especially – ESPECIALLY – the houmous.
We assumed it was the hunger making us hyperbolic. But then a few months later we ordered it again, and it was again THE BEST HOUMOUS EVER.
And on Friday, we ordered it for a third time. And for the third time, it was more delicious than any houmous imaginable. It is the Platonic ideal of houmous. You guys, I am prone to exaggeration, but trust me on this one. This houmous is like the houmous that Cypriot angels would make to eat at their Cypriot angel parties.
2. A strawberry that tasted exactly like strawberry Ribena.
This weekend we went to Oxford to visit our dear chum Looks-of-a-Greek-god Leo. And he took us punting! And I was not terrible! (Or at least, only the same amount of terrible as everyone else was).
Because LOAGG Leo and his girlfriend are Good People, halfway down the river they revealed that they had brought a rucksack of Pimms Tins and improbably plump strawberries. I assume that it is the result of genetic modification or evil bee-killing chemicals or other nastiness, but the strawberry I ate was freakishly sweet and freaking delicious.
3. Jen’s Potato Salad of Dreams.
Imagine potato salad. YOU ARE IMAGINING IT WRONG. There is no potato salad but Jen’s potato salad. It contains bacon, and red onions, and red wine vinegar, and mayonnaise, and – I’m pretty sure – just a tiiiiny sprinkling of crack. There is no other explanation for how great it is.
4. An obscene number of chocolate chip cookies.
LOAGG Leo brought together many excellent people for an evening of barbecue and beer pong and bopping around to too-loud music. (Sorry not sorry, Angry Neighbour Man).
One of these excellent people was his colleague Matt, henceforth to be forever known as Sir Matthew Of Baked Goods. He brought with him an enormous tray of brownies, a coconut cake, a chocolate fudge cake and seemingly hundreds of chocolate chip cookies. I feel fairly certain that he and Jen were sharing the crack-shaker. These cookies were Super Hans-level moreish. Just the right amount of squidge; enough but not too many chocolate chips; a perfect sweet-saltiness; and a depth of flavour I suspect was down to some expertly browned butter.
Arise, Sir Matthew. Your destiny awaits you.
5. A Calippo.
You’ve had Calippos. You don’t need me to explain.