Leaving soon

I've still not finished packing but have a few hours to finish and get ready. The boys are at school, T's off to work, Percy needs a walk, but one thing at a time. Last night's dinner was fab. I pulled two collard/chorizo hand-pies from the freezer and cooked them until golden and toasty. For our sides, I made stewed okra and tomatoes (so easy, so good!) and a grilled radicchio and tomato salad with garlic-butter toasted breadcrumbs, a mustard vinaigrette and parsley. To die for. T shuddered at its bitter factor, but I groove on bitter. Oh yes!

Did you know that the ability to taste and enjoy/not enjoy bitter is actually related to a single gene -the PTC gene- the codes a taste receptor on the tongue? It was discovered in 2003 though suspected of existing long before that. How does it work? "The shape of the receptor protein determines how strongly it can bind to PTC. Since all people have two copies of every gene, combinations of the bitter taste gene variants determine whether someone finds PTC intensely bitter, somewhat bitter, or without taste at all." Interesting, huh!

So, clearly, T and I have differently shaped receptors! These pics are not good but by the time we sat down to eat, it was dark outside and so flash photography inside it had to be.