I've been doing this all week; making a fuss of myself, taking each day as it comes - and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
After working all weekend I was feeling particularly exhausted and really, really fancied a good, old fashioned pork roast with crackling. I have a recipe (of course I have a recipe!) stored up for these sorts of occasions - it won't win you any points on the counting-calories front, but it's a corker to impress a group of friends - perfect if you're entertaining, or making a fuss of a loved one.
Firstly you need a lovely pork joint. Select one with a good ring of fat around the outside for crackling, and try to make it as organic and lovingly farmed as you can afford.
Pour some boiling water on it to properly melt the fat underneath the rind - I'd recommend a couple of washes. This means that your crackling will be crisp and delicious rather than chewy and sloppy (no-one likes that!)
Now to score the skin. You'll need to go about an inch or so deep - so you'll need a very sharp knife indeed! Most joints come pre-scored but it's often not very effective for really good crackling, so get stuck in!
After you've scored the meat, rub some rock salt into the skin to really dehydrate it and slide a generous amount of star anise pieces in the gaps - this will flavour the skin and the meat.
Chop up 2 onions and slide underneath the meat - this will mean you get really succulent gravy from the meat juices, honey and spices.
Pop in the oven on around 220C for 20 mins - after this turn the heat down a little and drizzle manuka honey all over the skin and meat to really make it gooey and yummy...
Leave for around an hour / 2 hours (depending on how big your joint is!)
And then you're done. Tender, succulent, crispy, spicy, honey-fied meat. Guaranteed to impress boyfriend's mums, heal broken hearts and fill you up with enough left for sandwiches for the next day.
Ti'' next time!