Saturday, August 29, 2009

back to basics

Take a really cold day, add a few bottles of wine too many the night before, and inevitably a young woman's thoughts turn to only one thing.


Yes, I'm going back to my ancestral roots and have eaten little else than simple carbohydrates and meat today.

Waking up early to see to the cats' medicinal needs I popped off to do some food shopping. Unfortunately my thoughts were slightly less than clear and I managed to come home with lots of food, but precious little to eat.

But I had bought liverwurst. mmmmmm.... beautiful, smooth Latvian liverwurst. So after a very strong cup of tea and several pieces of toast and liverwurst I popped off for a late morning snooze (of about four hours).

On waking, and downing several large glasses of lime and ginger cordial I decided on my winter favourite for dinner - toad in the hole

Toad in the Hole
Heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and put two large knobs of butter or lard in a baking dish to melt.

Whisk together 125g plain flour, 2 eggs, 150ml cold water, 150ml milk and 2tspn grain mustard and let to rest for 15 minutes.

Once the fat in the pan is smoking, place 4-6 pork sausages in the dish and pour in the batter. Bake for approx 35 minutes or until the batter is golden and cooked in the centre.

Only one thing can make toad in the hole better, and that's onion gravy.

Thinly slice a brown onion and fry in butter and oil until the onion starts to soften. Cover the fry pan for 8-10 minutes until the onions are completely soft. Add a tablespoon of plain flour and stir to cook for a few minutes. Then add red wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to flavour and cook, stirring occasionally until thick and wonderful.

You could cook some green veg to go with this, but on day-afters it sort of defeats the purpose!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

sunday evening cat porn

Antonius Pius - Hail Caesar - looking cute on a Sunday night

Thurston the Wonder Cat - looking cute on a Sunday night

Apollo - looking cute on a Sunday night

Monday, August 10, 2009

warning warning

I feel a gigantic cook off in me bones.

I've a hankerin' for char sui drumsticks and fried rice and kangaroo in black bean sauce. For lasagna and polpette and gnocchi amatricciana. For mascapone with caramelised figs and chocolate sauce. For pasticio and domades yemista. For jiaozi with black vinegar and chili jam. For toad in the hole with onion and Marsala gravy. And all sorts of to-doin's.

Home delivery available.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

questions, concerns and uncharacteristic sundays

1. Question.
Why is everything so bloody hard. Not here, not in my real life, but at work. Why is everything so bloody hard? Why are people so difficult, or stupid, or difficult and stupid and why are systems and procedures so horribly out of date and un-workable? And why do I give a shit? Why should I be worried that the junior staff and done absolutely none of the key, fucking essential things they should have done over the mid-semester break? Why is it now my job to fix it? And why have I spent my weekend doing work that we could train a monkey to do? A monkey would fit in better than the junior staff and be far, far less skanky in the process.

2. Concerns
As you may have guessed I've had a shocking work at week. Underlings being useless have added a burden to my already stressful week. And I've had two co-workers (not the idiots of the pack, the good ones) in my office in tears. Because we're all working so fucking hard because we can't rely on anyone else. It's a concern. One of them is packing her bags and moving to Queensland. The other, I suspect, like me had wine for dinner two nights this week. It's a concern. I'm trying to cut down on sugary foods in the evening. I think wine is about as sugary as you can get. It's a concern.

3. Uncharacteristic Sunday
Actually in many ways this Sunday has been totally in character in that I've procrastinated my way out of doing any research yet again. It was raining and I didn't have any clean stockings and ooohh.. let's have a cup of tea and think about it.

However, the attempts I would go to to get out of my research were uncharacteristic.

I gardened.

Now, I'd love to have a good looking garden. Lots of lovely flowers and fruits and a veggie patch down the back. But over the years I've realised this is work. And work I don't much care for to boot.

So a while back I rang the good fellows at my local gardening people place and got them to come and cut my 'lawn' (read: large patch of weeds and both front and back of house) and clean my gutters. That just left the 'garden beds' (read: large patches of weeds spread systematically around the place). When the good fellows at my local gardening people place left after their last visit they left a note saying 'will come back and poison weeds in garden beds'.

I don't like the idea of poison around the places where at some point in time and in an alternative universe I might plant vegetables, or mores the point somewhere where my cats might get a mouthful of them.

I have been vaguely successful in that I've managed to keep two rosemary bushes alive. I've killed geraniums and mint on a regular basis, which I've been told is impressive, so these rosemary bushes are my pride and joy. In the same bed are some soon to flower daffodils - left over from my grandmother. Nothing to do with me. As you can tell, in so much as they're still alive.

So this afternoon I weeded this patch, along the side of the garage, to within an inch of its life.

I then took all of the leaf litter that I had been using as mulch, but which the good fellows at my local gardening people place for some reason swept up and put in the green waste bin so that they could come back and lay mulch that they are going to make me pay for, and took it out of the green waste bin and used it to mulch around the plants.

Yes, weeded and mulched. All in one day.

If you can hear a 'thud' it's my mother falling off her chair as she reads this.

It's a bit late in the day, so it's a little dark, but here's how it looks now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

midnight shenanigans

After a quick trip to the Seacliff Hotel last night to farewell a young lass from the office who's off to find fame and fortune in Darwin, I headed home, ears aching, throat aching, brain aching.

I managed to stay conscious until about 8.30, which is pretty good really before I fell into slumber. Around 1.15 I woke to the sound of a mighty gale, rain pounding down. However the gale and the rain was not outside. It was in my toilet. I rearranged cats and struggled out from underneath my winter layers of quilts and blankets to find a geyser in the loo. Honestly, I was still half asleep and it took a while to work out just what was happening and where it was happening. I was instantly aware that the hall represented the Tiber in full flood (soggy socks), but the actual cause of the inundation took me a while to locate. Actually I had to pad around outside in the afore mentioned soggy socks and a torch to turn the water off at the mains before I had any idea what was going on.

On my return in doors, I discovered this

The bracket that takes the pipe from the mains to the cistern has completely rotted away. I spent the next 90 minutes mopping and soaking up water, moving the books that were my reading material au commode and drying them in the kitchen, saving art work waiting to be hung that was propped up in the hall and generally mopping up.

This morning the damage seems minimal, although young Tony (hail Caesar) is obviously bemused by the proliferation of towels in the hall.

I did make a quick trip to the GP and am now dosed up on penicillin and have cancelled all my, sometime important, Saturday plans to sit at home and wait for the emergency plumber. I've bought a carton of spring water for drinking and teeth brushing, but showering is out (hurrah). So is washing the dishes (not fun, but essential) and the flushing of the toilet (so the garden is now the venue and nature at my demand). Hopefully the plumber can plug the hole when he arrives and I can get some laundry on and do the dishes. Luckily my poor healthy has limited my interest in food, so there's not much to wash. But a general indicator of my diet is how many empty tins of cat food I have. Currently I have 7 (which is about four days in my house). But only one bread and butter plate and a Tupperware container that used to contain lentils.

mmmmmmmmmm.....maybe some vegetable soup or something is on the cards for today.