SOMETHING IS UP.
I can feel it in my cyder... I don't know what, but I'm sure it is.
Laundretta asked me if I'd seen Evilstein the landlord's Manager.
"No," I said. "Should I have?"
She stared blankly for a while then said, "O, no... doesn't matter..."
Shortly afterwards after my two minute bath (trust me if you'd seen our bath you wouldn't want to spend more than two minutes in there either(!) No plug even. You have to stuff it up with toilet paper (Laundretta's method that gets pink, porridgey bits everywhere) or dirty old socks (my method: kills two birds with one stone; sock comes out cleaner too (well after a bit of brownwater squishing etc.etc.)
As I said yesterday I cleaned my robbies. As I didn't say: I somehow got half a bagful of their dirty sawdust all over my floor. Honestly it's getting so scruffy in there it's almost like living in a barn.
With which point in mind I troubled to clear everything out with 20 new heavy duty refuse sacks at about midday.
At some point there was a giant commotion. I heard Evilstein taking my name repeatedly in vain. I dared not venture downstairs to find out what it was all about.
Turned out later one of my dealers had decided to call "on spec" and run into the evilness of the fierce Cypriot! (Yes, Evilstein stomps around shouting in Greek... I once had to ask Valium Marilyn "why does he keep yelling 'taxi'?" "O! Darlin' that's not taxi that's endaksi - it means OK in Greek!"
I had gorgeous bangers and mash for "tea" last night.
Just in case you can't cook here's the recipe:
BANGERS AND MASH.
Beef sausages (pork if you really can countenance chewing dead swines' flesh - ugkh!)
Peel and chop potatoes. Not everyone seems to do the second stage; but chopping significantly speeds up cooking time plus reduces your snotty middle-class "carbon footprint" (well only the snotty bourgeoisie seem to prattle on about such "issues" on the radio so I assume only middleclass people have such snotty "footprints" ... well whatever back to the cooking.
Potatoes take about 20 minutes to boil. Test with a fork: if it goes in easily, they're ready to mash.
When the potatoes are about 5 minutes to go, smear butter in a frying pan and fry up sausages for about 8 minutes on a fairly high heat, turning frequently.
When they're nearly done, add about half a medium size chopped red onion per person (red looks better but otherwise it really makes no difference). Traditionally you would fry till really tender (not crisp) and add to the gravy. I prefer to add it to my mash, I think it goes better; but it's up to you... Adding paprika to the oil will make your onion mix yummily red and piquant. Adding a tiny pinch of extra-hot chili spices it up yet more. Woo!
Then drain the potatoes. Mash. Add a bit of butter and black pepper. Adding more butter plus a little splash of milk will make them creamier, but frankly I prefer them "au naturel". They are, after all gonna get doused in gravy. Mash in the fried onions plus some of their oil (if desired) with fork.
(STOP PRESS: I advised to fry onions in with the sausages. Actually, unless you positively enjoy the slightly cloying taste of beef fat in your onions (or worse, snotty runny gyuckinous lard from pork sausages) don't do it that way round. Fry the onions first in a bit of butter (and spices if desired). Turf them out into a plate. Keep warm, but don't worry if they cool too much: the hot saussies + gravy will heat 'em up again. Then fry sausages in the pan.)
Boil up a small amount of the potato water if you still have it (think of global resources!) or just fresh water. Read gravy instructions. Make it with about half as much granules more than instructions say: then you'll get a really thick mixture as shown on the "serving suggestion". There's nothing worse than over-watery gravy! If you want to be pretentious you can add a small pinch of mixed herbs to your gravy, but frankly I don't bother. It jarrs against the cheap industrial-ness of the sausages and mash.
Now slap mashed potatoes in boat shape on plate. Pyoing sausages on top. Scoop out a kind of hollow with fork. Fill this into a lake of gravy.... yum yum yummee!
I'm going to start making my mega stews again. I did post the recipe some months ago. Merle, Liz and Ruth in particular will remember my home-made dumplings escapades....
Righty ho I have to go I'm hungry now..!
Tune of the Day:
Suzanne Vega Medley: Cracking - Ironbound - Fancy Poultry etc...
Blogs of the Day
Creative Thinking Class http://creativethinkingclass.blogspot.com
Actually, the text is in Chinese, but it's the pictures I've nominated it for. Amazing surreal moonshots... plus did you know 意見 is "comment" in Chinese?
Proctor Family Blog http://proctorfamily4.blogspot.com
Amazingly clear family photos from golden American shores...
Furniture and Luxury Design
Includes free design ebooks!
Joel Pilcher Art and Design
Amazing atmospheric stag "sketch" (though "sketch" is hardly the word...)
Some folks have taken the humble craft of pumpkin-carving into the realms of high art....
Have a look at this!
The Koenigs' Home Blog: http://cindykoenig.blogspot.com
Have you ever wanted to learn to draw? Yet just wished someone who really knew how had the patience to explain the procedure step-by-step?
Try this blog then:
MCSM Studio of Art http://mcsmstudioart.blogspot.com
The "ickle boy" pixx are really entertaining and cute...
How's this for an amazing caterpillar picture?
Originates from Khairilfa http://khairilfa.blogspot.com
Hey! Just bought intellectual mint hot chocolate from Iceland - highly extravagant: £1.50 for eight 1oz sachets; that's about twice as expensive as vulgar non-minty but it's getting dark by 5pm now so hey...
Another British thing with sausages is Toad in the Hole (click for Delia Smith's uber-recipe). Basically the sausages are embedded in this yummy spongey stuff that is always called "batter" though it's not how I'd think of batter. Surely batter is ordinarily fried? This is raised up in the oven... and unlike the over-stodgy fish and chips, say, it's quite a nice recipe, if you wanted to make something British but a bit unusual...
Sad news: Guardian newspaper columnist Dina Rabinovitch has lost her fight against breast cancer.
You can click for her obituary
Click for her blog.
My Mum had stage 2 breast cancer last year. (Stage 4 is the worst.) Thank God she was OK...
And lastly: hear this for some of the entertainingest radio comedy I've heard in a long time. It's a spoof phone-in Down the Line. Click the "listen again" option and the entire show shall be piped luxuriously through your personal computer...
PS If you want a way of piping BBC Radio through your computer yet their website not getting in the way of anything else you might want to look at (and it really doesn't this way, it vanishes all together; only the sound remains faithful). This is how you do it.
Bring up a page you want to read - like this one.
Scroll down the right sidebar for my personal Google search box. You need to bring up the radio after whatever else you want to look at; otherwise it doesn't work... Into that search box type in "down line radio 4" - you'll get straight to the link. Click on "listen again"; adjust volume. Then go to the top righthandside of that window and click "minimize" - the window shall vanish; the sound does not.
You can get the full range of Radio 4 or World Service spoken-word programming by Googling "radio 4 listen again" or "world service listen again" and pick and chose as you please.
Another thing you can do is Google "radio 4" or "bbc world service" (or bbc anything else you might want) - then you can select "listen live" and do as above... and have the positive luxury of quality BBC sounds direct to your PC wherever you may be....
Once you've got the BBC up and running and minimized you can just browse as normal wherever you please: blogs, websites, wherever and it just runs on regardless. Wahey!!
ADDIO, MAESTRO - *"**When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation", *said Borges and it is true that we still have the works to conso...
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