EVILSTEIN CAME KNOCKING like the Grim Reaper - Military tent inspection time. "Nothing on the side! Nothing here. No bits -" (He means no clutter.) "Or you are out. LAST CHANCE!!" He grundled in that voice that has all the mellifluousness of a decomissioned diesel locomotive spluttering to life on a rusty East London siding on a mizzling winter's dawn ...
Well he can ****off. There's no law against clutter.
Mother Hubbard says I should tell him where to go.
I say "forwarned is forarmed" and I should say nothing. If and when he does try something on I will take action. But why tell him or even hint at it first? He will only get indignant and likely come up with some even evilsteinier plot thickener against me...
My Middle-Eastern hotpot (for that's pretty much what I've found out it is) is perfected better than ever this time.
In an ordinary-sized slo-cooker 4 chunks neck of lamb (£2.65 worth at £1.49 per lb...) so that's about 1.7lbs or about 800g I expect.... Plus 3 medium potatoes sliced small. One large red onion. 3 fairly large carrots, sliced thin & cut in half at the fat end. About 8 large button mushrooms (ie unopened field mushrooms) each cut in 6. One tin crabeye beans.
And the seasoning: 2 desert spoons paprika. 1 desert spoon Mr Brown's Jamaican curry powder (click to see the packet!). 1 flat teaspoon ginger. 1 nonheaped teaspoon (dry) thyme (use far less if adding fresh herbs they're that much stronger..! 35 drops Maggi liquid seasoning. 4 desert spoons dark soy sauce. 1 desert spoon beef gravy granules (eg Bisto). About 2-3 pinches or a fifth of a flat teaspoon chili powder.
This time I have neared perfection.
(Last time's cucumber, by the way, was only to use up leftovers. I don't advocate cucumber stew, I was just pointing out you can use it if it's going to waste...)
Today's result is spicy but - despite the curry - not Indian or Jamaican. Certainly not Mexican in style. Closest to Middle Eastern - like a hotpot I had in Morocco once. Lovely business!
Mother Hubbard was aghast at the concept of "learning" to cook stew. "How can you 'learn' to make stew?" she exclaimed. "That's the easiest thing in the world to make you just chop up..." and launched into her own method.... Till I pointed out that my "learning" was my gradual perfection of the "dish"... (isn't it a bowlful~??) Regular readers will know my "slightly" obsessive cooking/drugtaking/hamsterizing streak...
Mother Hubbs insisted that casserole/stew must but must be made with "stock". Most usually industrial-style Knorr or similar cubes. And that my paprika-on-dark-soy-sauce "base" doesn't count. Her method results in a relatively blandish British style leek-and-potato Irish stew. Mine is far spicier. (You could dip a pen in mine & write the recipe in browny-red scrawls it's that spicy...) So I realized I've unwittingly perfected soemthing a little more exotic than your average English style hotpot. Mine is far superior if I can say so myself!
My poor robbies! Becaus I knew old diesel-tanker Evilstein would be barging in chuddering in belching his fumes out like an extra from Thomas the Tank Engine (click to view a realistic depiction of Evilstein's face) I knew I had to stash them well and truly. And so slotted between wall and a chest of drawers, they lay piled over with vinyl records and unwashed clothes plus the suitcases that were under my window (the doubleglazing man needs access there so all that had to move...)
They were rambling like mad all three at a time on their buttery wheel last time I checked. Always the same formation: pingy Baby Itchy leading the way up front. Bashful as "back marker" as racing commentators tend to call horses I've bet money on. And gargantuan Big Tubby Momma Spherical weighing things down in the middle!
This morning I was just rearranging their lavvy tubes when I felt hammy-fangs sinking right into the tip of my right index finger! This happened in slow motion and I yowled in shock before naughty Bashful (for it is always her who bites me like that - the swine!) turned on her bum and bumbled off. Then to emerge bashfully from a lavatory tube a brief interval later, batting her eyelashes at me. A picture of pure innocence... When I put on a roborovski production of Othello I'm having Bashful play Iago...
Now here are my Japanese haiku of the day:
(Haiku being short Japanese poems by Authors like Basho... the English translations here aren't the best but these were all I could find in original plus translation...)
haru kaze ya nezumi no nameru sumida-gawa
a mouse licking up
osaga[ri] ya kusa no iori mo mori hajime
the year’s first rain–
my grass roof’s
harusame ya kuware-nokori no kamo ga naku
the uneaten ducks
haikai wo saezuru yôna kankodori
like warbling pure haiku
Good luck to all in Australia with your new government. Faster broadband is on the way. (Incidentally we're promised 50 mega-somethings per sec country-wide (but only in towns big enough to be cable TV'd up) by Virgin Cable next year... Plus your new Premier speaks Chinese. I heard that speech where he totally upstaged Mr Howard!... All good for regional relations from now on ..!
Cheerio everyone and Happy Stewing! I'm off to get flour & vegetarian "suet" for intellectual dumplings...
Videos of the Day
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson: Say Say Say
Barbra Streisand: The Way We Were
Calling all UK-dwelling Brits: Her Majesty the Queen is on (that famous Annie Liebowitz portrait strop docu) 8:30 tonite on BBC1... not to be missed for the world!
Spectacular Equadorian countryside shots:
Anna Braga Hennebry. Blog from a Brazilian lady in South Dakota travelling the USA
Amicituoi - striking pictures from Italy. But he seems to be calling Camilla Parker Bowles a tart!
Did everyone see under the waters of a mysterious French lake?
So these tree fellers came to the door - So, on Thursday, Husband called me and asked me to get some money on my way home. Nothing unusual there. What is unusual is that Husband paid men to cut do...
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