Tag Archives: chilli

Day 61

Day 61 came. Day 61 went. I slept through the end of it and am writing this a little late. That’s the trouble with Julia being on holiday, there is no bustle and packing of bags in preparation for tomorrow. It was one of then better things about lockdown and something to look forward to when we retire. That and getting up when I feel like it instead of when the clock demands it.

Counting the days is becoming more difficult now that I have three months to consider. I will, no doubt, get used to it.

In poetry terms, Obsessed with Pipework is out, and I am in it. I can’t point you to a link because it is not online and I can’t quote myself because I should give them some time before I do that. Not sure how long as, unlike some magazines, they don’t specify. I will do it in a couple of months if I remember. I like OWP because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Nor does it let the process of not taking itself seriously become too serious, which is a fault of some magazines that try not to take themselves too seriously, if that makes sense.

Quality poems, captivating covers, laid back attitude and the editorial good taste to accept my work. That is an excellent magazine.

Today’s vegetable soup, which saw the end of several manky carrots, a fossilised parsnip and half a bag of ready cubed swede  from the supermarket, turned out to be quite good. It also had onions and chilli. It was golden beige in colour and quite tasty with little red spots from the chillies. I foolishly put my taste-buds out of commission during the cooking because the chilli didn’t seem to be flavouring the soup. I added more, then more again. Still no result. So I tasted a slice (I was using fresh ones from the shop). Turns out that the slice I tasted was a great deal hotter than the previous slices I had added to the soup.

Soup

I made more soup this week, using a 1kg pack of frozen casserole mix from TESCO. It comes ready chopped and by the time it has been left to thaw in the fridge for 2 days all the veg is nice and soft and doesn’t take as lot of cooking. It cost £1, which is probably expensive compared to buying the veg separately, but cheap when you consider the time it saved me chopping and cleaning up.

Recipe: Boil the bag of veg with stock and seasonings, liquidise, dilute, eat. Or drink. We had a discussion at work about that – do you eat soup or drink it? My view is that you eat it if you use a spoon, but drink it if you sup it directly out of a receptacle. Anyone have any other views on what is a long-running topic in the shop? (We tend to avoid politics and religion in favour of coin design, soup consumption and the various roadworks in the city).

It came out a little bit beige, due, I think, to the presence of potato and swede and the low quantity of carrot. Apart from that, the basic soup turned out well. The seasoning left a little to be desired as I used garlic, ginger, lime juice and too much chilli. I must buy lemons, as the lime isn’t quite right. I must also restrain my tendency to add a bit more chilli. It never looks to be enough. However, a little goes a long way and soup is supposed to be nutritious rather than a test of fortitude.

Quantity? Well, I had a soup flask of it for lunch yesterday (a bowl and a half or thereabouts) and we had two bowls of it last night for tea. We will be having it for lunch today and for lunch tomorrow (I’m trying to cut more bread out). After that I think we should be about finished, though lunch on Friday is a possibility.

Tips for next time – only use half the bag, add a carrot and use less chilli. Possibly add turmeric, which is always good to bring the colour up.

Making soup always reminds me of the soup sessions we used to do on the farm. I used to do one with schools making vegetable soup from a supermarket bag. Out of a dozen kids it was rare that you could get more than one or two to taste the soup.  They claimed to eat soup at home, but didn’t trust anything that had been made in front of them from vegetables, stock cubes and water. They preferred “proper soup” from a can or sachet.

A Good Night Out

Well, despite my misgivings, it turned out to be a good night, although I was a bit late due to trouble parking. Maybe I’m more sociable than I think.

We went to Curry 2 Night in West Bridgford and I’d recommend it highly. Good service, good food and not many people there. I don’t like crowds. It’s really a take-away that has fitted itself out as a restaurant so the lack of customers isn’t significant. They had quite a few callers for takeaway so they kept busy.

I had the Aloo Mutter Paneer. I’m not sure it was as hot as the chillis in this recipe suggest. I’m a bit of a wimp these days and select milder options than I used to do.

I drank it with fizzy water.

I really can be quite boring at times.

 

 

 

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Just Chilling Out

Julia is out tonight. It was something she organised a month ago and  I made her go even though she’s worried about leaving me alone.

Her worries are that I may fall over or starve to death. Starve? That set alarm bells ringing. How long is she planning on being away? Only for the evening, it seems. I can’t see that being a problem as I have enough stored fat to last a while. Look at the self-portrait if you don’t believe me. I have what estate agents refer to as an “extensive frontage”.

As for falling over, I have a mobility aid (or stick, as they used to be known) and enough padding not to damage too easily.

However, this isn’t to say that she has nothing to worry about. I may be safe, but it’s not the same as being sensible. Armed with several litres of what Bob Flowerdew calls personal liquid waste I have made a start on reclaiming the garden. We’ve been having trouble with dogs fouling a spot in the corner of the front garden and I’ve decided to fight back. We had an urban fox problem at one time, and did successfully move them on using urine (applied via watering can, in case you are wondering). Direct application isn’t really an option for a front garden in a suburban street.

I’m thinking of this as a kind way of moving them on. Stage 2, if this doesn’t work, is to use a solution of chillis. If I have to escalate to stage 3 I may have to abandon organic solutions and opt for Jeyes Fluid.

I will say no more, as I don’t want this to be used in evidence against me.

While she was out I went shopping for tea, which was Heinz Tomato Soup with a cheese and spiced shallot sandwich. It’s not the last word in healthy eating, but Heinz Tomato Soup is almost a medicine so I think I’m OK, particularly as I had an orange, a banana and a chocolate rabbit afterwards. The rabbit was half price – so it’s a vegetable and it’s a bargain.

 

 

It rained, we made pom-poms and played balloon ball

It’s rained all day, we don’t feel like using the kitchen because of the internal politics and I’m not eating biscuits.

So what do we do?

Well, we have to feed and water the chickens whatever the weather.

We also had a good moan about various things (centre left in a mess, one of the new toilets out of order, someone has thrown some of our stuff out of the kitchen).

We did a stock take of what we have left in the kitchen.

We picked the last of the chillies and the cape gooseberries

We made pom-poms. I managed 14 today. I explored a method I found on the internet – using a fork to wrap the wool round. I hope these photos explain it. It’s tricky getting it tied tight enough and fitting the scissors in, but it seems to work OK for producing small pom-poms.

A fork with longer tines may have been better (as would sharper scissors) and I’m just wondering how much wool you’d need to wrap a garden fork…

Then we played indoor balloon volleyball/tennis. It’s a game  we invented last year using a large balloon. The rules are not fixed, the umpiring is abysmal and the scoring is random, but it seems to work. So far nobody has died playing, we’ve had no tears, and we haven’t damaged the building (though as we’re under notice to quit I’m not sure I’m bothered).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Indoor Balloonball – just look at the speed of that serve!

 

As we told the group – only boring people get bored.

 

Silly Sunday 2

Number 1 son offered to make lunch, and without thinking I said “Yes please.”

He’s in his 20s, he’s been away for 3 years, he hasn’t starved to death, it was beans on toast. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, first of all, he decided to add scrambled eggs. Second, without telling me what he was doing, he left the eggs on the stove and went to do something else. The first I knew about it was when the smoke started to catch in my throat.

Strange I thought, burning food doesn’t usually – then I was grasped by another coughing fit.

Our traditional egg dish for breakfast and brunch type meals can best be described as  a form of scrambled eggs in which the eggs are bashed about a bit and things like vegetables and bacon are mixed in.

In this case he added onion and chilli. I may have mentioned last week that he is a in a chilli phase. Much the same as I am in  a milk drinking phase.

When you burn chilli it appears to produce a throat grasping acrid smoke that makes your eyes water.

The thing about child rearing is that you have to encourage them, even when it means eating burnt eggs with too much chilli in them.

The erst of the day, quite frankly, was an anticlimax after that, so that’s where I’ll end – a smoky kitchen, tears in my eyes, a rasp in my throat and a deep-seated desire to see him finish his Masters, get a job and bugger off before he destroys my kitchen or my taste buds.