Thursday, 27 March 2008

Nearly there

Just over two weeks to go now so of course time has slowed to a snail's pace.

Today though was broken up nicely. I am finishing my latest assignment tomorrow and they took me out for lunch to thank me for my hard work. How good is that? Not the sort of treatment us temps are used to but I could become accustomed to it. I wouldn't recommend it from a productivity point of view, I'm sitting here still stuffed to the gills with Italian food and I really didn't like to ring anyone this afternoon as I was just a little bit giddy from the wine and we won't mention the garlic breath. We don't need to TS and my brother haven't stopped telling me I stink since I got home, perhaps I should of had a nibble on the parsley garnish.

My next assignment, should I choose to accept it, which of course I will, is for two weeks at another department in the Uni so that's me fully employed till I go home.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Well what did you think?

Of course we went to the garden centre!

Added to my collection now is

salsify - because I have never tasted it but the name reminds me of the Beverley Hill Billies so of course we had to have it even if it does look suspiciously like parsnips

coriander - well with all these curries

hooligan pumpkins - these are mini pumpkins which grow to about 3 inches in diameter - perfect for stuffing and baking or microwaving apparently - they look so cute on the packet and even if they are yuk they will make great Halloween decorations (does that smack of over justification?)

lemongrass - curries

lots of salad leaves - because obviously this year we are going to have a long hot Summer and they will be absolutely essential

borage - essential for long cool drinks throughout the above mentioned long hot summer

Oh and cornflowers and helichrysums.

I think we may have enough stuff to be going on with now but with the tunnel is booked for the 14th so all too many shopping days to fill before then I'm afraid. Maybe we'll get snowed in and I'll be saved from myself

Holiday holiday holiday time

Ah the Easter break.

So why did I still wake up at 6.30? At first I felt deprived but do you know I could get to like this getting up before the rest of the house. Especially on a bright sunny morning when I don't have to dash about doing anything.

It's a long bank holiday for me I'm not working till Wednesday now. I feel the call of the garden centre already. The question is should I do the shopping, cleaning, washing chores today or rush off and buy seeds.

It's a giddy exciting whirl of a life folks no wonder I couldn't sleep.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Get me

I can do beef madras now.

Just thought I'd share that with you as I'm rather proud.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Gardening by shopping

The collection of plants that we were not going to buy and take back with us is steadily growing. That is the size of the collection not the plants. Although I'm having to hang on tightly to my common sense here and not buy pots and compost to start some off.

We now have
Chilli pepper seeds which I absolutely positively was not going to bother with

Onion sets at least I didn't fall for the seeds again

A mixture of aubergine seeds which is a bit strange as neither of us like them over much but they are special ones and look pretty (they are so)

Some multi coloured chard which is actually a really sensible buy (honest) as I wanted some last year and couldn't find the seeds in France

Carrots and dwarf peas - they were a bargain couldn't pass them up

Mushroom seeds (or whatever it is that mushrooms have) well TS has always wanted some

Dahlias which I would normally say I don't like but I saw lots last year in big informal blousy patches as opposed to rows for competitions and cut flowers. So I'm changing my mind.

Gladioli - move over Dame Edna.

So far the investment has been modest and easy to rationalise. We could stop buying seeds just like that. It's not like we're addicted or anything.

Four weeks and counting

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Normal Service?

I've just noticed how rubbish my spelling is and those tippy tappy typing mistakes are creeping in all over.

It's the rush of city life folks it's taking me over and my poor little fingers just can't keep up. They want to be gardening fingers weeding and planting seeds and such or chicken wrangling fingers collecting eggs and giving out treats.

NOrmal service will soon be resumed I just thought I'd tell you since I somehow managed to get to work half an hour early and I don't have to impress anyone by actually looking like I'm going to start work before nine.

Temping - the pay is crap but you can be too

Sunday, 2 March 2008

The Measure of a Meal

For some reason I have been glued to the last two episodes of Masterchef. I haven't watched this in ages and it's a far cry from Lloyd Grossman I can tell you. But then again you probably know this.

Instead of making their best three courses chosen by themselves the poor contestents are now given a series of very scary challenges like cooking for Michelin starred chefs and weddings and stuff. It's edge of the seat stuff I can tell you.

Inspired I decided to up the stakes in my cooking this week. Emboldened by the switch from Khaki Flosam & Jetsam Vegetable Soup to soup with named ingredients and real colours I thought I know I'll do a curry from scratch, then when we finally get back to our little corner of paradise TS will only be missing real ale.

Off I went to the co-op since TS was unavailable for shopping expeditions seeing as he was back on his favourite job. I bought the garum masala, cumin, tumeric, coriander, chilli etc etc. Called in the butchers for some diced lamb. Went back to the co-op for yoghourt and ginger. Went home checked out recipes. Went back to the co-op for onions and naan bread.

In the end I got sick of going to the co-op and settled on Lamb Rogan Josh accompanied by Saag Aloo and Naan Bread. No more hotline to Ali's Curry House I thought as I chopped the onions and laid all the spices out on a little dish like they do on the telly programs. Then I made my very first curry from scratch.

TS was duly appreciative of the spicy scents wafting round the house when he got in from the first part of his 14 hours counting taxis. I filled up his plate and he made all the right noises.

Then today he admitted yes it seemed to have all the right ingredients but it didn't quite come together. "But I ate it all" he said "that's the true measure of a meal". Which would of been comforting except it came from someone who eats tins of beans with sausages in them.

Better not throw that takeaway number away just yet I guess.