Friday, 19 October 2007

Not much to report

Jen flew to Austin, Texas, on Wednesday for a conference, cursing and spitting all the way. Because she's lecturing on Monday, she couldn't stay a Saturday night, which meant the flights cost her about three times what they needed to. And all for a 15 minute speaking slot. I'm not sure why she didn't just say "Sod that."

Wednesday evening I ate out in Royston with Lorna and Richard as usual, then last night cooked myself patatas a los pobre, which should translate as poor man's potatoes. I lifted the recipe from the very splendid Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart.

Peel, chop and par-boil some potatoes. Fry up a chopped onion and several garlic in olive oil. Chop the garlic if you want or leave it whole. Chop a few rashers of smoked streaky bacon and toss that in with the onion & garlic once they're softened. You can use smoked gammon if you prefer. If you feel like it, chop and add some sweet pepper. Any colour will do, but red is prettiest in this dish. Finally, add the potatoes to this mix. You may want to add more oil. Turn the heat right down, cover tightly and leave to cook for half an hour or so. Give it the occasional stir to stop it sticking to the pan. Alright, to free it from the bottom of the pan.

This is a simple, reasonably healthy dish, particularly if you're stingy with the meat, which is really only there for the flavour.

After I'd cleared up, I lit a fire, cracked open a bottle and settled down with my book. Few things can beat that combination. The book is Animal's People by Indra Sinha, and, amazingly for a Booker shortlisted work, is extremely readable. I've bought shortlisted books before, and they've always been dreadfully worthy. I am thoroughly enjoying reading this one, and stayed up rather later than planned last night because I didn't want to put the book down.

This weekend I'm hoping to make Jenny a silver pendant for her birthday, but the start I made last night was not promising. I may have to buy something (shock horror!). We brought back some nice opals from Australia at Easter, but I'm so out of practice, it's really difficult to do anything half-way decent.


The HOR blogger said...

How much is a "Rasher" of bacon?

Hey! If you like that you might like "Poor Mans Lobster"

Bring some water to a boil (water with a good amount of salt to your taste) Add some potatoes
-boil 10 minutes

Add some pearl onions (or you can chop up some bigger ones)
-boil 10 minutes

Add Decent sized peices of Salmon
-boil for 10 minutes.

Melt a whole bunch of butter, and poor it over everything when you've got it on your plate.

I guess this could have a crazy amount of variations but this is how my Dad does it. (I like to have some fresh corn with it and then make corn/onion/salmon patties the next day.

Thanx for sharing the book and food, OH GOSH that would be SO COOL of you to make the pendant for J. Just lovely, I wish you the best of luck with your new hobby!!

Rob Clack said...

Hey that recipe sounds great, and the leftovers for lunch sounds good, too! I'll definitely try it. A rasher is a slice. Sorry, it's easy to forget not everyone lives in the UK. Smoked streaky bacon is all I've ever had in the US, where it tends to be sliced rather thinner than here, and typically fried crisply delicious. And served with maple syrup. Probably easier for you to take the smoked gammon option. Oh god, is gammon a word in US English? There's a great blog on my blogroll called something like Separated by a common language, all about US and British English. I don't spend a lot of time there, but am always interested in the differences.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Thanks, Rob, for your comment on my blog. I too (obviously) hate any ageist attitudes. I have added you to my favourites, though still don't know how to add a blog list to my blog!! Pathetic, but true.
Regards, Margot.
PS We lived in Cambridge for 15 great years.

headless chicken said...

Lucky Jenny....could you show us a picture of the pendant when finished....if Jenny doesn't mind?
I'd love to visit Australia!

Rob Clack said...

Hi Margot and thank you for visiting my blog. To add a blogroll, what I did was 1. click Customise (top right) 2. on the bottom right of the resulting screen, click Add a page element 3. find Link List in the box and choose that. 4. Back at the No 2 screen, click Edit on the new link list, add the URL and name of your target blog, click Add and then Save. I expect I've left something out. Please ask.

Hi HC, I'll certainly post a pic of whatever I finally make. Might not be silver as I'm finding that difficult, but I'll come up with something!

ArcticFox said...

Sounds like you're having a good time of it.... a delightful evening.

good luck with the pendant!!