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annwfyn: (mood - hedgehog food)
I had a weird emotional moment last night.

I cooked a decent curry.

I am trying to find words for why and how that was important to me. First of all, I want to be clear, it was an exceptionally good curry. I take no credit for this; my sole part was providing the hands that moved stuff around in accordance with the recipe given to me by Gousto. It was a coconut prawn curry, served over cinnamon rice. I cooked it and jez said it was the nicest thing I’d ever fed him and he’d not be ashamed to serve this to his father.

Jez’s father is a Sri Lankan gentleman with a very strong curry game. That was high praise indeed.

I wouldn’t have been ashamed to serve that to my family either. Not even my mother (who was born and raised in Sri Lanka) or my grandmother (who lived 50 years there and had an exceptionally strong curry game indeed). It was a good curry.

I almost wanted to cry. For some reason, a decent curry (I scorn anything that is mince, tomatoes and chilli) feels like it should be beyond me – balancing spice with complex flavours, making sure it’s not too oily or wet, using all 11 hands to do the multiple things you’re meant to do at once, not being too hasty or too slow – was just not something I could do. Until I could.

And I think more so because most of the people I know who cook decent curries are of the older generation, a generation who really knew this shit. I never thought I’d be within breathing distance of them.

But I cooked a good curry.

I am very proud.
annwfyn: (Mood - bunny suicide)
So, one of my huge accomplishments in 2016 was somehow, miraculously, transitioning from 'possibly the worst cook in the world' with a repertoire of exactly two dishes which didn't involve 'put in microwave, press button' to someone who currently cooks from scratch around four times per week, using proper ingredients.

I do not consider myself someone who can cook, exactly, yet, but the process of becoming someone who cooks at all has taught me a number of things about the great divide between those people I know who say such things as 'but cooking is easy' or 'surely everyone can make a basic cottage pie' or 'anyone can cook cheaply and healthily, and there's no excuse for feeding your kids junk food' and those people for whom it all looks like some kind of weird black magic.

And, because I compulsively write these things down, here is the list of the top five things I wish both sides would know.

Read more... )
annwfyn: (mood - ordinary princess)
This morning, I was a very sad Sally. I didn’t sleep well last night, and the morning was heavy with mist that made me feel like I was even more disconnected from the world than normal. I could have been anywhere, just me, in my car, driving into endless nothing. This was particularly appropriate considering my dark conviction last night and this morning that in the eyes of many I am best off kept entirely segregated from the rest of humanity entirely, ideally in some kind of small neat box containing radioactive material in order to maintain quantum ambiguity.

Around 9 am I decided that I was not going to spend a day being a pile of misery and woe, however, and decided to remind myself of things that are good, and bright and shiny.

I reminded myself that the clothes I am wearing are fresh washed, and as such have that lovely clean linen scent, which made me feel a bit better. I reminded myself that I cooked food last night, and got the salmon absolutely right, and that I think I will be cooking every night this week, which is fun, and there is a Tesco delivery arriving tomorrow which will help.

And the mist seemed to clear a little bit. No, not just metaphorically! It really did!

Then for some reason I had one of my occasional flashes of memory. I remembered the Temple of Monkeys in Kathmandu. I remember how the sun shone between the trees, and the steps leading up to the temple had this weird dappled light effect. I was wearing my favourite blue and grey shalwar kameez that day. I still have the shawl from it, and feel better whenever I wear it. There were monkeys everywhere, watching us with open curiosity. At the bottom of the hill, women were lining up to make offerings, with red smudges on their foreheads.

I went there, and I saw that. And sitting in my office, I remembered that is something I have, and that I can’t mess that up now. No one can take that away from me. It’s mine and it makes me feel a little bit brighter inside.

And then I looked out at the window and saw that the sun had finally broken through. The mist had faded and instead there were bright blue skies.

It has encouraged my god complex no end, I must say.
annwfyn: (mood - ordinary princess)
This morning, I was a very sad Sally. I didn’t sleep well last night, and the morning was heavy with mist that made me feel like I was even more disconnected from the world than normal. I could have been anywhere, just me, in my car, driving into endless nothing. This was particularly appropriate considering my dark conviction last night and this morning that in the eyes of many I am best off kept entirely segregated from the rest of humanity entirely, ideally in some kind of small neat box containing radioactive material in order to maintain quantum ambiguity.

Around 9 am I decided that I was not going to spend a day being a pile of misery and woe, however, and decided to remind myself of things that are good, and bright and shiny.

I reminded myself that the clothes I am wearing are fresh washed, and as such have that lovely clean linen scent, which made me feel a bit better. I reminded myself that I cooked food last night, and got the salmon absolutely right, and that I think I will be cooking every night this week, which is fun, and there is a Tesco delivery arriving tomorrow which will help.

And the mist seemed to clear a little bit. No, not just metaphorically! It really did!

Then for some reason I had one of my occasional flashes of memory. I remembered the Temple of Monkeys in Kathmandu. I remember how the sun shone between the trees, and the steps leading up to the temple had this weird dappled light effect. I was wearing my favourite blue and grey shalwar kameez that day. I still have the shawl from it, and feel better whenever I wear it. There were monkeys everywhere, watching us with open curiosity. At the bottom of the hill, women were lining up to make offerings, with red smudges on their foreheads.

I went there, and I saw that. And sitting in my office, I remembered that is something I have, and that I can’t mess that up now. No one can take that away from me. It’s mine and it makes me feel a little bit brighter inside.

And then I looked out at the window and saw that the sun had finally broken through. The mist had faded and instead there were bright blue skies.

It has encouraged my god complex no end, I must say.

Food...

Jul. 19th, 2009 09:07 pm
annwfyn: (mood - hedgehog food)
So, this weekend has, so far, been all about the glorious food.

I went into Chinatown yesterday with [profile] pierot, [profile] ksirafai and [profile] housemonkeytm. First, there was lovely tasty dim sum in Chinatown, followed by a wander around Chinatown where I found cherries and Jon found strange green stuff that you use to make sushi. We also found a Place of Cake Heaven (but bought nothing, although we gazed) and very strange spikey vegetables.

When we were done there, we wandered to Bar Ciao, and ate incredible and mind blowing ice cream. Both Ginnie and I rather proved that our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, but thankfully Jon and jez were there for us, like the large bellied saints that they are.

And today has been a day of pottering and a day in which I have decided I need to cook more. I am, therefore, going to try and set Thursday evening aside for cooking. And not just randomly throwing together some pasta and sauce, but rather looking through cook books, getting proper ingredients and cooking properly from scratch. This Thursday I think I am going to try and cook spiced lamb kofta. And it will be good.

And if at the end of this I am fatter than I was before, it will all be from good food and not from crap and take out. And that will be lovely and glorious.

It's also making me ponder. Why don't I cook more? I mean, I claim that I can't cook, but that's mostly a lie. When I'm on holiday in Cornwall, I cook. Admittedly, I'm nowhere as good as either [profile] pierot or [profile] molez, who have traditionally been the cooks of our cottage holidays, but I can cook a decent spaghetti bolognaise, and I used to do a really good mushroom risotto, not to mention my cheese souffle. So why don't I cook?

I should cook more. I will cook more. Even if I just start by picking out a random recipe from a cook book on Thursdays and actually taking my time over it. And I will learn to cook properly. I swear.

Food...

Jul. 19th, 2009 09:07 pm
annwfyn: (mood - hedgehog food)
So, this weekend has, so far, been all about the glorious food.

I went into Chinatown yesterday with [profile] pierot, [profile] ksirafai and [profile] housemonkeytm. First, there was lovely tasty dim sum in Chinatown, followed by a wander around Chinatown where I found cherries and Jon found strange green stuff that you use to make sushi. We also found a Place of Cake Heaven (but bought nothing, although we gazed) and very strange spikey vegetables.

When we were done there, we wandered to Bar Ciao, and ate incredible and mind blowing ice cream. Both Ginnie and I rather proved that our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, but thankfully Jon and jez were there for us, like the large bellied saints that they are.

And today has been a day of pottering and a day in which I have decided I need to cook more. I am, therefore, going to try and set Thursday evening aside for cooking. And not just randomly throwing together some pasta and sauce, but rather looking through cook books, getting proper ingredients and cooking properly from scratch. This Thursday I think I am going to try and cook spiced lamb kofta. And it will be good.

And if at the end of this I am fatter than I was before, it will all be from good food and not from crap and take out. And that will be lovely and glorious.

It's also making me ponder. Why don't I cook more? I mean, I claim that I can't cook, but that's mostly a lie. When I'm on holiday in Cornwall, I cook. Admittedly, I'm nowhere as good as either [profile] pierot or [profile] molez, who have traditionally been the cooks of our cottage holidays, but I can cook a decent spaghetti bolognaise, and I used to do a really good mushroom risotto, not to mention my cheese souffle. So why don't I cook?

I should cook more. I will cook more. Even if I just start by picking out a random recipe from a cook book on Thursdays and actually taking my time over it. And I will learn to cook properly. I swear.
annwfyn: (Mood - jovial hippo)
Now, I'm sure many of you some of you someone out there has found themself thinking 'where could I possibly go in London to eat a great deal of very nice traditional Swiss fondue'?

And those of you who have never thought this, are only neglecting this very basic instinct out of ignorance.

I spent tonight discovering just why proper Swiss fondue is so damn good. A whole bunch of us went out to dinner at St Moritz in Soho. It wasn't cheap - £30 per head, including three bottles of wine shared between 10 - but it was amazing.

There were ten of us, and we got 5 different fondues between us, including one meat fondue where you got little bits of steak and got to flash fry them on skewers in boiling oil, heated in a small pot on the table. We also got lovely lovely plates of rosti, which is probably the tastiest way of serving potato known to man.

I think I was alone in adoring the Fondue Forestiere, which was a lovely mushrooms and white wine based fondue, but joined with everyone in really appreciating the Fondue Valaisanne, which was gruyere with tomato and white wine added in.

And did I mention that the rosti was heavenly.

The place itself was also amazingly cozy - it was warm, comfortable and the decor was straight out of the 1960s. There sadly was not a cuckoo clock on the walls, but there should have been.

We couldn't eat the chocolate fondue in the end - too fat after much cheese - but having seen it laid out, I wish I had! I shall return there. Oh yes! I shall return.
annwfyn: (Mood - jovial hippo)
Now, I'm sure many of you some of you someone out there has found themself thinking 'where could I possibly go in London to eat a great deal of very nice traditional Swiss fondue'?

And those of you who have never thought this, are only neglecting this very basic instinct out of ignorance.

I spent tonight discovering just why proper Swiss fondue is so damn good. A whole bunch of us went out to dinner at St Moritz in Soho. It wasn't cheap - £30 per head, including three bottles of wine shared between 10 - but it was amazing.

There were ten of us, and we got 5 different fondues between us, including one meat fondue where you got little bits of steak and got to flash fry them on skewers in boiling oil, heated in a small pot on the table. We also got lovely lovely plates of rosti, which is probably the tastiest way of serving potato known to man.

I think I was alone in adoring the Fondue Forestiere, which was a lovely mushrooms and white wine based fondue, but joined with everyone in really appreciating the Fondue Valaisanne, which was gruyere with tomato and white wine added in.

And did I mention that the rosti was heavenly.

The place itself was also amazingly cozy - it was warm, comfortable and the decor was straight out of the 1960s. There sadly was not a cuckoo clock on the walls, but there should have been.

We couldn't eat the chocolate fondue in the end - too fat after much cheese - but having seen it laid out, I wish I had! I shall return there. Oh yes! I shall return.

Fat Night

Jun. 9th, 2007 11:03 am
annwfyn: (Mood - hedgehog food)
Last night was the second of the Cool Kids* new bi-weekly tradition - Fat Night.

Fat Night (which is a name I've just given it, based on what it's done to me the day after on both occasions) is a night when a group of people gather in Feltham. Many bring a dish of some kind, often cooked with their own fair hands. It started two weeks ago, with Curry Night, when [profile] molez, [profile] pierot and [profile] housemonkey_tm decided they'd like to share curry recipes, sample each other's cooking, and generally play around with food. The food was fab, and the small group of folk who showed up (myself, [profile] astro_dust, [profile] wildrogue, [profile] castorlion and [profile] ksirafai) were exceedingly happy. Well, except Ginnie who nearly died from spice, but we were willing to make that sacrifice. Last night, in order to be kind to Ginnie, we decided to move away from Curry Night, and instead Fat Night was born.

Read more... )

We've got another Fat Night in two weeks, and I need to think of something to cook, instead of just providing shop bought items. I think I need to start hunting through recipe books. I'm pondering trying to practice during the week as well. What do people think of lentil daal?

Footnotes )

Fat Night

Jun. 9th, 2007 11:03 am
annwfyn: (Mood - hedgehog food)
Last night was the second of the Cool Kids* new bi-weekly tradition - Fat Night.

Fat Night (which is a name I've just given it, based on what it's done to me the day after on both occasions) is a night when a group of people gather in Feltham. Many bring a dish of some kind, often cooked with their own fair hands. It started two weeks ago, with Curry Night, when [profile] molez, [profile] pierot and [profile] housemonkey_tm decided they'd like to share curry recipes, sample each other's cooking, and generally play around with food. The food was fab, and the small group of folk who showed up (myself, [profile] astro_dust, [profile] wildrogue, [profile] castorlion and [profile] ksirafai) were exceedingly happy. Well, except Ginnie who nearly died from spice, but we were willing to make that sacrifice. Last night, in order to be kind to Ginnie, we decided to move away from Curry Night, and instead Fat Night was born.

Read more... )

We've got another Fat Night in two weeks, and I need to think of something to cook, instead of just providing shop bought items. I think I need to start hunting through recipe books. I'm pondering trying to practice during the week as well. What do people think of lentil daal?

Footnotes )
annwfyn: (Misc - hedgehog food)
I have to admit, while watching 'the Illusionist', I did feel as if I was watching a true magician at work. Over the course of 110 minutes, I saw Edward Norton suspend plausibility in mid air, saw the plot in half, and even making the acting disappear!

It was magic!

A review follows, with a great deal of spoilerage )

I also found a summary of the short story that 'the Illusionist' is based on, which appears to be rather different from the film, and noticeably more interesting. I'm wondering if Edward Norton thought that that was the story he was signing up for when he agreed to do the film. It must have been quite disappointing to find out what the script writers had done when he turned up on set!

In other news, I mentioned a few days ago that I've been tired, wobbly, and brain dead lately. It appears that I'm not pregnant, as quite a few people suggested (I was pretty certain that I wasn't), but am looking thoughtfully at my diet. [profile] cairmen suggested that I might be a tad on the anaemic side. After peering at my partially white fingernails, I am inclined to suspect that he may have a point. I'm hopefully going to see the doctor this afternoon for a chat, but in the interim I'm trying to get a little bit more iron into my diet.

This, by the way, has been noticeably made harder by the fact that I seem to have lost the ability to eat meat. Now, I've never been vegetarian. In fact, I've always been very firmly a meat eater, despite an inordinate amount of vegetarianism in my upbringing. However, it appears that over the last couple of months (maybe longer) this has changed somewhat, in that I seem to have stopped eating meat entirely. I still eat the stuff if someone cooks it and puts it in front of me, but I no longer order it in restaurants, I don't cook it (other than small bits of chopped bacon in pasta) and I just haven't been eating the stuff.

This may also explain my fading a tad.

I went out for lunch yesterday with [profile] pierot, quite determined to get some steak, or some solid red meat. I sat in Arbuckles, staring at the menu, feeling strangely scared at the thought of a great lump of meat, and entirely unconvinced I could digest it. I ordered chicken caesar salad in the end, which was very nice, but was a surprising amount of effort.
annwfyn: (Misc - hedgehog food)
I have to admit, while watching 'the Illusionist', I did feel as if I was watching a true magician at work. Over the course of 110 minutes, I saw Edward Norton suspend plausibility in mid air, saw the plot in half, and even making the acting disappear!

It was magic!

A review follows, with a great deal of spoilerage )

I also found a summary of the short story that 'the Illusionist' is based on, which appears to be rather different from the film, and noticeably more interesting. I'm wondering if Edward Norton thought that that was the story he was signing up for when he agreed to do the film. It must have been quite disappointing to find out what the script writers had done when he turned up on set!

In other news, I mentioned a few days ago that I've been tired, wobbly, and brain dead lately. It appears that I'm not pregnant, as quite a few people suggested (I was pretty certain that I wasn't), but am looking thoughtfully at my diet. [profile] cairmen suggested that I might be a tad on the anaemic side. After peering at my partially white fingernails, I am inclined to suspect that he may have a point. I'm hopefully going to see the doctor this afternoon for a chat, but in the interim I'm trying to get a little bit more iron into my diet.

This, by the way, has been noticeably made harder by the fact that I seem to have lost the ability to eat meat. Now, I've never been vegetarian. In fact, I've always been very firmly a meat eater, despite an inordinate amount of vegetarianism in my upbringing. However, it appears that over the last couple of months (maybe longer) this has changed somewhat, in that I seem to have stopped eating meat entirely. I still eat the stuff if someone cooks it and puts it in front of me, but I no longer order it in restaurants, I don't cook it (other than small bits of chopped bacon in pasta) and I just haven't been eating the stuff.

This may also explain my fading a tad.

I went out for lunch yesterday with [profile] pierot, quite determined to get some steak, or some solid red meat. I sat in Arbuckles, staring at the menu, feeling strangely scared at the thought of a great lump of meat, and entirely unconvinced I could digest it. I ordered chicken caesar salad in the end, which was very nice, but was a surprising amount of effort.

On food...

Apr. 12th, 2006 08:12 am
annwfyn: (bedtime bear)
This, I suspect, will be useless to most people, but if any of you are ever in the area of Putney High Street, may I recommend a restaurant called Souvlakis. It's a bar and restaurant and I went there last night with my sister and cousin. And lo! It was really rather lovely. We had wine, and ate vast quantities of very good Greek food, which has left me feeling distinctly large this morning.

In other news, I am sleepy, I have work to go to, and I have audio typing to do when I get there. And so, onward!

On food...

Apr. 12th, 2006 08:12 am
annwfyn: (bedtime bear)
This, I suspect, will be useless to most people, but if any of you are ever in the area of Putney High Street, may I recommend a restaurant called Souvlakis. It's a bar and restaurant and I went there last night with my sister and cousin. And lo! It was really rather lovely. We had wine, and ate vast quantities of very good Greek food, which has left me feeling distinctly large this morning.

In other news, I am sleepy, I have work to go to, and I have audio typing to do when I get there. And so, onward!

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