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Beyond eeling - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Beyond eeling
I'm in an eely mood now. I want to go home and see if I can find the copy of Robert Minhinnick's poem "Eels at Night" that I printed out from ProQuest. Sometimes I miss having ALL ENGLISH POETRY IN THE WORLD EVER on my computer, but it didn't balance out the downsides. You know there's something deeply wrong with your job if 1400 years of poetry can't make it seem more interesting.

*

I just had to email my mum to ask how to make stew. We've got bags of potatoes and carrots and turnips and so on, and some Quorn pieces, but it just occurred to me that I didn't know what the liquid bit of stew was made of. I'd guessed it was just stock, and I was right, but I wanted to know if there was some special secret ingredient that I didn't know about. If this was Chicken Soup for the Soul rather than Stew for Dummies then I suppose the secret ingredient would be a mother's love, but in this case it was bay leaves. Just as well, because I'm allergic to glurge, though I'm delighted that there's a word for the literary equivalent of the MSG-laden slurry at the bottom of a Pot Noodle.

It's been a funny week for food. It makes me both delight and despair that I have the sort of lifestyle where the only things I can find in the cupboard at work to eat for lunch are avocados, chick peas and vine tomatoes; though earlier in the week I had stave off starvation by borrowing two crumpets and a potato-and-bacon-and-something cup-a-soup from my boss. "It has the consistency of wallpaper paste," she warned me. She was right. Today for lunch I have a tupperwareful of new potatoes and absolutely no inspiration.

At the weekend addedentry and I made duck -- this is not a euphemism, nor is it related to sadomasochistic necrophiliac bestiality, a phrase which until now I'd understood to mean "flogging a dead horse" -- with beetroot and apple. It was one of those absurd "quick weeknight meal" recipes from the strange alternative universe of the Tesco Recipe Magazine, a parallel dimension where everybody has Finest* crème fraiche in their fridge and red wine vinegar in their store-cupboard. The duck was great, the beetroot (a vegetable which I've always feared slightly, not just because I don't know what to do with it but because it stains EVERYTHING within a five-mile radius) complemented it beautifully, but the apple was completely superfluous and the spring onions were unnoticeable. The "dollop" of crème fraiche helped the medicine go down.

Talking of going down: coming up soon, "Steak and a Blowjob Day". The idea is that it's "Like Valentine's day, but for men"; but like Valentine's Day, ho-ho, men obviously can't remember when it is. Aren't men daft, eh? Fortunately I'm more than happy to allocate two days to the celebration and enjoyment of two of my favourite things, and I'm not talking about beer or cucumbers.

*

Anyway, I'm off into town in a minute to post shoes and buy vegetables. This crazy life, eh. This crazy life.
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Comments
hairyears From: hairyears Date: March 10th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Never speak eel of the dead

First gay penguins in Frankfurt, then necrophiliac ducks in Rotterdam. If these things come in threes, whatever's next?

What will happen when the tabloids get involved?
addedentry From: addedentry Date: March 10th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Even better than the eel thing

Never mind the tabloids, there's sadomasochistic necrophiliac bestiality in Hansard:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldhansrd/vo030609/text/30609-17.htm#30609-17_para11

'Suffocating stoats' sounds like an exclamation.
hairyears From: hairyears Date: March 11th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Eel Cardinale

I began to understand why classics is a popular subject at university - but he will perhaps be aware that Messalina won a competition with a prostitute for suffocating stoats. She won with 25 stoats in 24 hours.


...And, oh goody, I learned a new word today: Avisodomy.
simont From: simont Date: March 10th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd guessed it was just stock, and I was right, but I wanted to know if there was some special secret ingredient that I didn't know about.

(As a regular stew-maker and stew-eater) I've recently been experimenting with using cornflour to thicken the sauce, but it doesn't seem to give nearly such good results as just using less liquid.

OTOH, I've had generally good results with unilaterally doubling the quantity of chopped onion in my stew recipes. Tends to turn the sauce into something you can more easily pick up with a fork. Though I suppose if you're more keen on it being easy to pick up with a piece of bread it might conceivably be counterproductive.

Yikes. I still self-identify (moo) as Not A Cook, but I've just found myself offering unsolicited cookery advice. This is surely the start of a slippery slope that can only end in a life spent throwing elaborate dinner parties...
From: fluffymormegil Date: March 10th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't see chopped onion making the sauce harder to pick up with a piece of bread.
claerwen From: claerwen Date: March 10th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
You need to know about Ely Eel Day, coming up on 30th April!
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: March 10th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh, btw, did you know there's a radio4 comedy featuring someting called Badgerland? I didn't realise it was a running joke until about the 3rd time I heard them doing it. And the series may have finished now... was it Wednesdays? Or Thursdays? 18:30 as per. Had Marcus Brigstock in it. Unless that was the other thing...
This isn't going well, is it?
sion_a From: sion_a Date: March 10th, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Museum of Everything—which has come to the end of its current run. Apart from the badgers, I was rather underwhelmed by what I heard of it.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: March 10th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, not everything on r4 at 18:30 can be excellent. when you get to my age, one good joke in a half hour show will do, frankly
burkesworks From: burkesworks Date: March 11th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
there's a word for the literary equivalent of the MSG-laden slurry at the bottom of a Pot Noodle

And that word is "Archer".

vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: March 11th, 2005 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)

stew

If it's meat-based then only the smallest amount of water (about five dessertspoonsful) and rolling the meat chunks in seasoned (S & P) flour will make a fair amount of liquidy stuff, unless you like a liquidy stew.

But with Quorn, you do need to add the liquid in volume... wine is a good choice if you pre-cook it a bit. Pureed cooked carrot can be an excellent thickener; if you aren't calorie-counting then beurre-manie or potato flour can be Good Things.

But I call my mom for all sorts of cooking ideas - leaving out the unspoken heart-felt cry of COME COOK FOR ME!!!! MO-O-O-O-O-O-OMMMM!!!! 8-)
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