March 10th, 2005


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.