Bitch on the Blog

December 31, 2013

Crapetta

Filed under: Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 16:13
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First time ever I am in frenzy of compiling list of what (and not) to do next year. Ideas, recommendations of any of you most welcome.

Years, cheers, and a happy one. If you need to drown: Try and make it a bubble rather than a cauldron.

Hugs, hisses and most affectionately, yours, and not forever,

Ursula

December 30, 2013

Bland

Filed under: Books,Food,Human condition — bitchontheblog @ 07:13
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If I were a chicken I’d die this minute. Of some awful disease which would make no one but on one wish to throw me into the stock pot. Brillat-Savarin (him of an inflated ego) says “Poultry is for the cook what canvas is for the painter”. Let’s leave aside that the statement is vacuous at best – as empty as that canvas at worst.

Yes, you have guessed right. I am in despair. And it’s only seven in the morning. Best antidote to which is to declutter not least what can only be called obscene: My collection of cookery books. It goes into hundreds and that’s only those I have bought or been given by those who let me cook for them. If I’d bought all others that have taken my fancy over the years I’d be sleeping under the sky (books needing to be kept dry). Yes, such is the extent of my current Titanic. I am fond of the Titanic. It set off full of hope and then hit the tip of an iceberg. Since I live just round the corner from its Southampton shipping office water has seeped into my hull.

Where were we: Books.  It’s one of the hall marks of getting older (or when surrounded by those who insist of dying on you whilst you are trying to do your best to enjoy life) that I can’t stand  being reminded of that which – in truth – will now have never a chance to flash in my pan.

There comes a time in life when you know the best way to deal with the canvas aka chicken. And for that you will – no longer – need the recipe.

U

December 23, 2013

Giving

Filed under: Atmosphere — bitchontheblog @ 12:33
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When we received the telegram that my grandmother was on her deathbead, her daughter, my mother, consequently threw stuff into suitcases. I asked her [my mother] what to give to my grandmother. My mother (a no nonsense person) told me that the only gift worth giving that which we ourselves do not wish to part from. My mother’s word being my gospel I parted with that which was most dear to me. Not that it saved my grandmother.

I was very lucky. Am very lucky. I had two mothers. My grandmother and my mother. Spoilt? Sure. Depends how you define “spoilt”. It’s been decades – yet still cry over a woman who was everything to me.

There is that Carol I only listen to judiciously, loosely translated as “Christmas, Christmas, I am at home, under my (grand)mother’s tree…” And, as the song goes, I am indeed home on Christmas Eve. Candles.

U

December 22, 2013

Nuts

Filed under: Amusement,Errors,Friends,Happiness — bitchontheblog @ 17:03
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Sweethearts, it’s Christmas. Christmas and nuts go hand in hand like Paul Newman and his poker. Or so you think.

Think again. On my way back from the fishmongers (one of the few with just a slab, ice, and lots of fish) and happy with my bounty thrown in for free (fishheads to make stock/broth from scratch) I went to my favourite Asian  shop. I do realize that Asia covers a large area – so can’t be sure of what provenance they are. All I know is that it appears only men (Asian) shop there and the shop keeper – who is very sweet and smiley in a sort of Asian distant way – seems to think me an oddity. I only bought 250 g of Walnuts. Buy a few – test – come back later. Since Asian men don’t talk much, other than “Are you sure that’s enough?”, I didn’t explain that I am a stickler for quality control. Not least with nuts. Hard shell. Excellent. But what’s inside.

Yes, nuts. So I went home, cracked one or two – and they were brilliant. Brilliant. Unfortunately – three nuts in –  my nutcracker (simple design) decided to die on me. It’s all in the hinge. You know the weakest link? The one deciding factor to make your world fall apart?

I don’t like weak links. They are pathetic. I don’t know much about ‘passive-aggressive’ but I’d say weak links (not least in nut crackers) are spiteful little (BIG) ‘look at me’ shits who render you at their mercy and therefore helpless.

Yes, so whilst Atlantis still sunk and Jason and holy grails no further than when they started their quest other than a few  scars on the way, today’s mission of finding a replacement for my nutcracker fell short. I won’t bore you with the detail. Hilarious as it was. The upshot being that I have an awful lot of nuts and for money, charm, love and thin air (in no particular order) a nutcracker is not to be found. Though the guy in Marks and Spencer and I came to conclusion that a garlic press might (not) be up to the job. I don’t have a garlic press, neither am I in the market for one. As any half bred Italian, Spanish and French (not to mention the Swiss) will know: You don’t press garlic. You smash it with the side of a knife.

What is this? A lesson on implements? It is, come to think of it. You know what? If you want to smash something – use a hammer. Gently. Otherways you have mash. Which reminds me: Once upon a time I had a pestle and mortar. I was attached to it – emotionally. Someone – I know who – stole it from me. Out of spite. No monetary value in it.  Emotional value you can’t put a price on.

So here I am. Christmas looming. And no nut cracker. Still, there are the pacifiers: Tangerines, clementines, mandarins: Easy to peel – providing you do have a thumb.

U

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