Friday, 4 March 2016

Questions, etc.


On Fridays I am supposed to go to the library and work on Serious Writings. How many Fridays have I been to the library this year? None. Sigh. Today instead of going to the library I ate defrosted chickpea curry and watched Happy Valley and I'll have to ask one of my descendants to remind me of that fact on my deathbed when I am bemoaning the dearth of achievements that will have blighted my life. I also did some translation about Korean abstract art in the mid 1970s and issued two invoices, but that's hardly blue plaque territory. There are several problems with the library:

- Only opens at 10 by which time I have lost momentum
- 0,50€ to use the loo
- Always end up sitting in the science section and getting distracted by owl books
- Subconscious seems to believe simple act of going to library sufficient, so once I get there I just stare into space, whilst feeling satisfied with myself.


Where would YOU hide a bucket of Jerusalem artichokes gifted by your cleaner before she comes back and sees you have entirely failed to use them?

Is there, in fact, anything you can do with Jerusalem artichokes that (a) isn't a massive ball ache and (b) doesn't make you fart uncontrollably?

What infallible, easy savoury dish would you cook for book club? Must feed 6-10, be able to cope with being out at room temperature for an hour at least, be neither too showy (fat chance) nor too crap.

Is there any gel eyeliner out there that won't give me awful itchy spots on the insides of my eyelids? What doctor would you even consult for an eyelid problem?

Will it EVER stop raining in Brussels?

Any Audible recommendations? Or should I just cancel my subscription? I have about 5 unused credits and am probably never going to get through Dan Stevens reading The Odyssey, I tune out after a couple of minutes and think about my worries and whenever I tune back in they are sacrificing oxen.

Who should I be most worried about: Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin?

What shall I read next - The Lonely City or What Belongs To You?

Shall I make some scones this afternoon? Or something else cake-y? I only have one egg (thanks, useless quail of evil).

Small(ish) stuff I want
A coffee religieuse, Jesus, I am becoming obsessed.
Bella Freud whippet jumper, as pointed out to me by someone on Instagram today.
Good big fat bright green olives for my Martini
A nice pair of trousers and a dark green silk shirt like the detective on that mystifying "Murder" programme last night about someone getting stabbed on the banks of a Scottish river which I half slept through, waking up only to see a naked ginger man occasionally.
Some of that nice Hungarian moisturiser we once got free for Facegoop
Blue Strepsils

50% Squandered potential
50% Martini anticipation



Simon said...

Tempted to suggest that one of your questions provides the answer to another: easy savoury dish = mashed Jerusalem artichoke.

Waffle said...

It's not for another fortnight, they'll be dead by then (I hope) = UNHELPFUL.

soleils said...

All I have for you is this: slice 3 or 4 aubergines, put on oven tray(s), salt + olive oil on top. Roast for a while (until soft). Fry up some cumin + coriander (seeds or powder), plus whatevs (paprika?), then diced onion - till soft. Add some diced peeled tomatoes (puree is also fine if no tomatoes are available). Chop roasted aubergine, chuck in pan with onion and tomato. Stir a bit, cook for a few mins. Salt, pepper. Done. Let it cool down. Stir some yogurt in there. Add chopped coriander if you can be arsed. Take to book club with some pitta/flat bread of sorts.
You like?

Jennifer Goulding said...

If you only have one egg you could make this:
But half it. It's really delicious & very easy.
My week has been trapped in the house watching cbeebies with an ill child. This has afforded me much time for pondering my 100% squandered potential.

Waffle said...

Soleils - I do like. This is totally do-able. Thank you.

Waffle said...

Jennifer - This sounds delicious but it turns out I also have no chocolate due to having to make those sodding Brownie Owls, however when I go to the supermarket tomorrow I am ON IT.

Sophie said...

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES dispose of J.artichokes in your compost! They root like buggery-fuckwank though they grow so tall they make a good summer screen against the neighbours.
On the subject of which, can you hide them in your neighbour's saxophone? Should take the wind out of his sails (ahem) and move it down to the bilges.
We found the farting only lasted until dawn when we last ate them - after chickpea curry I should think your innards would find them a breeze to deal with.
Make Delia Smith's ginger oat biscuits ( but omit crystallised ginger if req'd. Delicious - I have eaten nearly all of mine.
Apologies for the windy puns.

Ivywindow said...

Isn't the answer to the Jerusalem artichokes the quail of evil?
And how about savoury popcorn for book club. Not only can it is out for an hour, but it also only requires claws, and not cutlery.

Leigh said...

Audible recommendations: Have been addicted to John Le Carre's (own reading of) "A delicate truth."

Patience_Crabstick said...

I would put the Jerusalem artichokes into a bag and dispose of them in a public trash can several blocks away.

Waffle said...

Patience - This is the best and most realistic idea, I think.

Waffle said...

Ivywindow - I could certainly THROW them at her to make myself feel better, but I fear the cleaner would see. She likes to go out and poke at the hens.

CJ said...

Almost 100% squandered potential here. I'm thinking a nice artichoke gratin for the book club. Share the pain, and give them and their families something to remember you by. I had an aha moment when you suggested working in the library on Fridays, but I fear my small local library with its toddler group and silver surfers will not be conducive to serious endeavours. And you have to ask to use the toilet. CJ xx

curlywurlyfi said...

Surely you make some sort of savoury tart with the J-chokes for book club, thus two birds one stone? I halved then boiled mine the other week + they fairly shot out of their skins, leaving a slightly unnerving brownleatheryvegcondom behind. Then parsley garlic olive oil Parmesan + chopped hazelnuts in a bought square of puff pastry + hiho hiho off to book club you go.

Waffle said...

This is excellent curlywifi but it's in TWO WEEKS. Will they keep? Because I'm sure as fuck not buying new ones. Also brownleatheryvegcondom = YES YES YES. ALSO, another also, book club is HERE, in my hovel, not somewhere else. I don't know if that changes anything, I just want to set the scene.

Madeleine said...

Jerusalem artichoke soup. Freeze and deforest for book club. Or roast them? They are delicious roasted- kind of nutty. The gratin suggestion above is also inspired- what can possibly be undelicious when swimming in cream and smothered in cheese? You could probably freeze that too for the books..

Raye S. said...

Sorry, lurker suggestions on the Jerusalem Artichokes. However I would recommend either "Cabin Pressure" or "John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme" if you have not already heard of them. I find John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme an endlessly amusing sketch show. And "Cabin Pressure" has both Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Allam so who can say no to that?

Kate said...

Audible recommendations:
Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
Anything by David Sedaris
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein) - Young adult fiction but still a great story and very well narrated.
Bossypants (Tina Fey) - smart, funny, easy to listen to listen to in short segments

Nothing earth shattering there, but I will be checking back for others' suggestions!

The one thing I like about accumulating a handful of credits is that I somehow feel better blowing a few on lighter fare...

Jane Murray Bird said...

I find with Jukes, that it's only the first few meals of the season that are the worst (unfortunately that's probably sufficient to end a relationship). Persist. As for preparing them, they really couldn't be easier, it's only cleaning them that's a pain (and soaking in warm water for a bit helps). Just roast whole or blitz into soup (add asafoetida to help digestion). I prefer a dauphinois, with bits of mandolined finger.

Lydia said...

I have always dreamed of doing some Serious Writing at the desks underneath the great dome of the Palais de Justice.

Audiobook recommendations:
Yes Please
Furiously Happy

kim at allconsuming said...

I am so fretting about Donald Trump and I'm not even American. Can you imagine looking at the person next to you on the train/bus/shopping queue and thinking, do you think Donald Drumpf could be our President, DO YOU?

In face there's so much in the news at the moment making me wring hands and wail I have had to back away.

Bookweek at your place? Do my slow-cooked pulled pork. Serve the pork with rolls (or tortillas but could be messy for bookish types) and a fresh salsa. Do it. DO IT.

B said...

MAKE THIS. Savoury leek and cheese bread pudding. I did two batches of it for my new year's lunch, and it is the one dish everyone asked me about. Everyone loved it - wiped the dishes clean. Can be served at room temperature with no problem. I would double the recipe for your event and do it in a big casserole dish, rather than a loaf pan. (Which is what I did for new year's.)

frau antje said...

Just don't forget the dexedrine and gin when you cook for the book club. It will be fun. Janice Joplin may stop by and accuse you of trying to save your liquor if you serve her brandy in a snifter.

As to the political worries, don't fret about anyone who:

a) draws a line in the sand after ten seconds
b) confuses sleaze with principles/knowledge
c) says things like, "That's the way things work. I thought you guys knew that."...or "Who knows what I was thinking back then?"

Oh well, je moet keuzes maken ("je kan niet de kool en de geit sparen").

Small(ish) stuff I want--
Getting stabbed on the banks of a Scottish river.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle,
I'm wondering if the Donald Trump of poultry might take a liking to the Jerusalem artichokes? Or if she wouldn't deign to eat them, she might at least peck them until they were unrecognisable? Does she eat some sort of dry meal/ chicken food? Could the pecked bits be added to it somehow? Or could you then just dig a hole and shovel the resulting mess into it, planting some flowers on top in case your cleaner has paranoid tendencies?
Failing that, cooking them for book club is a close second option. I have never eaten nor prepared them so no advice there.
If they end up going mouldy very quickly and you have to dump them, make an industrial amount of houmous and buy some pitta bread. Blitz a couple of jars of cooked chickpeas in a blender with a couple of spoons of tahini paste, add a couple of cloves of garlic, the juice of a lemon and a generous slug of olive oil. Blend to your heart's content, dunk in nice container, cut the pitta bread into quarters and off you go. You could also buy bread sticks for dipping in it or if you are feeling particularly virtuous, chop all manner of raw veggies into sticks and arrange nicely on a plate.
To go with this, buy some fresh ready-made pastry, a couple of bags of spinach and a couple of Feta cheeses. Boil the spinach, drain until no longer waterlogged, chop up a red onion, mix spinach feta and onion in a bowl. Then proceed to make as many pies as you can. Pastry on the bottom, the spinach mixture and pastry on the top. Simple and very tasty.

oggleyboggley said...

Eyelids. I've just spent two weeks with what I thought were styes but the optitian reckons not and that they're...something else - not helpful but it's just the name I forget! Essentially blocked tear ducts, the usually oily 'stuff' that keeps your eyes moist turns buttery (mmmm) & creates itchy spot like things on the lids. She recommended using a hot eye compress - Boots do one called Dr Eye, it's a mask you stick in the microwave to heat up the little beads, wear it for 5-9 minutes, massage lids (to further break down the hopefully now melted 'butter'), then wipe eyes with a clean tissue or sterile eyelid wipes. Seems to have worked - yay!

I'm using Kiko lasting gel eyeliner - stays put for ages :-) can't vouch that it won't cause the spots but at least you have a nice relaxing method of getting rid of 'em if it does!

Waffle said...

Oggleyboggley - Yes this is exactly what I get ALL THE TIME, I will try hot eye compresses, thank you!

Frau Antje - This geit/kool expression is excellent and I am adopting it.

Keith (kcm) said...

An Audible suggestion for you. Anthony Powell's "A Dance to the Music of Time". Agreed the books aren't everyone's cup of tea but even if you're doubtful about them I found I got much more from the Audible version. It's long (80 hours!) over four separate Audible "volumes". But Simon Vance's reading is just wonderful. 'Twas a thought.

Waffle said...

Keith - That is actually an excellent idea and also appeals to my bargain hunting side, since 80 hours = good value.