Showing posts from February, 2013

Adventures with Chicken Stock

I had a rare burst of domesticity yesterday. Despite my sinuses, I managed to get a few things sorted: de-fuzzed the kettle (want to make a chemist happy - boil foul chemical as he comes through door), went shopping for dinner and lunches for the week, did a few dishes, blogged and wrote something serious (for a change).

After Boy and I reduced the roast chicken to bones, I bundled what was left into a large pot, threw some veggies in after the carcass, tried to drown it all in cold water and sprinkled it all liberally with mixed herbs.

Yes, I am aware there are proper, bona fide recipes for making stock. No, I've never used them, nor am I ever likely to. My version, if left to it's own devices, works well enough.

I went upstairs to work on my piece for the writing workshop. After a couple of hours, I came down, poked it and thought I ought to do something constructive with it. It is not unknown for pans of stock to sit on a corner of the stove for the rest of the week, desperate…

When Life Gives you Lemons

...preserve those suckers!

After waiting weeks and weeks, we decided to debut the lemons yesterday. 

The preserved lemons after their 7 week stint in my cupboard
They looked fantastic. No mould, nothing nasty at all. Their texture had gone slightly gelatinous, but otherwise kept their shape and colour. When I took a small bite, salty lemony goodness flooded my tastebuds. I'm not sure I would want to have a few slices with feta as one person suggested, but as Lawrence pointed out, you don't eat lime pickle straight from the jar either.

So, what to do with them?

In true Ottolenghi style, we went Moroccan.

The lamb, fresh from the local butcher
Lawrence likes recipes, I like winging it, and as I was cooking, we flew. He diced the lamb whilst I chopped a red onion, a red pepper and assembled the spices: paprika, turmeric, coriander, ground ginger, cumin and a splash of chilli oil. I fried these off in some olive oil. We (by which I mean Lawrence) threw in two cartons of chopped tomatoes,…

Job Description

Them: Hi, lovely to meet you. So what is it you do for a living?
Me: Well, amongst other things, I'm a writer.
Them: Really? What do you write?
Me: Pretty much anything.

I've been practicing you see. I've been standing in front of my mirror and saying "I am a writer." I write for a living. I do marketing on the side (after all, eating regularly and paying bills before they go red, is a good thing).

There have been a few issues along the way.

Firstly, I have four writing projects on my desk, in various stages. When I say various stages, I mean, various stages of planning and several versions of Chapter One.

Secondly, the paying the bills job is demanding. As is running a household. As is trying to hang out with Boy before he flies the nest. As is having a relationship with Lawrence, who keeps coming up with really fun things to do. As is having friends who insist on seeing me more than once a year. As is...

Yeah, you get the picture.

Thirdly, when I say writing, there are …