Well, we read a few how-tos and watched a couple of videos, and they made it look so easy… a few gentle taps, and it falls open.
I tapped it, smashed it, and weevilled at it with a corkscrew. Nothing. Mum finally got it open after launching herself at it with a heavy hammer and a wild scream. At least we can eat it now…
When I went downstairs, Mum met me with a frown and said “I just put some horrible gunk in my mouth.”
“Varnish… tastes like banana.”
I wanted to protect my Moomin comic books while reading them, so I covered them with clear book film (non-sticky, of course). I’m hoping there will be more books along to join my collection. 🙂 That smaller one is a Moomin cookery book. It has recipes for things like brewing tea, Fillyjonk’s Leftover Pie, Grandpa Grumble’s Raisin Ice Cream, Meringue Moominesque, Honey Sandwiches, Cinnamon Buns, and Moomintroll’s Delicious Chocolate Cake. I haven’t tried any yet, though I suppose I already brew tea…
I went back downstairs last night to where Mum was coughing and sneezing from her latest wicked cold.
“I was socializing with my blogger friends,” I said, feeling I should explain my disappearance.
“And you left your poor old mother downstairs to die,” grumbled Mum, sniffing dejectedly.
Hmf. A few weeks ago she went off to play Bridge when I thought my cough was going to turn me blue with lack of oxygen. That day, I watched my ‘Tears of the Sun’ Bruce Willis DVD, and cried more than I meant to… it made me feel better, as though it had popped the balloon of my cold. After that, I was on the mend. But it’s not a DVD I can let Mum watch… not with all that violence and stuff. It might give her nightmares, and then I’ll be up with her all night. 😉
I made Pork Paprika for supper — it was rather good. There was no cream, yoghurt or stock; seemed surprisingly low calorie. Just pork tenderloin, onion, garlic, mixed peppers, tinned chopped tomatoes… oh, and 3 teaspoons of paprika! Fried together and then simmered slowly for 45 minutes (water added, to give it something to simmer with). Eaten with rice… the meat was very tender. We had my favourite ice cream for afters (Mackie’s), with tinned figs in syrup. I wanted to try fresh figs in a coffee and vanilla sauce, but the supermarket had none. Mum said the local greengrocers has them… will look out for them next time!
Yesterday morning I woke from a dream in which two dark-haired waiters offered me baked fish. They gave me a choice… the fish could be in unbreaded cakes, or unbreaded fingers; both were deeply mired in a green parsley sauce. I’m not fond of fish, so I hesitated, and finally chose the fish fingers (they looked smaller).
I noted the dream in my journal but didn’t mention it to anyone. In the evening Mum said “I’m making baked salmon in parsley sauce. Do you want that, or would you prefer corn beef?”
I didn’t see any of the items in our shopping, and we haven’t had anything like that for months. I was silent for so long she gave me an enquiring glance, and I said “I dreamed last night I was offered this for supper!” and she said “harrumph.”
I chose the corn beef.
Watching Come Dine with Me, it occurred to me that although a lot of fish is served, more than a few people admit they don’t like it…. including some of the cooks. One guest said he didn’t like fish when it tasted fishy, and another said if there’s a bone in it, he will leave the rest. I thought that was just me… I’ll eat it just so long as it’s not fishy and has no bones or slimy white skin.
It surprised me that so many others feel the same way.
I like oyster sauce and was always curious about the real thing, so when I saw a can of smoked oysters, I bought it. It sat around in the cupboard for some weeks, then one night I dreamed we were eating it. I decided that was probably a message to get on and eat it before I ran out of life, or because there was something in it that would be good for me… dreams work in semi-logical ways, so why not?
Anyway, last night I tried the oysters and they weren’t like oyster sauce. At the same time they tasted like something I’d had before. They were a little bit fishy, but also a little bit like chicken. Having finished them, I then worried that maybe they were tainted or I was allergic to them, and I would blow up in the middle of the night. I determined never to eat them again, as the worry just wasn’t worth it.
But nothing like that happened. If anything, I felt a little healthier. Mum quoted Swift at me just now: “It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.”
“Or a very hungry one,” I said.
A friend at university loved tinned sardines in tomato sauce; I thought they looked revolting and wrinkled my nose when I caught her guiltily forking them out of the tin. But around the time Sharky was ill, I got a tin of canned sardines to try and tempt him into eating. I doubt if I was successful but I tried a little myself, and it tasted quite good. Suddenly I understood what my friend saw in them.
It’s funny, though… I’m still tentative about all kinds of seafood. Sometimes I think I’m going to enjoy it, and then bam! Something tastes fishy, or there’s a bone in it.
I love cats, but there’s one thing they do that annoys me…
Picture this. You are relaxing in your favourite spot, savouring your cappuccino cheese. You adore cappuccino cheese, and it’s all yours. Nobody else is to share. Every single morsel and crumb of it is to count. You will not gobble it up in a hurry, or eat it with bread, or drown it in white sauce, or throw it away – it must not be wasted.
And then the cat comes along. He sniffs – vaguely at first, then more and more insistently, pushing his head between you and your book. “What’s that? Smells very good. Can I have some?”
At first you refuse, moving your cheese well out of his reach, but he keeps pawing, and pushing, and finally curls up, looking disappointed. You feel mean. “Did I just tell him he can never in his life have cappuccino cheese, just because I want it all?”
So you sneak him a tiny little bit from the sharp white cheese side (rather than from the brown cappuccino side). It’s tiny because cats have a nasty habit of deciding they don’t like it after all – better to waste a really tiny bit rather than a bigger bit.
He sucks it up and smacks his lips. “Hmm, that was good. Any more where that came from?” He jumps up eagerly. “More – I MUST have more! That was marvellous!”
You give him a bigger bit this time. He sniffs it, and rolls it about, and then goes back to sleep without eating it.
You nudge him unbelievingly. “What’s this – you said you would cry if you didn’t get my cheese, and now you have it, you don’t want it?”
All you get in response is a sleepy grin.
I mentioned this later to Mum, still seething at the waste of my cheese, and she said hers do that to her all the time. They keep popping up their heads, saying “throw us another little bit of that, that’s very nice,” and then she stands up and finds food lying all over the floor, with the cats blinking innocently in the middle of it. “What – no more? Aw, that’s a bummer.”
Comments for this entry (during its previous life on Blogigo):
1. Pacian wrote at Apr 3, 2007 at 14:50: They want to be given the opportunity. But that doesn’t mean they want to take it.
2. Diddums wrote at Apr 3, 2007 at 15:01: My cappuccino cheeeeese! (Wails…)
3. kateblogs wrote at Apr 3, 2007 at 18:11: Yes, as Pacian said – cats like to have the opportunity to share your cheese, but they don’t necessarily want to eat the cheese.
We were in our favourite café today, talking. One of my sister’s kittens has just been returned to her because an adult cat in the household was turning on it. We never give up on integrating cats who are just grumpy, but this sounds worse – the established cat simply will not accept the kitten, and could potentially kill or injure it. The would-be owner is very upset, but there’s no way (of course) that she would think of rehoming the older cat in order to keep the kitten.
Moving on from discussion of the kitten, Mum said “I hope Sharky will settle in alright with mine,” and I said “that’s why I chose him when I had three older cats at home. He’s confident and easy-going. He knows how to fit in.”
“Yes,” said Mum, “but it’s Grumpy I’m worried about. Cheeky, hopefully, will see Sharky as an amusement.”
“Thanks very much!” I said, and Mum sniggered.
Cheeky sees everybody and everything as an amusement. The entire planet spins on its axis to keep her entertained.
I should mention again that these bad cat names are made up purely to protect the identities of the innocent and not-so-innocent.
When I got home I decided to have a haircut – an artistic bob Chez Diddums. It’s not too bad – short and cool at the back and fairly full at the front. Certainly better than it looked ten minutes before. But my scissors were a bit more vicious than I realized and I had to stop in the middle of the haircut to bind up my thumb.
Sometimes I wonder about my palate – things that make other people go ‘yeeeeurghhh’ have me licking my lips. I made a spoonful of dressing yesterday for my cous cous with roast vegetables. The dressing was made out of white wine vinegar and mustard, and was quite sharp, but I kept sipping what remained of it every time I went past.
Who drinks vinegar?? Maybe I’m missing an important mineral.
A couple of days ago I bought a chunk of soft cappuccino cheese from the delicatessen section in Morrison’s. I gave half to Mum, and she says she hasn’t gathered the courage to try it yet. I said “think of cheesecake and flip it round,” but I don’t know if she caught what I was saying. Cappuccino cheese – what’s not to love?
A couple of days ago I showed Mum a Garfield cartoon I tore out of the newspaper. It concerned his voracious eating habits. We chuckled over it and then the phone rang. While Mum answered, I looked outside at the hot sun beating down on the parched Scottish earth.
Scotland is usually considered to be rainy, damp and misty – in fact it hasn’t rained for I don’t know how long. The burn is very low and the grass dying.
Mum put the phone down and raised an eyebrow.
“That was about the Christmas lunch,” she said.
That got my funny bone as much as the cartoon strip did. “I’m more like Garfield than I thought,” I said. “Even on a hot day like today I would really enjoy a hot Christmas dinner.”
I wish she hadn’t got me thinking about it now. Five months to go.