Monthly Archives: February 2014



Did a version of this with various odds and ends of veg. Still trying to work out if the caramelised shallots stir-fried with curry powder were a good addition to the mix, or not……

Grief works in funny ways. Had some additions to my library recently, as Mum’s books are gradually being sorted and cleared. I started Edith Wharton’s subtly-observed “The House of Mirth”, but couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t emotionally bear the ultimately self-inflicted tragedies of a complex, aristocratic, fin-de-siècle world utterly removed from my own life experience. However a character’s equally well-observed swift decline and death from terminal illness in Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South” was bearable, even though I’d seen the real-life version of the same thing only a couple of months ago.

A piece of silver confetti skipped out of my handbag the other day while I was pulling out my mobile phone. It fell straight onto the grimy floor of the bus. I thought it would look weird if I tried to pick it up, so distracted myself by looking at the extensive flooding on the Deerhide housing estate to the right of the road, the houses now with a second moat of hi-visibility jackets, porta-loos and water-tankers.

The confetti piece was of stiff foil, heart-shaped with a curved spiral embossed. I don’t use that handbag that often, and most memorably was at the wedding of a friend I lost to suicide soon after. I remember the style of confetti… I bought it. I still find the odd piece here and there.

If Grief had dandruff it would be wedding confetti. If it had a library it would be yellowed novels, spine-scratched and held together with sellotape.


Butter Up


Recommendation: watch The Heat, an odd-couple buddy movie with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McConnell. Seriously. It’s ruddy hilarious and you will never see Tic Tacs in the same way again…..

Nuts, nut butter and nut oils are generally high calorie, but as a vegetarian I don’t feel too bad about (moderate) consumption of them, due to all that proteiny goodness, and the fact that a little can go quite a long way. So when Nigel Slater popped this recipe onto the Observer website I rushed out to buy one of those pre-packed Stew Packs of root vegetables that appear magically in supermarkets this time of year.


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Cracking Cheese Gromits


….well that was an expensive few days. My PC died a sudden and terminal death last Sunday, and I’ve only just got a new one bought and set up. Most of the important stuff was backed up, and a techie friend of mine, bribed with mini-Toblerones, managed to rescue quite a lot off the hard disk as well. However the file-naming convention was completely borked by the crash, so I can look forward to spending many long Spring nights slowly identifying what files named 00000001111.pdf actually are.

And then probably deleting them anyway.

But I digress. I have new a new recipe for you!


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Mung Bean Hummus


Mung beans are bit of a vegetarian cliché, along with hemp sandals and people knitting their own muesli. As such I’ve always kind of avoided them. When my cupboard already contains chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, puy lentils, haricot beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, black beans, black-eye beans, borlotti beans, kidney beans and an undoubtedly very annoyed partridge in a pear-tree, mung beans have seemed an unnecessary addition. Plus, they don’t seem to be available canned which means the extra work and energy cost of soaking and boiling. But the below recipe convinced me to give it a go….


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Herby Chickpea Pancakes


….so obviously I had a major bereavement in December, and January’s been manic at work. So I booked off Friday afternoon and Monday, bit of a long weekend just to chill, get a few outstanding things done (broadband! broadband dammit!) and generally Not Be Dealing With Stressful Shit. So of course on Thursday night I just wandered innocently into the bathroom, and promptly got half a pint of cold water down the back of the neck. (And yes, I did scream like a girl).

The hot water boiler is located in a cavity above the bathroom, it is leaking slowly but steadily, and, once again, the bloody immersion heater has failed. I mean, as I rent I don’t have to pay for repairs, but it means 2/3 days without hot water and random men with toolkits stomping round the place. When I was hoping to spend a couple of days just sauntering round my flat in knickers and a t-shirt with a glass of something medicinal in my hand.

As consolation I treated myself to a version of these herby chickpea pancakes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and a Firefly marathon. I’ll be trying my hand at a mung-bean hummus shortly as well….


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