May. 15th, 2009 10:35 pm
radegund: (swan-head)
I was terribly clever with carrots the other night.

I peeled four or five large ones and chopped them into batons. I peeled a heeyewidge lump of ginger (almost the size of a small egg) and chopped it, also, into very tiny batons. Then I heated a goodly quantity of vegetable oil, sizzled a teaspoon of fennel seeds in it, added the carrot and ginger, plus salt, pepper and a small gollollop of honey, and fried rapidly until the carrots began to brown.


Odd thing is, I don't even like fennel seeds. Except I've started to use them in a couple of recipes, and I've found contexts where they work for me. In particular, the smell of fennel seeds frying on their own in oil is utterly delicious.

This has me all fired up, now, to conquer my remaining major food dislike: GRAPEFRUIT. Perhaps there's a way in which I can learn to love it too, after all these years.
radegund: (wine-pansy)
I've concocted two recipes in the last few weeks that worked really well.

Beany cottage pie )

Chicken stew )
radegund: (blue-pansy)
This evening I ate a BIG CHEESY DINNER for the first time in over a year. OH MILK, HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU!

It was a 'speriment. Fiachra has turned six months, and his gut lining may have matured enough to tolerate my eating dairy food.

So far, we haven't been able to tell if he has a sensitivity (he's had some intestinal discomfort following accidental milk-ingestion by me, but it's been unclear whether it's within his normal range). Therefore, rather than pussyfooting around with traces of butter here and crypto-yoghurt there, I decided to go for something unambiguous, to wit, a gougère made with butter and cheese. (Verily, there was NOMMING.)

There's also a chance I'll react myself, of course. Two hours on, no sign of anything untoward (or at least, no clear sign: I am, naturally, prophesying DOOM at every little burp...). Fiachra has obligingly refrained from teething this week, which should make things easier to interpret.

Now we play the waiting game.
radegund: (stone-sparkles)
The life of the Radzer has improved greatly since the Bad Wednesday of ill memory. Factors influencing this upturn in wellbeing include:

1. Oisín! He's great. He has a beautiful, slow, confiding smile that just whomps my heart whenever it's directed at me. He can wave bye-bye (although not always on cue); he can walk along the furniture; he can give you what he's holding when you ask him for it (and he's now even remembering to let go of it most of the time). He's fascinated by balls. They roll! They hit off each other and go in unexpected directions! He gives out this deep gut-chuckle when you blow raspberries on his neck or beep his nose or eat his fingers, and he loves playing frog-on-the-head (you'd have to be there ... maybe I should take some pictures). Also, alleluia, he's eating vegetables again (thanks, [ profile] ailbhe - your suggestion about consistency seems to have been the key: he doesn't like lumps). He'll be ten months old tomorrow, and I love him more fiercely than I would have believed possible.

2. [ profile] niallm! He's also great. We've had a fairly ropey week, sleep-wise, and he's been a rock and a pillar and a tower and ... maybe some other less phallic images of strength. On Saturday and Sunday he took the morning shift, allowing me to sleep on. There's nothing quite so stonkingly cool as the grin he sometimes gets from Oisín when he comes into view.

3. Delightful phone call with [ profile] glitzfrau on Thursday, in two phases, punctuated by an unheralded visit from a friend I hadn't seen in ages. It's good to talk to my old friends. I miss having people around who've known me for years - who remember what I was like when I was twenty - who get my in-jokes. [ profile] niallm has many excellent friends, with whom I love spending time, but nearly all of my crew have moved away from Dublin now, and I feel the lack of them. I went to bed on Thursday all happy and relaxed.

4. Denis Cotter, proprietor of Ireland's best vegetarian restaurant, the Café Paradiso in Cork city. More specifically, his recipe for lemon-chickpea pasta, from Paradiso Seasons. For two people, assemble 250g ribbony pasta, some cooked chickpeas (about half a 400g can, if you're using canned, which I did on Thursday), a bunch of flat parsley: tear off the leaves and finely chop any stalks that you consider tender enough, the rind of a lemon and the juice of half thereof, and a chunk of pecorino cheese (or other hard cheese, I suppose, but pecorino is DIVINE in this dish) - maybe about as much as you could comfortably close your fist around. Put lots of olive oil (like, 60ml) in a saucepan big enough to hold the cooked pasta. Add the chickpeas, parsley, lemon rind and lemon juice, and heat for a few minutes while you cook the pasta in another saucepan. Grate the cheese. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Mix in half of the grated cheese and some salt and pepper. Serve with the rest of the cheese on top. Die of the delish.

5. Doctor Whooooooooooooo! (We have our curmudgeonly reservations, but in general, eeeeeeeeeeee!)

6. My application to move to a four-day week has been approved! I'll start in July, for six months initially. The hope is that Oisín will be sleeping longer by then, but we'll see how it goes. Even better, the latest increases under Benchmarking and Sustaining Progress mean that the cut in my net salary is substantially less drastic than I'd feared.

7. [ profile] pleidhce's novel has arrived in the post! An actual, real-life, walking, talking, dancing book by one of my best friends! It can be done! (I'm crawling through the second draft of my front runner at the moment, and I need all the encouragement I can get...)

On a completely different note, why do I have the following rhyme prancing through the wastes of my sleep-deprived brain?

On old Olympus's torrid top,
A Finn and German picked some hops.

Is it real or did I make it up? A Google search has proved fruitless. Anyone?


radegund: (Default)

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