Life, photos but not the universe

stamps, chocolate and chilli

As I was typing a post just now, Barney appeared, beaming gently and said “it is I”.  This doesn’t mean he thinks I might have forgotten that he is who he is (not so unlikely as I seems to forget who almost everyone is these days).  It means he’d like me to set up a page for him to display stamps.

So while I faffed around with the template for penny black covers, he fried some potatoes in spices to have with the Kerala Chicken stew which I prepared earlier (well, I got it out of the freezer).  (Wow!  spellcheck knows how to spell Kerala).

As the Kerala chicken is quite mild, he fried the potatoes with quite a lot of chilli powder, which is fine.  Only I don’t think much of the chilli will be in the potato dish as most of it seemed to be floating on  the steam around the kitchen and indeed into the dining room (which is also my computer room and does all kinds of other jobs too – it’s a very useful room, usually an excellent place in which to hide from excess chilli ).  Came sounds of sneezing and coughing from the kitchen along with the very strong aroma, well  really a whole atmosphere, of chilli (with a hint of coriander and cumin and a dash of lemon).

Shortly after, Barney appeared, wreathed in chilli fumes, and attempted to dictate a lot of text about the Plate 1d Penny Black on a cover going from Broughton Ferry to Dundee.  There was a lot of coughing and spluttering and it was easier to read what he’d written than to do it straight.  And probably, the potato curry won’t make up for the mildness of the Kerala chicken because most of the heat is either in the dining room, the garden (opening the kitchen window became an urgent requirement for him in the kitchen who wanted to breathe) or in his chest.  I always find it’s a good idea to turn the heat down a lot before adding chilli powder to a fry up but then I’m not as hardy as some.  Now Barney has found it convenient to go and watch TV while I heat up the chicken and the rice but that’s just because he’s done his bit.  Nothing to do with escaping from the chilli.  Not at all.

It was delicious and delicately and pleasantly spicy.

Speaking of wonderful smells (wasn’t I?) that was last week and as I’ve been G’baby minding today, Barney’s cooking again.  I left a vague suggestion for him, should he wish to accept it, involving chicken, mustard, wine and créme fraiche.  It seems he accepted most of it, though he didn’t say what he’d missed out, and the smell is driving me wild.  He says it can simmer for a long time but honestly, I’m not sure I can wait!  And did I mention that he made Duck confit for my birthday dinner?  That was pretty wonderful too and the girls both made chocolate cakes (lack of communication there.  But one came with Grand Marnier and the other with a choc-coffee ganache*;  yummy x 2).  And as I write, he’s phoning a local pub to book us a table for the ‘Office Party’.  Well it’s not often that all six of us actually meet, about once a year in fact at the christmas party.  Us rural types quite like to have an annual pause in the oo-arr lifestyle and get together over a gourmet pub dinner.

We’re a funny bunch.  Barney is a Maths graduate  turned thatcher, me, well you know what I am, Dave is a genuine, been-in-the-family-for-generations-traditional thatcher, his wife is the daughter of a Scottish millionaire, Jack the lad (no longer the apprentice) is a world beating fisherman (really – he’s been to America and Canada and won prizes) and his girlfriend has a very rich step father*.  I must add that all three blokes are ever so good-looking and in the past, when Barney was just beginning to go dashingly grey and Dave was quite gypsy-ishly black haired and swarthy, customers often assumed that they were father and son.  Since Jack is blonde and rosy-cheeked I guess the customers must think he’s a happy accident.

Anyway, Barney is mashing things.  And complaining about putting the celeriac through a sieve.  (My fault – I don’t believe in mashed celeriac). In case you didn’t notice, I’m ever so hungry.  Ravenous even.  Probably we can watch Master Chef while we eat – but what’s on our plates (now I’ve intervened in the matter of the celeriac) would be good enough to put in front of Michele any day (as long as it was his day off).



Oops!  Pressed publish instead of save while dreaming about butter cream.  I think I need chocolate cake.

*Of course in my day we called that buttercream.  But it’s just as good as any rose.

**Dreadfully lax characterisation there but over the years (and only once a year) I’ve met so many apprentices’ girlfriends that they all run into each other.

December 6, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. The cooking sounds wonderful…but isn’t it Broughty Ferry? Sorry, I’m a nitpicker.

    Comment by rosie | December 6, 2012 | Reply

  2. cooking and more cooking, it’s a thing I can’t get excited about, I wish I could. I can get excited about someone cooking for me though. And chocolate cake is also quite exciting.
    The pictures are as evocative as ever, sigh, just beautiful.
    How about some indoor pictures of chilli mist and spluttering?

    Comment by Zig | December 6, 2012 | Reply

  3. Oh yes of course it is rosie. I think I blame spell check for that one. More chocolate cake needed.

    Sorry about that Zig. It was just the hunger that made food start pouring out of the keyboard. Metaphorically anyway.

    Comment by Mig | December 7, 2012 | Reply

  4. Wow–talk about a foreign language! LOL I don’t speak any of it. But I’m almost sure if I ask himself he’ll begin drooling and I’ll get absolutely NOwhere. *sigh* You know I don’t cook…..but did you know I have no started? Basic stuff to toss in a pot and call a meal, dontchaknow……I was starting to feel bad for he-who-prepares-every-meal never getting a break.
    *laughing!!!* He’s gonna insist I DON’T pretty soon, I’m sure of it!

    Wow what amazing photos–I love the first one with the back trees all blurred. Very cool.

    Comment by Mel | December 10, 2012 | Reply

  5. If he-who-prepares is anything like He-who-does-it-here Mel, you don’t need to worry. I’m losing control of our (my) kitchen here. I can’t wait for the evenings to get longer so he’s too tired to take over when he gets home!

    Comment by Mig | December 11, 2012 | Reply

  6. I like the thought of a man who annouces himsel..
    and gypsy Thatchers and cherubs going about eating chocolate cake?
    Oh my!

    Comment by illuminary | January 3, 2013 | Reply

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