Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bloat Sunday ...

Well, that's a bit of a b'stard: bloody Blogger has gone and lost my draft. Given how interesting it all was, should be easy to redo it you'd think - like hell. Really don't know what's happened to my memory, seems to be going down the tubes like that thingy you get. To do with aluminium ions. Or something, sounds like Alzheimers. Whatever.

Anyway, I know I've spoken before about dying hard drives: a right bugger. To date that's three LaCies that have carked it, now a Western Digital has joined the flock. It's the bloody micro USB connecter that's gone, I'm sure of it: if you hold it in just the right position with an ant turning tricks on the USB cable it will work; when the ant gets too shagged out Windows informs me that "this device could work faster if plugged into a USB2.0 hub", and offers to format it for me.

Format it? When there's two years of purloined TV series on the thing? Does Windows take me for an idiot (please do not answer that)? So what do you do? You copy it, slowly, with a supply of fresh lascivious ants close to hand, that's what.

And when that's done, I swear I am going to get myself one of those universal disk to USB adapters, and I will remove the guts from the frikkin' WD drive and plug it in, and I will do it all again, just to be sure. Because you never know when you might want to go back and watch episode 3 of the second season of Californication.

(Later ... having put a screwdriver to its god-given porpoise ie levering the case open - a screwdriver is better than a hammer for that sort of delicate operation, in my experience, although a power drill has its proponents -  I discover that inside the little plastic box there is in fact a WD hard drive with a scary yellow notice on it saying "Do NOT cover any drive holes". Just what does that mean, I wonder?)

Hubris has finally caught up with me: after all these weeks of fine weather the sky finally exploded the other night. After a couple of afternoons with great grey clouds floating about in a vaguely menacing manner before buggering off to annoy someone else they finally got their act together.

I was down in what I now have to call the paddock ('cos it surely isn't lawn) and the clouds were massing and all of a sudden there was this lovely silvery curtain of rain, coming across and down the great V in between the Col du Frêne and the Arclusaz, as the wind got up and it started to rain acacia blossoms all around. Times like that, if you don't want a sudden cold shower, you run for the house.

And right now, the clouds have come down to about 500m and it's grey and dismal. Which meant that Sophie's barbecue was a bit of a washout: I'd just got my feet inside when the heavens burst. Still, on the bright side I did get to try out a recipe I'd been thinking about for a while.

The idea came to me (as these things often do) as I was propping up a table outside Le Modesto, sipping a glass of white for lunch the other day, and I noticed a couple of people eating their salad with grilled goat's cheese on toast. At which point one just has to ask oneself something along the lines of "how can I get chicken breasts in there?"

Do not, by the way, ask for sein de poulet, at the butchers or in a restaurant: you will get looked at sideways. Even if that is the literal translation. Pigs, and other quadrupeds, can have a poitrine, but your poor chicken is stuck with having a blanc or, if you're being posh, perhaps a suprême. Reflecting on the matter, I suspect it's probably the same for lizards, and others of that ilk. A nipple thing, I think.

But I digress. The thought that came to me then was that it might be a really good idea to pan-fry a couple of chicken breasts (or if it's a young, guaranteed female chook, chicken fillettes - as I remember they proudly announced outside a Taupo restaurant many years ago) until nicely golden, then slice them on the diagonal, put them back together with a slice of goat's cheese between each slice of meat, then drizzle honey and mustard over the lot and grill them to death.

General consensus: it was, in fact, a really good idea. Une tuerie, in Sophie's words, with a little salad with balsamic vinegar dressing. Although should I ever get around to making it again, I shall have to find a slightly more assertive cheese. And just possibly, a little bit of confiture de figues - or perhaps, in season, slices of fresh figs in there with the cheese. Perhaps I should go and lie down for a bit.

On the other hand, don't ever bother asking adolescents for food criticism. They seem  perfectly happy to scarf up anything that doesn't move and happens to be within a 1m radius from their mouths, and it doesn't appear to matter what it is. Kind of sad, really.

I found Lucas out in the kitchen with a slab of bread, happily hoovering up any stray traces of caramelised honey and mustard. Why he didn't just lick the dish I've no idea: seems it's not polite.

Malyon has, unfortunately, made me aware of a cookbook I think I shall definitely not get: "Cooking with Semen", or Things To Do With Sperm. There are some things even I do not want to know about, although there is a certain ghastly fascination to the idea. I can feel my mind nibbling at the edges, kind of like a dog that's found something really gross.

She also tried to explain osmosis to me, and why sea fish are dehydrated. I must admit that I failed to see the point, in fact I rather made light of the whole matter, which seemed to annoy her a bit. That's what you get for trying to educate your parents.

Took her off to see our old friend Jacques up in the Maurienne today, and I have to admit that it damned near finished me off. After the rosé at Sophie's Saturday midday, and then the whisky as apéro followed by wine with dinner last night with friends, Jacques had the brilliant idea of preparing a little casse-croute for us.

A good thing he didn't go all out, for there were asperges blanches with mayonnaise, radishes from the garden, a little salad of lumpfish eggs with crab, stuffed mushrooms and a lapin en gelée, then cheese (the tomme crayeuse absolutely sublime), and tarte aux framboises and strawberries, then cherries - all washed down with a burgundy and when that had disappeared, a little Corsican patrimonio.

And then people wonder why the French don't get about much on a Sunday.


  1. Inquiring minds are wondering when Malyon will start her own blog.

  2. Enquiring minds can bloody well ask her themselves. Try Facebook.

  3. Is she on Facebook? I couldn't find her last time I looked - need some family to pad out the 'friends' list!

  4. What is this "facebook" whereof you speak?