Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Soup with Sherry

The sound of mechanical engineering in action comes from the kitchen.
"Do you think," Herself shouts into the other room, "Do you think there are enough mushrooms in this to serve six?"
I drag myself away from the search for a point to the WALL-E movie to peer at the replica Sugar Loaf Mountain in white mushrooms lying amid an absolute chaos of onion peelings and stock cube wrappers and a blotted inkjet printed Internet recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup to grunt something non-commital but hopefully encouraging.
Herself waves the shiny new hand blender at me.
"Do you know where the green bowl is? The one I used for the Christmas trifle?"
I sniff the air and home in on the substitute trifle bowl, a brown one, where a mashed up sponge cake is marinading to death in Harvey's Bristol Cream.
"Sorry, I haven't seen it."
Herself looks at the recipe.
"It serves four. Will there be enough for six?"
"Just double everything. You might end up with too much, but you won't have too little."
"I could just add some milk to the cream. Or water."
The adage about too many cooks comes to mind and I leave her to it. I tidy out the fridge of expired vegetables and out of date yoghurts adding in more soft drinks for our guests who'll be arriving tomorrow afternoon for a New Year's Day tea.
In clearing up, I find the green bowl, sitting amid biscuit tins and tea cake boxes in the middle of the table. For an inanimate object, it looks distinctly smug. It's had a near miss: Herself likes sherry trifle to be heavy on sherry and this time the brown bowl is having to swallow the medicine instead.
Herself waves vaguely to her side of the kitchen.
"Don't bother clearing up over here," she says, as if I'd be brave enough to start moving things while she's cooking. "I'm still using things."
"Here," she says, proffering a white hot spoon from the very depths of the pot. "Try it."
I take the spoon, knowing if I don't manoeuvre it personally, it'll brand a neat oval shape on my lower lip. I blow on it and sip the half cooked soup.
"Does it taste of mushrooms?"
It does. In fact, it's delicious.
"It'll take ten minutes more of simmering," she says. "Will we have a sherry?"
So we join the brown bowl in marinading ourselves in Harvey's Bristol Cream and ponder the good things a while.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New year a-comin'

We've had a tender and mild Christmas in 2008, with the irritant that I picked up a grusome cold with a cough about three weeks before and am only now getting through the other end of it.

It hasn't been a great year for us, my teeth playing merry hell for most of 2008, losing my father towards the end of July (and the teeth.... he paid for the job to be done before he died). We also lost a favourite pussy cat to old age, after nearly 17 years, around Halloween. So Christmas was planned as a strictly winding down event, but as I mentioned that didn't even work out too well and Herself had to shoulder most of the burden of festive things.

Of course, we had many blessings too -- our family grew with the addition of a grandaughter who'll be a year old in March! Her big brother (aged 3) has taken to her very well indeed and he continues to be a joy. The rest of the family is generally hale and hearty and we'll be catching up with them all at various times in the New year.

I got paid for role-playing writing for the first time in over a decade -- $10, a cheque I haven't cashed but will probably keep as a souvenir. And I took a left turn in Second Life by starting a Dungeons & Dragons group in there. We play every Thursday. People pretending to be people pretending to be people....!

So New Years Eve looks like beers and waiting for Jules Holland's annual tv programme. We have folk over on New Year's Day for dins, then I have the game in the evening and back to work on Friday.

No, I didn't get the Friday off. Is it too late for a "Bah! Humbug!"?

Hope you've had a nice Christmas and that you can look forward to a comfortable and happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008