Triumph and falafel

Next month the family is making its way down to Essex for the weekend on account of Cora having won the regional final of a speaking competition which is due to culminate in a national final sometime in May in Brentford. I am looking forward to the weekend in Essex but feel honour-bound to keep reminding the daughter that there is no carer in the law.

With the triumph half in mind I set about cooking for Sunday lunch something that would appeal.The obvious thing to have done would be to have made a vast plate of noodles with … with… no.. there would have been no need for anything else…noodles by themselves would have done.

So we had stuffed pitta bread instead. A favourite meal!

Cora would probably have been happy if she could have stuffed the pitta with a couple of pieces of fried chicken and some yogurt and cheese, but we did better than that.

In the International Store yesterday I had picked up a half leg of lamb off the bone. This was slathered in garlic, paprika and olive oil, left for an hour or so and then roasted for about the same time.

A mass of salad type ingredients was then chopped up fine including radish, red onion, rocket, garlic, cucumber and tomato. This was left to cool for an hour whilst the lamb was cooking.

I then made the falafels.


Potato cakes with goat cheese

In the pond with the frog spawn and the black dot in the middle of each egg has grown and started to thin out. As I walked up to the pond there was the noise of something puling back under the water but I was too slow to see what it was.

Despite the frost one morning last week it is starting to feel warmer outside and the light has changed – as if the extra few hours of sun at the beginning and the end of the day has somehow made the day brighter – scrubbed away some of the grey and the wet.

There was some mashed potato left over from last nights supper so I used it to make four potato cakes stirring into the potatoes some chopped chives, parsley and spring onions and a small half block of soft goat cheese all with plenty of pepper. I then used my hands to squeeze it all together and shaped them into four cakes.

I fried them in bacon grease using the same pan I had used for breakfast and we ate them with sausages.

Queens of rock and roll

Ten or so years ago Greil Marcus described them as America’s best rock band. Time has moved on since then and we have all grown a little older, so could he still be right.
As it happens there is the posibility he might be.
I saw Sleater Kinney last night. I had been a fan back when Greil Marcus was saying his stuff and The Woods was my favourite album of that year. But they had faded away after for a while and the CD of The Woods ended up on a shelf out of reach and it was years since I had listened to them.
But then news started to filter through that they were playing again and about to release some more music and so I found the shelf that The Woods had been lurking on and the LPs that were in the attic and listened to them all over again.
If your rock music is going to be the best then it needs to be loud and flashy and offer the hope of redemption and release. Sleater Kinney delivered all that and added some feral, carnal desire to go on top with added scissor kicks.
Ten years ago the only competition, to my mind was another all female band, Electralane, strange that they also faded from view and a pity that they are not up there still battling it out for the top place.
But now as we live through a time when the biggest band in the world is apparently One Direction we need a time and a place where a couple of thousand people can watch three  women pummel hard at guitars and drums creating a scratchy urgent punk rock. Punk, not because its three chords and nowhere to go, but punk because it is putting together noise and ideas.
The noise and ideas were put together last night and as they collided we found ourselves watching yet again America’s best rock band.

Glory be to God for dappled things

If there was a top list of unexpected sights then me on a bike might be up there in the top four or five. Despite that I managed an hour on the back of one this afternoon.

I was obliged to drop a child off in Caldy for three hours of swimming lessons so I shoved into the back of the car the now slightly rusty and cranky bike I bought more than ten years ago.

I left the car in West Kirby and started on the bike. I think, so far as bikes are concerned, so long as it is flat I feel reasonably comfortable. This may be part of the Dutch heritage. So  I was okay on the Wirral Way, a straight flat line of track with nothing to avoid but people.

The ride took me up to views over the Dee Estuary which was in full tide. Strange to see fishing boats out there.

Back at home we had chicken in a tomatoey, vinegar sauce courtesy of Simon Hopkinson.