Tag Archive: relaxing

Sunday Slap-Dash

No burning penises or loose testicles in this post, if that’s what turns you on (must be I got so many likes on the last two posts) then I suggest you desist now before disappointment sets in and becomes a moribund fascination…

Sunday is a day to relax.

Unless of course you are religiously tainted, then its a mad panic to scrub the kids and make them look presentable before heading of to church to be relieved of the horrendous angst accumulated through the week. Then you don’t get a chance to relax


Great Chilean plonk

But on Sunday I have the luxury of relaxing, because I am not so tainted.

I have blogged today, I have napped today, I have watered the plants today and I have turned the compost over… This is called relaxing.

Having had a replete morning relaxing, I decided on lunch; which one tends to do if one missed breakfast. Well, I had three steaming mugs of coffee.

With my thoughts turned toward lunch, I remembered a recipe I saw yesterday on Kitchen Ventures. I had some of the ingredients, and had to improvise on others.

Prosciutto, for example became bacon.

Asparagus retained its original identity, albeit from a jar.

I didn’t have any wild mushrooms, but they were pretty pissed off by the time I put them in the pan.

Heavy cream became, well, cream.

White wine became a Chilean Cocha y Toro Riesling.

The rest of the ingredients more or less resembled themselves.

The first step in my Seared Prosciiuttoless Asparagus etc… was the wine. The chosen wine needs to breathe. So, open the wine and check; if it’s not breathing, give it mouth to bottle resuscitation.

what i started with

what I started with

I like cooking with wine. As on this occasion, sometimes I even add it to the food.

Once one has ascertained that the wine is, in fact, breathing. One slices good thick rashers off the block of bacon and cooks off to a crisp orangy-goldy colour, which is about the stage before burnt-to-a-crisp.

Take the bacon out and set aside.


Add oniony garlicky mushroomy things to bacon fat with a sprinkle of rosemary.


Stuff in the pan

Cooked off to golden colour, add wine… add a splash more just to be sure.

Reduce… (that does NOT mean tasting it yet!)

While that is reducing, layer the asparagus on the bacon in the tray.

Check that the wine is still alive.

Add pseudo ‘thick cream’, stir, while it thickens a bit, make toast. (Yes, I know this wasn’t in the original recipe!)

Pour sauce over asparagus and bacon, allowing the hot sauce to reheat the bacon and asparagus.


Offending mixture

Divide off about half the offending mixture and serve on hot buttered toast.

It is about this time that the remaining wine, whether breathing or not, should be dispatched humanely and put out of its misery.

That is a slap-dash, because everything is slapped in the pan with a dash of this and a dash of that. You’ll notice that I haven’t included measurements; if you know what you are doing, they’re irrelevant.

Consume ravishingly while watching The Incredibles. I don’t have cable so I had no choice. The wine makes them bearable.

The rest of the day to relax…

Later, much later.

Beef, Beer & Bunny Food

Even work doesn't interfere with Hump Day

Even work doesn’t interfere with Hump Day

Hump Day, what better way to get over the hump than with a big juicy steak, grilled mushrooms, salad and beer for lunch?

Unless you are an elephant, of course, there are better ways.

This morning while making coffee, I filled the sugar jar, then I filled the salt jar… guess what I put in my first coffee of the day?

A nasty shock for Hump Day.

The rest of the week is downhill, weekend starts on Friday at 10am for me. No complaints here.

A Church warden

A Church warden

Something that I have failed to mention about me here. I smoke a pipe from time to time. A frequent commenter on one of my blogs mentioned smoking a pipe as a relaxation and I admitted that I had neglected to mention my pipe-smoking habit which is one I started at the age of seventeen when I was the proud possessor of a Churchwarden pipe. The pipe I use today is much more conventional and less ostentatious. But to sit at the botequim with a beer, charging my pipe and chug away while watching the world go by on a Sunday afternoon is just so relaxing.

My student just rang, he wants to swap hours with the next student so he gets to watch the Brazil vs Uruguay game in the semi-final. I plan to see most of the game at a bar near the course. I’ll miss the last 15 minutes and extra time and/or penalties if there is a draw. Of course it would have been nice if he cancelled… then I would have seen the whole game, like last week.

This game won’t be an easy one, Uruguay has a strong attack, but Brazil could be compensated in that they have a weak defense. I am picking 2-1 to Brazil.

Sunny day here, not hot, pleasant after a string of cool days, but I fear the sour weather that is in São Paulo will arrive here overnight and make a wet day tomorrow.

Must go and give bones to the neighbour’s dog, and blog right along.



I’ve got Polygonum cuspidatum

Yes, I have; and if you had it, you’d be as worried as I am.

Japanese Knotweed

That’s it. Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), I’ve got it and if I hadn’t read about on The Guardian, I’d have never known it.

It’s an invasive species brought from Asia as an ornamental.

Then they found that once you got it… you’ve got it.

Apparently, this plant is so dangerous, that if there is any sign on your property, mortgage holders aren’t interested. In fact, if there is any sign in your neighborhood, they will not be interested.

It grows from it’s root system, and it’s root system is the problem, it can damage foundations and once established the root system is so wide spreading that it’s difficult to get rid of.

Yesterday was another BBQ.

This time Reimundo’s (the owner of the botequim) birthday. I got rather involved, hence the lack of a Sunday Travel post.

It all started like this…

Walk into the botequim at 11:30 “Good morning Reimundo, happy birthday!” He is twenty years my junior.

The greeting was returned as he served me a bottle of beer, got a chilled glass from the freezer and put the bottle in a camisinha; all without asking, this was normal. I absently-minded said nothing.

I poured my beer. Then I thought…

Conversation continued.

“Today is Sunday?” I asked.


“We are in Brazil?”

“Still,” Reimundo confirmed. He is a man of few words.

“I didn’t come here to drink beer,” I said, “I came to wish you happy birthday and then go and buy a loaf of bread.”

Reimundo laughed.

“Be careful about getting older,” I said, good advice for a birthday.

It was then that Reimundo informed me that the BBQ guy hadn’t arrived and he wanted to get the BBQ going.

No, problem, I volunteered to get things moving until Val arrived.

There were a lot of locals around, who watched me with interest. I lit the BBQ using my time honoured method of ripped cardboard. Ronaldo told me to use alcohol, never, this was cheaper. I soon had the BBQ glowing, much to Ronaldo’s surprise.

Still no Val.

Got meat and sausages on and in the space of 20 minutes had the first tray of BBQed meat circulating the locals. Many expressed surprise at how fast I had got things moving.

“I’m old, not slow!” I said turning a large slab of pork leg on the grill.

My kitchen pocket knife

So that’s where I stayed until Val arrived well more than an hour later. I handed him my kitchen pocket knife and steel, told him it was sharp and got another beer to relax.

And that’s what I did. Relax and savour the meat tray as it was passed around.

In fact I was still relaxing at 8:30pm after having shared 3 bottles of wine with the ‘ladies table.’

In most countries, the ladies gather together in the kitchen at parties. In Brazil they tend to gravitate toward one table.

Finally, I stopped relaxing and went home. Read my e-mails through drooping eyelids and decided sleep was the next move.


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