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Posts Tagged ‘food’

  1. Ten things that make me happy

    May 14, 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – Ten things that make you really happy

    1) Cocktails

    Cocktails

     

    I do love a nice cocktail. It’s a real treat to have one when you get home from work. Or when it gets to cocktail hour at the weekend. Or before you go out. Or if you go into the kitchen and forget what you went in for so you just make a cocktail because that’s as good a reason as any.

    2) Cocktail sausages

    Cocktail_sausages_m

    Thinking about cocktails has reminded me that I also LOVE cocktail sausages. I have a real problem with them. I could just eat and eat and eat them until I’m sick and I’d still want to eat more. I love them when they’re really cold, and when they don’t taste too much like real sausages but more like artificial bread and meat confections. They don’t have to have sticks in them; in fact they’re better without as they just slow you down. Oh god I love them. I just want to cram more and more of them into my face until the tears start to flow down my cheeks except it’s not tears it’s sausage grease.

    3) The opening bars of Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx

    This song never fails to make me happy. The beat just makes me want to dance, and when I hear the first couple of bars in a club bitches better make way because the dancefloor is MINE. It was also our first dance at our wedding, so hearing it will always bring back lots of happy memories.

    4) A nice cup of tea

    Cup of tea with a biscuit

    I do regard having a cup of tea as a bit of a treat. It’s just so warm and cosy and it makes me feel good inside. What? That’s not weird. Go away and leave me alone with my tea, you.

    5) A jacket potato with baked beans and cheese

    Various

     

    Speaking of things which are all warm and make me feel good inside, few meals are as satisfying as a nice jacket potato. It’s like a beansy, cheesey, potato hug. I love it.

    6) Grey joggers

    Grey joggers

    Speaking further of things which make me feel warm inside, PRAISE THE LORD for grey joggers. They’re just so clingy and indiscreet, and they have livened up many a walk on the beach for me. They make me very happy indeed.

    7) Waking up without a hangover on a Sunday

    happy_2

    Having a hangover on Sundays probably shouldn’t be the norm in my life, but let’s face it, it totally is. It happens so often that on the weekends where I don’t have a hangover I wake up and think ‘Oh. Well this is pleasant.’ You can actually just… do stuff on a Sunday, before 3pm, without having a headache, or feeling sick, or wanting to die. It’s marvellous.

    8) Adding my savings up

    Savings

    I’ve always liked counting my money. As a child I had a locking savings box in the shape of a pirate’s treasure chest. It even had a secret drawer in the bottom for putting EXTRA SECRET savings in. I loved it, and I loved getting all the money out and counting it up. What’s the point in saving if you’re not going to count it in little piles like a Victorian workhouse owner? And then when you’ve finished counting it you put it back in the treasure chest where it belongs.

    9) Putting things in alphabetical order

    AlphabeticalOrder

    On a similar note, I love putting things in alphabetical order. It’s so satisfying. Chris asked me to do him a favour and put the 100 references at the end of his masters dissertation into alphabetical order for him, and he said ‘Sorry, I know it’s boring, but you’re quicker at it than me’. Little did he know, I LOVED IT and quite wanted him to muddle them all up again afterwards so I could do it again.

    10) Being praised

    Pomeranian-11

    I love getting praised and I’ll fish for it shamelessly like a whoreish pomeranian. Sometimes when I’m halfway through something at work but it isn’t quite finished yet, I’ll take it to show my boss so they can praise me and tell me how good it is so far, because then I know they’ll have to do it again when it’s finished, so I get double. I like everyone to realise how clever I am and then say so repeatedly. One of the things I miss most about being in education is submitting something to be marked and the feeling of validation you get when it comes back with a good grade on it. I just want to be told I’m a good boy and have chocolate buttons thrown into my mouth.

     


  2. What I do

    May 6, 2013 by superlative

    Blog every day in May topic – If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

    Hmm, this is a tricky one. What do any of us do, apart from our jobs or being in education? I just added it up and going to work (including travel and lunch hours and things) takes up just under half of my waking hours each week. It actually feels like far more than that so I’m a bit surprised, but I suppose you can’t argue with a calculator. So anyway, if I eliminate those hours I’m left with sleeping and whatever I do in between sleeping and going to work. I’m not putting sleeping as my answer, so here are some of the things that I do when I’m not sleeping and not at work and that make up who I am:

    I eat
    I love eating, and I really love eating out. If I could afford it and it wouldn’t make me massive, I’d eat out every single day. I like eating with friends, and finding new and delicious things and then eating them as often as possible. I don’t really cook very much, but I bake a bit and I like that you get a nice cake as a reward for your hard work when you do it.

    I drink cocktails
    I probably drink a bit more than I should, but I do like a nice cocktail after work or at the weekends. We have a bar area in our kitchen and I get quite excited when I see Chris is doing something over there as it might mean I’m going to get a drink in a minute. Sometimes when I’m sitting on the sofa a Martini will just materialise over my shoulder (the kitchen is behind me) and I am informed that it is Cocktail Hour. Who wouldn’t love that?

    I learn bits of languages then stop and pick a different one
    Languages used to be my major passion, but I don’t do this one quite as much as I used to. I do still love them though, and I’ve started lots of different languages over the years. The beginners bit of learning a language is the easy bit you can do on your own, and I generally learn enough to be able to talk a little bit about myself and to get the gist of simple texts and to understand how the grammar works. The grammar is the bit I like best really, and once you understand that you only need a dictionary to be able to make your way through most texts, even if you have to go really slowly. I find there is only so far you can go with self study though, so unless I do a proper course in a language I tend to stall at this point and then just start another one a little while later. The only language I’d say I really speak properly is French, and I can sort of wing it in Italian as long as they don’t say anything unexpected. I don’t mind that I’m not brilliant at any of the others though, it’s the learning of them that I like rather than their usage anyway.

    I look after Chris
    This is a bit of a funny one, because Chris doesn’t really need any looking after. He’s very low maintenance generally. I try to make sure I look after him a bit though and I devote quite a bit of energy to considering what might make him happy. I help him with things, just little jobs and favours really, as much as I can, so that he thinks that I’m useful and worth having around for a bit longer. I’m the only one who knows how to work our washing machine, and I’m holding that as my trump card as I’m sure he can’t do without that. If they ever invent a voice activated washing machine I’m fucked.

    I support my Mum (and Dad)
    This takes up more of my time than it really should. If my Mum is stressed or anxious, she rings me up. If she needs something looked up on the internet, she rings me up. If she’s bored or bickering with my Dad, she rings me up. If her printer won’t turn on, she rings me up. I’ve tried to be as kind and helpful as I can to them, and to be a supportive son since Mum got ill about 12 years ago, but I’ve sort of turned myself into a crutch for them and that’s probably not very good as I don’t know how they’d manage without me now. Mum says ‘I don’t know how I’d manage without you’ to me quite often, so it’s true. They would just manage, of course, because people’s stress expands as far as the people who will listen to it. People come to rely on however much support is available to them. But if I’m talking about what I ‘do’, I do this quite a lot.

    I administrate things
    I look after a lot of the administrative things in our life, and I wouldn’t want to give up control of them even if I could. I sort out the bills, I did all the mortgage and legal stuff when we bought our flat, I research where we can get the best rate on our savings and then move them around when needed. I could easily steal all of Chris’ money if I wanted to, because he trusts that I’ll put it somewhere safe and give it back to him if he asks for it. I like putting things in alphabetical order and arranging books on shelves (the correct way is to pull them all forwards until they are all flush with one another – none of this some shoved in more than others business). I suppose part of me doing all this is related to the section above about looking after Chris, because his job means he can’t make phone calls in the day or look things up on the internet whenever he wants, so it makes sense for me to do it. But also I just LIKE it. I like order. That’s why I like grammar – it’s ordered, and all the words have to line up in their proper places or be executed by red pen firing squad. I used to work in a library, and after university I was an administrator for quite a few years, and it suited me.

    So what do I do? I eat nice things and drink nice things and sit with Teach Yourself Swedish on my lap. In between I file things and look things up and try to help the people I love by offering them administrative services. I don’t think I’ve ever summed myself up better in two sentences.


  3. So long, disappointing gravy train

    December 10, 2010 by superlative

    Yesterday was my office Christmas lunch, where we all swan off for the afternoon to a restaurant and enjoy a three-course meal together and then don’t bother going back to work. Up until now, and somewhat unusually in my opinion, this has always been paid for by my employer, which gives the slightly bizarre situation of me getting a free meal and actually being PAID for the time it takes me to eat it.

    But alas, in these times of stringent funding for Higher Education the university has finally twigged that this is probably a rather expensive treat for its 2,500 staff, and they have pulled the rug from the funding. They tried to pull it for this year but were a bit slow off the mark, so most offices have still gone out for a meal on the understanding that it’s the last year it’s going to be paid for. I don’t mind really, because before working here I’d always just paid for my own Christmas lunch at work and never thought twice about it. The only reason it’s a bit of a shame is that they do basically nothing else here to reward staff, and so £25 a head once a year is in my opinion a fairly cheap way of thanking people for working hard. But anyway, it’s done now, and so the gravy train has chuffed off into the sunset.

    This year we went to the Seven Dials Restaurant, and had some pretty good food overall. Inevitably some people found things to complain about (how can you complain about food you’re being paid to eat??) but I almost always like the food I’m given, so I was quite happy.

    I enjoyed chicken liver parfait with fig marmalade and brioche:

    And then a GORGEOUS beef brisket with horseradish mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. The potato looks a bit like an egg here, but I can assure you it was potato.

    And then dessert was a white chocolate panna cotta with dark chocolate ice cream. The ice cream could have been slightly better presented so it didn’t look like dung, but it still tasted nice.

    I don’t think my food was as good as last year to be honest (see Yummy Tin Drummy), but lots of people hated that meal for some reason. Something about too much salt I believe, not that I could taste any salt after four glasses of wine.

    After our meal we generally go for some drinks afterwards at whatever pubs are nearby, and unfortunately it always ends up slightly disappointing (sorry anyone who works with me who is reading this, but you know the drinks this year were disappointing, it’s not just me). We’re quite a disparate group in many ways and we don’t socialise often, so it’s hard for people to get enthusiastic and excitable when we do. It also doesn’t help that our Christmas lunches are invariably on a Wednesday afternoon, and no pubs are exactly banging at 4pm on a Wednesday. So we had a couple of drinks in a near-silent pub near Brighton station, and then people started to drift off to go to the shops or pick up kids or just because they’re not particularly big drinkers anyway. People always seem to look forward to our Christmas meals, and talk it up as though it’s going to be a big night out, and I know I always have high expectations myself, but then it just kind of… tails off, once people realise it’s no longer working hours and they’re not obliged to be there.

    I think a large part of the problem is we have no one who’s really loud and really bubbly in the office. You know the kind of person – the one who’s actually a bit annoying when you’re not in the mood for it, but who will crash through any awkward silences in the pub and gee people along into having a good time whether they want to or not. We’re all a bit quieter than that, and so it doesn’t get going properly.

    I’m quite jealous of Chris and his workmates in comparison; he only started his new job two and a half months ago, and he’s already been on a raucous night out with them and they have a big party thing planned for their end of term. I think it’s nice when you have that social relationship with your colleagues, or at least with some of them, but it’s very apparent here that everyone likes each other, gets on really well, but no one particularly wants to spend any of their free time doing anything together. Apart from our Christmas meals we’ve had about two evenings out together in the three years I’ve worked here.

    But ho hum, never mind. People have other priorities I suppose, and a team of about 10 isn’t all that big for organising social functions.

    I’m not sure what’ll happen for our Christmas meal next year now. Will people be prepared to pay for their own? There was cautious talk of making it an evening affair when it was mentioned this year, but I reckon it’ll be hard to pin everyone down to an evening they’re prepared to give up for it. So we’ll have to see. And least if it were in the evening we wouldn’t end up in an empty pub with a bored-looking landlady and then find ourselves back at home by 6pm.


  4. So much yummy food stuffed into my face

    January 31, 2010 by superlative

    I’ve had such a nice weekend. It started off with a little bit of a wobble, but after that it has been great, and I must have consumed about 60,000 calories in the last 24 hours.

    The initial wobble was Friday night when we went to try a new club night called Don’t Stop Believin. It was the same club night we went to for New Year’s Eve, which they have now tried to turn into a regular Friday night thing. It’s run by Dynamite Sal, whom we know quite well really (to chat to at least) as we’ve been going to her club nights for more than 10 years. That makes me feel quite old to say that actually. Anyway, it was at The Jam, the same as before, and we thought we’d give it a try.
    Unfortunately, although the music was alright really, it ended up being really empty. It was freezing cold in there, possibly not helped by the lack of people, and while there were quite a few people in the bar upstairs, no one was coming downstairs to dance. So we kept our coats on (because of the cold), had a bit of a dance, and then bailed out by 12.30. I feel a bit sorry for Sal, but maybe it will pick up a bit after a couple of weeks, and when it’s not so freezing cold outside.
    We had friends coming down on Saturday, so I had to drag myself out of bed with a bit more of a hangover than I was expecting yesterday in order to do the dusting and hoovering. Fortunately for me they were a bit later than they expected, so I had time for a nap and to make myself look presentable before they arrived. We’ve known these friends for about five years now, having met them on our first holiday to Gran Canaria, and we have a lovely relaxed, flirty sort of relationship with them.
    So anyway, the first part of my massive calorie overload was last night, when we had a few glasses of wine at home before going out for dinner. I can highly recommend Old Telegraph Shiraz which our friends brought for us, as it was DELICIOUS. I don’t usually buy Shiraz as I think it’s too dark for me, but this had a really lovely chocolatey flavour to it. Then after my chocolate-flavoured red wine we went to Cafe Rouge, where I gorged myself on deep-fried Camembert with red current sauce, followed by confit de canard in a delicious orange jus thing with dauphinoise potatoes. It was sooooooooo nice! And massive, and meaty considering I don’t each much meat at home.
    Then we had a drink in the Star Inn (nice but a bit expensive actually), a drink in the Marine Tavern (who have a FIT little bar boy who shows his pants when he bends over to get things) and a drink in Vavoom (nice but, as always, massively over-priced. £4 for a drink is rather a lot). I was practically waddling by the time we walked home.
    Then this morning I weirdly woke up hungry again. I don’t know why but that always happens when I’ve eaten loads the night before, but body seems to start expecting constant stuffing with food. I had a nice muffin thing for breakfast, a short walk in the cold, and then we went to the PV at the Jury’s Out for Sunday lunch.

    The PV is actually a really nice pub, and every time I go there I think “wow this is lovely, we must come more often”. The Sunday lunch is GORGEOUS. I had roast beef, yorkshire pudding, stuffing, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, broccoli, parsnips, green beans and cabbage, and it was all soooooo yummy. It was only about 15 hours since my dinner though, so I don’t know where I’ve put it all, I must have gained a stone.
    I definitely want to go to the PV more often; they do a quiz night, and cheap drinks (£2, can’t beat that), and it generally has a nice atmosphere in there.
    And now I’ve got a wild boar sausage roll sitting in the fridge that I bought from Bona Foodie for no apparent reasons, which is calling out to me to eat it in the next half hour. I’m such a fat bloater.
    Oo yes, and I forgot to say that I drank BEER this weekend. Well, a Hoegaarden with my dinner. But normally I don’t drink beer at all. However, I am in training so that I can drink beer more regularly because my other big news is we’re going to New York!!! We booked the tickets on Friday night, flying Virgin just after Easter and staying for five nights. I’m really looking forward to it. BUT, last time we went, I couldn’t drink properly in the bars because if you asked for a vodka and coke you got given a glass of vodka that had about 5ml of coke in it so it was very slightly discoloured, and it was DISGUSTING. I couldn’t drink it, and I love vodka. So in anticipation of that I plan to convert myself into a semi-pro beer drinker in the next two months, so I can saunter up to American bars and say “Gimme a beer” without adding on “I hope it doesn’t make me throw up” in my head afterwards.
    So anyway, I might try to sleep my lunch off now, and then drag my massive carcass over to the fridge to eat my wild boar sausage roll in time for the Dancing On Ice Fittyfest at 6.15. Bring on Gary Lucy and Kieron Richardson in skimpy lycra tops and tight trousers.

  5. Yummy Tin Drummy

    December 10, 2009 by superlative

    I had my office Christmas meal yesterday at the Tin Drum in Kemp Town. I know some of the people I work with didn’t enjoy their food quite as much as me, but I thought all the things I had were really good and quite posh, so I took photos of them for you:

    This was my starter, which was a squash, rosemary and parmesan tart with a pomegranate dressing. It was very nice.

    This was my main course of pheasant with a port and damson jus on a mustard pommery mash. I’ve never had pheasant before, and I really liked half of it (the confit leg bit which tasted like crispy duck) but wasn’t quite so keen on the breast bit which was a bit tough. I’ve never been a breast man though. The sauce (sorry,’jus’) was yummy and all fruity.

    This was my gorgeous dessert: hot chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream. It was really nice, all gooey, and very very rich. Like a little block of pure calories really. I couldn’t finish it, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

    And then I had tea with a cute little mince pie with a star shape on it.
    And the best part is I didn’t pay for ANYTHING! Hahahahaha! Work pays for our Christmas meal here, which I’ve always thought is great, and it means everybody goes rather than some people saying they can’t afford it or just can’t be bothered. Even the wine was thrown in!
    I’m not hungover at all today, which is quite good I suppose. Some of us went for drinks after the meal, but as we’d started drinking at 1pm we disbanded by 9, so I was still home in plenty of time to sober up before bed. I hadn’t realised that there would be no senior staff at all in the office this morning, so I could have got away with being hungover if necessary, but I’m not going to try to get hungover just for the sake of it.
    And now it’s only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, yay! We’ve still got our Office Christmas Party to come (actually in the office this time, rather than out of it. I don’t know why we have two events here), so that will be my next thing to look forward to next week. I’m feeling very festive now and just want to finish work for Christmas and go home – I can’t be bothered to spend nine more days sat in this wheely chair doing not very much.