Thursday, December 9, 2010

I *guess* today would be a good day to wrap presents and write Christmas cards... It's definitely a day for doing things around the house. Finally finished off a tiresome work chore - and even nipped into town last night to see a play and have a drink. Yay! In fairness, I was very pleased with myself: back home, I had a ham simmering gently away in a broth of Coca-Cola! Had picked up the ham in Dunnes yesterday for €6, and when I got it home, I thought: it's now or never. You see, Nigella Lawson includes the recipe in her book, How To Eat, but I've always been too uneasy at the thought of placing good, wholesome, expensive (!) meat into a concoction that is cheap and artificial-looking. So I was quite giddy last night. And today, it's still standing in its cooking liquor, looking very sorry for itself. The next step is to make and apply the glaze, and then stick it in the oven. Before then, I must decide whether I'll reheat the cut of meat fully, or throw on the glaze, bung it in the oven and hope I don't catch food poisoning from half-reheating meat. Blegh. I'll let you know how I get on.
To serve with the ham, I have some Brussels sprouts (75c), tomatoes (€1.50 for 6) and a red onion (50c) with which I'm hoping to make a nice dish by Cafe Paradiso's Denis Cotter...
Not too shabby for a Thursday night dinner...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

God, it's so warm and cosy in here... I've armed myself with the papers, got lots of provisions, so should be able to hunker down here until the morning. I work Saturdays and, given that the snow wasn't going anywhere, decided to leave the car at home yesterday. Getting to work wasn't so bad, but leaving the office and getting home at a not-very-late-at-all 8.15pm was horrific. Ended up abandoning wait for the train and getting a taxi home from the city centre after I panicked and started believing that the bus service had been halted. The only redeeming feature of the whole saga was the lovely veggie curry waiting for me at home. It was Friday, in the end, before I made it, so it had taken on all the gorgeous flavours of the charred aubergine and the cardamon by the time I sat down to eat it last night. The perfect end to a hellish day...
(pic thanks to infomatique via

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well, it's chaotic out there - anywhere beyond my front door, they tell me. Buses running intermittently, trains under pressure, feral kids roaming the streets looking for thirtysomething women to pelt with snowballs... Grr... Dublin is definitely experiencing An Event. My secret addiction, discussion forum, is chock-full of up-to-the-second weather reports (including my own for my own corner of the northern suburbs), and it's simply impossible not to feel like you are in a disaster movie of some sort.
All this cold weather has at least one unintended boost: it's impossible to spend money! Mounted an expedition to the supermarket yesterday and stocked up on provisions. Had modest scrambled egg/veg sausage/beans feast yesterday; and today, I've just stood up from a lovely butternut squash soup. Now all I have to do is finish an article I'm writing, and make the veg curry I've got lined up for myself. Simples...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snow! Or a modest scraping of it, at any rate. Other parts of Dublin are, if facebook/twitter are to be believed, suffering sub-Siberian conditions. I'm lucky. I'm off work today, and got no place to go, no appointments to keep.
But after being hit with a €750 repair bill for my car, and a fairly lavish few days with my family in Galway, I'm definitely stony. And spotty.
So between the weather and my finances, finally cleaning my flat and cooking something substantial for myself (not just surviving on the cut-price M&S ready meals I happened upon on Sunday) is a must... I can do this