Monday, 23 January 2012

Couscous Rage

According to Wikipedia Couscous

is a Berber pasta dish of semolina traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughout AlgeriaMoroccoTunisia and west of Libya.

And nutritionally good for you:

 Couscous is among the healthiest grain-based products. It has a glycemic load per gram 25% below that of pasta. It has a superior vitamin profile to pasta, containing twice as much riboflavinniacin,vitamin B6, and folate, and containing four times as much thiamine and pantothenic acid.[10][11][12]

In terms of protein, couscous has 3.6 g for every 100 calories, equivalent to pasta, and well above the 2.6 g for every 100 calories of white rice. Furthermore, couscous contains a 1% fat-to-calorie ratio, compared to 3% for white rice, 5% for pasta, and 11.3% for rice pilaf.

To me it is a nice alternative, easy to make and generally pretty inoffensive. And yet how it can create such frustration in one individual is a mystery to me.

We don't have it that often and not because of his attitude to it just because we don't.

This week we had it with grilled fish and steamed garden peas. Yummy.

Husband hoovered up all of his dinner with the except of most of his couscous. 

"it tastes like dust"

"oh. Sorry, it tastes like what?"


"Really? and you know this because you have eaten dust?"

"... that is not the point. If dust had to taste of anything it would be of this"

I don't get it- it doesn't have an overly strong flavour of anything, moist enough and goes with anything.

To be honest I didn't really give it much more thought than that. 

Husband clearly had though. 

In the car on the way home tonight he raised it again along the lines of ...

"Please, can we NEVER have dust again!"

We think the reason he hates it so much is its inoffensiveness. . .

ps After reading this to Husband he responded with "you can't trust anything that has the same name twice. I mean its not like you get pastpasta. Its just pasta" Hmmm.... COUS?!!!! 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Holy McHomous

I have in under 5 minutes made the most delicious homous ever.

This is blog worthy because it is not the first time I have tried this.

The first time was a disaster. You could have used it to build a wall with.

So here is my success story recipe for homous.

- 1 small can of chickpeas.
- 1 table spoon of lazy crushed garlic
-1 table spoon of olive oil
-1/2 a table spoon of lime juice (o.k it is meant to be lemon but hey it is what we had left in the fridge so we worked with it.)
- dash of salt
-Half a can of the water/juice that the chickpeas came in (DO NOT DRAIN THIS MAGIC STUFF AWAY)

Throw all of it in, except the chickpea juice, and blitz until its looking a bit rough and ready but smooth-ish. Add the chickpeas juice and re blitz- it will go from nearly smooth to completely smooth and delicious!!!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ian McShane

Last night I had a dream about Lovejoy.

It was not a good dream.

We were at a formal, black tie event and he sneakily unzipped the back of my dress. 

I spent the rest of the evening struggling to keep my dress up not understanding why it wasn't staying on.

Ian McShane surely wouldn't do a sneaky thing like that?

With a face like his?


An insight into the mind of a disturbed woman.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Respect The Cheese

Husband and I have been skiing together for 4 years this year. The deal is that he can ski where and when he likes while I go to ski school, then we can ski together later on in the day if I have any energy left.

This is done for the sake of our relationship. We both want to enjoy our holiday together and I don't think it would be much fun if we were falling out with each other every 20 minutes for 7 days!

So ski school it is.

And fantastic it is.

In our first year we were in Austria and it was great a good mix of ability and plenty of people who spoke English. The last 2 years we have been to France and I have found myself the only English speaker in a group of French novice skiers. Which in itself has presented challenges for the instructors who aren't necessarily fluent in English themselves.

So the lessons will take the following pattern: there will be a fluent French version with actions and pictures drawn in the snow and plenty of enthusiastic head nodding by the various French students.

Then a shuffling/slide slipping (if you want the technical term!) as the red coated ski instructor makes his way down the line to the short, grinning amatuer. Where we then go through the same series of instructions but with less talking and more animation as they charade their way through how to pole plant (how to use the skiing sticks for any non technical skiers reading this).

Last year there were not enough students available to make up a class so I got some private lessons, some of which were shared with Anton, another French (non English speaking) ski student. It was the perfect relationship for about 3 days- taking the same format as the previous lessons. So I also got a private one on one lesson.

The results of which hugely impressed Husband. My progress as a result of those sessions in his mind was SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Seriously.

So I should tell you about Jo-Jo my jolly giant of a ski instructor. The best instructor I have had to date, and given my 3 weeks worth of lessons I somehow consider myself a kind of expert on these things. Although to be honest I might have to learn French one year so I am less ignorant with the whole language barrier thing!!

Anyway back to Jo-Jo, who taught the French junior ski team and used to be a banker before giving it up to work in the mountains as a ski instructor. Ah the life! He is also a giant, a great big barrel of a man with a loud booming voice to go with it. So no matter if you are next to him or at the top of the hill waiting to ski down its all done at the same volume.

As we started out on our first session he wanted to get the measure of my ability which meant watching me ski and seeing how I took instruction.

In the particular region in France where we were they have a round circular cheese which is fantastic melted with bit of bread to dunk in. Some might call this a fondue! And I was told to turn so that my skis don't cut into the cheese and leave a perfectly clean half circle. . . The shortcut if I was doing badly was to bellow at me


Another wee gem he gave me was to shout:


Which to be fair I am not. A muslim that is. But I was most certainly praying. By straightening up not only was it more comfortable I also felt like I was going faster . . . so I started to pray a bit faster.

The reason, in hind sight, for skiing in a stooped manner is possibly something to do with bringing my body a bit closer to the ground so that in the event that I fall I have less of a distance to go before hitting the ground.

Ever the optimist.

To be fair to me I haven't taken any serious tumbles but then I am a slow and steady skier!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The differences between Men & Women - baths

I have commented previously about some of the domestic differences me and Husband have. I think this could fundamentally lie in our gender.

How foolish that it has taken me this long to realise it?!

Today, Sunday, we went on a nice long walk. All wrapped up and discussing our plans for the future with the more immediate plans for a hot bath when we got back in. These were made even better because I would have a hot bath first while The Husband prepared our dinner and after a munch of food he's get to have the left over hot water.

We're economical like that!

When it comes to out bathing styles, here is where the first gender difference might lie. I can soak for easily up to an hour on my own. Reading a book, supping a glass of cold white wine or just lieing listening to the sounds of husband cooking dinner.

Husband. Totally different story. I will almost always hear a long drawn out wail of:

" will you come and talk to me???????"

If I didn't come through and talk to him he would be out of that tub pretty much as soon as he considered his entire body wet. I think this could be a man definition of what a bath is: I am horizontal and soaked and not in a swimming pool therefor I have finished with my bath.

The second difference is our exit. Husband regularly finished his bath with a pointed demonstration to me on how it is possible to get out of a bath with minimal drippage. His fundamental complaint about my long luxurious bathing is that afterward the tile floor is "soaked".

In my defence I don't think it is...

                                                                                                                        . . . at all!