Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chinese Lamb and Garlic

I went to my bank of 28 years standing to ask for a credit card yesterday. I was refused. I was told, however, that I could have a £30,000 loan or a £10,000 overdraft. Confused? And me.
And my account manager. And everyone else involved in the silly fiasco.
I am highly respected by my bank, I am told. A top-grade customer. Ok, not in the Donald Trump league, but they are always falling over themselves with attempts to get hold of my money. That's why this little episode kinda p*ssed me off. I felt like a criminal, as if I had stolen someone's identity or built up a massive stockpile of debts and then refused to pay them back.
Anyway, since then I have had to do a credit search to find out exactly what they have against me. I completed it today and could find nothing. Perhaps they don't want to give me a credit card because I DON'T go into debt and therefore rarely have to pay any exorbitant interest rates.
Ringing to tell my account manager of the situation, I was transferred to Delhi where an automatic machine told me to input numbers from a six-digit security code that I have never been given. When that didn't work I was put through to a customer services manager. Then I had to invent a security number. Then I had to go back to an automatic machine. Then I was transferred to another customer services manager. Finally, after about 20 minutes and no doubt a huge phone bill charge on an 0870 number, I was directed through to my branch.
Oh, joy. My credit card application is now being appealed. Don't hold your breath...

Withers has just come back from having dinner at the German Ambassador's residence. He got upset when I made the "Did they give you Ferrero Rocher?" joke. Apparently he'd heard it before.

Ken Hom's Lamb with Garlic recipe was very enjoyable. To go with it I made up an interesting noodle dish.
2 Lamb chump stakes thinly sliced (because they are cheaper)
tbsp chinese rice wine or sherry
tbsp light soy
tsp dark soy
tbsp sesame oil
(mix all this together and marinate for 20 mins)

Boil the egg noodles for three to five minutes, plunge into cold water, add sesame oil and set aside.
Find whatever veg you have (I used half a pepper, some sweetcorn, two small red chillies chopped up, some chopped garlic and chopped onion and some tinned bamboo shoots) to go with the noodles.
Meanwhile, heat a wok till hot and smoking
Add 2 tbsp of groundnut oil. When it is hot and smoking add the marinated meat and stir fry until nicely browned.
Add two cloves of thinly-sliced garlic and a teaspoon of chopped ginger.
Stir fry for six to eight mins until all the garlic and ginger is well mixed with the meat.

At the same time heat a frying pan, add oil and then cook the chopped garlic and onion for five mins. Add all the other ingredients and then the noodles. Stir in a bit of peanut butter just to add a bit of texture, then put the noodles on a plate and heap the lamb on top.

Actually, didn't cook that last night because of the four hour sesh in the Yard. I did it on Monday night. It's only a little cheat!

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