Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Penne with vodka


I hear the sound... of distant drums. Actually, they are not that distant, they're coming from downstairs. Scooby is obviously being given homework by his African drumming class.
He's definitely improving, as I know to my cost - he's foiling my attempts to conquer my insomnia problem. The drums start at around midnight, their rhythmical beat filtering through the ceiling, leaving me feeling like Stanley Baker awaiting the inevitable attack of the Zulus. I half expect to see Scooby walking around in a grass skirt, wearing a headdress and showing off the latest line in warpaint.
Still, I don't care too much about sleep at the moment - at least I've got the countdown to the world series to watch. I really got into baseball a few years ago because, let's face it, what else is there to watch at 1.15 on a Sunday night/Monday morning when you can't sleep. I don't want to learn Khazhakstani with the Open University, for instance.
At the moment the New York Mets are taking on the St Louis Cardinals in the National League Divisional final and Sunday's game is thrilling, the Mets finally running out 12-7 winners and squaring the series 2-2. The prize for the winner of the seven-game series is a world series against the Detroit Tigers, perennial whipping boys who have finally got to the top of the tree. The game ends at 4.45 and hopefully I can squeeze in a few hours kip before my visit to the guru.


The Vinman is going to a new nursery school today. I fear for the poor kids and teachers.
To be fair, he's a chirpy little kid, but I find it amusing when he asks: "Can I go and play with my friends".
He tends to say this after meeting up with children about two minutes earlier. Ah, the naivety. He doesn't realise they will end up being just distant acquaintances.
Vin's idea of friendship is to jump off a slide onto his newly acquired "friend", or to borrow their favourite toy by grabbing it out of their hands and running off.
No wonder then that when you agree to his going off to play with them, you then see him running full pelt towards them... and them running in the opposite direction.
Still, he's very excited and now on the phone, thanks to the wizardry of the Grommit, he can actually HEAR me.
"Hello, Grandad," he shouts.
"Hi Vin, make any friends at school?"
"Yesssss!" he shouts. I have visions of some poor three-year-old tied up in the corner of a field somewhere.
Not that I'm saying he's going to be trouble when he's older. Mind you, his cousins are called Charlie, Frankie and Alfie. I think this could be the start of a dinasty to rival the Krays...

Talking of gangsters, I went to see the new Scorsese film "The Departed" last night. I enjoyed it thoroughly, particularly the brilliant Jack Nicholson's performance as an Irish gangster called Frank Costello, but once again I got a might confused at the end. I'm starting to think it's just me...


I started seeing The Guru about two years ago. I was walking past this shop front in Roath and a sign in the window caught my eye. It suggested the owner could help sort out migraines and insomnia.
At the time I was suffering from both, and was really fed up with waking every morning with a dull pain in my forehead. It was a permanent fixture during those days - so much so that I didn't know what life was like without a headache.
Now don't get me wrong... I am a firm sceptic when it comes to spiritual healing and all that malarky but, having stepped through the door, I met The Guru for the first time and he told me he could do something to help me out.
The Guru originated in Liberia but made his home in Cardiff some time ago and has been here ever since. He eventually had to close the shop down (the rental being too high), and now treats a selected handful of clients from his second-floor flat in Cathays.
He calls himself a hollistic therapist and his technique involves Aromatherapy massage and advice on which vitamins to take. So far it has certainly helped. He's taught me a bit about how to relax and the headaches have become much less frequent.
He thinks my recent dizzy spells are down to tiredness and stress. He may be right (take note, Boss).
Lovely bloke though The Guru is, and the hour session with him is well worth the money, I haven't lost all my sceptism, however. For a man who seems so well centred and at peace with life, I wonder why I have to drop him off at Cash Converters so he can buy himself a new mobile phone. Surely Phones-4-u or the Carphone warehouse would be a better bet.
Ah well, each to their own, as The Guru might say.

Here's a quick and easy dish for you, Penne a la vodka (courtesy of the Sopranos, of course)
You need:
Penne pasta
2 ozs of Proscuitto Italian ham, in strips
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 tins of tomatoes
cayenne pepper
1/2 cup double cream
Good splash of vodka
parmigian cheese

To do:
Cook the Penne Pasta as normal. Then rinse through.
Heat olive oil in a pan/wok
cook garlic until golden, then add the ham and cook for another 5 mins on medium heat, stirring regularly.
Add the tins of tomatoes and a good amount of cayenne pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.
Add cream and mix in as you return to the boil.
Add a good splash of vodka.
Cook for further 5 mins then add the penne and parmigian. Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste and serve up.


Askinstoo said...
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Askinstoo said...
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