Thursday, September 27, 2007

The first curry I ever made (enhanced a bit)

BOOZEDAY Tuesday appears to be a monster growing out of control. Fortunately I was saved from this week's test of stamina and endurance by the fact Wren was on a day off and I visited her in Bristol.
Didn't stop Smashy texting me at 8.45pm that night, moaning: "The Prince of Darkness is out of control."
The Prince, you see, has moved to Cardiff and therefore does not need to drive back to his Gwent Castle - a bit like his buddy Dracula relocating from Transylvannia to Yorkshire in search of fresh blood.
I sensed from Smashy's cry for help that Boozeday was continuing well into the evening, a feeling that was firmed up on Wednesday morning when a collection of bleary eyed colleagues slithered, rather than strolled, into the office.
Piecing it together I discovered that a young student barmaid in The Yard had been talking to our motley crew and informing them that "If you go to the George in Roath tonight it's £1 a pint". She failed to mention that in order to take advantage of this offer you needed a special student card, one similar to that which Bram has had in his possession for most of his 50-odd years.
Still, Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes) was quick to rally the troops, and off they went to flag down a taxi. Once back in the Badlands, they managed to talk a student into lending them her card, and in exchange bought a number of the great unwashed drinks, still managing to make a generous saving on the deal.
For my part, I was behaving. Wren and I paid a visit to Cribbs Causeway, where we first enjoyed a burger and some delicious prawns in TGI's, then sat through an hour and 45 minutes of fist-clenching terror watching 1408, the latest Stephen King spine-tingler starring John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson. Very good it was, too, as Wren can attest, possessing as she does some nail marks deep in her palm where I was clutching it so tightly. What a wus!
I'm kind of like that Catherine Tate character that jumps at the tiniest of noises when she isn't expecting them. I was hopping about all over Cineworld at the sound of the slightest shriek, scream, crash or bang.
Followed that with a visit to the folks for tea and cake, then later went to Dominos to enjoy a large meteor pizza (one between two, you understand, I'm not THAT greedy).
Oh yes, also bought Marc Bolan's Greatest Hits and, though Withers might scoff, his music is still infinitely superior to that of ELO.

On Sunday afternoon there was an impromptu gathering of the clans to watch Manchester United wallop post-Mourinho Chelsea 2-0 in the Tut. As well as the usual suspects, The Solicitor turned up accompanying Danny Boy (the poipes...) suggesting they were speaking to each other at last. I think they reverted back to the Status Quo after his Tuesday tour of Cardiff, however.
Pete and his girlfriend Helen, on a brief visit back to Cardiff before a six-month world tour, also came in as did my landlord Scooby and Paddy the Clown (real name, honest). A good day was had by all, apart from the fact that I managed once again to depart sans Baseball cap. Down to four now, I'm afraid.

Wednesday club was a pretty reserved affair, not surprising really, and later I went home to reheat my world-famous curry. It was the first one I ever made, back in the day when I actually took voluntary home economics because it came just before lunch and you could then sit and scoff the meal you had made. I've embellished it since, and here is what I do.

Two or three peeled potatoes, cut into big chunks
two eggs
cooking oil
1/2 red onion
two cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a stick of celery, sliced
Two heaped teaspoons of hot curry powder (less if fancy a milder curry)
1lbs mince
Pint of beef stock
Tea Spoonful of Cumin powder
Tea Spoonful of Fenugreek leaves
Five chopped mushrooms
Chopped red pepper
Bunch of spinach
Three tablespoons coriander
Generous sprinkling of Garam Masala

Boil saucepan containing the potato chunks and whole eggs in their shell
Remove potatoes after 10 minutes
Continue to hard boil eggs
Drain and put to side
Heat oil in wok
Add curry powder and stir but don't burn
Put in the garlic, onion and celery. Mix and cook for five minutes.
Add potatoes and fry in the oil to give a slightly firm, crisp coating
Add the beef and cook for 10-15 minutes until brown.
Add beef stock to cover mince (save the rest for if it boils too dry), cumin and fenugreek
Cook for a further 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly.
Wash spinach leaves and add to the dish.
Then add mushrooms and peppers. Remove shell from eggs, and slice before adding to pan in last five minutes of cooking.
Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, then serve with rice.

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