Mrs R has been in full Felicity Kendall mood this week having finally started work on the allotment. It started off looking like one of the more inpenetrable areas of the Amazon rain forest but by hacking away with spade and pitchfork she has made some impression. Very impressive.
And she has also met some allotment folk, part of that quirky band of people who think it's fun to spend hours on end outside huffing and puffing until they are covered in sweat and red as beetroots. Mrs R doesn't like beetroots, but she certainly looked like one after another stint on Sunday afternoon.
I think allotment people are a bit like marmite... you either love them or hate them. Our neighbour, Deadly D from now on though I hope she never finds out this is her, has been virulently anti-allotment since they dumped half a ton of manure outside her back window one time. The other day I heard her ranting on in full Bristol accent to some poor gardening-obsessed dab.
"Yew can't park thuuur!" she shouted. And when he responded she proceeded to talk over the top of him in a my-voice-is-louder-than-your-voice way. Her two dogs joined in the fun, being not impartial to the odd bark now and then.
To be honest I was quietly minding my own business in doors but was alerted to the fact that World War 3 had broken out on my doorstep. I looked out the window to see the shaken fellow picking up a box and attempting the last word. "For F***'s sake, I am only putting these inside the gate, then I'll move my car," he explained.
It's been a pretty quiet weekend, really. Mrs R and I caught up with the week-long Criminal Justice series starring the lead guy out of the original Spooks series, who I think she has a bit of a crush on, to be honest.
On Monday I got on with my household chores and was then delighted to find that my driving licence had been returned with new address and MINUS 9 of the points that had been on it originally. Woo hoo! Thought that six had expired but didn't realise it was that many.
On Tuesday Mrs R and I went to see the Ricky Gervais film "The invention of Lying" which was highly amusing in a chick flick sort of way. Interesting though... The Gervais character had nothing on my daughter the Fat Kid when it came to being economical with the truth.
Last week it was getting close to my weekly jaunt to Southend and I was keen for something to eat but didn't want to do a ready meal. Then it hit me. A quick and easy stir fry. I adapted a few Chinese noodle recipe but as long as you have the core ingredients of garlic, ginger and spring onion you should be fine. I spiced it up with some chilli flakes.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Chopped garlic (2 cloves)
Chopped ginger (teaspoon)
3 chopped spring onions
Carrot cut into strips
8 tinned water chestnuts, roughly chopped
red chilli chopped and deseeded
chinese rice wine
2 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp dark soy
1 red pepper sliced lengthways
ham, bacon or some such sliced meat
cooked egg noodles
Heat a saucepan of water and cook the egg noodles for as long as packet says (about 4 mins)
rinse in cold water and leave standing
heat oil in a wok
When it is hot and slightly smoking add the garlic, ginger, spring onion and chilli
Stir around for about a minute until the aromas escape
Then add the meat and vegetables and stir fry for five minutes
Add the chinese rice wine, soy sauces and a small amount of vegetable stock
bring to boil and stir, then add a table spoon of peanut butter and stir this in too
Add the noodles, heat through and bring to the boil again.
Finally add an egg to the pan and draw the spoon through the pan regularly to stop the egg completely setting.
When it is all heated through spoon into a bowl and eat away