The lovely Mrs Rippers has a week off so has disappeared off to Lavenham in darkest Suffolk to see her mum and dad. What better opportunity then to round up some of the usual suspects and spend a leisurely afternoon inbibing of a few sherbets and catching up on things.
The wonderful one and the Fugitive were right up for a Sunday afternoon sesh and agreed to come to God's Own country for a few cheeky ones. They arrived by train at Temple Meads and I met up with them in Bristol's finest oldie worldy boozer the Llandougher Trow. As the afternoon wore on we enjoyed a pretty decent sunday lunch in the aforementioned hostelry before embarking on a pub crawl.
When I say crawl it was literally that after we had to climb our way up Park Street before entering the White Harte, then returned back down the hill to the biker and heavy metal haunt The Hatchet where, already feeling hunger pangs again, The Fugitive and I ate our way through a plate of Chilli Beef Nachos. The Wonderful One couldn't believe how we could still be hungry after a two-course lunch and even I was surprised that the Fugitive still had room, seeing as he was wolfing back pints of Guinness like the chancellor's budget was about to kick in at any minute.
It all wrapped up in one of the myriad chain boozers on the harbourside - The Pitcher and Piano - which didn't seem to have any pitchers and I can't remember hearing the tinkling of any ivories either. No matter.
During this long, pleasant and relaxing Sunday the topic got on to one of journalism's success stories - the real life magazine. We all expressed immense surprise that, while the majority of newspapers seem to be suffering heavily at the hands of the on-line world we have created, these glossy offerings are attracting a huge amount of new readers. You see Take-A-Break and the like at most supermarket checkouts and the most unlikely of readers will immediately pick them up and deposit them in their trolley.
Maybe it is the headlines that have such a persuasive edge. I was reminded of this fact when I looked at one of the eye-catching stories that Closer was advertising in my local Sainsbury's today. "I make cheese out of my breast milk and give it to all my friends!" it said.
I must admit this was so astonishingly vulgar that I did feel tempted to pop it in the trolley and read more. If nothing else, it might give Mrs Rippers and I an idea to start up our own cottage (cheese) industry.
Then again, I really don't think so!
My newly acquired Clio Ramsey is driving me to distraction with his temperamental ways. For the last two days it seems he will only put the radio on when it suits him. Sometimes I can be driving around in silence for 20 minutes, only for the dulcet tones of Gabby Logan to come blaring out suddenly on radio 5 live. I can't figure it out but perhaps it is a design fault. If it is I imagine it can be quite dangerous for the mild-mannered driver who has been tootling along peacefully enjoying the silence.
Another trick Ramsey played on me happened on the M25 late last Wednesday. On this occasion, for no particular reason I can think of, he suddenly decided I might need to illuminate the inside of the car and put the interior light on. After a little fiddling it went off again, but I could do without his little quirks to be quite honest.
No doubt my regular reader is beginning to wonder what happened to the raison d'etre of this blog ie actually telling people what I cooked last night. My only real excuse for this is that this is about the 377th entry and quite honestly I tend to use the same recipes over and over again because, quite frankly, I am getting a mite lazy.
Still, just to keep up the pretence I went to Morrisons hot deli counter yesterday and saw a very nice boneless pork loin joint which I figured might be nice to put into a curry. As it was pork I thought it would be good to give it a bit of a chinese curry flavour so this is what I did.
Cooked pork joint, cut into sizeable chunks.
two cloves garlic, sliced thinly.
One green pepper and one red pepper chopped.
5 fl ozs of chicken stock.
A large desert spoonful of madras curry paste.
Two chopped green chillis
A desert spoonful of chinese rice wine
Two teaspoons of light and two teaspoons of dark soy sauce.
A large desert spoonful of chilli bean sauce.
A teaspoon of sugar.
A handful of washed basil leaves.
WHAT I DID:
Heat a wok with chinese stir fry oil (which can be bought from most supermarkets)
Put in the sliced garlic, the peppers and the chillis and stir fry for 5-10 minutes.
Add the rice wine, the soy sauce the chicken stock and the light and dark soy.
Cook fairly vigorously for another 5 mins.
Add the cooked pork chunks and then the madras and chilli bean sauces and sugar.
Let cook, stirring regularly until the whole thing thickens.
Once everything is heated through and the peppers soft, stir in the basil leaves and cook for 2 mins before removing from the heat and serving with boiled rice - or whatever is your fancy - chips are quite nice with this, too.
Crackers and breast-milk cheese for afters (barf!)