Monday, 15 March 2010

Happiness is... asparagus soup

I'm making my leftovers go ever-so far at the moment. Friday's potato and tomato loaf was successfully combined with the champ-colcannon thing on Saturday to make a side dish. This was reheated on Sunday and served a main course to a naughty tin of Heinz tomato soup (on points).

Tonight it's being reheated again. It's getting a tad dry, so I'll serve it with a simple onion gravy. And since it's onion gravy, then it's sausages - two each - to go with it. That indicates a starter is called for, so I'm making a cream of asparagus soup. Only tinned asparagus is available at the moment, so I puréed the entire tin to start, adding some cabbage leaves: more reuse of leftover ingredients and also a good source of the fresh vitamins that the tinned asparagus will have lost.

I very finely chopped half an onion and fried it off, then built a roux with evaporated milk (points again). To that I added the asparagus gloop, then topped up with some stock from my pot and just under half a pint of milk.

Finally, with no brandy left, I put a shot of cheap rum into it, a dash of Maggi and two bay leaves, plus a handful of pearl barley and some rice for the bulk. Brought to the boil, it can then sit off the heat until I'm ready to bring it quickly back to heat and serve in a couple of hours when CJBS gets back from his much-postponed dog walk (which is happening at dog-feeding-time, leading to remarkable confusion from otherwise smart border collies).

In the meantime, I've been dealing with the usual domestic crises that seem to accumulate. I walked past the fridge - certainly a non-wartime luxury! - and heard a huge bang. No lights on the fridge. I moved quickly and decisively, which is a wrenching break with past precedent, and started to shift all the frozen food from the freezer part to the other freezer in the utility room, terrified of the waste of food. Frostbitten, I got most done, when I noticed that the other freezer was also lacking any lights. And the room lights weren't working. And the telephone was beeping in distress.

It was the downstairs master fuse that had blown. I reset it and the fridge and freezers sprang back into life.

I went back to my kitchen cleaning, emptying the sink of bleach water and giving it a quick buff. As I did, my feet got gradually wetter and the lino started to "bubble" from underneath. The sink water was exiting directly from the plughole into the cupboard underneath, where it was slowly dripping out onto the floor and below the cupboard under the lino. I pushed the pipes together - I don't know how they unjointed in the first place - then mopped up the water from the cupboard and the floor (I'll have to wait for the underlay to dry out before the lino is unbubbly).

I tipped the mopped up water into the sink, from where it immediately reappeared on the floor. The sink was leaking in two places. In fact, the sink, put in back in 2008, appears to have been held together by a cobweb and some sellotape. The slightest touch to one end of the frighteningly complicated pipework (two hot in, two cold in, two sink out, one dishwasher out that winds around the others to reach, eventually, the other side of the drain to where the dishwasher actually sits) will dislocate something at the other end, like trying to push down the lid of Tupperware.

At that point, I needed a Hamlet cigar. Or to seek the help of Ganesh in order to hold six pipes simultaneously. So I did the logical thing: I hit the pipes. And they snapped into place immediately.

No lottery win for me this week, then.


Merseytart said...

Oh dear. That all sounds a bit stressful. I'd have just pretended I hadn't noticed it and left it all for the Bf to deal with when he got home...

RJGraham said...

That wouldn't work. *I'm* the practical one. If I'd left it for CJBS to do, we'd have a blog post in a week entitled "I don't understand why we're both drowning"

Michelle said...

It seems that Ganesha did come to your aid, seeing as he removes obstacles. Regardless, you more than earned the cigarette (I almost needed one just from reading your account!).