I got in tonight after a hot busy and frustrating day at work - which is better than a hot boring frustrating day, don't get me wrong here - but oh, it was a maddening day! Something I have been waiting ages for is proving painfully difficult to achieve, and it's setting me more and more behind in my own job with each passing day. I sent the person who has it even worse than me a marvellous picture of a dreadnought (HMS Agamemnon, 1915, to be precise) as consolation, but I doubt if it made much difference to him. I'm the one turned-on by Edwardian battleships, not him (I blame my brothers). But anyway, the day wound to an inconclusive end eventually, and I picked up my bag and came home.
Poured myself a large G&T and cooked supper. Logged on to facebook and found a bizarre collection of glorious holiday snaps and horror stories. Eeech, what a world. I want more of the happy and the Cornish sunshine, and less of the grief and struggle. Not just for myself but for all of you.
That's probably the gin talking; apologies if so.
I found a bunch of theatre tickets had arrived in the post today; yippee, ballet galore. The opera ones are yet to come, likewise theatre and concerts. But the ballet tickets are one major element in place now.
I'm preparing for my autumn, you see. One can feel the first nudge of it in the air, mornings, and the first scent of it too, musty and fungal and sweet, as though someone had devised a new kind of incense made of rot. Come autumn, I need a full programme of Kulchah to keep me going through the cold dark days of winter. Though I will hope to go away somewhere for my birthday (& to do it successfully this year instead of being spectacularly & messily ill as I was last year).
Supper was a good one. Last Friday when I had the chance to enjoy that rather spiffing & classy afternoon tea with my colleagues, one of the things I was chatting about with a certain very lovely chap was the question of whether or not one could take home the unused sandwiches in a doggy-bag and make a kind of savoury bread-and-butter pudding with them; slice them into a baking dish, soak in egg + milk, and bake. We agreed it would probably work. I realised afterwards that I was thinking of strata, which I remember having on holiday in Italy at some point, and which is pretty much exactly that, but with a rather more select choice of fillings (i.e. crab and prawns and buttery onions, not ham and cucumber and egg-&-cress and salmon). I forgot to ask for my doggy bag, anyway; but ever since I have been thinking at intervals of the singular deliciousness that is egg and bread cooked together; strata, eggy bread, egg-in-a-basket, bread omelette, bread pudding, croque monsieur, croque madame...
So tonight I made myself a kind of Greek-inflected cousin of these; Croque Kyrie, I suppose I could call it. Delicious, dead easy, and I imagine it would also work well with the splendid substance that is Genius Bread, for my coeliac friends.
Went down very well with the G&T, too.
For each person, you will need:
2 slices off a sandwich loaf
some feta cheese
Beat the eggs thoroughly with some pepper and pour over the sliced bread in a flat dish. Leave to soak for half an hour minimum. Sandwich two slices of the soggy eggy bread with a thinnish slice of feta cheese and press down hard. Yes, you will get eggy fingers. Tough. Wash your hands.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan; get it good and hot to start with. Pick up your gooey eggy cheese sarnie and slip it into the hot oil. Fry for five minutes on a fairly high heat, then turn the heat down to pretty low and turn the sandwich over carefully with a spatula. Continue cooking on the other side. Turn again after a while. Turn it two or three times altogether; gently does it each time. The idea is never to let it burn but to get all the egg cooked and the cheese all melted and delish. Part of the way thru', put in the halved tomato, skin side down, beside the sandwich, and fry that as well. Ideally you want to get the tomato just slightly blackened on the skin and volcanically hot inside. Serve hot, with some olives for an additional punch of flavour.
Incidentally, this would make very good hot canapes if you cut it into 1 inch squares.
After that I watched the cricket highlights from Old Trafford. YEAH. OKAY.
Not only are England doing okay in the test match but it's been a good week culturally as well. Last Thursday I went to see "Guardians of the Galaxy", which is rollicking good stuff, thoroughly exciting, almost unnaturally well-cast (a Marvel speciality, this) and looks fantastic as well. Last weekend I went to a wonderful show at Dulwich Picture Gallery, "Art and Life", with some stunning pieces by Winifred Nicolson, one of my heroine artists. I've also seen "The Immigrant" recently on dvd; that looks tremendous, too, and it's brilliant as well - but heart-breakingly sad. And finally I've been getting on with some sewing and I've written about 4,000 words on the western story. Add in that excellent posh tea as well and it's not been a bad seven days.
And since I haven't seen the crush since then, except briefly in the distance, I am getting over the hiccough of seeing him last Friday, too. Bless him, dear man. I am determined to put this behind me. I really don't want to cause him a problem (he's a very nice chap & I'd hate it if I did) so this is just as well, really. I vow to let it go. I will let it go. I will. I swear. Or at least, the gin swears. Gin is much given to that, after all.
And tomorrow is Friday again. Good grief, where do the weeks go?
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