Saturday, 22 August 2009

The end of the beginning

It is a lovely late summer's Saturday morning here in Finland as I start to write this. Quiet and still. The blue sky is almost cloudless and the garden in bathed in dappled sunlight. The house is quiet as well. The boss is upstairs busying herself with some task or other before our friend from Norway arrives tomorrow and I've just finished the hoovering.

Last night was a landmark in the kitchen as we reached the end of the third bag of charcoal consumed in one summer. In the end it was a close run thing, there was just enough heat from the coals to roast a foil wrapped loin of pork that had been rubbed with salt, pepper, fennel seeds, sesame oil and soy sauce. You can't really go wrong with this kind of cooking - put it in the coals, put in on the grill it doesn't matter, 15 minutes or 45 minutes it doesn't matter either so long as that foil is tightly wrapped so none of the juices can escape! However there wasn't enough heat to boil a pot of coffee in the embers. Maybe next summer I will manage to enjoy that little pleasure.

We served the pork with a huge bowl of sticky rice and a spicy aubergine and noodle salad that I took directly from Harumi Kurihara's Japanese Home Cooking. It was simple to make and very tasty, not to mention surprisingly spicy for the use of one chili that has been hiding in a bag with a load of other chilis in the freezer for a few months. Maybe freezing intensifies the zing a chili brings? I feel an experiment coming on! Our neighbours came and joined us with their little boy and we had an excellent evening.

However it is now time to put the blog on hold for a little while. There are two reasons for this: the first is that when the blog started I had hoped it would be a medium for food and life related musings. In a sense it has been and in a sense it hasn't. There are better food blogs out there and there are better musing blogs out there. I feel that I am falling between the two stools and my conclusion is that I need to be clearer about how this blog will go forward. I took a decision early on to exclude politics from my blog and I don't intend to change that. Now it is a question of refreshing my frame of references for myself. With the above mentioned score for the summer this post feels like the perfect point to take a breather. The second, and more practical, reason is the imminent arrival of a "mini me" or a "mini boss" into my life. I've never been a dad before and while I dream of carrying on more or less as before I am not so daft as to believe there isn't going to be a major realignment in the rthymn of my life. In fact I am looking forward to it tremendously. I cannot wait to get to know the little person. Although indications so far seem to suggest he or she has inhereted the currently complimentary stubborn streaks the boss & I possess.

Finaly as it is such a lovely day & I have nothing to do I am going to enjoy it by listening to Test Match Special from the Oval on the BBC. Might I recommend the same to you?

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