Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 10 April 2008

Bill does lunch

Strictly for YouTube addicts! I thought I would share with readers the sight of me preparing my lunch earlier today. Usually lunch for me, even when I'm in Scotland on a cold winter day, is cold - either cold meats or fish, accompanied by a mixed salad. What I decided to have today was some Serrano ham (a Spanish dry-cured ham) and my usual salad. I always prepare the salad first, then the meat/fish, but I always eat the meat/fish first then the salad; this order of eating food dates back a long way for me, really from when I lived in Djibouti during the 1970s - it was then that I came across the French custom of eating a small green salad after the main course at formal meals/banquets, also of the custom of following this with cheese before serving any pudding or dessert; I came to realise how much better this is for the digestion so now always eat at home this way, specially when I'm on my own. Another peculiarity of my eating habits is that I almost never mix different kinds of food on the same plate, a custom I learned from my amah when I lived in Hong Kong for the first time in the early 1980s; what this means, for example, is that if I am having steak accompanied by, say, green beans and courgettes (I never eat potatoes, rice or pasta), I will first eat the steak on its own on a properly warmed plate with one set of cutlery, after that I will eat, say, the green beans on another warmed plate with fresh cutlery, finally I will eat the courgettes, or whatever other green vegetable I am having, on a third warmed plate with a further set of clean cutlery. This prevents flavours being mixed; it also slows down considerably the speed at which I eat - again I believe this is good for the digestion. Of course all this uses up a lot of crockery and cutlery, but that's what dish-washers are for, in my view.

Anyway, with that preamble I thought I'd share with you part of my preparations for lunch today. The first dish I prepared was a mixed salad (romaine lettuce, rocket, celery, radish and cucumber, sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, low sodium salt and garnished with parsley), to be eaten following the main course, prepared next. Here's the salad preparations under way, accompanied by 1980s/1990s French band Gold singing 'Josiane':

After this I set about preparing the main course, Serrano ham. Six or seven slices of thinly-cut ham, a sliced pepinillo (a large sweet-pickled gherkin) and some Greek-style black olives, all sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil and finished with freshly-ground black pepper. During the preparation of this dish I'm having an aperitif of a small glass of chilled fino (dry sherry). Accompanying this the music is again by Gold, this time singing 'Plus près des étoiles'. Lunch itself was accompanied by a glass of local red wine. Bill at pleasurable work:

If I do any more videos, I'll try and getting the lighting a bit better. Oh, other good news today - I finally got a working electric door bell fitted this afternoon. This has been for many weeks the remaining item on the 'snags' list I gave to the builder's office months ago and despite regular visits to remind them about this (the young lady there is very pleasant, always smiling, but only intermittently effective) the fault had not been repaired. I therefore decided a few days ago that I was fed up waiting and would get it done independently (at my cost) - the same electrician who fitted my lights came and did the job in about ten minutes. Luckily the wiring from the bell-push at the gate to the bell was intact, but the bell itself seems to be kaput so has been replaced with a much better type of bell.

It is an absolutely lovely evening here today - very windy, but sunny and warm (probably about 22 or 23 degC, down from the 25 degC it got up to earlier in the afternoon); better than yesterday when it was warm, overcast and sultry in the afternoon - until it started to rain. I was out on a lengthy walk when that happened so I spent the next hour walking back in the rain, getting thoroughly soaked with rain which was a little cool if not precisely cold - a change of clothing when I got home sorted that out!

PS/ I should clarify that I have been thinking of doing some YouTube podcast-style uploads here for some weeks, but more in the style of the audio comment-style podcasts I did in this blog a few years ago. I hadn't got around to doing that unfortunately. However, a few days ago one of my recent regular blog-reads, the very cute, gay and witty London Preppy, started to do a series of videos of his day-to-day mundane existence, the first of which showed a rear view of him doing some ironing - of course his torso, and his bottom(!) is much more eye-candy material than mine, but that's where the idea came from for my video efforts today.

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