They say bad things come in threes. Like the time Sprog 1 tripped over Husband’s ugg boot and hit her head on the corner of a wardrobe, drank old milk from a stray baby bottle, then started throwing up. (Those vomit stories just keep on coming!) Was it concussion, food poisoning or a virus? We went to Casualty to find out and were interogated as possible child abusers. Very white trash of us … The terrible threes struck again yesterday – in a more middle-class fashion – when the PC and two laptops simultaneously carked it. First sign of trouble: the PC’s hard-drive kept turning off. Anxious to blog, I turned on my laptop, only to discover it wouldn’t connect to the internet and the battery was cactus. So I tried Husband’s, which started typing hundreds of random FFFFFFFFFFs into everything. I made a desperate call to Geeks2u. “I’m down to an iPad” I warbled tremulously. Cue the violins. They offered to come at 8am today for 150 bucks. Hearing the tears in my voice, they dug up a same-day appointment, for an additional 50 bucks. Deal. A lovely man called Joseph came to fix everything. As is the way when you’ve spent $200 on a service call, the PC’s hard-drive didn’t shut down once during the hour he was there. While we waited, he had a good chuckle over our antique laptops, blew on the random FFFFFFFFF one’s keyboard to sort it out (yes, that really did work), and suggested our hardware was so far past it that I should ask Husband for a Notebook for Xmas (excellent idea, I love cute things). Which didn’t solve the problem of how I was going to type at my screen-writing course last night. But did provide another excellent excuse for shopping.
DIET TRANSGRESSIONS: None! (That name and shame technique must be working.)
TONIGHT’S MENU: I made a bucketload of chicken tagine so we’re still working our way through that. It’s an old family favourite. Here’s the recipe:
INGREDIENTS: 8 chicken thigh cutlets (or other pieces on the bone – also great, and cheap, with chook legs); 3 tablespoons paprika; 3 tablespoons turmeric; 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger; 3 tablespoons olive oil; 2 large onions, peeled and sliced; 3 large garlic cloves, crushed; 400g can chopped tomatoes; 1 cinnamon stick; 1 cup chicken stock; I tablespoon lemon juice; 2 quarters preserved lemon (expensive but essential, get them from a deli, or save yourself a bomb and make your own, very easy and cheap … but they won’t be ready for a month …); 100g black olives; chopped fresh parsley.
METHOD: Toss chicken in mixture of paprika, turmeric and ginger. Fry spiced chicken in olive oil on a low heat until sealed and golden. Move chicken to one side of pan and add onion and garlic, cooking on low heat until soft. Add tomatoes with their juice, cinnamon stick, stock and lemon juice. Cover pan tightly and simmer for 1 hour. Remove pulp from preserve lemons, rinse rinds under cold water and finely dice. Add to chicken with olives. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with cous cous and sprinkle with parsley.
PS I also tend to add stuff like chickpeas and vegies, depending on my mood.