At the End of the Day

There is a battle of wits taking place between The Slog and the last surviving mouse here in Slogger’s Roost.

He’s smart – there’s no doubt about that. Twice now the little bugger has managed to extract both cheese and smoked meat from the trap without setting it off. He also displays exhibitionist tendencies: last night M. Lesouris ran across the new green carpet, stopped, sat on his hind legs….and stared me out before hotfooting it for the cover of the sofa.

Just as the new genus of Superfly is now everywhere and resistant to insecticide spray, so too we are perhaps creating by accident a rodent evolution towards greatly increased cunning. I will keep you all updated on this developing crisis.

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Meanwhile, I’ve started decanting the attempts at fructifying cheap spirits with the output of the plum, mirabelle, greengage, damson, apple and quince trees here. Initial results suggest:

1. Rum still tastes like shit no matter what you add to it

2. Damson gin is a winner, and may well enable me to put Diageo out of business in very short order

3. Apple & Quince flavoured vodka is (with the addition of copious honey) roughly what crack cocaine is to heroin

4. Mirabelle flavoured Kirsch is a taste I am rapidly acquiring. Whether this is wise or not, I don’t know.

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Today I have finally opened the home-produced olive oil sold to me last November by Eleni the Kardamyli greengrocer….all pressed from her small grove behind the shop. It is, I have to say, pretty damned good. In fact, using the local stone-ground pain de campagne available in the markets here as the dipper, it’s borderline historic.

Some foods are so simple and yet so satisfying, one wonders what the point of chefs might be. But then, one books a table at the Grappe D’or in Monbazillac, and their raison d’être is immediately apparent.

However, for some of us such things are these days only a very occasional treat. And in that context – if you have any interest at all in cooking – the internet comes into its own.

The internet has a lot to answer for, but one thing it can claim is the capacity to make healthy, tasty recipes available to anyone capable of chopping things up and putting a light under a pan. Tonight I cooked a chicken curry. The meat was left over from yesterday’s Sunday BBQ for One. The small bird (raised humanely) cost €3.82 from Leader Price…..on special offer because it was close to the sellby date. With suitable veg, spices and basmati rice, that was two dinners for around two quid each. Beat that if you can.

Earlier at The Slog: Poverty is going viral….but why?