Sunday, 16 February 2014

Low Tide 05:17 (0.50m) 
The shingle bank has grown again
High Tide 11:34 (2.30m) 
Low Tide 17:12 (0.70m) 
High Tide 23:35 (2.60m
Sea temperature: 5.6 

Sea conditions: calm, silvery and deep - perfect
Weather: cold and crisp with a huge sun on the horizon
Joined by: The Usual Sunday Suspects (i.e. no Pirate)
Topics of conversation:
Food - as is often the way on a Sunday, fine food and drink had been consumed by some the previous evening. DK and Legs had been to a pop up restaurant for a slap up 5 course meal and had lovely food, he ran through the menu, puffing out his cheeks as he did. He'd loved the food but had eaten too much, "I just can't do it any more.." he said. I hadn't been out, but Mertz had, so I'd made myself a Thai veggie feast and also eaten too much, so we both wondered if we might sink. 
TBC put us girls to shame this morning by turning up in pearls, and we have since had an email from The LE demanding that we up our game. The email, entitled 'pearls before 9' (she's not a comedy writer for nothing - see what she did there?) states: "TBC notches up the beach dress code by sporting her  (very) cultured pearls as swimwear. Are we all becoming too informal? Perhaps our default gear of North Face/Milletts is just veering on the side of ‘not trying’? I shall be buffing up my tiara for Tuesday. Smarten up, people!" As Legs bought me a wonderful kitchen apron that is styled to look like a LBD, complete with lace and pearls I am afraid that is the best I can do, other than donning my Vivienne Westwood, I don't really do smart... Ooh, which reminds me - I still have The LE's lovely gold crocheted cardigan! Sorry LE.
DK and Legs are off to the big smoke today for a huge celebration of the end of the Michael Grandage season at the Noel Coward Theatre, where everyone who has taken part will be back patting and raising glasses. We await DK's list of stars he's mingled with on Tuesday morning, it's always fun to hear his take on the such events.
It really was glorious this morning, the forecast had been good, but hadn't prepared me for the glow the sun had and that it gave us all. Even the cold wind couldn't stop us from hanging about longer than normal. There has now been an agreement to bring the swim time earlier after half term in order to make the most of the sunrise.

The LE had been to see August - Osage County yesterday and it's our first booking since my Film Club partner's surgery, so I was keen to hear how she found it. As it's based on a stage play she felt the set pieces were very successful and likened the meal scenes to how she imagined life in Beckett Mass. with Leg's family. I can't wait to see it.
The Poet's performance - he's in another play at the moment, one that is being performed nightly in the village hall and we are all willing him to remember his lines. Apparently it's a great show, with 'those who count' saying it's bester than the professional theatre over the river. The Poet is determined that Mertz should see it. We all tried to make him understand that Mertz doesn't do theatre, or cinemas for that matter (hence my having a Film Club partner), but the arena he will have no trouble luring him into is the goat supper he's planning, we discussed using goat to make Babotie and whether it was too lean, as well as what would be the best kind of goat curry. The Poet asked me to offer him a shoulder, cue more witless puns about having a shoulder to cry on. From Wiki:
Bobotie /bɒˈbti/, also spelt bobotjie, is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.[1] Bobotok was an Indonesian dish consisting of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture set.[2] Colonists from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia probably introduced bobotie to South Africa.The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609.[2] Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community.[1] It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight "tang".[3] It is often served with Sambal.[4]
It is a dish of some antiquity: it has certainly been known in the Cape of Good Hope since the 17th century, when it was made with a mixture of mutton and pork.[5] Today it is much more likely to be made with beef orlamb, although pork lends the dish extra moistness. Early recipes incorporated gingermarjoram and lemon rind; the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for chopped onions to be added to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas. It is often garnished with walnuts, chutney and bananas.[6]
Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity. For example, the dried fruit (usually apricots and raisins/sultanas) contrasts the curry flavouring very nicely. The texture of the dish is also complex, with the baked egg mixture topping complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish.
The Bobotie recipe was transported by South African settlers to colonies all over Africa. Today, recipes for it can be found that originated in white settler communities in KenyaBotswanaZimbabwe and Zambia. There is a variation that was popular among the 7,000 Boer settlers who settled in the Chubut River Valley in Argentina in the early 20th century, in which the bobotie mixture is packed inside a large pumpkin, which is then baked until tender. A dish in a Bobotie style has been made with haggis in Scotland, but this is not true bobotie.
I'd lit the fire in the sauna before I left and we all agreed it was time to have another Swimmers' sauna party, although I'm not sure about The Poet's idea of him and DK running the naked gauntlet...

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