Chips. Buddha. And the rocky road.

'Do you fancy some chips?' Tony said.
'But we're supposed to be having a week of eating lightly ... losing some weight, remember?'
He must have thought it was a rhetorical question.
'You've bought potatoes, haven't you?'
I know. The willpower of a dandelion seed. But chips. Real chips. Deep fried in sunflower oil. 
And if there are chips there has to be home-made curry sauce.


spicing it up
There's nothing complex about my curry sauce (for two): soften a chopped red onion in oil, then stir in 3 tsp of the curry powder of your choice and 1 tsp of Garam Masala and let the mixture cook for a few minutes more before adding a handful of sultanas, half a pint of vegetable stock, a big squirt of tomato paste and half a can of coconut milk. If you like it you can also add a tablespoon of mango chutney. I like the sauce to be thick so I let it simmer and reduce until it's glossy and the colour of cinnamon bark. 

Tony is the 'hands of chips'. I peel and slice the potatoes but he takes charge of hot oil and temperature monitoring and drying the chips thoroughly in a large tea towel and cooking them twice, guaranteeing the crisp and fluffy qualities that good chips should always have. 

the hands of chips 
And it was one of those memorable simple meals that even Buddha approved of. 

buddha table

being Buddha
Buddha would have been less approving of us last night when, sitting just feet from the spot where we'd been in total harmony with each other a few nights before, we slipped into a cesspit of misunderstanding and incrimination, possibly aided by the (too) large measures of Grand Marnier over ice. Or, at least, probable in my case: I don't drink spirits as a rule and I don't think it helped me see and feel things very clearly.

Actually, Buddha didn't give a sweet cluck, as you can see. I did. Why is it so damn hard to recognise that you don't have to keep on dragging yourself (and someone else) across the sharp stony ground? Why does it seem like the only way, at the time? 

They are rhetorical questions. 

I said I didn't want to eat. Tony said he was cooking the prawns anyway and he was going to eat. He chopped parsley and spring onions, sauteed them in butter and oil, added the peeled jumbo prawns at the last minute, crisped up the bread in the oven while I sat at the table unable to get off the rocky road. Then he served up.

The ground softened. The grazes healed up, even if the little scabs hurt for a little while longer.

Hungry Writing Prompt
Write about a question you do not want answered. 


stephen fryer said…
Bringing back a memory of my university days, and the brief, to write a poem about cooking and music. So I wrote Making Raita With Adam:

I am slicing sweet red onions, very thinly.
My eyes are wide open, and my heart is singing,
and I am listening to Keith Jarrett playing the Köln Concert.
I have the music on very loud.

This is the part where he bangs on the piano,
where he grunts and sighs and sings along with the notes.

The phone rings. It is you. You say:
‘Don’t forget, I’m bringing home curry tonight.
Oh, and turn the music down.
You’ll wake our grandson.’

I look across to Adam, who is four, and is
dicing a sweet young cucumber into very small cubes,
and is concentrating,
his eyes wide open.
Lynne Rees said…
Hi Stephen - I love the combination of slicing onions and a singing heart. It just makes felt sense. Great to hear from you - I was only talking about you yesterday... good memories of UKC.
stephen fryer said…
Adam is a lot older now but still an inspiration. Good to be able to express grandfatherly love through the medium of poetry.
David Mitchell said…
"And it was one of those memorable simple meals that even Buddha approved of". Tut-tut, Lynne ! Starting a sentence with a conjunction, and ending with a preposition !! Good old Borden Grammas School..........
David Mitchell said…
Whoops - "Grammar", not "Grammas". Hoisted by my own Petard
Lynne Rees said…
Ha ha! That's the kind of 'gramma' argument Tony and I might have. You Borden Boys! Those undying myths of English grammar that are all about rules and not creative effective expression :) (Formal writing aside...)