Friday 17 July 2009

Bogging Soup Update

Successfully "de-bogged", you'll be relieved to hear. One teaspoonful of that Swiss bouillon stuff and it's now actually very nice. Sorted.

However, as I forgot to take a picture of the no-longer bogging spinach soup at lunch time, you'll have to make do with a picture of the peixe porco (literally "pig fish") we barbied for tea.

The good thing about peixes porcos is you don't have to de-scale them. You just chuck them on to the barbie and they cook in their skin. You can tell when they're ready when the water stops dripping out and the skin is cracking off to reveal flesh the texture of chicken. And the really good thing about peixes porcos is no bones! Serve with a swirl of potato salad and a drizzle of home-made tartare sauce.

I have to say, I have an ambivalent relationship with barbies. They sound great in theory on a hot summer evening but in practice can be a royal pain in the sphincter. For years I forbade them but a friend offered to build us the one pictured above and it would have been churlish to refuse. Tonight's was the first of 2009 and all the downsides of dining al fresco came flooding back to me.

For a start, it's a right pain in the neck to get the fire going no matter what accelerants are used (a tractor tyre and a gallon of unleaded is my preference but not always practical in a small garden). I always end up swooning with hyper-ventilation blowing on the thing to coax it into flame. A hairdryer's good but that ends up with burning embers flying everywhere and I'm lucky to escape with my eyebrows intact.

Then there's the dreaded timing issue. "When do you think it will be ready - about 30 minutes?". Erring on the side of caution I always reply "Better make that 45 mins-1 hour". And around three hours later (once the sun's gone down and the biting insects are out) the fish might be finally ready.

And then there's the carting everything out to the garden syndrome. You think you've thought of everything but just as you're finally sitting down to eat, something's been forgotten (in our case tonight an extra plate to put the lixo as we call it in Portuguese on - the bits of the fish like the skin etc. you can't eat). How much easier would it have been to have done the fish in the oven and then eaten it in the dining room where everything is within reach? And there are no biting insects. Or bluebottles alighting on your supper. But for some reason the allure of the barbie is irresistable (as I type this, my clothes are smelling pleasantly of wood smoke) ...

But before I go, I have to call your attention to the plight of my favourite blogista, my friend Baby Chou over at Le Moulin who has a situation with napkin holders which I feel would benefit from the sort of insights my readers (you know who you are) delivered in re (as we Latin speakers are fond of saying) our cruet set. Quod erat demonstrandum.

1 comment:

Kathie said...

Thanks for the tip re the blog Le Moulin -- although I now worry that among you two and Baby Chou (and goodness knows how many others) having decamped from Edinburgh, a lawyer dearth may now exist there.