December 19th, 2005


Recipe: chicken, banana and cumin soup.

[Warning: contains coconut. Not vegetarian. Contains alcohol.]

1 large cooking onion
1 large clove of garlic
50 g creamed coconut
250 g skinless chicken breast fillet or diced chicken
7 or 8 large ripe bananas, peeled
2 or 3 kaffir lime leaves
cumin seed, about 20 ml, or 10 ml seed and 10 ml ground
2.5 litres strong chicken stock
20 ml green Chartreuse liqueur
Angostura bitters
pink peppercorns to garnish.

Large cooking pot. Sharp knives/scissors. Stirring implement. A blender and a pestle and mortar for grinding cumin seed can be handy.

Coarsely chop the onion and garlic. Fry gently in a little oil until softened. Add cumin seed (about 10 ml) and the creamed coconut and cook a few minutes. Mash half the bananas with a fork, then add to the pot. Cook gently until the bananas are fully softened and incorporated. Add the stock and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. You can leave it overnight at this point if that's convenient for you. You may also put it through a blender, after having removed all but one of the lime leaves, if you want a smoother product.

Remove the lime leaves if you haven't blended the mixture, and discard. Grind the remaining cumin seed and add to the pot (or just add about 10 ml ground cumin). Chop or cut the chicken into thin slices (if you're using cubed, just cut them in half) and add to the pot. Thickly slice the remaining bananas, add, and bring to a rolling boil for ten minutes.

Remove from the heat. Check seasoning. Add Chartreuse, a couple of good dashes of Angostura bitters, and pink peppercorns to garnish. Serve with crusty bread.

A Very Sensible meme, for once.

Care and Feeding of Kay

How can I tell if you are angry?
It's very hard to get me angry. I tend more to get angry at universals, abstractions and institutions than at individuals. If I'm merely irked, I go quiet and don't bother to participate further. If I'm provoked, I absent myself from the source of provocation. So what most often angers me is persistence. Following me after I've left, either mentally or, especially, physically, may well anger me. You will then face vehemence: I will make it abundantly clear to you that I wish to be away from you. I will increase my attempts to leave. Detaining, or, worse, restraining me at that point is most counterproductive. I will not guarantee your emotional or physical wellbeing if you continue to provoke.

How should I behave around you if you are angry?
If you perceive my anger to be caused by someone's idiocy, attempting to sideline the idiocy is always appreciated. Otherwise, please facilitate my escape from the situation. Do not follow, unless you know that you are extremely trusted by me. If you do follow, don't touch without asking: I will probably construe that as assault. I may well not want to discuss the idiot or the idiocy; on the other hand, I may. Take your cues from me. A cup of tea (milk and one sugar unless advised otherwise) will be most welcome, and probably a cigarette or two should the environment permit.

How do you want me to behave when you are hurting emotionally? How is it best to comfort you?
Let me talk. Better, talk with me about the matter; I process problems verbally. If you see me cry, it's not necessarily an indication that I'm hurt; I sometimes cry anyway. After I'm done with the talking I will probably appreciate hugs, but please please ask before touching me; sometimes touch is the last thing that I could bear.

Are there things we should not discuss?
Broadly, no. However, please do not attempt to pry Other People's Secrets from me. If I say that I don't want to talk about something, this probably means that I haven't finished internal processing yet, and would appreciate more time to do so in. If I say that I can't talk about something, this almost certainly means that to do so would infringe someone else's privacy.

How should I treat you if you are physically ill?
Check that I have taken my necessary medication. If I haven't, please attempt to rectify the matter! I generally carry my meds with me if I'll be relatively far from home.

If I seem to be in pain, I probably am. I should have medication with me to deal with that. Check that I have my meds, check that I take them, and then please leave me to deal with the pain. I will probably need a flat, relatively hard, surface to lie on. If I say that I may have to take 'quite a lot' of medication, please note that this probably means quite a lot of morphine; a check that I'm still breathing normally every half-hour or so is sensible. If I'm not, get me up, keep me walking, give me black coffee, and get medical assistance promptly, telling them that I've probably accidentally overdosed on opiates and that I'm wearing a Fentanyl patch. They know what to do. Show them any of my meds that you know the location of, too.

If I can't say anything beyond "Help!", I almost certainly need prompt medical attention.

What makes you happy, that's in my power to grant as a friend?
Be my friend. That's really all that I need to be happy.

How would you like us to recognize your birthday?
I'm no longer very young, so birthdays are hardly a surprise any longer :) Wish me a happy birthday if you are minded to. I don't expect gifts.

Are there any standing categories of presents that would be appropriate or unwelcome?
If you're asking, you probably know me well enough to know the answer. Books are good; if you don't know what kinds of book I like, give me book tokens.

Are there times of the year that are difficult for you?
I seem to be at my best in the autumn. I don't like great heat or humidity; on the other hand, I'm not fond of blistering cold either. However, it's easier to get warm when cold than it is to get cold when warm. I'm allergic to horse-chestnut pollen.

Who are the most important people in your life to whom we should defer when making plans on your behalf?
stgpcm, of course. Not only do we live together, he provides the bulk of my transportation, so my travel will probably be a lot easier (and I shall arrive in better shape) if he can bring me in the car. But really, it's just easier to ask about any particular occasion.
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Christmas music, 2006

It's getting to be a tradition now, me making one or two Christmassy pieces and then making them available to anyone who wants them.

This year I've done two: a really icy version of Leontovych's Carol of the Bells, and a quite traditional arrangement of the anonymous carol Gaudete from the 16th-century Piae Cantiones.

I'm using YouSendIt to distribute them; it's far easier than faffing about with getting mail addresses from people. The only problem with YSI is that the links expire after seven days (fair enough) OR a certain number of uses (damn!), so if you try fetching a piece by clicking on the link and it complains, drop a comment telling me which one failed and I'll refresh the link ASAP, OK?

Carol of the Bells. MP3, about 4.5 Mb.
Gaudete. MP3, about 3 Mb.

I hope you like them.

ETA: Links refreshed 3 January 2006.
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*blink* I don't remember doing that!

I was just looking at my User Info, mostly to add a link to the 'Care and Feeding of' post, when I noticed that I've apparently banned sjdr from my journal.

I don't remember doing that! Who is sjdr, and why might I have done it? or is it LJ being screwee again?
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    curious curious