Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ladies of the Day.

Where I live in Northern Spain, Summer not only means sun, beach, tourists etc. Summer here also sees the arrival of "The Ladies of The Day." That is what my girls and I call the unfortunate females whose only way to survive financially ( or at least feed their drug habit  or whatever) is to offer "services" to men as they drive along the roads here. When I say "services" I certainly don´t mean providing cool drinks or washing windscreens!
When you drive in Europe throughout the day you will pass many "Ladies of the Day" , perhaps you tut at them; perhaps you are disgusted by them; perhaps you feel sorry for them.
But, just think a moment- are you completely guilt free? I don´t mean you stand on the side of the road touting your "wares" to all and sundry- but how many of us have granted "favours" / offered our "services" to our partner for personal gain? How many of us have sex just to appease our partner; put them, or keep them in a good mood; make them feel better or even so they will be more generous in handing out funds for the next days shopping trip? Is this not also a kind of prostitution?
Next, think, as you judge and criticise these women. The people who should be judged and criticised (and in my opinion pitied) are men.It is their caveman style need for having sex (as opposed to making love) that has created this line of work. My ex husband once told me "all cats are grey in the dark"- how true for them!
 Many of us women should be judged, criticised and pitied for "selling" ourselves for personal gain or personal fear (that if we do not "perform" our partner will seek sex elsewhere.) Who is more honest? "The Ladies of The Day" or us wives and girlfriends? They are! Listen up ladies- don´t just lie back and think of England,; don´t do anything you don´t want to do or feel like doing. you are degrading yourselves. As for you men.....keep your eyes on the road and your trousers zipped and butttoned!

Please remember- I am generalising here- not all men think all cats are grey in the they?

So endeth the sermon for today!  Now a delicious recipe:-

Pasta Putanesca. (whores spaghetti)
Quick and easy. Looks like plain old spaghetti in tomato sauce until the flavours of the anchovies, capers and chilli kick in!

2 small (14 - 16 oz) or 1 large (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, halved
4 or 5 anchovy filets, chopped
3 Tablespoon olive oil
10 - 12 black olives, stoned and coarsley chopped
2 Tablespoons capers, soaked and drained
2 Tablespoons  parsley, chopped
1/2 to 1 small red chili, chopped

Pasta pot, saucepan or skillet (I use a large non-stick wok) large enough to fit all ingredients.

Set the pasta water to boil. Set aside some of the olives, parsley and capers as a garnish.
In a deep pan lightly brown the garlic in hot oil. Add anchovies, crush to a paste with a fork. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers and the chili, cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley and cook for a couple minutes more.

Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet Drain well.

In the pan, or in a warm serving bowl, put the cooked and drained pasta, add the sauce, and mix thoroughly. Some like to add a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley at this point.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You know you want to!

Recipes For Life is ready to be unleashed on the public! Just have a look at the chapter know you want to read more!!!!!!

What’s on the menu?

Chocolate and raspberry ripple pavlova

Chapter 1:- Meat and Two Veg. (Sarah)

Yorkshire pudding filled with mincemeat gravy
Easy All Day Breakfast
Big breakfast tortilla

Chapter 2:- Angel Cake (Lidia)

Pesto stuffed chicken wrapped in Parma ham
Pasta Putanesca
Toffee angel cake roll

Chapter 3:- Haute Cuisine (Diane)

Baked camembert with calvados and walnuts
Chocolate chilli fondue

Chapter 4:- First Dinner or Last Supper (Sonia)

Chicken liver and brandy pate
Orange roast chicken
Fruit topped cheesecake

Chapter 5:- T.V Dinners (Becky)

Mexican feast-enchiladas, guacamole, salsa, black bean guacamole
Soy glazed tuna steaks
Ice cream crunch

Chapter 6:- Big White Meringues and Dinner Parties (Helen and Helena)

Indian feast:-vegetable pakoras, prawns cooked red, beef randang, lamb and tomato curry
Strawberry granita
Pink grapefruit and muscatel granite
Lamb steaks with rosemary sweet potatoes

Chapter 7:- Dessert Please (Emma and Holly)

Broccoli and mint soup
Tuna and fennel lasagna
Nutty banana tart

Chapter 8:- The Crowded Table (Louise)

Tuna fishcakes and
Sweet chilli dipping sauce

Chapter 9:-Chocolate teapots and strong, black coffee (Cassie)

Espresso and hazelnut cake

Chapter 10:-Sucking on Lemons (Cassie and Tina)

Fabulous fruit cake

Chapter 11:-Supermum (Celia)

European tour: meatballs and spaghetti, tuna quesadillas, sticky pork ribs, stir-fry noodles.

Chapter 12:-The Perfect Dry Martini (Crystal)

Rum painkiller
Lemon vodka
Elderflower champagne
Cranberry and orange surprise

Chapter 13:- Second Sittings (Naomi)

Empty the fridge stir fry rice

Chapter 14:- After Dinner Toasts.

Crispy Parma ham and mozzarella salad
Barbecued balsamic beef
Barbecued vegetable pouches

What? Where? When? How?

I don´t belieeeve it! Summer over already! It just can´t be. It feels like a week ago I was girding my loins for my daughters´ 3 month summer break, and now they have already been back at school two weeks. Ever feel like on the remote control of life the fast forward button has become jammed? I find it so scarey . I wake up and think "oh bugger, Monday" then it seems no time at all I am saying "Yeah- Friday!" Is this a new thing? Has the hole in the ozone layer caused time to speed up? Is the earth spinning faster on its axis? Are there still 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute?
I seem to spend my days rushing; from the minute I charge out of bed in the morning, until the minute I throw myself back into it at night. I have quizzed my friends about this and they too seem to be suffering from this Fast Forward Phenomenon. So without further ado ( no time for further adoing these days) STOP.
When was the last time you curled up on the sofa and read a book or a magazine? When was the last time you sat and stared aimlessly out of the window? When was the last time you put a face mask on ? When was the last time you painted your toe nails, just because you wanted to, not because you had a function to attend? When was the last time you stopped to stroke your cat, dog or vietnamese potbellied pig?
Life is full of busy and ,if we have any free time, we fill it with busy.Perhaps if we slow down, life will slow down too. What is the point of racing through life- because at the end is the  finishing post, one I am in no hurry to reach first!

This is one of my favourite slooooooow recipes. I am sure I have pinched it from someone (sorry). It is wonderfully easy to prepare, delightfully low maintenance to cook and a dream to enjoy as a relaxed supper with friends.



1 large leg of lamb
salt and pepper
olive oil
3 red onions peeled and quartered
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 handfuls of mixed fresh herbs (thyme , rosemary and bay) If you can´t get fresh use 2 bouquet garnis
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
6 large carrots, scrubbed and halved
3 parsnips, scrubbed and halved
1 bottle of white wine.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C. In the largest casserole pot you can find, fry your well seasoned lamb in olive oil until it is browned all over. Add the onions and garlic and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Add all the veg, herbs, wine and add the same amount of water as wine. Tightly cover top with kitchen foil and bake in the oven for 5 hours.
To serve- place the whole pot on the table and you and your friends dig in, using crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.