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Archive for May, 2010

In a new series titled “Easy Recipes For Women of Easy Virtue”, The NDM plans to share some of her favourite recipes.

C-CUPCAKES

The recipe for these darling little cakes is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. It’s not strictly necessary to flash your cleavage and lick your fingers a lot when making them, but it seems to help the process (or so my husband tells me).

Ingredients

125 grams caster sugar
125 grams unsalted butter, softened

I really love it when a recipe calls for softened butter because it requires the kind of forward planning that I am incapable of. I always end up having to bung the butter in the microwave, only to accidentally put it on ‘high’ and then completely forget about it for fifteen minutes so that it starts exploding like molten lava, thoroughly coating the roof of the microwave and ultimately turns rancid and drips into everything I subsequently try to heat up. Yes, as I said, I really love it.

125 grams of self-raising flour

Self-raising flour is distinctly different from self-raising children, who somehow know that mummy had a few too many champagnes last night and that it would be best for everyone if they got their own cereal and watched the telly for a while.

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Vanilla essence, with an ABV of 35% , is almost as alcoholic as gin. You know, just sayin’.

2 – 3 tablespoons of milk

Milk, however, doesn’t have any alcohol content, unless, of course, you’re talking about breast milk the morning after a big night, which I hope you’re not planning to use here because that’s just sick.

Method

Put everything, except the milk, in the food processor and process the crap out of it.  With the motor still running (like you’re about to make some kind of getaway), add the milk one teaspoon at a time until the mixture has a nice ‘dropping consistency’ (about a Type 5 on the Bristol Stool Scale).

Place patty pans placed in a lightly greased 12-hole muffin pan (is it just me or does “a lightly-greased 12-hole muffin pan” sound like a porno industry term?) and carefully spoon mixture evenly between them (See? Even the idea of ‘spooning’ gets a bit dodgy when spoken about in the context of a lightly-greased 12-hole muffin pan).

Bake in a moderately hot oven for 15  minutes, until golden on top. For those of you who insist on putting a number value on “moderately hot”, I mean 200°C. And for those of you who insist I convert that temperature into Fahrenheit, it’s 392°F. And for those of you who are claiming 392° is a ridiculous number to put in a recipe because the notches on most oven dials are only in ten degree increments, I’ll round it down for you to 390°. Sheesh! Do I have to do everything around here?

Cool on a wire rack and ice when cold. And by ‘ice’ I mean ‘cover with icing’ as opposed to ‘take out in a cold premeditated military-style execution’ – remember: violence against baked goods is not cool, people! And if you’re wanting the recipe for the icing, you’re just going to have to goddamn wait. I accidentally swallowed the rest of the vanilla essence, swiftly moved on to the cooking sherry and think I need to have a little lie down now.

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Attention: Genghis Cat, Feline Overlord of [address omitted]

Dear Cat,

I am writing to remind you that, according to the pet registry at the local council, I am listed as your owner. Not the other way around.

Admittedly, however, I mustn’t be much of an owner. I mean, I’ve never felt the need to put a picture of you up as my facebook profile pic or get you to wear a Santa Hat on our Christmas cards or have your name tattooed on my arse. Also, I’ve certainly never felt the way cat food manufacturers obviously think I should feel – most of the cats featured on their packaging are giving me their best “Come Hither” eyes and others seem positively post-coital. Is this really how cat owners feel about their pets? If so, I’m sorry. I just don’t see you That Way. For one thing, whenever I try to pat you, you just bite me. Perhaps that’s your way of giving me some lovin’ but I can tell you now, Cat: I’ve no interest in becoming your S&M bitch-slave. It just ain’t my scene.

Anyway, now that I’ve reestablished the fact that I’m your owner, I would like to remind you of a few house rules:

Greetings
Please do not greet me at the door with an accusatory whine, as if continuing a previous argument right at the point where we left off (no doubt about the fact that I “never” feed you). In return, I will cease regarding you warily with a “Helllooooo, Genghis”, like I’m Jerry Seinfeld greeting his nemesis Newman.

Disposal of body parts
I may be wrong here but I think most serial killers attempt to tidy up after themselves a bit. Whilst it can be said that nothing heightens the hanging-out-the-washing experience more than standing barefoot on a mouse head, I’d prefer it if you could either eat your prey in its entireity or use one of the garbage receptacles provided.

Land rights
You have no legal claim over the spot in front of the heater. You therefore do not reserve the right to stalk, pounce upon, scratch or bite anybody standing in that spot, especially if they have just been outside in the cold, cleaning up bird entrails from the trampoline. My husband would also like it to be known that when he sits naked in front of the heater in the mornings (for reasons known only to himself), those things hanging down between his legs are not your sworn enemy.

Meal Times
When I refuse to feed you outside of designated feeding times, please do not sit right in front of me and proceed to elaborately groom your arsehole in protest. And, for the record, other cats the size of small ponies subsist on one cup of dry cat food a day without complaint. You receive the same PLUS two sachets of ‘wet food’, which costs more per gram than most fancy-pants French cheeses, and yet you never quit your bitchin’. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? If I served all your meals to you dressed in a gimp suit made entirely rubber and let you bite the crap out of me, would that make you satisfied? Would it? WOULD IT? Well, it ain’t gonna happen, Cat. It ain’t gonna happen.

Sheesh.

Your loving owner,

The NDM

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There’s not much to be recommended about starting work at 6am, except, perhaps, the possibility of knocking off early.

“Why, I can be home by 2:30!” my husband recently said, trying to look at the upside of his working hours.

“You can but you rarely are,” I corrected him. More often than not he’s not home until 4pm, conveniently after the school run. Funny, that.

“Okay, okay,” my husband said. “So I can be home by 2:30 if I have to.”

“If you have to? Is that what you think of your life here at home – as something you only do if you have to??” I was quick to accuse. My poor husband. Conversations with me must be like running blindfolded through a minefield while being chased by rabid she-dogs with PMT.

Still, it must be said that my husband and I have completely different concepts of time. I don’t feel like any of the time I take away from my family duties ever really feels like my own – it’s simply feels borrowed. And my husband? Well, let’s just say he has a greater sense of ownership over ‘his’ time.

Here’s an example: the other day he was supposed to be working a half-day – finishing at 10:30. He’d arranged to have ‘an early lunch’ with a colleague who leaving work forever that day. At 3:15pm, I rang him, asking if he was almost home. 

“Um, almost…” he replied. There was a lot of noise in the background. 

“Are you still at lunch?” I asked.

“Oh, no. Of course not!” was his quick response. “That finished ages ago. But here’s the thing, see… I was at the bus stop waiting to go home when [another friend] rang and asked me out for a beer.”

“So you’re at the pub,” I said.

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

“And not, for example, about to meet me at the school so that we can attend the meeting with Pixie’s teacher that you, yourself, arranged?” 

“Ah, no. No, I’m not,” he admitted, before adding cheerfully: “But you can go and show that at least one of us is a responsible parent!”

As you can imagine, when he got home over an hour later, I had a few words to say on the subject.

“All it takes is a phone call,” I said, sulkily. “I think you take it for granted that I’ll just look after the kids and do all the responsible things while you go do whatever the hell you want.”

“You know I’m always happy to do the same for you!” he replied with the air of somebody who’d just spent the afternoon at the pub.  

Now it’s here that I should give my husband some credit: he applies the same standards to my time management as he does to his own. He’s always saying “Go out and have fun! Don’t come home unless you’re completely shit-faced or in the back of a paddy wagon!” – partly because he knows the chances of me doing it are negligible. 

He decided to reiterate that point: “You know what’d I’d say if you rang me, saying you’d just taken a bad acid trip and were stuck at a rock festival for a week with Mzzz E?”.

“I don’t know. What would you say?” I asked. 

“Um, I’d say something. I just have to think what…” he mumbled. “Anyway, you’re off duty now for the rest of the evening. I’m here! I’m in charge! You can blog, sleep, read, whatever you like!”

Which is exactly what I did until one hour later, when I heard a little tap at the door.

“Um, have you finished blogging yet?” he asked in a small voice. “I was kind of hoping I could have a little lie down…”

In his defence, it was the 4am start and the 10km power-walk to work that was catching up with him. Not the four glasses of wine he’d had in the middle of the afternoon, of course. Not that. Never that.

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