Sunday, September 30, 2007


At last I've been degusting.

It's not for the faint hearted. Make sure your cc is up to date or you end up washing dishes. Or in debtors prison begging the guards for more straw to sleep on.

Imagine a restaurant of entrees. (He who should be obeyed mentioned that entrees don't always mean the same thing to all people so to clarify things, we are talking first course - the bit that has the dozen oysters in it.)

When I go to restaurants I invariably find they have a wonderful first course menu. They usually can be interesting and imaginative. When the menu planner gets to the main course, they get bogged down in the 'jus', the 'marinad of' whatever is fashionable at the time. What can just be a yellow arches hamburger can be transformed into magic like:

Tender yearling (notice we don't mention moo cows) beef molded into delicate cakes infused with free range ingredients, combined with delicate shavings of tender baby lettuce, vine grown hand picked (by a Mexican refugee on under rate wages) tomatoes, cheese from New Mexico Jersey and pickles nurtured in the sunshine of the Colorado desert combined in a delicate jus of fragrant Heinz ketchup and Mayonnaise de la cuisine.

So I therefore go for a couple of entrees rather than get bogged down by these stuffy mains.

Therefore Saturday night was a change for the positive. It has an Italian name, and they call themselves a grazing restaurant. They have a formula which expertly explained by the waitress - in our case a very charming blonde in her twenties. The menus contained things like:

Barramudi rolls.
Baked Haloumi with ginger jus
Soft skin crab in sweet chilli.
Pork belly something or other which was quite delicious.

One is instructed to order two dishes per person. And there are enough on each plate for the participants to share.

He who should be obeyed, who also eats a lot at restaurants was very pleased with the standard of the food and the service. She who should obey was very impressed by the prices. The food was good and the wine was the equivalent of the annual budget for a country that starts with "the Democratic Republic of".

Over all, the concept is new, but invented by me because I already entreed extensively throughout the world. (Two entrees is far more interesting than one main.)

Company was good. A fine night was had by all.

And then the next morning I plotted. Yes. Plotted. I'm basically a panster but this current novel needed a bit more pre-planning. And also these days unusual for me but I got it all down with a pen and paper. Also drew a map of the surrounds (shades of Winnie the Pooh at Pooh Corner, or J.R. Tolkien???). Have been using a house plan during the whole of the writing of current WIP but decided I needed to cement the surrounds into something solid. Enjoying my characters too. Don't forget that as the reader reads a story, so does a writer imagine it. Bit by bit. But once the book goes into print, we are simply treading the same pathway - author and reader - hand in hand through the same adventure in wonderland. I just get to be the leader.

Today is windy. We in the antipodes are coming into spring. Time to sow the seed, which was performed by He Who Should be Obeyed. Begonias and other little garden blessings. Little babies being nursed in a garded all freshly turned with a delicate blend of soils probably some poor old scalped volcano somewhere. And amply supplied with nutrients from same yielding yearling who laid down their short lives for a very large golden arches.

"Oh my darling you degust so delightfully," he said. "Why I'd even say you are a weapon of mass degustation!"

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