Hurrah it's Saturday and my family gets home in five days from Italy on the morning of the 5th day. HURRAH! It has been a long couple of weeks. Kirsty I am in awe of you lasting 12 weeks.
I am a bit of a fraidy cat and so for the first few weeks of being on my own I felt the need to cook for others or be out and about.
The result is I am exhausted! and I have had some pretty appalling dinner guests but also some nice ones...and of course there was the awful problem of the dhal...
Last Sunday I had some mates over and thought I will whip up a quick Vindaloo. I was out there on the edge and just kept adding the chillies...how far could go? I did show a small amount of restraint and 5 dried chillies and 4 long green chillies later, I thought this it it!
And it was...hot but still able to be tasted and enjoyed.
What would I serve with the aforementioned Vindaloo...dhal I thought. Then, great idea No. 1.
I was in the city shopping and there was an Indian place...I would just buy a container of dhal to accompany the Vindaloo (minimal effort but maximum presentation value). When I inquired the chap said $10...ten bucks says I for a container of lentils that cost 50c to make...I was of course completely undervaluing the cost of his rent, staff and other overheads. No I said "I will make it myself".
I rang Scarfetta - the source of all information. 'Oh it only takes about an hour or so', says she. I chopped onions, rinsed lentils, added spices...All done in 30 minutes. "How good it this?" I say to myself. Dinner of course is a raging success (my words not theirs). I farewell my guests and clean up. (it sucks that you can't make guests clean and wash up...like you have put in a whole lot of effort!)
I clean up, go to bed, get up, go to work thinking about the nice plate of left overs for dinner that evening.
...4am in the morning after two consecutive nights of hot curry and dhal for dinner I HAVE THE WORST PAIN IN THE WORLD! OMG Are my ovaries going to explode? Do I have some cyst that has burst? How am I going to get to the hospital when I am all by myself. How will I notify my husband Henny all the way away in Italy. Am I going to die? Will I have to take the day off?
Well, I calm myself down and hobble to the kitchen and administer panadol. I decide to remain calm...alert but not alarmed. I take myself back to bed and give myself til 7ish before I head to the hospital.
About 5am I realise am not having quite the close brush with imminent death that I originally was anticipating... more like a brush with the foul and nasty gas generated by lentils that have not been correctly soaked to remove noxious gases.
it was nasty! Very nasty! Do not try this at home...and always soak your lentils and discard that noxious water. That is all I am going to say.