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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Post the Seventy-second (in which our heroine joins the "I Hate January" brigade)

Possibly for the first time ever.  I'm usually not a January-hater.  Hell, I was born in January so it can't be all bad, right?  In fact, I was usually more in the "February is evil" camp.  Cause, like, everyone expects January to be miserable, so that's ok, but February kind of sneaks up on you and goes "Hey, guess what?  January is over and you've been paid and it's officially spring, but  - surprise! - I'm going to be horrible and depressing anyway!  Joke's on you!"  Much like Tuesdays do after you've struggled through Monday and expect the following day to be marginally better, but it never is.  February is the Tuesday of months.

However, this year I am kind of feeling the anti-January vibe.  There's even a newly-coined word for the utter apathy and woe-is-me-ness that it entails - Jannui.  (I'd love to take the credit for that, but unfortunately I can't.  Kudos to whoever did come up with it, though.)  It's so apt, though.  All anyone really wants to do in January is lie around the house feeling sorry for themselves and fantasising about winning the Lotto.  But instead, we're all forced to feel like we should be joining the gym, or dieting, or training for a marathon or an Iron Man or a decathlon or something.  Enough, I say!  My mother has the right idea.  She says that January is not a month for starting anything, it's a month for hibernating and curling up at home.  My body agrees; all I want to do when I get home after work every evening is nest.  Unfortunately, the powers-that-be in DCU don't agree with this philosophy, and have set two assignments to be completed before the 10th of February.  I've one done, and am working on the other, so unfortunately evenings curled up on the couch with a good book are not in my foreseeable for a few weeks yet.  Damn you, DCU!

*shakes fist*

Speaking of winning the Lotto, you'd have to feel sorry for the poor schmucks who won the "jackpot" on the 18th of January.  For any of my non-Irish readers who mightn't be familiar with the story, the lottery jackpot on that date was €3.5 million and was won, by not one, not two, not even three but SIX separate winners.  Wouldn't you be sick?  Sitting there checking your numbers, realising you'd won and going "I'M RICH!  I'M RICH BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS!!!", imagining all the things you were going to do with the money, only to find out that sorry, no, you're not getting 3.5 million big ones after all, you're only getting 500 grand.  I don't care what anyone says, I would be RAGING.  We were discussing it in the office, and you know how there's always one person who has to pretend to be magnanimous to the point of not caring.  "So", this person says to me "You're saying you'd prefer nothing to 500 grand???  Tchaw."

Well, obviously, no, I'm not saying that.  Don't be so deliberately obtuse.  I'm saying I'd prefer three and a half million quid to 500 grand.  Duh.

Anyway, onwards we march with the Lidl "Feed a Family for €50" series, which, until we win the lotto, will remain relevant.  Today's is the penultimate recipe, and it's a good 'un.

Turkey Satay - serves 4

1 pack turkey breast strips                           425ml can coconut milk
300g basmati rice                                         2 tbs crunchy peanut butter
1 red onion, thinly sliced                             2 cm piece ginger, peeled & grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled & grated                  1 tbsp soy sauce
Tsp cayenne pepper                                     Salt & pepper

1. Heat a little oil in a wok and fry the garlic, onion & ginger over a medium heat for three minutes, until just beginning to soften, but not colour.

2. Add the coconut milk, peanut butter & soy sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring to melt the PB.

3. Add the turkey, mixing well to make sure it doesn't stick together.  Cover and simmer gently for approx. 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile cook the rice according to the packet instructions.  Stir the cayenne into the satay, season and taste, drain the rice, and serve on warmed plates.

Notes:  Now, Paul has a bit of a blooper in his recipe, as he has an instruction to "add the spring onions" towards the end of the recipe, despite spring onions not making an appearance anywhere in the ingredients list.  Anyway, I'm not a fan of warm spring onions, so I don't feel the need to add them.  What I did do was increase the red onion from a half to a full one.  I also chopped a red chilli and fried it off with the ginger and garlic at the start, and added a packet of sugar snaps in the last five minutes of cooking, mostly cause they were in the fridge and I wanted to get rid of them.  They worked really well, though, so they'll definitely be a permanent fixture in this from now on.

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