Slurp, chomp, buzz, whizz, ring ring...

Monday 16/1/2005

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Diary and Notes

It's not easy writing this stuff you know, especially when the man sitting on the desk next to you keeps chewing. All I can hear is chomp, chomp, chomp and then the occasional cough. Apart from this and the low hum of the computers the office is silent. Chew, chomp, SHUT UP!

I didn't sleep too well last night. The woman in the room next to mine has an alarm clock which she sets to go off at bizarre hours in the morning and then doesn't get up to turn it off. (The dude on the next table has just blown a bubble!) I am plagued by irritating noises, everywhere I go my world is filled with hammerdrills, shouting, snoring, people breathing loudly, it's driving me crazy.

If it wasn't for the calming influence of a good meal each evening, I think I would have cracked years ago and taken an axe to more than my fair share of irritatants.

Here are noises which must be banned:

  • Chewing loudly (especially with an open mouth)
  • Snoring
  • Any form of drilling, chopping or sawing before 10.00 am
  • Small engined, high pitched motorbikes
  • Lawnmowers at weekends, when I'm trying to sleep
  • People shouting at their children when they are just trying to have fun
  • Shaniah Twain, Elton John, Joss Stone, Dido and The Coors
  • Scousers and Cockneys
  • Bagpipes

    If I think of others I will add them to the list.

    Sorry today's blog lacks a foody theme, but it's hard to think of food with the slow mastication of another in the ears.

    One final point: Many cultures cook a meal similar to today's prawn risotto; paella, jambalaya, a prawn pilaff, all are in many respects the same dish. Does this mean I can't have any of them later in the year? I supppose that depends on how I make them.

    And the Japanese guy behind me (not the one chewing gum, he's to my right), has just stared slurping his noodles. Oh joy!

    Cake Blog

    Some home made almond cookies, supplied by my new (American) flatmate Ben. Very tasty indeed. Soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.


  • Prawn Risotto


  • Onions, Carrot, Celery, Olive Oil, Garlic, White Wine Vinegar, Rice, Chicken Stock (I had chicken legs yesterday, the skin and bones made just enough stock for a fine risotto), Italian Seasoning, Green Pepper, Mushrooms, Prawns, Frozen Peas, Spring Onions, Salt, Pepper, Parmesan Cheese.


  • Finely dice the onions, carrot and celery (people in the know call this a mirepois, see yesterday's title), mince the garlic, place them all in a saucepan and sweat gently in a little olive oil until soft. Add a dash of wine vinegar and cook for a few moments more. Next add the rice and stir to mix. Pour on some chicken stock to cover the rice and put the lid on the pan. After a few minutes add more stock. Keep adding stock every few minutes until the rice is cooked. Stir in the peppers, mushrooms, peas and spring onions, then season with some Italian seasoning (a mix of oregano basil etc...), salt and pepper. Cook slowly for a further 10 mins and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.