Palin and Saturday Kitchen and chatter

This week I’ve been managing to finish off a few odds and ends that have been kicking around for a while, mostly with reading but a few productive things too, although I still haven’t written up those asparagus puff pastries I made the other week..

I’m normally monogamous when reading fiction, I prefer stories that hold your attention whilst you furiously turn the pages but perhaps wouldn’t stand up too well in a court of literary criticism, or put another way, crap sci fi novels. When my imagination isn’t flying between the stars, I quite like the adventure from reading non fiction travelogues, especially those well written with a diarists attention to detail.

Michael Palin has been holding my attention for a while now, it took me a good two months or so to plough through his ‘Python Years’ diaries, but having just polished off Himalaya
and Hemingway, I can see that he was just warming up. Himalaya especially was an incredible read, not just the lush descriptions of my favourite sorts of landscapes, but the stories told by the people he met. With Palin’s incredible optimism, I do wonder if his travels are just gifted with far too much luck, or he just doesn’t recount bad things that happen. I’m definately going to keep my eye out for a second hand copy of 80 days or Sahara.

They’re in a similar vein to Ewen McGregor and Charlie Borman’s “Long Way” motorcycle adventures. Again with those two, I read the books long before I watched the DVDs of the TV series. I found myself recognising key characters from the books which meant you had an understanding of the stars unvoiced opinions as well as the on screen action. I might have to see about seeing Himalaya at some point, although I suspect that’s a job for LoveFilm as it’s unlikely to be watched more than once.

I’m writing this whilst trying to catch up with some TV, which due to the wonders of modern technology is all prerecorded on my PVR. One of my staple series is Saturday Kitchen. This one was actually from yesterday and had Galton Blackiston showing how easy it is to reuse leftover risotto as risotto cakes with an amusingly heckling audience. The studio guests are normally to be seen and not heard, but I quite liked the banter when they joined in, especially when it took a detour into gardening advice for growing Cherville.. It’s not quite up to the Hairy Bikers standards of pandemonium though. I often cook risotto so it was great to see just how easy they are to make, especially when presented in Blackiston’s stern lecturing tones. I wonder what would happen if he ever met somebody like Jamie Oliver..

It seems I’m not the only person with a plentiful supply of summer asparagus, James’ studio guest this week got some spears that were picked at 6 o’clock that morning and went into the pot at about half past 10. nice. He’s poaching and then chargrilling it in a similar way to how I cook it, but because he’s a proper chef he’s presenting it with a freshly hollandaise sauce, which I can’t imagine ever coping with.

Mmm, food again. oops.
Time for a cup of Harvey’s Lapsang Souchong for me.