With a lot of help from labnol.org
I like my veg, I like my rice. I like my veg and rice together and here’s how it’s done …
11/2 cups of organic short grain brown rice
1 courgette sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow pepper chopped
sprig of thyme
small piece of peeled ginger, finely chopped
white truffle oil
light soy sauce
Rinse the rice thrice
Cook the rice slowly (45mins) in double its quantity of water
Splash a bit of rapeseed oil into a pan
Chuck in the garlic, courgette and fry
Chuck in the chopped pepper
Chuck in the ginger and thyme
Separately, mix together another splash of oil, a tsp mustard, half splash of vinegar and a half splash of soy and add to this a tincture of truffle oil. Whisk together, then add the warm vegetables and finally the cooked rice. Turn over gently and coat everything in the fecund dressing. Serve warm, preferably while wearing your three piece Afghan suit or flowers in your hair.
There’s a rock up here, near the top of Tonduff East, which looks out over the source of the River Liffey and Kippure. The rock has been hollowed out by millennia of weather, a bit like a throne. It’s comfortable, you could sit there for hours, watch the view, thinking how many other people have done exactly that on an August evening, taking it all in, trying your best to ignore the midges. There’s peace up there and solitude. The lonely hags watching on, stoic and enduring in their contorted shapes.
I took this picture in Kathmandu after climbing down the Khumbu Valley with a very dodgy stomach which I picked up at Island Peak Base Camp. I now know what severe cramps can do to a person. I flew home with the beard, met my family, my youngest child (5 at the time) was frightened and cried. I shaved it off within an hour of being home.
Thankfully it’s been awhile since I broke anything, but there was a time when I damaged myself a fair bit either in the pursuit of contact sport or just plain falling down stairs. My poor unfortunate (then) girlfriend (now wife) had to pick up the pieces (literally) when I tore the ligaments in my right ankle after a misjudged descent of the stairs in my work at the time. I developed a clementine-sized lump on my ankle within seconds and came close to vomiting. I remember the pain as intense, very intense but short-lived. I’m not sure if there’s a pain scale, but if there is, this would have been up there. But soon gone, unlike the pain of loss which lingers. Continue Reading →
Above Pheriche, Nepal.
Looking back towards the Khumbu, above Pheriche, the last large village before you get the Everest Base Camp at 4371m. There’s a medical centre here staffed by a charming Scottish Doctor who regaled us with stories about HACE, HAPE and all the other deadly by products of extreme altitude. SHe was also able to supply us with some medication for stomach ailments, something which was to knock me sideways a few days later after my failed attempt at Island Peak.
Nepal: looking south in the Khumbu Valley.
This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, trekking up to Everest Base Camp, a little short of Gorak Shep, a small settlement and pretty much the last outpost before Everest. The air up here is thin, at about 4500m you’re surviving on a lot less oxygen and the body has to adjust. For me, the altitude manifested itself in constant low-level headache, nothing unbearable, just a mild throb which I treated by chugging down a couple of aspirin. A lot of this is connected with being dehydrated, the air up here is incredibly dry and with every breath, you’re losing moisture. Also because of the lack of cloud cover and the extreme altitude, you’re being baked literally by the sun, it’s hot up here and sunburn is a real issue.
I was in the company of 14 other trekkers, led by the gregarious Pat Falvey, who has summited Everest twice and failed on two other occasions.
Tengboche Monastery, Nepal.
We attended a puja ceremony for climbers up here at the monastery in Tengboche (3867 m), a rather eerie and special occasion. Not easy to articulate what actually happened, as I was a bit heady from the altitude and was a bit overcome by the weird chanting and blaring of the trumpets. It’s something I’ll never forget and will attempt to articulate in time.
My daughter Kaytlin has been playing the viola for a few years now and since today was the first time it’s been out this year, I thought I’d stick up a little post. It’s a pleasure to hear her play, although I think she finds it uncomfortable playing for me. But we’ll both get over that. I really enjoy what she’s doing. Her technique has come on in leaps and bounds,
and the sound she produces out of an admittedly inferior instrument is really warm and mellow. The music (as distinct from technique and tone) is really beginning to happen too. I’m not sure if she’ll come across this post anytime soon, but hopefully if and when she does she’ll realise that I appreciate her (and her music).
Back in the kitchen again today, got a rush of blood to the head and decided on a curry. For curry, you need curry paste (which I’ve blogged about before) but this time I toasted the seeds before crushing them and fiddled with the proportions a little too.
1/2 cup coriander seed
4 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp fenugreek seed
4 dried red chillies
5 curry leaves
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
2/3 cup wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
Toast the whole seeds gently for five minutes or so to release their aroma, making sure not to burn them. The kitchen will be filled with an amazing assault on your nose, although my youngest kid finds it a bit overpowering. It’s an indication of what’s to come though, because this paste imparts a great flavour and is something which develops with age.
Grind the whole spices to a powder in a spice mill, or grinder. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining spices. Add the wine vinegar and mix into a paste. Add about 5 tbsp water to the mixture tp loosen it a bit. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, and stir fry the paste for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before putting it into airtight jars and then refrigerating. It should last three to four weeks in an airtight jar.
The finished article.
Creative: Liam O’Flaherty
Production: Littlebird Films
Director: Richie Smyth
Editor: Hugh Chaloner
Kinsale Gold Medal for Editing
ICAD Craft Award for Editing