Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Chorizo Pilaf for a bad day

You know there are some days that you know are just not going to go your way. Or even just an afternoon. After the lovely long weekend, today felt a little like the post-Christmas blues (it was certainly cold enough). The Husband and I were both back to work, so I was fitting it all in around the kids. Fortunately, my responsible 16 yr old child-magnet babysitter was on hand for a few hours this morning and kept Blue and Pink gainfully occupied.

This afternoon we had a whole series of errands including picking up the raffle tickets for the school fete, getting Pink’s passport application checked and dispatched and establishing what we could do about Blue’s almost certainly irreparably broken pair of specs. The poor child has been suffering in his last pair for a couple of weeks now. He has been wearing his new contact lenses a lot, and I don’t get into town that often, so I have been ignoring that fact that although the prescription of his old glasses is the same, the frame size is definitely TOO SMALL.
I should have known that only getting an hour’s parking was optimistic, but there we go. I stood in a queue at the Post Office avail myself of the check & send service only to get to the head of that queue to be told that as I didn’t have an appointment I had to join the normal queue and they would take it from there. Back into the normal queue, go I, the kids trailing after me, Pink shedding a handful of leaflets that she is using as “A MAP, Mummy”. Doh...

OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating...

We get back to the front of the normal queue and the cashier asks us to follow her and deposits us back in the check & send queue. Grrr. By now, Blue’s contact lenses are hurting him (he didn’t wear then much over the weekend, mostly because I was too incapacitated by Pimms and chicken pie - he can’t put them in or take them out himself yet, so muggins is responsible (or not, as the case may be) -  and as they are gas permeable, it’s taking a little bit of getting back used to them again even with just a couple of days off wearing them). At the same time, I am trying to listen to the check & send cashier who is advising me, in her most unpersonable manner, all the ways in which the passport application is defective: too big a gap between the date I signed it and the date the of the countersignature, the replacement photo is not acceptable, the counter-signature is not complete on the back of the photo... I pay nearly £9 for the privilege and stomp off across town to Jessops to get the photos re-done – when I find the receipt for the first lot, the cocky Testino wannabe in Timpsons will get a piece of my weary mind...
hmm - not sure he could cut keys, though

By the time we got to served in Jessops, we were nearly out of time at the car park which was back on the other side of town. I got the photos done and raced back to the car park to get some more money on the ticket. I might have given up, but I really did need to get Blue’s specs sorted. I had no change to had to register to pay for the parking by phone – an additional 10 minutes talking to a robot “You have not entered a valid card number – please try again”
“BUT I DID” I want to scream – but there’s no one listening

(well, not on the end of the phone line. On the contrary, there were plenty of people listening to me in the car park...)

I take Blue’s lenses out, and frogmarch them back across town to Boots which just happens to be next door to Jessops... Some good news here – apparently the type of NHS voucher we get for Blue appears to mean that we will get replacement frames for free.
Next stop, Smiths for something appropriate for Pin’s birthday thank you cards - I am horribly embarrassed that it is June and we still haven’t  done the thank yous from her birthday mid-May, and I then come under some intense lobbying for the right to spend birthday money. Urgh. Hawkins Bazarre.

Finally, home after a trip back to my friend the GP for another counter-signature on the new passport application, with lots of grovelling, just in time for tea. Whoopie-do.
Fortunately, after the trials of the afternoon, the chosen meal was one of those lovely easy throw it all in a pot things, that I could get on with whilst working out how Pink's new purchase - a hideous and dreadful thing apparently called a 'flutter fairy' - worked:

Chorizo Pilaff. Another one from June 2012 Good Food, although it doesn’t appear to be on the website, so I will relay the recipe to you here:

dinky, aren't they?

Olive oil; 1 large onion, thinly sliced, 250g/9ox cooking chorizo, 2 cloves of garlic (the original recipe said 4, but I thought it would be too much) 1 tsp of hot smoked paprika, 400g can chopped tomatoes, 250g/9oz basmati rice, rinsed, 600ml/1pint stock, zest of a lemon, peeled off in thick strips with a veg peeler, 2 bay leaves.
Use a big pan with a lid. Fry the onions in a tablespoon of oil until soft and golden, then move the onions to one side and add the sliced chorizo and fry off till the pieces are browned and some of the oil has been released. Chuck in the garlic & paprika, then add the stock, tomatoes and rice, lemon zest and bay leaves. Bring everything up to bubbling then cover with the lid and reduce the heat to very low, and leave for 12 minutes or so. Then turn off the heat and leave, with the lid on, for another 15 minutes.

Fluff up with a fork and serve with a green salad: mine used up some iceberg lettuce, some mange tout peas which I blanched in boiling water then refreshed in cold, and some chopped cucumber. Exciting. Just the thing to set one up for an evening in front of the computer battling with the oh-so-S-L-O-W internet in an attempt to clear up from the bank holidays before another couple of days holiday tomorrow and Friday...

(I can’t even post any pics up because the batteries in my camera are dead and I can’t get the photos from my phone to email to me... Like I said – just one of those days...)


  1. Deep breath, it's 12.10 and the cruddy day is over!

  2. Hope the end of the week was better (minus shocking weather obviously) Your passport nightmare sends shivers down my spine - I've just realised my daughter's runs out next month and I'm hoping to go away when school breaks up. Oh dear...
    On a happier note our flutter fairy appears to have stopped fluttering x

    1. I've got a friend who realised the day before they were travelling to Eurodisney for Christmas that her middle daughter's passport had expired. It's what gee'd me into action. Finally got it sorted this morning.

      Yes. Flutter fairies. After the first bit of 'pixie silk' got tangled up and then snapped, the novelty appears to have worn off...

  3. Hope you have a better weekend,and a great week ahead :)


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