Practically perfect in every way

Betty and the husband person ventured out this fine Saturday afternoon – a rare enough occurrence, since once Betty has tottered home from work on a Saturday she seldom feels like going out again until Sunday morning – and it was a lovely day: first Betty went to a dance class, in the faint hope of meeting an old friend there, but she wasn’t. After that, Betty and the husband person went for a long-awaited lunch at Cosset in Mount Albert.

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Betty had an excellent soy mocha and a filo spiral filled with spinach, walnuts and caramelised onion, which was lovely; the husband person had homestyle beans and hash browns with avocado and grilled tomato. Take that, Pythagoras.

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And after that, they had a very quick sortie through Ponsonby and watched the sun set from one of their favourite miniature beaches. Isn’t it sweet?

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Birthday goodness

Betty turned 27.

The boy person friend took her to lunch at Revel on Karangahape Road. Betty loves Karangahape Road. Back in the day, when she was writing her thesis, she used to have breakfast there sometimes. Many is the time she hiked all the way up Queen Street in search of a vegan marshmallow from the SAFE shop in St Kevin’s Arcade. To this day, she occasionally hankers for Thai food from a truly horrendous foodcourt on Mercury Lane. There is a greenish-gold dome on one of the older buildings that she has determined one day to explore. Sometimes she gets a deliciously low-rent tofu hot dog from a tiny hole-in-the-wall takeaway near the Grafton Bridge. I digress.

Revel is a lovely cafe. One time, when Betty was feeling poorly, the man behind the coffee-machine made Betty an impromptu cup of lemon and ginger toddy; he offered a shot of whisky, which Betty declined, though she immediately wondered why she had; but her throat felt ever so much better afterward.

The boy person friend asked for a lemon, lime and bitters, and was somehow talked into this elderflower-and-rhubarb concoction; it was extremely nice.

He also had wedges. Betty had eggs benny with delicious mushrooms and zucchini. Her tea was made of almonds and hibiscus, among other things; they have escaped her memory due to her advancing years.

Space rides and foreign climes

For the first time in months, Betty and the boy person friend drove down to Hamilton. It was yesterday, the day before Betty’s birthday, which made it all the more exciting, and they were driving the great friend’s car (he calls it the Knight Rider, Betty recently discovered) — this, too, tended to be somewhat exciting. However, all interested parties survived the journey.

It was rather a busy day — Betty taught a couple of clients in the morning, then did the advanced mat class, and then went for a speedy coffee with a visiting instructor who had come to do the class. Massimo, usually exemplary, forgot the soy, and so it took about half an hour to actually receive the coffee; then Betty ran home, got ready in record time, and leaped into the car to collect the boy person. They arrived at the University of Betty’s youth only slightly late, and slipped in to watch the end-of-year piano concert, featuring two of Betty’s sisters on piano and cello. Continue reading

A peculiar thing about onions

I was making dinner at work the other day (today, in fact, in a way: Betty has mastered the cunning techno-skill of blogging in advance), preparing to caramelise some onion for a spinach curry, and I had the whimsical urge to do the onion in rings; these kind of urges strike me sometimes, especially at this job I’m referring to. This job generally involves cooking quite off-the-cuff — no recipes, unlabelled spices, experimental gluten-free substitutions, and a grateful and easygoing recipient — which leads to a kind of reckless, devil-may-care approach. With a song in my heart, I sliced those onions real good and popped the rings out into the shimmering oil. So far, no problem.

Here’s the thing, though. You know the saying about unscrambling an omelette? The same does not apply to onions. Pop those rings asunder, swish them around the pot a little, and blowed if they aren’t attracted back to each other. The bally things practically re-assemble before your very eyes. Just stopping them from nesting more than three deep is approximately equivalent to level seven in a game of Tetris. It’s as if you’re continually turning around from the blackboard to find that little Derek has come out of the corner and is once again sitting with the girls. It’s exhausting.

That is all.