Well, I finally finished Tom's red Lang sock wool scarf. It just went on and on; sometimes I was knitting with it wrapped round both our necks, and from time to time asked 'are we there yet?' But he just kept replying 'no, make it longer!'. I felt like Rex Harrison's pope Julius to Charlton Heston's Michelangelo, amended to
'When can I make an end?'
'When it is finished!'
At last I came to the final section of grey on the second skein (I love that word, wool and geese, two of the loveliest things the world has to offer), and if it were to end as it began that had to be it. I washed and blocked it, hoping that would widen the rib a bit, which it did slightly but not very much, though it made it more supple and amenable to being stretched and opened out anyway. There was enough left to make a fringe, which took quite a while too.
then it had to be trimmed. After that, I wetted the fringe and tried Elizabeth Zimmerman's trick of whacking it very hard while wet on the edge of the sink. This had the interesting effect of making all the separate fine strands curl and cling together into chunkier cords, probably in terror at such violence.
It really is absurdly long, but he seems pleased with it,
the extra length, he says,
can always be wrapped around twice.
Anyway, while I knit, or put on tassels, he cooks. Inspired by Rick Stein, it must be said, he is coming over all Indian flavoured. This one was a great success, in my opinion:
I love curry, and I love mussels. What could be better then, than curried mussels?
I'm not talking about the pathetic teaspoonful of curry powder the moules frîtes places stick in the poaching liquor and charge an extra euro for, which generally passes for curry and therefore daringly exotic in French terms (and often all shoved under the blanket heading of créole, whether from the French West Indies, Pondicherry or Africa), but a really well blended light curry sauce, with onion, garlic, chopped fresh tomatoes and ginger as well as a good dose of chilli and other freshly, and quite coarsely, ground spices, reduced and brought to high heat, then the mussels cooked in it. Bloody delightful; some wedges of lime and slices of cucumber to freshen it up and some naan bread which I buy and freeze on the rare occasions I see them. And beer, of course.
This one wasn't quite so photogenic, but tasted pretty good too. Chicken, pullao rice and Bombay spiced potato (with mango chutney on the side). He is also making proper ghee by clarifying, simmering and straining unsalted butter; this meal used rather a lot of it. If we go on like this we'll both be needing great big scarves to cover our great big tummies.
In fact, studying more authentic cookbooks, it becomes apparent that a lot of real Indian food is in fact quite dry, as this was (though the ghee helped offset that...). Coming as we do from the land which (allegedly) invented chicken tikka massala, we find we rather like a bit of extra gravy. There was just enough for me to have as leftovers for lunch the following day, and I took the liberty of adding some tomato passata and a drop of light cream, which worked very well, though I didn't tell him I'd done it till later.
Life is sweet. And savoury.