Monday, February 18, 2008

This morning, Robin and I were sitting on the wall over by the estuary, eating our grapefruit. That reminds me - I haven't told you about the grapefruit thing. Walter, who provides us with an endless supply of grapefruit and oranges from his friend's trees, taught Roger how to eat a grapefruit, and Roger taught us. All these years, I've cut grapefruit in half, put the halves in bowls, and carved out each little segment, preparing the fruit to be eaten with a spoon. Piffle, says Walter. Peel the damned thing and eat it, just as you would an orange. No kidding? So we tried it, and we liked it. Most mornings, when Robin and I cycle to the estuary, we pack a grapefruit in the backpack, and we share it as a seaside snack. I have become a fan of the grapefruit, now that it's not half a day's work to prepare it. I'm not sure what advantage Roger finds in this new system, as he insists on using his penknife and peeling off every last bit of the white underskin - and every last vitamin - before he'll eat the fruit. ;>)

So anyway, we were sitting there, eating our grapefruit, and a frigate bird flew over. We've seen a fair number of frigate birds here, but they're usually way up overhead, riding the thermals, scoping out the fish supply below. This one was flying quite low. We could make out a lot of detail on him. He wasn't staying over the water, either. He kept swooping over the palm trees just down the beach from us. One time, as he flew over, I saw him duck his head as if he were looking down inside the tree. A few minutes later, we saw that there was something dangling from his mouth. It looked like a lizard. There ensued a great drama. The lizard seemed to be stuck in the bird's throat. The bird would choke a bit (or so it appeared), try to swallow the lizard, fail, choke a bit more, then head over to the water. He would do a shallow dive, scoop up a little salt water - presumably to try to wash the lizard down - and fly back toward us again. Finally, when I had got to the point of shouting "Either swallow the thing or spit it out! Sheesh!" I think he managed to get it down, because he flew off, out to sea. I don't think frigate birds are supposed to eat lizards.

The rest of my day (to this point) has been an exciting round of laundry, laundry, and more laundry. I finally remembered that it's much easier to ride my bike to the laundry room with the clothes in a backpack - even though it takes several trips - than it is to drag the stuff over there and back on foot, so that's what I've been doing. It's all finished now, for another week.

Oh, no - in between trips to the laundry room, I decided to make the Chinese curry sauce I had found online. I brought the recipe up on the computer, left it sitting here on the table, and read it from the kitchen. That was not very bright of me. The recipe called for flour and curry powder - two tablespoons of each. So I thought, anyway. I heated oil, added chopped garlic and ginger, then tossed in the flour/curry mixture and started to stir. "Allow it to bubble", said the recipe. Bubble? It's too dry to bubble. Uh-oh. I came back to the table and double-checked the recipe. It actually called for two tablespoons of flour and two teaspoons of curry powder. I quickly poured in a lot more olive oil, chopped a couple of cherry tomatoes that needed to be used anyway and tossed them in, added a handful of raisins and some bottled chicken broth. And a bit of cinnamon. And a teaspoonful of sugar. And water - a lot more than I had expected to add.

The result of all this panicked effort was not bad at all. Having added all those chunky bits, I put the sauce into the blender and whizzed it smooth. When I put the prawn curry together tonight, I'll put some extra ginger and garlic in, to make the proportions closer to what they should be. If I had a spoonful of peanut butter, I'd throw that in - or some coconut milk - but as it is, it's still better than the canned stuff , if I do say so myself.

Robin has just come back from kayaking, so I can get his opinion. I think we're going to be packing pounds and pounds of curry powder next year!

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