Good evening! Another garden party, another post!
Following the first summerhouse-warming party, it was felt that another was required in order to build on the success – and to get rid of the remaining yummy snacks before they went out of date. (Whilst the Lifestyle Support Guru has the constitution of an ox – if not quite the build – I recognise that this is not the case with all my acquaintances, but I digress.)
Invitations were given to the lovely construction technician, Jez (i.e., him wot put the summerhouse up), his lovely part-Italian partner, Emma (not to be confused with the not-so-lovely part-Italian Gina Coladangelo who consorted with a certain Mr Hancock), and a third lovely friend known as Chris the Cat (to differentiate her from various other acquaintances of the LSG who are also called Chris). Jez said he would supply the barbecue if I would supply the drink (a good bargain, as it turned out, since two of the three were on a ‘school night’, so not drinking much, and the other one brought her own drink! These are my kind of guests!).
Upon arrival, the guests were given the obligatory tour of the lower level of the house, and it was pointed out that an ironing board had been added to the furnishings since the BFG and BSG had visited. This was greatly admired.
The summerhouse was also much admired, along with the not-quite-out-of-date yummy snacks, and then the LSG suggested that her guests try the zero gravity sun loungers. Well, that was it – the two female guests (am I allowed to say ‘female’ these days?) could not be moved from them for the rest of the evening (although they made half-hearted offers to give them up).
The food was delicious and plentiful and all the better for having been cooked by someone else (I did offer a Pot Noodle as an alternative, but it was thought the pots might melt on the barbecue – you’ll never know until you try, I say!). The conversation ranged far and wide, from bird-spotting (the guests identified a kestrel and a heron, while the LSG identified ‘some birds’) to health. The LSG was fascinated to learn that Chris the Cat has a talking watch which tells her when to move and even when to breathe! Amazing! Luckily, I have two brothers who do that for me (tell me when to move and breathe, I mean, not actually move and breathe for me, of course! I haven’t quite sunk to the level of being an inanimate object – yet!).
All in all, it was a successful evening, spoiled only slightly by the fact that it didn’t get quite dark enough for the guests to see the flashing fairy lights around the summerhouse before they had to leave – Jez on his electric bike, Emma walking alongside him (one of them got the rough end of the stick there, I think), Chris the Cat by taxi, still listening carefully to her watch.
I shall probably charge admission for future visits because next-sibling-down has returned from the wilds of Hertfordshire and has brought many items with him to adorn the front and back rooms, so guided tours will, inevitably, take longer. Prices upon application.
Tonight, dear devotees, I intend to offer some tips on cooking. As you know, I am particularly adept at producing the perfect Pot Noodle, but you don’t need me to advise you on this culinary creation since the instructions are written on the pot anyway. No, today I wish to offer some advice on poached eggs on toast and, more specifically, poached eggs in the microwave. You may not have realised that poached eggs could be cooked in a microwave, so I am here to broaden your horizons and offer you two alternative methods of poaching eggs in the microwave, as tested by the Lifestyle Support Guru and a male sibling. It is up to you to decide which method you will eventually choose. Both are equally effective. I will set the scene:
Male sibling suggests poached egg on toast for lunch as a change from Pot Noodle. You point out that the sliced bread has mould on it, but accept that the cobs are still relatively fresh, so they could be cut in half in order to fit in the toaster. And now here are the two methods:
1. Male sibling looks at the instructions for the (until now unused) poached egg device for using in the microwave and breaks two eggs into it, pricking the yolks and whites, as instructed, so that they don’t explode. He then says that he needs to add half a tablespoonful of water to each egg and proceeds to add water straight from the tap rather than go to the trouble of getting a tablespoon out of the drawer. You stand looking on in awe at this facility to measure half a tablespoonful straight from the tap. The instructions go on to say that the eggs should be cooked on low-medium power; unfortunately, neither of us has ever used this function before and can’t work out how to change the power setting, so he takes a chance and stays with ‘high’. (I did offer to get the microwave instructions out, but he said not to bother – so I didn’t.) Meanwhile, he has forced the two halves of the cob into the toaster and there is a wonderful smell of burning coming from it because they are a touch too wide for the slots, At the same time there are some wonderful popping sounds coming from the microwave before it pings. Since the sibling is wrestling with getting the oversized cob halves out of the toaster, you open the microwave and find that there are splatters of egg white decorating all its inner walls and a puddle of water on the microwave plate. Sibling slides the eggs onto his ‘toast’ and goes off to eat them, quite satisfied with his efforts.
2. You follow the same method as above right up until you realise that you need to add half a TEASPOONFUL of water to each egg, which you duly do. You then get the microwave instructions out and learn how to change the power setting. The eggs are ready to go, so you follow the sibling’s actions with regard to the cob halves. Unfortunately, you have cut them unevenly, so one of them has to be squashed into the slot, which means it comes close to setting the toaster on fire. There is that wonderful smell of burning again! But no popping sounds from the microwave! And no layer of egg white or puddle of water in the bottom (so to speak). You wrestle with the ‘toast’ and eventually have to turn the toaster upside down to get all the bits of cob left inside, but it needed a good clean out anyway. The eggs don’t quite slide smoothly out of the microwave dish – they need a little ‘persuasion’ with a knife, but they taste fine, even if the toast is a little unevenly cooked (or, rather, hardly cooked at all since you started to panic at the first smell of burning) and it doesn’t matter that the whole meal is cold because of the time you spent working on the toaster (which has since remained safely unplugged) because you get an immense feeling of satisfaction from having cooked it all yourself, putting in even more effort than you would for a Pot Noodle. And it only took half an hour from start to finish!
Please let me know if you would like more detailed instructions on preparing this healthy, quick and tasty meal. Buoyed by this success, next week we will be attempting Chateaubriand steak with duchesse potatoes and asparagus spears.
It is absolute MONTHS since I last offered any advice to followers of the Lifestyle Support Guru! Have you forgotten me? Have I forgotten you? Has everyone forgotten everything? I have no excuse, no reason, no explanation – I haven’t even been on an extended holiday trying to escape the cares of the world. Nor have I been applying for a job with Dominic Cummings since I don’t consider myself a weirdo or a misfit – WHY would you want to employ a weirdo or a misfit? You’ll just end up with a psycho who wants to run the world … hmm, maybe too many people have already filled in the application form …
But now I’m back and this time, dear followers, I am asking for your help rather than the other way around. As you may know, I have an assistant called Alexa and she is generally very helpful in reminding me of tasks (ironing, washing and other interesting domestic duties – I tend to ignore her); sometimes, however, she has a little difficulty understanding me and I have to repeat myself more than once. For example, the other day I was doing a crossword (verbally) and gave the answer to one clue as ‘error’ – three times Alexa replied that ‘era’ wasn’t the answer! ‘I know it’s not!’ I responded. ‘It’s ERROR!’ I have to admit to raising my voice and, eventually, she accepted my answer, but she only gave me 83% for my final score because I didn’t give the correct answer straight away. I didn’t bother arguing with her. Anyway, having given you the background, I need to tell you that I use Alexa to keep my shopping list up to date and that there are items written on there that I don’t recognise in the slightest, so I am asking for your help in interpreting them. They are the following:
1. Who is big desert
2. Play the plasis
3. Cream cost
You will need to read these in a Welsh accent to try to replicate what I said. It may help to know that when I ask her to ‘Play Derby Sound’ (a little plug for the radio station there!), she sometimes says that she can’t find ‘Dolby Sound’. It may also help to know that I often add these items at the end of the evening after a little glass of wine and just as I’m going to sleep. I need to know what items I haven’t bought but that I thought important enough to add to my shopping list – these could be vital to my wellbeing and lifestyle. I have ruled out Pot Noodles, baked beans and faggots (she won’t say this last word, nor will she write it in a list – it just comes up as ‘f*****s’).
Any help will be much appreciated.