Random Ramblings

August 18, 2010 at 4:36 am (Uncategorized)

  • I can only imagine the profound disappointment of one poor individual, misdirected to DoctorDi yesterday via the search terms ‘girls taking off their jeans very slowly’ – arriving here must have been the blogosphere equivalent of socks for Christmas.
  • I’ve become addicted to my lunchtime wrap, and expect I’ll completely overdo it until I won’t be able to look at another one for as long as I live. But while the force is still strong with this one, I thought I’d share it with you, because it’s so quick and tasty, and sooooo much better than the depressingly tasteless $8 toasted sandwich I had downtown last week, which was like eating a neat square of glue. It was what I imagine food engineered for space travel tastes like – unlike my wrap, which is usually some variation of the following: a rye wrap, cheese, avocado, falafel, rocket, tomato (fresh or oven roasted), satay sauce, salt and pepper. I also put sour cream or plain yoghurt in there when I’m really feeling decadent. First I scatter grated cheese over the wrap, stick it under the grill to melt while I am nuking my falafel balls (two), then I spread half an avocado on top of that, add rocket, slice up the falafel and tomato and place them down the middle, add seasoning, then apply large dollops of sauce because I am a condiment loving girl. Wrap the whole thing up and open wide. It’s genuinely delicious. And if I have run out of one or several ingredients, it doesn’t really matter. Trust me, you can either substitute – lettuce for rocket, roast pumpkin for tomato, chicken for falafel – or just make do. Either way you honestly can’t lose.
  • I finally have some properly renumerated freelance work this week, hence the bullet point post. When my editor emailed me to ask if I was available, I emailed back, ‘Yes please, God yes, thank you thank you – I was going to write and ask if there would ever be any work for me ever again for the rest of my life.’ He’s a friend of mine, so I can say this sort of thing without him thinking I am a lunatic. Or more of a lunatic. It is such a relief to be reassured that I have not been inexplicably blackballed after all – he’s just had no work for freelancers. Gainful employment: it feels good.
  • Our Little Friend has started moving around in there. She or he is quite active at night, although has been very well behaved overnight the past two days, when I have managed the miracle of a full proper night’s sleep (mercy be). Even Llewie has been able to feel it punching above its weight, which is lovely since he’s obviously locked out of the earlier physical experience. I have started playing the bump drum in my idle moments, which is more entertaining than you might think. The really exciting news is that my bladder has finally scored a reprieve – after a sensationally improbable number of toilet trips the past six weeks or so (as in leaving the bathroom only to realise that I have to go back), things finally appear to have settled down on that front, and last night I didn’t have to get up to go at all. Not once. It was a miracle, waking up and finding it was 7 am instead of 3:30 this morning. I actually could not tell you when that last happened – maybe 22 weeks ago. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts, as I have a suspicion that the relief will be brief.
  • I also think I’ve finally made headway in the elevated feet department. I’d sort of moved to the ottoman in the sunroom, which is fine for reading and some writing, but quickly proved inadequate for MS redrafting. This is both a practical and psychological discovery: I need to work at a desk. I just couldn’t get the sunroom space to operate adequately, first because I had nowhere to spread out my notes so that they’re within easy reach, and second because sitting stretched out on the ottoman with my feet up is not conducive to any serious undertaking. It feels like holidays, and indeed, the sunroom has long been my weekend lair, whereas traditionally I have worked in my office Monday-Friday, ignoring it for those 48 hours of recovery. This was just something I did quite naturally, but the demarcation of household zones has turned out to be very important to the work itself. Same with the freelance – I knew as soon as my editor called in the job that I needed to find an elevation solution for the office. And I think I have. I’m back in here today, and I tell you what, the difference is astonishing. I’ve snapped back from casual to conscientious like someone’s changed my batteries – it’s pretty interesting. And beneath the desk my legs are resting upon a short Mexican stool I bought at a market in Baja in 2000. Perfectly adequate. And why the obsession with elevation? My deep fear of courting the horrific varicose veins that are my hereditary due – I really don’t want ‘em.
  • I can’t stop thinking about the family of the poor man killed by a shark off the Margaret River coast in WA yesterday. He was the father of two young kids, out doing something he loved before returning to his mining job further north, and it’s a terrible death. The shark was in its natural habitat, just doing its thing, and of course we all know they’re out there, and that we’re on their turf whenever we enter the water, but still, as a coastal dweller and devoted ocean lover myself, I always find it genuinely heartbreaking when these things happen.


  1. David said,

    What is a rocket, in this context? I am thinking it may be what I would call a green onion, or possibly summer squash (or zucchini, or courgette, depending). Or maybe you mean it literally, and a sliced rocket makes your sandwich … the bomb.

    K. I gotta go now.

    • doctordi said,

      It’s arugula to you – roquette to the Europeans and, increasingly, rocket to us. I love it and use it in as many things as possible – the pepperiness gets me every time, so yeah, I guess there is a sensory ‘take off’ of sorts!

      • David said,

        I never would have figured that out!

        I learned the hard way, one memorable salad years ago, that of all the things arugula is delicious with … shrimp is not one of them. Love it as a sandwich green, though … and I also love it sauteed with a little olive oil, lemon, and garlic. Mmmmmm.

      • doctordi said,

        I can imagine that, actually. I think with prawns it’s hard to go past cos, or the exquisite nostalgia of a classic iceberg!

        Yes, I love wild rocket with parmesan, olive oil, lemon, chilli and garlic stirred through spaghetti. One of the simplest and tastiest quick midweek dinners going around. I actually don’t cook the rocket for this dish, I just chop and stir it through.

        *And* it’s excellent – again stirred through fresh – with gnocchi in a blue cheese and walnut sauce. Yum. Yum. Yum.

  2. Pete said,

    ‘the blogosphere equivalent of socks for Christmas’ – for some reason that phrase cracks me up. Yay for the freelance work and for the elevation solution. And that wrap. Oh my god that sounds good. David’s comment has also got me wondering how rocket got its name. I’ve never found lettuce to be that explosive for me. But at least rocket is better than iceberg. Whatever right!

    • doctordi said,

      Always happy to crack you up, Pete – although I doubt my disoriented visitor was at all amused!

      There is that one really strong lettuce, radicchio, if you’re feeling like a more dramatic leaf (interesting fact: the darker varieties are also the most nutritionally rich, so iceberg lettuce is the nutritional lightweight of the lot)!!

  3. Lilian Nattel said,

    I wondered what a rocket was, too. (I like arugula.) Hurray for elevated feet and freelance work! And the search engine results made me laugh!

    • doctordi said,

      What’s this ‘a’ rocket thing, people?! Who said anything about ‘a’ rocket??!!

      The search engine results are getting racier all the time: today’s is ‘cheerleaders fucking.’ I am not making that up.

      • David said,

        Well — in context, it wasn’t clear (to those of us who didn’t know what it is) whether it was a singular or plural. It could theoretically have had a singular article, as tomato and avocado would have if they weren’t in a serial list. I was convinced it must be something shaped like a rocket, like a cucumber or a zucchini.

        …all of which may be contributing to your search results. Those cheerleaders will practice with anything they can get their hands on.

  4. Grad said,

    I’ve never had falafel. I see a box mix of it in the section of the grocery store where I find the Matzo ball mix (to which I am addicted and, if I didn’t curb it, would actually find myself looking like a giant matzo ball – round and fluffy). The wrap sounds very appealing and I would, as you suggest, probably exchange the falafel for chicken. Is satay sauce the one made with peanut butter? My dear little island…while there are more brands of grits than stars in the sky at my grocery, not to mention shelves of hot sauce, boiled peanuts and beef jerky, it hasn’t quite gone international. I bet I could find satay sauce at Fresh Market in town, though. They have everything, including organic dandelion greens – a treat from my childhood. I’d probably also exchange the rocket for fresh baby spinach. I must try your wrap this week.

    • doctordi said,

      Graddikins, I wish I could tell you that I make my own falafel balls, but I don’t. They’re available in the vegetarian section at most supermarkets here these days. I would like to be able to put ‘matzo balls’ in a sentence one day – every time I read it I repeat it aloud to myself like a little food chant: ‘Matzo balls, matzo balls, matzo balls’ – what *is* a matzo ball??!!

      If sounds like you *also* have just about all the ingredients you’d need to make the lip-smacking Thai peanut dip I think is one of the single best beer accompaniments on the planet. Prawn crackers, Thai peanut dip, ice cold lager – what, I ask you, could possibly be better on a summer’s day?

  5. Grad said,

    Oh! Just looked up satay sauce. Would you believe I have everything in the pantry to make it? Even the coconut milk and red chili paste! Who would have believed it?

    • doctordi said,

      Oh yes, chicken does an outstanding substitution job, it goes really, really well with satay. Ditto fresh baby spinach leaves instead of rocket.

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