Wednesday, December 30, 2020


My breath must be a fright. A late lunch of garlicky eggplant, plus fried dace with blackbean sauce and mustard greens. Followed at tea-time by some cheesecake courtesy of our landlady, and strong tea.
Tinned fried dace with salted black bean is one of those tastes that one acquires when funds are tight, as they were for a few years in my twenties. It is best to decant the entire shebang into the skillet in which one has sautéed mustard greens and ginger, having cleared a bit of space in the pan, then mash the black beans with a fork and break the fish apart into chunks. Eaten by itself it might cause acid stomach, but with greens and ginger it's very enjoyable.
So it's probably not good for you, precisely like bacon.

I need to buy another couple of tins.
Mud carp, cirrhinus molitorella.

Tinned dace is one of many things which would horrify my mother, though my father would have probably been intrigued. He had a fondness for sardines and anchovies (both tinned),
of which he kept a supply next to the sambal in the cellar, down the steep concrete steps to which my mother feared to tread.

Strangely, she had no problem with canned tuna. Brain food.

To settle the stomach I took a walk after tea time. Fried dace, sambal, cheesecake......
A stroll with a pipe is good for the digestion, and seeing as it was too late to smoke inside (my apartment mate came home), I stepped out into the night and discovered that it was drizzling.
Stepped out a second time, now with an umbrella, and relit my pipe. The darkness is lovely when there is moisture in the air, enchanting. And dog walkers hurry their hounds up, so that they don't have to go far from their front doors. There are, therefore, fewer people around.
It's cold outside too.

Had another cup of tea when I returned.
I think I need more cheesecake.


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