Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wednesday 27th April 11

Woke slowly and spent much of the morning on the computer  but got into the garden before lunch and did a bit of work outside.

One thing I forgot to report yesterday was that the duck, which has been sitting on her nest in our fernery for 3 weeks, hatched her ducklings, and today, she took them all to our neighbour's pond, where it was just possible to work out that she'd got 11 ducklings.  Gill went round to next door and filmed them... she's very excited by all this.

I got a message from my friend Jackie that she was coming to York to participate in a 5 Rhythms Dance session, and could I meet her beforehand.  I said yes, and got on with chainsawing and splitting, just half an hour or so, whilst listening out for my mobile phone.

Eventually it bleeped and I replied that I'd meet her at 5pm n Parliament Street.  We decided to go to El Piano (not a surprise!) and sat outside in their courtyard behind the shop.  There was a table set out for preparing food (chopping boards, knives, onions, carrots) and soon, one of the El Piano staff came out and with her, two people I recognised from the Bejazzled night a few weeks back.  They were Ross and Leah, and they were having one of El Piano's 'learn how to cook' sessions.  They were having a go at bhajis and tinas, both deep-fried vegetable fritters held together with a floury batter.  Bhajis are onions with slightly spiced gram flour, and tinas are "a Bolivian delight, quite simply carrots & spring onions, a sprinkle of salt and sugar, rolled with rice flour and lightly fried" (see the El Piano menu pdf).  I was amazed that this 'how to cook' session cost only £2.50 per person, included a large glass of wine, and you could eat all the food you made!  This must be the best bargain in the whole of York, and I strongly suggest you, dear reader, try this activity as soon as possible, before the lovelies at El Piano realise the price is far too low and they make it a tenner per person!  It would make a fun activity for groups of people wanting to do something unusual which involved a glass of wine and a bit of food.  And you go away having learned how to make these classic dishes, taught by experts.

So, Jackie and I were offered quite a few bhajis and a few tinas by Leah and Ross, who were very friendly and lovely.  They left at 7 to go to something at the Grand Opera House, and I paid for our hot chocolate and pot of tea... and I took away a sack of the little wooden plates that the restaurant uses, and normally throws away.  They compost well... slowly, as they're thin wood, but it's an excellent material for bulking up my tumbler.  I walked with my bike and trailer up to Priory Street, left her there and cycled home.  I put the El Piano donation into the Compostumbler and did some weeding, and at 9pm, came in and had a small plateful of old noodles that hadn't been eaten by the kids.

Later I lit the stove and did the washing up (wishing we had wooden recyclable plates!) and had my usual evening of Scrabble, facebook, LinkedIn discussions and other communication.

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