ANCHOVIES, CAPERS AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

For Sidey, Inspiration and Browniegirl, my party-trick potato salad. This is something I originally found in Annie Hawes’ book ‘Ripe for the picking’. I’ve changed it slightly, but it is one of my favourite dishes; very good with roasted meats and just perfect with fish cakes. The olive pickers in Liguria would eat it as a meal on its own, taken in a tin as their lunch in the olive groves. I’M POSTING THIS FOR MY FRIEND, TANDY SINCLAIR.

Chopped (cold) boiled potatoes
Parsley (lots – the original recipe calls for the parsley to be equal in volume to the potatoes, but I use about two cups full)
1 bottle anchovies and capers, including the oil (if you find the anchovy oil is not enough, add olive oil to make sure the mixture is moist enough)
Ground black pepper

And then…

I am the worst person in the world when it comes to money matters. I hate dealing with money, talking about money, thinking about money. At any given moment, I am likely to have less than R100 on my person. I have little or no idea what things cost and if, for instance, I am going on a lunch date, I have to consult Old Spouse on how much money I should draw to take along to cover my side of the bill. I have a shoebox for my bills, insurance policies, etc. Those are envelopes I don’t even open. The Woolworths card for our household necessities goes (unopened) to Old Spouse. My cash needs are minimal and that’s just the way I like it.

In late 2008, a friend was in desperate trouble and I had to help. Her problem was of a deeply private matter and I couldn’t share it with anyone, not even Old Spouse. The only thing I could do was to dust off my credit card and so dig my friend out of her hole, with the clear understanding that she would never be able to repay me.

To say that I fretted about my new debt would be putting it mildly. The worry about it became an albatross around my neck. I dreamed about it at night, it took over my thoughts during conversations and whipped the laughter from my mouth during movies. I just wanted to pay it off as soon as I could. All my earnings from the small jobs I got were paid into to the card. If I went to Rosebank on an errand and received R200 change on a purchase, I’d whip over to the bank and make a payment on the card. The R500-odd notes received in Christmas cards, ditto; off to the bank.

It got so that I got on first-name terms with the tellers.

And still the monthly statements went, unopened, into the shoebox. In my mind the original amount of the debt remained the same enormous worry.

With the advent of a new year, as is perfectly natural, our thoughts turn to resolutions and turning over new leaves. Whilst shopping for Original Bunn’s school stationery, I purchased for myself a bright red PVC lever arch file. Back home, with a glass of wine and a bowl of pretzels, I tackled the shoebox and opened all those envelopes.

Would you believe this? I have already repaid the full amount. Not once. Three and a bit times!

What a dunce.

And then again … some favourite things:
Salad dressing: Lemon juice.
Cuisine: Very hard to answer, I will cheat and say Mediterranean.
Protein: Fish.
Vegetable: Brussels sprouts.
Man: Clever is sexy.
Dessert: Cointreau on ice.
Alcoholic beverage: Can anybody guess?
Non-alcoholic beverage: Water.
Flower: Changes all the time. I’m having a Protea year.
Activity other than cooking: Some parents of Original Bunn’s friends read this blog …
Ice cream: Frozen Margherita.
Fruit: Cherries.
Party: Scattered groups, clusters of good conversation, clever music selection, Merlot.
Dinner: With a beautifully laid table, candles and good cutlery.
Pizza: Putanesca: anchovies, capers, olives & chilli.
Vehicular transportation: An old fashioned train journey.

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17 thoughts on “ANCHOVIES, CAPERS AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

  1. We would have to part ways on the anchovies. 😦 But we do have a few other things in common.
    Salad dressing: Lemon juice.

    Ice cream: Frozen Margherita. That’s an Ice cream? I like the drink

    Vehicular transportation: An old fashioned train journey. Sounds nice

  2. Pingback: Carrot Cake Challenge « Lavender and Lime

  3. Vegetable: Brussels sprouts – yuck
    I sometimes wish there was some other medium of exchange that wasnt money. And I made you think money yesterday 😛

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