Wednesday [or, Can’t think of a snappy title]

The weather seems to have changed today, just a little, from the last few weeks of humid, horribly hot, sticky and stinky to slightly cooler, a little breezy, with a sniff of sweet clean rain. This is good news; this summer has been pretty unrelenting with the humidity and stinkiness. Most of us can cope with dry heat, easy – 40C no worries! But 34C with 85% humidity? Bleaughhhhh. It’s enervating, fatiguing, just plain gross.

And I know I sound like a Monty Python sketch [“when Ah were young”] but truly Perth summers were never like this, 20 years or so back. The first time I’d ever experienced the sensation of being wrapped in a warm, wet, heavy blanket was in 1985/86, when I spent some weeks of the summer holiday in Malaysia. That blanket smacked me across the face and beat me into submission the second I stepped off the plane. The bright blue-white skies and searing summers, the dry easterlies whipping off the desert to be relieved by the afternoon seabreeze – the blessed “Fremantle Doctor” – are pretty much gone. And people remain unconvinced about climate change and global warming. D’oh.

So here I sit in crop top and baggy jersey shorts, planning my day. A lot of boring-ish errands – “stocking up” at the chemist; grocery shopping; paying bills. Before heading off to the shops, though, with walking stick and wheelie trolley – you’d think I was ninety! * – I’ll do a little list-making. Tuxedo says I’m anal retentive, and probably I am, certainly I’ve always been naturally well-organised and good at the time/motion bit, but I LOVE making lists; the ticking off of completed items is incidental. I make lists of things to do, to purchase [from groceries to ambitious wish lists], to test and review [eg, new make up and skincare products], lists of lists with sub-categories and cross-referencing to other lists **.

First up, before the grocery list, is Menu Planning. I’m a pretty good cook but more importantly, I adore cooking and reading recipes and planning meals. While many of my meals are designed around what ingredients look enticing/are fresh that day, a certain amount of planning is required, given my physical restrictions [I might be too ill or bed-ridden for a few days running to browse], having to follow a very strict gluten-free diet [hence no spontaneous calls for take-away or a prepared shop-bought meal], and it must be said, budget. The latter is the worst for squishing creativity or cravings.

This week’s meals look like including:- Paella, Bun Cha, Rogan Josh, Salade Nicoise, Char Kway Teow, some Hummus bi Tahina, and either Pho Ga or Chao Ga [eclectic, non? Spanish, Vietnamese, Indian, Provincial French, Malaysian, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese again]. There may also be some dessert and sweet treat items – blueberry muffins, apple crumble, white chocolate and macadamia nut bikkies, and I have a craving for crème brulée that is not to be denied… I love different cuisines, different flavours and techniques and permutations. I’ll try to post recipes for these and anything else that might occur, kitchen-wise, along with assorted tips, tricks and gadgetry that I cannot live without.

* Perhaps not so granny – the walking stick is not a granny’s walking stick but a groovy hikers/climbers stick, in design much like a ski pole, ultra-light ultra-strong aluminium with tungsten tip, floating compass in the top of the hand-grip – all it needs is a MP3 Player set in somewhere. The wheelie trolley is bright red with big rubber wheels and totally unlike the tartan carts belonging to old ladies with yappy terriers wearing pink bows on their heads.

** Um, yes, I think such behaviour does qualify me for a sub-set of anal retentiveness. It doesn’t extend to housework.

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