Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the not-so-totally miniature purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden, and about me, too. You may remember me from such posts as “Day Of The Scorpiris”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.There wasn’t even a biscuit on top of the guy I live with’s head, for that picture. I was just being my usual excellent self.
Well, what a day. The first thing that happened, after my walk of course, was that the guy I live with spent a great deal of time making this gravy for the biryani he was going to cook later this evening. It has something like eighteen different ingredients and I didn’t get to try it. He said it was really good.
If you’re wondering if the gravy looks hot, well, he said it was, sort of. Those are fried serrano peppers.
Then he decided to work on the troughs, or boxes, as he now calls them. The boxes needed hardware cloth tacked on to the bottoms, and the drawer where the hammers are wouldn’t open, because one of the hammers was sticking up, and so made the drawer stick, and the guy I live with said a whole bunch of stuff about that, and then finally had to take a crowbar and pull up the top of the work bench to get at the hammer that was sticking up, and he said a bunch of stuff about that, too. He got a hammer, though, in the end.
Then the hardware cloth was tacked to the bottom of the boxes, and, believe it or not, nothing happened when he did that, except a bunch of tacking. Like there wasn’t any yelling or cursing inanimate objects, or bleeding. None of that.
Then some of the ice was chipped away from the paths. It was really nice and warm today. The guy I live with says that’s because it’s going to snow next week; it gets really warm here and you think spring might be around the corner, and then it snows, and it does this over and over again until the end of May.Then the guy I live with decided to paint the one box made out of pine, with Cuprinol, to keep it from whatever Cuprinol keeps it from, since it never is wet enough here for wood to warp or rot. The stuff isn’t toxic to plants, and can be painted, if desired. Otherwise the green more or less ages away, he said. You can see the hardware cloth here.The green stuff has a smell to it, “like a canvas tent”, but the guy I live with got some on his fingers, and he hates getting stuff on his fingers, and so he washed his hands about fifty times, and made all these squealy noises until the smell went away.
The other day he had to replace the battery in the car and you should have heard him when he got grease on his fingers.
To sort of cancel all that out, I, according to the trainer at Day Care, had “another fantastic week”, and I have the report card to prove it. “Grt”, if you didn’t know, means “great”. The guy I live with said, once again, that they must be talking about a different purebred border collie.
Then, well, let’s see, later there was something said about the carpet. I don’t know who could have done that. Maybe you can figure it out. I’ll let you go now, so you can do the detective work.
Until next time, then.
Mani, you show that photo of rapture-making sauce, AND NO RECIPE? Grrrr without the “t.” And can I detect a sunny glow on that lovely patch of snowy, icy garden? Thank you for the narrative of the guy you live with’s doings. Curious that a gardener does not like stuff on his fingers. You must be developing quite the vocabulary, listening to all that lamentation and invective. “Calming myself,” one of your categories of greatness, I’d like to learn how to do that (perhaps so should your guy, just saying). Could you share your technique? Mani, you are such a clean-looking dog, I must believe it was the alter-ego velociraptor who did the dirty damage to the rug. Stay calm and enjoy the snow.
Thanks; I am often the epitome of calm. (“Only when you’re asleep….”) The guy I live with doesn’t mind dirt on his fingers, but chemical stuff, ack. That’s what he says, “Ack”. The gravy recipe is a long one. It came from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj_eC_MYP7g What a charismatic chef, huh. And fortunately there were curry leaves in the refrigerator, which last longer than he thought they would. The gravy does call for dried hot red chilies, and fresh hot green chilies, and fried chilies like serranos, though jalapenos are good, too, he says. There was some sun today but “everything is gloom and horror” according to, well, you know who.
I love canvas tent smell.
Well, this is like extra canvas tent smell. But it does go away. Eventually.
So much to enjoy in this latest installment of the Mani Saga…I want to try that recipe: It looks just the thing to warm up a cold night and I bet it would go well with the bottle of champagne I keep in the snow drift in our backyard ever since we got two feet of the stuff from Winter Storm Jonas.
Whenever I get yucky-smelling stuff on my fingers I rub them with half a lemon. The acid isn’t harsh and it cuts through all kinds of nastiness better than soap. And it smells heavenly.
When it comes to your greatness you always get me with your “characteristic pose” (which is a very excellent characteristic pose, as characteristic poses go), but on that professional breakdown you had me at “Taking Treats Nicely”. You are a DoG and a Gentlemen, dear Mani.
As far as those mysterious muddy tracks on the carpet…has anyone seen the neighbor’s cat lately?
Thanks; well, the guy I live with says if you like hot food, then go for it. Frying chilies does lessen their heat ….some. We have some limes here, but not lemons. Maybe he’ll try half a lime. Thanks for the tip. I guess the box experiment is over. All of a sudden, just like that. There are two boxes and I guess that’s all there will ever be, is just two. Or, if there are more, they’ll be made out of redwood. Yes, I do agree that the mud on the carpet was caused by a cat, sneaking in here while the back door was open.
Biryani: For me, like a good paella, it’s all about the crispy rice. Alas, we fail much of the time. Do you have the secret for a rice crispy biryani? Did your mirch have coconut? And, Western red cedar lumber (Thuja plicata) should make a very good, much less expensive sub for redwood.
Coconut, yes. They say that the proper rice for biryani is that the grains are separate. That’s achieved by washing the rice over and over again.
I’m thinking that the secret is how the basmati rice is par-boiled, not the pre-rinsed regime. Although there have been no formal experiments, 7 minute par-boil vs. 10 min par-boil seems to make a big difference at this 9 feet above sea level. Nonetheless, lamb biryani, crispy, or not, rocks, and the dog beasts are more than willing to share the leftover bounty. Iyer”s cookbook has a bunch of recipes that are worth riffing off of.