Posts Tagged ‘frying’

The bucket of fat

The other day I was in work. It was quite busy. Not rushed-off-your-feet busy. Just I-need-a-cup-of-tea-now busy. We got the food delivery in and, as usual, we started to unpack some stuff into the display fridge, put some stuff away, etc.

There was a huge bucket and when we opened it to look inside, we saw the slightly cloudy water that the poached chicken has been cooked in. Great, put that in the kitchen and I’ll unpack the chicken into tubs, when I get a chance.

Cakes went on stands, cheese went in fridges and salads went in bowls. It was all looking fab and under control. I went to the kitchen and that’s when we got loads of orders. There I was, heating, pouring, chopping, plating, and the bucket of chicken stood on the side, in my way, while I struggled to find time to deal with it. On and on it went, every time my hands went to the bucket to unpack the chicken, an order came in.

It was big and in my way but I didn’t want to move it out of the way, for fear I’d forget to deal with it.

Finally, I got the lid off. Then about four orders came in. I dealt with them and sent them out and then there I was again, alone with the bucket of chicken, finally. I was going to do this! Nothing could stop me.

Now, I don’t know how many of you are frequent poachers of chicken but it’s a fabulous way to cook it. It’s a lot more moist than roasting or frying. But as the chicken takes on the moisture from the water, so it releases some of its fat. So what you end up with is a pan of beautifully cooked chicken, floating in a sea of slightly discoloured water with fatty blobby bits on the surface. Should this water then cool down a little, the fatty blobby bits merge together to form misshapen white islands bobbing about on the top of the water. It’s not pretty, as you can imagine.

So this bucket of chicken had the inevitable floating blobby fat islands on its surface and the water itself was quite cloudy, so that I couldn’t even see the chicken in the bottom. It was a huge bucket, which was wierd because they never usually sent this much chicken. They usually sent a far smaller bucket.

Anyway, I got out two tubs to transfer the chicken into. I wrote the date on them, so we’d know when it came in.

I rolled up my sleeve… And plunged my hand into the fatty watery pit, to seek out the chicken from the depths below.

I swished my hand around. And around. I felt right to the bottom, around the edges. I swirled around in the fat-water. Around and around. And I didn’t happen upon a single peice of chicken. Not one. Puzzled, I kept swishing my hand around.

And then it dawned on me. They’d obviously made a mistake at the other deli, where they cook the food. They’d sent us this instead of chicken. They’d got mixed up, kept the chicken and sent us the bucket of water they cooked it in, clearly meant for throwing away.

So now, here I am, elbow deep in a bucket of fat, for no reason. A chickenless bucket of fat. With my sleeve up around my arm. The floating fat islands gently colliding with my forearm as I plunge around desperately, looking for poached chicken. Poached chicken which is not in this bucket. This massive bucket of fat.

It was not my finest hour.

From Rome with love

I know you’re all hanging on the edge of your seats, wanting to know what happened yesterday.… Aren’t you?… Are you?

Anyway, I went to work. At twenty past nine, I got ready to make a phone call to Danda to come for breakfast. And then I got a text message from him. A text message which threatened to ruin everything.

It said ‘Problem with taxi. Got to go to garage. Call you later.’

NOOO! This was not allowed. It wasn’t part of the plan and therefore it was not allowed! My wonderful plan started to crumble around me. I called Danda and he was like, ‘Yeh, I dunno how long they’ll keep it for. Hopefully they can just fix it quickly.’

I acted as casual as possible. ‘O… But I…. Er .. was really… Er… Looking forward to breakfast at the deli with you. O well. As soon as you know something, give me a bell.’

So I walked around, trying to kill time and not freak out. The plan, the plan! If he was stuck at the garage all day waiting to get it fixed, I’d have to tell him over the phone and get him to leave the cab there and come straight to the airport or something. Panic, panic.

Finally, at about ten to eleven, Danda said it was fixed and he was on his way to meet me for breakfast. So, an hour and a half behind schedule, he arrived.

The plan got under way. I faked a story about having breakfast cooking for him and to wait a mo while I grabbed something which came for him from Amazon. It was, of course, the book which had the message in about the surprise. So he opened it and was like, ‘O did you order this for me? Thanks. It looks great.’ And he put it down on the table, without looking inside.

‘Does it look interesting?’ I said, trying to encourage him to flip the page over. He did and found my message eventually. Lacking his reading glasses, he read my message as, ‘Pack your bags, we’re FRYING tonight’ (instead of ‘flying’). As in, a fry-up. Or a stir fry. He thought I was telling him I was making him a stir fry for dinner.

With a little help from me, it dawned that we were going to Rome. And we were going in a few hours!

A flurry of packing, repacking, checking in online and organising parking ensued. We got to Gatwick airport with two hours til the flight and waited around while we were delayed by another hour or so.

We finally arrived, called our contact man and navigated the train system, getting out at the stop called Colosseo, being greeted by this….


Amazing. It’s at the bottom of the road we are staying on which, by the way, is well known as the Gay Street of Rome. We found that out when we went into a little cafe to get something for dinner and everything had ‘bear’ written on it. Posters, flyers, shops. Apparently ‘bear’ is the nickname for a gay man in Rome. I got a wrap with cheese and truffle and it was phenomenal. I have decided it is my mission to eat as much truffle as possible while in Italy.


Today is colosseum day. Will take lots of pics and report back.

P.S. Danda wants you all to know he was blown away and thinks ‘it’s the best surprise ever.’