Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Red Door

I thought it was high time to push the Christmas Ham (lovely as it is) further down the page. Actually, I have been thinking this for a while now, but the small issue of trying to finish my thesis got in the way a little. I am pleased to say that I handed it in on Thursday, through the red door that is the wonderfully acronymed BoGS (Board of Graduate Studies), with as much fanfare as Cambridge musters on such occasions (i.e. little or none). I have a rather dull bit of paper to say that I've submitted it; there is after all the viva still to come.

Having walked away from the door with D. asking that pertinent question that no doubt occurs to every other person in the same situation ("what are you going to do with your life now?"), I celebrated later in the day with as much fanfare as I could personally muster later in the evening at Restaurant 22 on Chesterton Road, something I've long wanted to get round to. It lived up to all the hype. Beautifully intimate front living room surroundings and really wonderfully tasty food. D. had some amazing salmon cutlets for a starter that I must admit to tasting a bit of, the pheasant and beef mains we shared were excellent with a great barley risotto side, and my British cheese board for dessert was also very yummy, although unfortunately by this time I was so stuffed with the three courses plus the various bits and pieces you get on the side (an amuse bouche of fennel and carrot foam, homebaked breads, sorbet after the starter, etc.) that it took quite some determination to eat every last morsel (gluttony prevailed). All washed down exceedingly pleasantly with a bottle of Clare Valley Shiraz. Feasting and drinking with impeccable unobtrusive service certainly made me feel that I'd done something worth celebrating, although English weather put something of a literal dampener on it both before and after! The next evening I managed to get a large bunch of people in a pub (well, to be precise, the outside bit of the Eagle where we froze a little but laughed and chatted and drank a lot, so all fine), so all in all I feel I have rather outdone BoGS for celebration style.

I'm now back in Malaysia where I dally for a day or two eating yummy hawker food and trying to get over jetlag before we head up to Hong Kong to see family and eventually celebrate Chinese New Year. Fun ahead, although I also seem to have accumulated an exceedingly long post-submission to-do list. Ah well, at least it won't involve wrestling with Word!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Christmas Ham

2.2 kg of porky goodness, boiled for two hours in cider and water, then stripped of skin, scored and glazed with a thickened mix of cider, honey and mustard.