Well, hello there! Here for our char sui pork? It’s understandable, you love a bit of meat. This is our final ‘Chinese’ style meal for a while, you’ll either be pleased or disappointed to hear! What could our next theme be…anyway, it’s not James writing tonight, but rather Paul. You can tell because my swearing is more gentle and there’s about 60% less knob jokes.
After James’ posts yesterday on why I’m so damn perfect I thought it’s only fair that I do one the other way round. So here goes: three things which make James pretty damn spesh.
He’s like a hairy water bottle
Now you might think that that sounds gross, but hear me out here.
As we are slightly less rotund than before we keep finding ourselves at full nipple-on quite often and it’s so handy having a heat source to hand. There’s nowt better when you’ve just come in from taking the bins out to smushing your face right into a hot pillow made out of fat – it’s truly wonderful. And not only that but he sometimes lifts up his belly so I can put my feet underneath, so it’s like getting your feet massaged whilst in a hot bath. It’s great! One of my most favourite things in the world (and he’ll hate me for saying this) is when I get up for a piss in the middle of the night and get back into bed to warm up. I’ll press right up against him and I feel like a panini.
I’ll try not to get too mushy here because I know you miserable buggers hate all of that, but he’s always been one for giving me surprises, and not just of the venereal disease kind – the couple that leaks together stays together. Sometimes they’re small, like an unexpected Creme Egg and sometimes they’re fookin’ massive, like that time he surprised me with a trip to New York. I quite often come home to find a new desk gadget, or a cake, or something that he found in a shop somewhere that he thought I would like.
I have absolutely zero willpower. Quite literally none at all. If I were still single I’d have had a heart attack about ten years ago because I just can’t stop myself. Fortunately I’ve got Muffin who’ll not only dissuade me from eating shit or doing daft stuff, but do it kindly as well. It’s like having to distract a tantruming toddler – he does it tactfully and patiently! But it’s not just with food, it’s with other stuff too – we often come up for ideas for the blog together but I either lose patience or get distracted, but he’s always there to keep me on track and focussed. It’s helped me change and also to work hard to get a better job. Honestly, without him I’d be too scatty to actually ever get anything done.
Right, that’s enough of that bollocks, eh? Onto what you really came here for – char sui pork! This’ll make one big, long Linford-style tenderloin, enough for four servings and then spin the leftovers into our mixed chow mein. I mean honestly.
to make char sui pork you will need:
500g pork tenderloin
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger, minced
60ml soy sauce
60ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar with stevia (6 syns)
1 tbsp hoi sin sauce (1½ syns)
2 tbsp honey (5 syns)
top tips for making char sui pork:
don’t be tempted to skimp on the syns for this one – they’re worth every single one! remember that syns are there to be used!
Here for the pork and ginger stir fry, syn-free and wonderful as it is? Please hold.
Before we begin, I need to confess that I feel terrible: we received a ‘please order milk from your independent milkman’ letter through the door the other day. As it happens, I’m all for supporting local industry and would happily take advantage but he delivers after we go to work and I don’t want the milk sitting outside on the step all day. It’s not that I’m concerned that young hoodlums will steal it, oh no, quite the opposite – we live on a street with a lot of elderly folk, and I can see them now eyeing up an opportunity for some free calcium for their brittle bones. All we would see on our CCTV is the top of a gently-bobbing mass of grey hair shuffling along the bottom of our screen and then the milk disappearing. Tsh. Anyway, I was just settling down with a giant cup of coffee when the door went – I answered, already in my dressing gown, and there’s the milkman, asking if we had received his letter and would we like to order anything. Well, I was flustered, not least because frankly I’d have cheerfully invited him in for a half-pint of his full-fat milk, and couldn’t think of a way to phrase it so that I didn’t sound snotty or dismissive of his plea. I said the only thing I could think of: that I was gluten intolerant.
He corrected me to lactose-intolerant, looked at my giant cup of coffee, spotted the milk on the side in the kitchen, and had the good grace not to call me out on my obvious duplicity as he left. I tried to call after him that I would considering ordering fresh orange juice or some eggs but my words must have been carried away on the wind.
Anyway, enough about my poor milkman. Today is a day of love, you know. Whether you’re coupled up or single, take a moment to appreciate the good things in life. That might take the form of telling your partner you love them, or a good friend that you’ll always be there. Or, have a wank. Whatever works for you. I’m always teasing poor Paul via the medium of this blog but he’s alright really, so I thought it would be a good time to write three lovely things he does that just cements why we’re so good together.
When I’m angry, he’s angry
An important one, this. Even if he might not fully believe it what I’m raging against, he so very rarely tells me to calm down. I feel like the whole world is out to antagonise me most mornings and I can be out of bed for only five minutes before the cat has got in my way, Facebook has pissed me off and the sight of Piers Morgan on the television has sent me into a white-hot apoplexy. Paul is always there agreeing and eee-I-knowing and giving me ‘quite right’ looks and for that I’m thankful. It’s good to have someone to be cantankerous with and I think it’s a sign of true love that we can both sit and moan and bitch at each other and be bitter together.
He squeezes my feet
My feet hurt all the time now that we’re forever at the gym or walking or swimming or stamping out oil fires or booting the cat up her arse for getting in the way. Nothing too painful, just a dull ache that when pressed feels amazing. And, sure as eggs are eggs, each night when we’re cabbaged on the sofa watching TV he will pull my foot up onto his lap and squeeze the living daylights out of them. It feels amazing: you’re talking to someone who used to lift up our Caesar-sized mattress, contort his leg underneath and then lie on top of it to really squeeze the bones. Paul has actually stopped me from buying a vice to clamp my foot with. But what makes this extra special, indeed, takes it to a whole new level is this: he never complaint that my feet smell like a tramp has wiped his arse with a wheel of cupboard-warm Camembert, or that you could file the Forth Bridge with the skin on my heels. Listen, I walk eight miles a day now, I’m allowed hobbit feet, and anyway, it’s not like I can see them, what with my jiggling gunt in the way.
The morning routine
This is the big one. Paul loves to sleep: you could set his irises on fire and he’d still be there snoring and sleep-farting away. I’ve known him go to bed at 10pm and get up again at 7pm for his first piss, then go back to bed. However, every weekday morning he sets the alarm for ten minutes before I get up, makes sure the heating is on, goes and puts the coffee on, makes our porridge and, you’ll like this, turns the shower on for me so the bathroom is hot and steamy and the water boiling for when I emerge naked from under the duvet, farting and grunting away. Every morning, without fail. That’s pretty amazing, no? And you know why he does all of this?
Because he’ll get a damned good hiding if he doesn’t. Poor bastard has kidneys like dropped black pudding at this point.
I asked Paul what three things I do which make him happy and his reply was ‘going to work, going to sleep and being quiet’. Ho-hum. He will answer properly tomorrow. Or so help him.
Anyway, to celebrate over ten years of being together, look what popped up in our newsfeed throwback today!
Ten years and then some ago! Look at the clip of us: we look like football thugs who will kick your head in, sell you some wobbly eggs and suck you to a full and fruitful completion. In the interest of balance, here’s us now:
Looking good, right?
Shall we do the recipe? This makes enough for four people or two big portions for two big folks!
to make pork and ginger stir fry you will need:
2 tbsp ginger, minced
450g pork medallions, sliced
2 tsp soy sauce
100g mangetout, sliced in half
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp rice wine
top tops for pork and ginger stir fry:
we used the fantastic medallions in Muscle Food’s Build Your Own Hamper deal! Find out more here!
feel free to use pork chops instead of medallions – just cut off the fat.
Taster night five spice chicken skewers – there’s a lot of love in Chubby Towers for these – but as it is Valentines Day tomorrow, we’re having a night off! So no blog post, just a wee bit of admin – first of all a message, then the recipe.
That’s right folks: try another new and lovely recipe! You might find it sticks in your throat at first, but just relax, you’ll be fine, and you’ll end up enjoying it! And now, a recipe…
to make tasty five spice chicken skewers you will need:
400g chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
250g pineapple, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 tbsp five spice
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp black pepper
100ml soy sauce
8-10 wooden skewers (soak in water to stop them from burning)
top tips for making tasty five spice chicken skewers:
you can also cook these under the grill instead if you’d prefer, set it to medium-high and cook for ten minutes, turning frequently
yeah, technically you should syn the pineapple if you’re following the plan to the letter, but lets be honest – it’s not a huge amount of pineapple, it’s not getting mashed down or owt, no magical sugars are being created and frankly – life’s too short. We didn’t bother. You can if you like.
Cherry coke chicken thighs await you in a moment – and good news, this is just a quick post, but first…
Aaargh! I don’t know why I inflict facebook groups on myself, you know. With pancake day approaching, the pages are awash with people suggesting they can make “delicious syn-free pancakes” from blending oats, frying them in frylight and mixing with yoghurt and sweetener. Why? yeah, you might save a few syns, but what price dignity? What price the crap that you’re putting into your body in the name of trying to get a syn-free dinner? I know it’s personal choice and that’s all well and good but I bet there’s the same amount of calories, or close, in the amount of oats you’ll use, plus oil, plus sweetener, then there is in a couple of proper pancakes. And even then, why not enjoy your food? You’ve got one body and you’re here only once – why not enjoy your food? Have good food and eat a bit less and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it all the more. 15 syns to spend on making the stuff you’re eating enjoyable, tasty and memorable.
Ah I dunno. I can’t get my head around the mentality of thinking spending syns on your dinner is a bad thing but sitting cramming a chocolate bar into your mouth “because you can” is the way forward? Frankenfood and nonsense is totally against Slimming World anyway, and let’s be fair, I’m hardly their most ‘anal’ fnar fnar follower. You need this to be a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. When people lose all the weight will they be eating oat pancakes and “sausage rolls” made from wrapping a manky sausage in a wrap? No. Then what happens to that weight loss? But hey, what do I know? Follow SW’s rules, they know what they’re doing. Mostly.
Let’s do some cherry cola chinese chicken! The cherry cola adds a nice glaze and using chicken thighs keeps the meal cheap and easy. Let’s be honest: if there’s one thing you love, it’s some cheap and easy thighs. Right?
to make chinese diet coke chicken you will need:
8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
150ml diet cherry coke
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp chilli flakes
top tips for chinese diet cherry coke
we used diet cherry coke but you can use what you like – normal diet coke, Dr Pepper, etc.
Saucy rainbow beef is today’s Chinese fakeaway recipe, and you’ll find it just below. Enjoy!
Thinking about my nephew’s birthday, and then having to choose from an absolutely bewildering amount of toys available in the shops, got me thinking about the toys I used to have. Now naturally, only my generation’s toys were any good and yours were rubbish, but bear with me.
Favourite toy of all time was a tatty teddy bear that was both a bumblebee and a lion. Of course: hence Bumblelion. Internet research suggests that Bumblelion was from a TV show called The Wuzzles but that means absolutely nothing to me – I think Bumblelion’s origin story was simply being stuck on a table at the Corbridge Boot Sale and being spotted by me and my sticky three year old hands. That teddy bear stayed with me for ages – losing its tail, fur, an eye, the nose, the stuffing over the years, but even now I’m fairly sure I could climb into our loft and find him again. My parents never bothered stitching the bits back on – they took a rather cavalier approach to safety: whilst everyone else went sledging on a proper wooden sledge for example, I was given a rinsed out giant plastic bag with ICI Chemicals printed on the side and sent hurtling towards a barbed wire fence at great speed.
I asked Paul what his favourite teddy bear was and he replied that I was. Once I’d finished vomiting into the toilet, he offered up an alternative. Apparently his parents went to the same ‘caring’ school as mine as he had an unfinished toy mouse without a tail, which by all accounts looked like a rudimentary fleshlight, given it had a huge hole with the stuffing leaking out at the rear end. Knowing Paul, that’s probably exactly what it was used for. He called it Mousey, showing an imagination that captivates an audience even now. I know for a fact where Mousey lives: somewhere in a landfill near Byker, as I accidentally threw him out in an overly-keen cleaning spree. Oops. Mousey was supplemented by all manner of tamagotchis that Paul was given to keep him quiet – I never had one and was furiously jealous of everyone else who had one. It’s probably for the best however – I was given my friend’s tamagotchi to look after and killed it for real within two hours by dropping it into the toilet.
We ended up choosing Lego for my nephew – partly because it’s the best gift you can give a young lad because it fires the imagination, partly because I know how much it will annoy my sister who now faces an eternity of stepping on Lego bricks in the dead of night. She can talk, she never used to clean away the Lego when we played at home. We used to build massive hamster runs and mazes out of Lego – it’s all good times until you forget about poor Snuffles working his way through the maze towards a carrot and go away on holiday. Poor little bugger*. I think all children should be given Lego at the earliest opportunity – not Duplo, that’s cheating, and not knock-off Lego that doesn’t quite fit together, but proper stuff. If I’m ever asked to step in and replace Theresa May on account that I have a soul and can smile without looking like I’m passing wind, I’ll make it mandatory that children are born into buckets of Lego that they then get to keep.
It wasn’t just Lego, of course – we had all manner of board games, all with nearly all the pieces included. It’s easy enough to play Pop-Up-Pirate without all of the swords but Buckaroo becomes a surprising challenge when you only have half of the donkey, and as for trying to solve a murder in Cluedo with only the Miss White card and 100 Lambert and Butler gratis points, well forget it. Paul’s favourite board-game was Screwball Scramble but because his mother was a shaved Hitler, he was only allowed to play it up to the bit where you had to smack the buttons and then stop, because the noise would ‘bring on one of her heads’. Even then he knew that her headaches were probably nicotine-poisoning. We want to join a local board game society up here in Newcastle but it all seems to be complicated games now – I want to play Monopoly with someone who doesn’t get in a huff when I buy Mayfair and then refuses to play when he starts losing: like Paul.
I’m obviously kidding about the hamster, by the way. All of our hamsters had luxurious, full lives, although we did lose one prematurely when it took an exciting and unexpected swerve on the hallway landing and went bouncing down the stairs in his little exercise ball. RIP Snowy.
Final highlight was a sit-on toy tractor that I could peddle around in the yard behind our house. I bloody loved that thing and used it until the brakes were worn, the wheels were shot and the whole thing was one more half-stone of my arse from falling to bits. It did almost kill me – I once went merrily shooting down our steep driveway and across two lanes of traffic before my mother remembered that she hadn’t shut the gate at the bottom. It’s alright, I survived (obviously) and there were only forty people injured in the resulting pile-up caused by the bus having to swerve around me into oncoming traffic.
The picture on this one doesn’t look amazing, but blame Paul: he forgot to take the pictures, so this is just a still from the video. Don’t worry, he’ll be getting a firm lashing later on.
UPDATE: Sorry – this isn’t syn free as it says in the photo, that’s a typo. It’s actually 1½ syns each!
Right, let’s fire out a recipe for beef chop suey with no chitchat, as we’re all busy people. Take Me Out isn’t going to watch itself, you know.
Now come on, as if we’d watch Take Me Out. If I wanted to listen to thirty lasses screaming at an orange man, I’d go to a Trump protest. THERE. THERE’S SOME BITING POLITICAL ANALYSIS. I’m kidding, it’s my nephew’s birthday so we’re actually off to hand over gifts and cards in exchange for love and kindness. But we couldn’t leave you without something to smack your lips over, so here we are! Saucy beef chop suey.
Stir fry cucumber and pork? You are either doing one of two things:
experiencing confusing feelings in your nethers – you’re scared, but you want to try it; or
you’re quietly gipping into your sleeve.
But trust me, it’s delicious! Paul, who doesn’t like cucumber whether it’s sliced, diced or hidden somewhere it’s not nice to talk about, declared the dish one of the best he’s ever had – and it’s so cheap too.
Anyway: good news everyone: I’m feeling better. Not 100%, I still feel like someone has backed a transit van over my head and everything capable of producing liquid is working over-time, but at least I’m not dying. See? Always a positive. But I need to stay rested, so let’s go straight to the recipe!
Oh, this makes enough for four nice bowls of stir fry cucumber and pork.
to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you’ll need:
two big cucumbers (or buy three, you’ll have something to play with whilst the cucumber soaks)
salt (smoked salt is nice, but any salt will do)
500g of low-fat pork mince (you can use turkey mince too)
3 teaspoon of light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine (about 0.00000001 of a syn, so fuck it)
2 teaspoon of oil (4 syns) (I used sesame, it’s easier)
1 teaspoon of fish sauce (you can buy it from most supermarkets, it’s syn free and doesn’t taste fishy)
1 teaspoon of cornflour (quarter of a syn, see above)
a pinch of chilli flakes
two garlic cloves, minced
rice to serve
top tips stir fry cucumber and pork
absolute full credit goes to seriouseats.com for this one – we found it a while ago and thought it would be a load of bollocks, but we’re so glad we tried it – fair play!
quickly mince the garlic with a Microplane grater – you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one – or you can buy ready minced garlic in most supermarkets if you’re lazy
if you’re using turkey mince, I’d suggest adding another tablespoon of oil (6 syns) because turkey can be quite dry, like me
marinate your pork by mixing it with two teaspoons of soy sauce, the rice wine, one teaspoon of oil, the fish sauce and half a teaspoon of cornflour – really give it a good mix, and then set aside – the longer you leave it the better it will be
peel slices from your skin of your two cucumbers so you’re left with alternating stripes around the outside, cut in half along the horizontal, so you’re left with two long halves, cut each half into chunks and then put in a bowl, scatter a good couple of pinches of salt on top, shake and leave them to sit for an hour or so
once you’re ready to cook, in a small bowl mix two teaspoons of water, the other half teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of soy sauce – mix and set aside
wash your cucumber chunks through a sieve to get the salt off them, and then pat
heat up a frying pan with a few sprays of oil, get it nice and hot, then place the pork in almost like a big burger – allow to cook for thirty seconds or so exactly like that, then start breaking it up with a spatula, add the chilli flakes and garlic and cook until everything is golden brown
now add the cucumber chunks and cook high and quick – mix your sauce again and pour it in – there’s not a lot, but the idea is to make it a bit glossy – remember, cook quick and hot
serve with rice!
Guys, do you trust us at this point? Do we ever really post a duff recipe? No. This isn’t one of them, either. The cucumbers keep a bit of crunch but go more meaty than you would imagine. It tastes lovely and fresh and is a good, cheap alternative to a fakeaway. Give it a go!
A rare beast tonight! With The Governess still unwell and me struggling away at the helm, we’re going to go straight to the recipe without a moment of delay. Enjoy!
This makes enough sticky sesame chicken for four people. This is known as General Tso’s chicken in America, if you’re curious. You can leave off the sesame seeds at the end if you absolutely must but they add a nice crunch!
to make instant pot sticky sesame chicken you will need:
Lemon chicken, if you don’t mind – but I do mind, because it’s my favourite dish and I want it now. James is still laid out with illness and, in between dabbing his fevered brow and attending to his every need *cough*, we still have to get a blog-post out. However, luckily, the other half writes out his holiday entries well in advance so when times are dry for things to write about, we can whack one of these up. To that end, if you’re here for the recipe and the recipe alone, click the button below to be whisked straight there. Or scroll until you see the food. I imagine that’ll pose no difficulties for most of you.
Thank goodness they’ve gone. I bet they own more television remotes than books, you know. Let’s go back to Stockholm!
Look, if we carry on at the rate we’re going, we’ll never leave Stockholm. We’ve got three more days there and frankly, if I keep spending 1000 words describing the type of coffee I enjoyed, we’ll never get anywhere. So let’s try something different: I’m going to write about the highlights of the trip in a loose, fudged-together timeline. If you’re like Rose and are displeased, I invite you to stop being such a surfitta-lit. Best not to google that one, though.
Skyview at the Ericsson Globe
First on the list was a trip on the Skyview – an external lift that goes up and over the Ericsson Globe arena down in the imaginatively named Stockholm Globe City district of Stockholm.
It’s like a Bond film without a budget!
You’ll know the Globe, I bet: it’s hosted the Eurovision Song Contest at least twice (fun fact: for three days after these events they don’t actually need to power the lifts – they rise up on the fug of amyl nitrate of their own accord) (and mysteriously, all the previously stuck doors just ease open to allow easy access) and there’s been all manner of big stadium concerts in there. And Shania Twain. We learned this fact by having to bear witness to the same Shania Twain five-second advert on loop whilst we stood in the queue for ten minutes waiting for tickets to be the first to board. No man should ever have to endure that much Shania Twain – I felt like I was 14 again, listening to my sister play ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ for the eighty-seventh time. She’s a hard to please witch, isn’t she – Shania, not my sister: frankly, if there’s any rocket scientists out there with a car and fine hair, get in touch. I get impressed by a bloke who can eat his dinner without spilling a third of it on the carpet, much lower standards. We were second in the queue with only a wee Chinese grandma in front of us so we were guaranteed admission to the first pod and then we could be on our way.
Only, no; she bought tickets for 22, and out of the McDonalds over the road came a tour-bus of selfie-sticks, expensive winter wear and Marlboro Reds, pushing us back into the third pod. That meant twenty more minutes of Shania looping. If I close my eyes now I still see her fabulously-conditioned hair and Polo-mint-teeth burnt on my eyelids. Keeping things in perspective, I spent those twenty minutes staring at the suspension cable of their pod in the vain hope so much venom would melt the steel. It was our turn soon enough and I mean, it was good fun and affords you a pleasant enough view of the city, but nothing that the (much cheaper) TV tower earlier hadn’t done the day before. Plus, the clean freak in me wanted to open the pod and run a squeegee along the windows, they were absolutely hacky.
Twenty minutes is a long time to spend looking over the top of a mall and some distant buildings, though we were at least entertained by the three teenage girls who spent the entire twenty minutes posing in front of their phones. I swear, they couldn’t have looked out of the window once. Just how many shots do you need of:
sucking invisible spaghetti;
thousand yard stare;
oh my god spontaneous shot of me I promise but actually, it’s taken twelve minutes;
McDonalds eyebrows; and
GROUP OF GIRLS RIGHT hadehar
for your friggin’ Instagram? You know how I take photos of us? I point the camera somewhere north of our staircase of chins, and click take photo. Done. It’s that simple.
The ABBA museum
Next, the ABBA museum. Well, it had to be, didn’t it? We made our way via Sweden’s excellent underground rail system. First of all, they must have known I was coming because they put up some especially camp warning signs.
No mincing please
Secondly, our journey was greatly enlivened by the fact that a woman, clearly off her tits, stood up, started shouting in Swedish and then pissed herself at great length. Was it my aftershave? I don’t know, but we had to all get off at the next stop – her to clean herself up, me to wring the bottom of my jeans out. Poor lass pissed like a bloody racehorse. Luckily, we were close enough to walk to the Abba museum and it only took us ten minutes of sliding around on the ice to do so. Now, remember me telling you that Sweden is eye-wateringly expensive? I was in full gush when I paid for our tickets here: £44 for two. £44 to enter a museum! That’s not £44 for a sit down meal and a chance to try and talk Agnetha round, no no – just to give you access to the turntable. I mean, I know they’ve got to make their Money Money Money, but come on.
We paid up and went in and boom: something to make it all worthwhile. Who the hell knew that Benny was such a DILF back in the day? I mean now he looks like someone you’d see arguing with trees but back then, fuck me – lucky I hadn’t spotted him yesterday, or else it really would have been The Day Before You Came. I was quite taken – all sorts of shirtless photos and videos plastered the walls – at least I had somewhere to hang my multi-language headset, I suppose.
He’d be Benny, Paul and I would be the Jets
And actually, despite the shafting at the start, the museum was excellent – very thorough, detailed and interactive. Almost too interactive actually: there were booths you could nip into and do karaoke without people being able to hear you. We elected to give Mamma Mia a bash and thought we sounded great until we listened back later on via their website and it sounds like a livestream from a condemned abattoir. You know how you think you can sing in the shower? You can’t. I’m surprised they didn’t ask us to leave.
Make just one swap in this photo and it’ll match the thumbnail of at least two of our xtube videos. Just saying.
It only got worse – we rounded a corner to find the next exhibition was where you could get up on stage and sing along as the 5th member of ABBA whilst they superimposed the other four alongside us. FLABBA, if you prefer. I said we couldn’t, but the museum worker was very persuasive – she literally said you can dance, you can jive. I tried to explain that I dance like my feet are on fire and she replied ‘Dancing Queen’. I retorted by calling her a homophobic blonde bitch.
I jest, on we went – there was no-one about anyway bar her and I’m sure she’s seen two eighteen-stone Geordies pretending to be Abba before. Who hasn’t? I’m sure it was a storyline in an episode of Vera – if it wasn’t then it bloody should have been, because we absolutely murdered the song. Of course, no sooner had we started caterwauling and shuffling around like sad bears in a rubbish zoo than a gaggle of other gay men – all stylish and shrieking – came round the corner and started giving us bitchy appraising looks. Honestly, the collective effect of them pursing their lips at the same time pulled at my eyelashes. The curator had the good grace to at least shut the music off after a minute rather than making us do a full set. We slunk off stage like the fat national embarrassment that we were and we hadn’t even went through the exit doors before André, B’Michael, Brandonael and A’Joseph were belting out Does Your Mother Know.
The rest of the museum was awash with dresses, videos, quizzes and all sorts of memorabilia. Yes: far too expensive, but worth it. I mean, it’s Abba.
Putting at least one syllable into country singer
Eating and drinking
We spent more than a couple of lovely hours in the Ardbeg Embassy tasting all the various beers they had to offer. Listen, when a beard with a man hanging off it offers you a giant glass of ‘Just Don’t Call Me Brett’ or ‘Cellar Troll’, you just don’t say no.
Always wondered what happened to Casualty’s Clive Mantle, and now we know – he’s ordering a pint in Sweden
What started as a ‘quick drink’ became an elongated ‘work our way down the list’ until we were a) smashed and b) poor. Fifteen quid for two pints, remember.
Drunk and beholden to our empty stomachs, we ventured out to find food, only to stumble into the first place with an open door that we found – Sally’s, next door. It was delicious. You know how good food tastes when you’re steaming and hungry? That, but coupled with big doughy flatbreads and good cheese – you need to understand that I haven’t had bread for several months at this point and I’m not kidding when I say my side of the table lifted up a fair few inches when they brought it out. Almost spilled my wine.
I want this again.
Oh and because it was Christmas, I had the reindeer carpaccio for starters. They even stuck a little red tomato on the plate in what I thought was a rather cruel jibe at poor Rudolph. Christmas is cancelled and I’m turning it into poo.
This was better than it looks.
The 3am graffiti
At some point we were tucked up in bed, doing our best to keep the hotel awake with our beer-smothered snoring, when I got up for a gypsy’s kiss and noticed that for the first time in the entire holiday, it was proper snowing. Not that stupid vicar’s dandruff sort of snow we get, but big thick flakes of it, all settling merrily on the ground. You need to understand that we went to Iceland, Switzerland and Copenhagen in winter and saw barely any snow so this was a big deal, so much so that I woke up Paul by throwing water in his face (accidentally, I knocked over his bedside glass in the excitement – I haven’t taken to waterboarding him in his sleep – yet) and got him out of bed. We dressed in all the fabulous winter attire we had brought and thought we wouldn’t need and dashed out to play in the snow like the two big kids we are. The city was asleep, we had to place to ourselves – I managed to sneak in some free advertising:
I was going to try and put other SW blogs on there but I didn’t have time to draw out the eight adverts necessary to go with it.
We made our way down into a small square that was absolutely pristine with snow – a complete blank canvas.
This IS…ART ATTACK!
It took less than a nanosecond before we were both studiously working on writing out the most offensive swearword we could in the biggest letters our legs would allow. Unhappily, I was only a third of the way through the ‘N’ when two police officers came over to see what all the gleeful screaming was about. You’ve never seen someone turn a nine foot capital ‘N’ into a ‘B’ and a tiny ‘S’ quicker than me that night – I was like Michael Flatley on ice. They asked what we were doing and I lied through my teeth to try and explain we were making a giant version of our logo – it was only when I showed them twochubbycubs on my phone that they understood.
Now in a normal situation both Paul and I would have been well-up with being bundled into the back of a van by two tattooed, bearded, uniformed men and roughly manhandled, indeed, we call it a successful night at Washington Services round here, but not that night – it was that cold that my testicles were rolling around in my scrotum like peas at the bottom of the freezer. Any ejaculate would have slid out like a Mini Milk, so even I didn’t bother making the ‘whatever can I do, officer’ fluttering eyes/arse at them.
A mite embarrassed, we returned to our beds.
Paul does have a chin – he has a collection, actually – it’s just the lighting
Seems like a good place to leave it!
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Let’s do the lemon chicken recipe then. This makes enough for four large portions, and if there’s anyone who can handle a large portion, it’s YOU!
to make our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway, you’ll need:
four chicken breasts, big and fat, cut into chunks
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
2 tbsp of rice vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper
175ml chicken stock
75ml lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tbsp of honey (5 syns)
1 tbsp of cornflour (1 syn)
top tips for our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway:
if you’re using fresh lemons – and you should – pierce them a couple of times, stick them in the microwave for fifteen seconds and then juice them – you’ll get so much more juice – we use one of these, but you can just use your hands – not posh!
serve with rice or whatever you like, and we can confirm this freezes well!
to make our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway, you should:
in a bowl, add the chicken chunks to the soy sauce and vinegar and make sure every piece is covered – longer you leave it, the better it will be
when you’re ready to cook, cook the chicken off in a pan until it is cooked through
mix together the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey and cornflour and then tip into the pan with the chicken and cook until it has all thickened up
serve with rice and finely grated lemon rind
Easy peasy! We’ve done loads of fakeaways lately, take a look:
Salt and pepper chips! I’m amazed that we have never posted this as a recipe, but here we are. Now, here’s some sad news: James is poorly. Not poorly with man-flu or feeling a bit dicky (story of his life) but full on snot pouring from every orifice, voice like Madge Bishop shouting down an telephone line and a face the colour of the dead. The long dead. I’m having to type and listen to his gasping and wailing and snotting and it’s really quite something – it sounds like he’s suffocating animals in the bedroom. To be clear: he isn’t, just before anyone phones the RSPCA, though fat lot of good they ever do. To his credit, although he does like to moan on that he’s dying every time he cuts his toenails a bit too short, he’s rarely actually ill, so to see him sweating and dripping like he’s mid-exorcism is quite something. I must tend to him, so let’s get the recipe done!
This makes enough for a big portion to serve four people!
to make salt and pepper chips you will need:
1 kg potatoes, cut into chips
1 tsp sugar (1 syn)
1 red and 1 green chilli pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce (or tamari)
2 tsp five spice
2 tsp chilli flakes
There’s a couple of recipes out there which call for you to add MSG. Why? Totally unnecessary – you don’t need to add a ‘flavour-booster’ to your dinner if you cook with proper ingredients. Don’t be suckered into buying ingredients you don’t need just to make a few quid of commission for other blogs.