Goodness me, we’re still flogging this dead horse of Slimming World BBQ, are we? You have no idea how many times I’ve trundled the Weber out of the shed only for the skies to immediately blacken, the thunder start-up and the rain to come down so hard that I have to front-crawl past the recycling bins just to get back to the kitchen. Listen, when even God himself doesn’t want you to tearfully chew your way through the taste-explosion that is a Slimming World burger, you know it’s not a good idea.
Now, long time readers may remember I did an article way back in February of last year called james vs paul and it consisted of five things that annoyed him about me and five things that annoyed me about him. If you haven’t committed our various faults to memory – and if not, why not – you can find it here, together with a delicious recipe for chicken chow mein. Yeah, that’s right. Anyway, it’s due a sequel. You’ll be glad to know that we both still do every single thing that previously annoyed the other, but hey, fuck it, that’s marriage. Here’s five more – and, just like before, I’ve got right to reply on Paul’s critiques of me. Why? Because I have no gag reflex, and frankly if he wants to take advantage of that going forward, he has to let me reply…mahaha! Plus, I get the right to expand on my annoyances too. What a cad!
Paul’s five things that rile him about me:
- there’s always coat hangers in our bed
- aye, it’s a fair cop this one. See, I get ready for work about ten minutes after Paul, because bless, he has to get up and put the coffee on and turn the shower on for me. My reward for his wonderful kindness is to litter his side of the bed with coat-hangers from where I’m trying to decide what shirt to wear in the morning – the shirts then get put over the top of the door rather than hung up. I think Paul’s getting a complex that I’m trying to do him a mischief when every time he climbs into bed he gets prodded with the coat-hanger, but in my defence, they’re velvet
- james never put liners in the tiny kitchen bin
- meh. I can see Paul’s point, no-one wants smears of cat-food and whatnot on the inside of the bin. Fair enough. But Paul insists on buying a) tiny bins and b) massive bin liners. I wanted a lovely massive Brabantia bin but Paul knocked that idea on the head saying that we’d never empty it and we’d have what amounted to a vertical skip in the kitchen. Hmm. But then see he buys bin liners that you could drive a car through, meaning I’ve got to spend ten minutes flapping them out and trying to get them to sit in the tiny bin without just filling up the bloody container in the first place. It’s an ongoing, very middle-class problem, and it threatens to tear us apart at times
- everything electrical is going to burst into flames unless it’s unplugged when not in use
- again, I think this is unfair! I grew up on a diet of 999 and with parents who had a very casual attitude to fire safety and thus I think my fears are entirely reasonable. I’m a catastrophic thinker – if I leave a box of matches on the side, I’ll spend the day envisioning various ways that the cats will knock them to the floor, followed by them knocking on the gas-oven in fear, followed by spiders skittering around on the sulphur of the scattered matches, igniting and destroying my home. That sounds fair enough until you realise we don’t have a gas oven
- socks, socks everywhere, as far as the eye can see
- not fair: they’re not just my socks. For two tidy, professional men, we don’t half have a habit of leaving our socks scattered about in unusual places, and not just because they’re the wanksocks, we’re not 14 anymore. I don’t think I owned a pair of socks that didn’t crunch and crackle between the age of 12 and 19. But see in my haste to have my feet rubbed and squeezed (despite Paul’s entirely baseless remonstrations that it makes his hands smell like Roquefort), my socks will often just get discarded and forgotten until either Paul or the cleaner finds them
- james’ genuine concern and worry whenever I hurt myself in a clumsy, hilarious manner
- I may have reworded that a little. Paul is taking umbrage at the fact that when he hurts himself by a) tumbling over in that way only fat men can, b) burning his mouth because he’s so keen to eat he doesn’t let his food cool down or c) cuts himself on his edgy political analysis, I immediately respond by fussing over him and saying ‘what’s the matter’ eighteen times a second. Hmph. I think that shows only love and concern for my precious, gorgeous husband, frankly.
Hmm. Seems fair. Now it’s my turn. Because I’m the writer, I get to say what annoys me about Paul AND expand on it too. What annoys me about Paul?
- he can’t hoover to save his life
- let me explain, as that seems a trifle extreme – we’ve got one of those fancy-dan digital Dyson vacuums that sit on the wall charging up until it’s needed, then you have exactly six minutes to flounce around the house shrieking whilst it vacuums at full power. That in itself is a mere inconvenience. No, it only becomes a problem because Paul vacuums up every single fucking thing on the floor rather than picking up the bigger bits – whole pasta twists, cable ties, shoes, you name it Paul’s tried to suck it up into the tiny drum and then spent 5 minutes gawping and swearing at the vacuum whilst it chugs and splutters because the tube is blocked. I swear, I spend more time poking around in the drum with a chopstick trying to dislodge errant nonsense than I do breathing in and out. I half expect to walk into our utility room to find our full-sized tom cat squeezed into the tiny plastic drum of the vacuum, mewing pitifully through a mouthful of dust and ped-egged-foot-skin
- he always wants his back scratched
- doesn’t matter where we are, I can blink and when I open my eyes, his shirt will be hoisted up over his tits and his back will be looming towards me with his plaintive cries of ‘up a bit down a bit go mad NO NOT THAT HARD’ filling the air – if I had the money, I’d get a HappyCow machine installed
Actually, balls to the list, let me just show you a HappyCow machine and tell me it doesn’t fill your heart with joy!
Look at that happy cow! It’s a video, so click play to see those eyes light up with life and joy.
That reminds me, don’t forget we’ve got a meat sale on:
What can I say, I’m an opportunistic bugger.
- he can’t handle Sky Digital
- we’ve been together nine years and still whenever we’re recording and watching
Jeremy Kyle The Today Show and recording The Man With The 10 Stone Testicles Panorama, he’ll attempt to turn the telly over onto a third channel and then act perplexed when the TV says no. He also can’t fast-forward through breaks – it’s like he has a tremor when he presses the button during Hotel Inspector and suddenly everything is 30x the speed and unpaused just as Alex Polizzi’s giant smile is filling the screen and she’s climbing back into her Audi
- he maintains that his Smart car is a sensible choice despite massive evidence to the contrary
- I go to this well a lot and I don’t care. Going to buy anything bigger than a Rubik’s cube? Paul will spend ten minutes assuring me it’ll fit despite me advising him that the rules of physics still apply even if his car is the colour of a baked bean. Of course, once we’ve bought the BBQ / new SONOS soundbar / sack of potatoes and made our way back to the car park, he’ll realise that, whilst it does fit – just – there’s no space for me, leaving me standing in the car park cursing his name whilst he races home in the car at its top speed of 32mph before returning to pick me up not even a little bit contrite. We’ve had many a terse conversation whilst making our way slowly and uncomfortably back home, I can assure you
- he wakes me up by farting, but not in the way you might expect
- we both find farting absolutely hilarious – there’s few things funnier to our juvenile minds than a good taint-stainer, plea for help from Sir Knobbly-Brown, misguided burp, creeping hisser, floorboard troubler or an extended moment of steam-pressing your knickers, so that doesn’t trouble me in the slightest. No, if I’m woken up by a loud fart, I’ll spend the day chuckling. It only becomes a problem because we tend to spoon when we’re asleep in the morning and Paul manages to turn whatever food he’s had the night before – no matter how fine the ingredients, no matter how dainty the amounts – into concentrated pure death. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been woken up in the morning by what smells like concentrated hate not so much filling my nostrils as filing them, peeling off skin and various bits of my olfactory system. It’s a bad job when you wake up gagging and reminiscing with longing for the smell of burning cows from the Foot and Mouth days. I grew up right next door to the farm that started it all and they said it could never happen again. Well it is – in Paul’s arse at 5.45am.
That reminds me, don’t forget we’ve got a meat sale on:
Mahaha. Hey, listen, those are his faults. But for all of those minor things, he’s still the man who I’ve only spent 6 nights away from and who makes me laugh right from the get-go as soon as I come through the door. There’s no regrets here and there’s not many couples who can say that!
Right, let’s get to the BBQ recipes before I well up like the big old pansy that I am.
Salmon burgers, eh? You know people say if it swims, it slims? Well pffft. Load of crap. I’ve been swallowing swimmers for years and I still chaff when I run. But we do need more fish recipes, so…
We found the recipe for the below from this blog and we’ve made it Slimming World friendly. I know, we’re heroes.
to make zesty salmon burgers you will need:
this is enough to make one – if you want more, just multiply the recipe
- 1 wholemeal roll (HeB)
- 15g panko (or use breadcrumbs, but panko is nicer) (4.5 syns for 25g, so we’ll say about 2.5 syns for 15g, just before I get angry letters and panko covered turds pushed through my letterbox from the more fervent of you)
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 140g salmon fillet (skinless and boneless)
- 4 slices picked gherkins
to make the sriracha mayonnaise:
- 1 tbsp Morrisons NuMe mayonnaise (or use any low-fat mayo – just check the syns) (1 syn)
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce (½ syn)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sriracha (if you can’t find sriracha, any ‘hot sauce’ will do – Cholula is a good alternative!)
to make zesty salmon burgers you should:
- add all of the sriracha mayonnaise ingredients into a bowl and mix well – plonk in the fridge whilst you do the rest
- next, add all of the burger ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, except for the bun and gherkins – if you haven’t got a food processor, chop everything up and mix by hand – extra body magic!
- shape into a burger shape – it only needs to be about 1½cm thick to cook evenly
- add onto the hot grill of the BBQ and cook for about four minutes a side, or until it’s how you like it
- spread half of the mayonnaise mixture onto each half of the bun and lay on the pickled gherkins
- add the burger on top, and enjoy!
Before you start up – remember:
This is panko. Dried, crunchy breadcrumbs.
This is not panko. This is pan k.o.
Right, here’s a side suggestion. Because we’re super jolly hockey-sticks and what-ho, we’ve grown so many wonderful things in our garden this year, including a tonne of radishes and peas. If you’re not keeping up with the Jones, feel free to buy these items in a shop. I present our radish and pea salad! It’s really basic, but full of crunch and taste and hell, that’s probably a lot of speed food. This makes enough for four.
to make radish and pea salad, you’ll need:
- a big handful of radishes – there’s no need to be precise, use as many or as much as you need
- a big handful of fresh peas in their pods – you don’t want giant peas but rather baby peas
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar – or apple vinegar, or raspberry vinegar, or vinegar-tits
- four or five spring onions
- a tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil (6 syns)
- a nice sprig of fresh mint, chopped finely
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of pepper
to make radish and pea salad, you should:
- get a pan of boiling water, throw your peas (in their pods) into the water for a minute, then take them out and put them in iced water to stop them cooking through
- the boring bit, sorry – julienne your radishes and pea pods – basically, cut the radishes into slices, and then the slices into matchsticks – this isn’t an exact science, so don’t sweat it – if there are big peas, pop them out into the serving bowl as you chop
- you can use a mandoline slicer for your radishes, it’ll speed things up – and the one we use is only £7.99 – but BE CAREFUL, they’re dangerous bloody things if you don’t use the guard
- very finely chop your mint and spring onions, including the green stalk
- mix the oil and vinegar, pepper, salt and mint together – add maybe a pinch of sugar if you really want (neglible syns given this serves four)
- put everything into a dish, mix with the ‘sauce’ and serve immediately
It’s a really easy salad but worth the time spent making it, trust me.
Finally, let’s go for a cocktail in the form of a Blue Hawaiian. I had a blue Hawaiian. This one is from Jamie Oliver, a man I rather enjoy despite his best efforts.
to make a blue hawaiian, you’ll need:
- 35ml of decent white rum (3.5 syns)
- 35ml blue curaçao (5.5 syns)
- a couple of drops of coconut essence
- 100ml pineapple juice (2.5 syns – Del Monte)
to make a blue hawaiian, you should:
- get a cocktail shaker, throw everything in with a load of ice and shake it, shake it good
- serve up on a load of crushed ice
- serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple for that true access-day-visit-to-TGI-Fridays feel
Enjoy! I know it’s a lot of syns, but hey, it’s summer. If you can’t let your hair down and your boobs cool in this heat, when can you?
If you’re looking for more recipes for fish then you’re shit out of luck. There’s no many. But look, as a compromise, here’s a link to all of our beef and chicken recipes too.