Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 26: What's so 'Good' about Good Friday?

Today's soundtrack: The Cure - Acoustic Hits

Miserable day weather-wise, so we've done very little other than lounge around the house today - with all the shopping for the holiday break done, there's been little incentive to do anything other than vegetate. Nothing wrong with that, though. Did bake another loaf today, and enjoyed sausage sandwiches made with freshly baked and cut bread, still warm from the oven. The best sandwich Mrs W has ever had, apparently...

Played around with some pictures of Katy Teabag today, trying to get a decent picture small enough to go into a locket Mrs W bought to hold a picture and a claw shed by Katy in a recent scratching session. Took a bit of trial and error, but eventually got the picture the right size and shape for the locket and everything gently manipulated into place.

So it's creamy fish bake for tea tonight. I've some salmon, cod (line caught in the Pacific!) and prawns as the base, which I will poach in some milk with some onion, carrot and celery. When cooked through, the fish will be flaked into an oven proof dish with the vegetables. I shall then make a bechamel sauce using the milk I used to poach the fish, thickened with a flour and butter roux. When the sauce is the right consistency, I'll add a chopped bunch of parsley and some double cream for flavour and richness, and pour the sauce over the fish.

Topping will be mashed potato, which I shall either leave 'as is', although I am tempted to sprinkle with breadcrumbs to add a bit of texture. Once prepared, I think baking in a hot oven for around 25 minutes should do the trick nicely!

Will report back...

I'm continuing to make steady progress through 'Anathem', the book I started reading on Day 11 - 570 pages in as we speak. It's an engrossing (if challenging) read. Science fiction essentially, set in a world not too different from ours at a point some thousands of years after the end of 'modern' civilisation. The 'hero' is a sort of monk, resident at the beginning of the tale in a 'monastery' that only opens its doors to the outside world at intervals - ten yearly, in the case of our man, although there are other elements of the monastery that only open their doors at hundred or even thousand year intervals. Anyway, a cataclysmic event in the outside world causes our hero and a number of his fellow inmates to be sent out into the wider world to use the combined fruits of their learning and skills to address this event. Many adventures ensue.

Not sure I've sold that particularly well, but it is proving to be very enjoyable. Not for everyone by any stretch of the imagination, but if you're a fan of the genre it's definitely worth a go. The review of the book in the Guardian can be found here - I think the reviewer likes it as well...

Interesting album thrown up on iTunes today - this is an extra disc that came with The Cure's Greatest Hits collection - and as the name suggests, it's those greatest hits re-recorded as acoustic tracks. It works very well, and I probably play it more often than the originals. You might not think that Cure songs would lend themselves well to a purely acoustic treatment, but the sparse arrangements fit the songs well and, stripped back, the tunes shine through.

Here they are with an acoustic version of 'A Forest', one of my favourite early Cure tracks.

So then, why is 'Good' Friday so called? Well, extensive research (and a quick bit of Googling) reveals that the term is probably a corruption of the phrase 'God's Friday'. So there you go - a bit of learnin' for you as well.

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