Hot Chilli

If asked my family will tell you I am a decent cook. In truth I have learnt to make a few meals well enough to fool everyone in to believing that I know what I am doing. Mrs M gave me the ultimate compliment a few days ago when she said that she generally prefers to eat my food than what we have when we eat out. I need to point out, however, that she only said this in response to the pressure I was giving her to make a decision about what she wanted from the menu at a local Indian restaurant. It seems that it is the quality of my food that has made it almost impossible for her to make a speedy decision.

When it comes to choosing a curry my wife and I have different approaches. Mrs M goes for the relative safety of a fairly mild option, whereas I like a dish that will put up something of a fight. When the food arrives we do the husband and wife thing of trying each other’s dishes only to return to our own version of the perfect curry.

I do tend to avoid the infamous Vindaloo these days normally stating the apocryphal story that it is not authentically Asian and was only made to placate the often drunk British punter, who wanted a hotter dish than was normally available, to feed his larger fuelled hunger. Whether or not Vindaloo means ‘the one with the potato’, said to have been used to distinguish it from other dishes, I no longer choose to eat it.

In truth it is too hot for me these days and tends to bring on both an attack of perspiration and the threat of tears. Don’t think, however, that I have stopped liking spicy food altogether.

At home I will occasionally make a chilli that contains fire and usually the family appreciate it in silence. It is one of those dishes that stops you worrying about the general pressures of life by firmly locating you in the moment.

If it were not for the possibility of indigestion it would be perfect to get rid of one’s thoughts just before you go to sleep. Or perhaps it would work as breakfast in order to remove any potential worries for the day.

It would certainly be better than the rabbit food that Mrs M usually makes me eat. I recently tried to protest about this produce by suggesting that now I am over fifty some of its contents are a little too hard for my teeth.

Unfortunately my bride bought me some porridge as an alternative but this is even worse than the rabbit food. Firstly, it takes more effort than I am willing to expend on a breakfast that doesn’t contain bacon. Secondly, it is only a healthy option if you refrain from adding sugar or honey, or indeed anything else that would make it taste of anything palatable.

On reflection the porridge does have something in common with my hot chilli; both them have the ability to distract you from the worries of the day. One by filling your mouth with fire; the other by filling your life with boredom and your mouth with wallpaper paste.

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