We had a sighting, a brief sighting, a few days ago. He was his usual self, if you exclude looking hassled and rushed and stressed and frantic.
Archie is doing too much.
He’s doing eight subjects at uni all at once. He has a job as a waiter on Sunday mornings. He has a new dud job as a promoter of a nightclub come bowling alley come laser tag venue on Thursday nights. Then he has an agent who is sending him scripts to learn for upcoming auditions, the latest being a role in a tele-movie set in France during WWI. And there’s the gigs that were irregular but are becoming more frequent and rehearsal and performance time seems to be on the increase.
He did his audition for the tele-movie on Monday. He said he’d learned the script but the time he spent on it was squeezed by a duet he had to perform for uni, a group performance he had to perform for uni and a solo performance he had to prepare for uni. So he walked out of the audition feeling disappointed in himself. ‘I didn’t give it my best, mum, I wasn’t in the zone’.
‘Do you think perhaps you shouldn’t leave it to the last minute? Learning a script is more than just learning the lines,’ I offered.
‘I know that mum. But when could I have done it? I’ve been rehearsing for uni stuff all weekend. I did what I could do’. And I know he did. The day after the audition he had to perform that famous Frank Sinatra song, My Way. He wasn’t at all confident as was sure he wouldn’t even remember the lines but by a stroke of good fortune he somehow pulled it off.
After the My Way performance he rushed home to collect his guitar and ask if there was anything to eat. He said he’d need dinner for that night and breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day. I managed to give him some dinner, couldn’t help him with breakfast but gave him two containers of chicken and pesto pasta salad to have for lunch and dinner.
He then rushed out to a rehearsal for tonight’s gig, had a late night then went to uni this morning. His final class finished at 6pm then he was to be dressed, refreshed and on stage at 7pm tonight in Potts Point. He did ring me while in transit from uni to the gig and asked if I would be coming to watch and that’s when I had to break it to him that unfortunately we wouldn’t be there to support him. He was very understanding and I wished him well. I asked him if he had enough to eat and he said, ‘It’s all good mum. I was hungry earlier so I got out my guitar and stood outside McDonalds and busked until I had enough for a few double cheeseburgers’. He’s self-reliant if nothing else.
He won’t be coming home tonight because Neil’s offered him a place to stay and, ‘It’s so much closer to uni so it just makes sense’, he told me. He’ll go straight from uni to work tomorrow night and not be home until about 1am so we’ll see him in a few days.
In the meantime, if you see a starving uni student busking outside McDonald’s, his mother would be very grateful if you could throw him a few coins.
When he does come home, this delicious home cooked meal could be waiting for him.
Jerk Pork Cutlets with Pineapple and Mint Salsa
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I made this as a mid-week family meal and found it to be reasonably priced (for a meat dish). The most ridiculously priced ingredient was the pineapple. Somehow the humble pineapple is now a luxury item.
- 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2cm piece ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs sunflower oil
- 6 x 170g pork cutlets
- Mixed salad leaves to serve
Pineapple and Mint Salsa
- 1/2 pineapple, chopped
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 3 spring onions, finely shredded
Place chilli, onion, parsley, garlic, ginger, spices, lime juice, soy, sugar and 1 tbs of oil in a small food processor, season, then pulse until a thick paste. Coat pork cutlets in the paste, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a frypan over medium heat. In 2 batches, cook the pork for 2-3 minutes each side until browned. Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the salsa, toss all the ingredients together and season.
Serve the pork with the pineapple salsa and mixed salad leaves.
This recipe is from the August issue of Delicious Magazine.
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