Remember how Arabella had to go out and get another piercing to aid in her recovery from a broken heart? And she rang me and said, ‘Mum, I’ve got some news?’ And I said, ‘Did you go and get another piercing?’ Because when Arabella phones to say she has ‘some news’, it usually means she’s been studded with another piece of metal. Then Arabella said, ‘Yes, I did, mum’, and I said, ‘Well that better not be on your face’.
And then she walked in through the front door and yes, she’d had her nose pierced. Carl and I didn’t like it. And I know a lot of you have a pierced nose but Arabella has been asked to join a modelling agency and they have specifically said, ‘No piercings’ and what Indians do in India doesn’t have to be emulated by Aussie girls in Australia.
But Arabella thought Carl and I likening her new look to that of someone about to don a sari was laughable and continued to wear a stud through her nose. The stud wasn’t too bad, especially if I was standing on her right side because I couldn’t see it and I could pretty much forget that the solution to the broken heart event had ever taken place. But then there was transition from the stud to a nose ring and try as we did, she wouldn’t go back to the stud. ‘I’ve lost it’, she’d say.
‘Well get another one’.
‘I can’t. I don’t have any money.’
‘Well you had enough money to go out and buy a bull ring’.
‘It’s not a bull ring’.
‘It sure looks like a bull ring’.
‘Well can you give me some money to buy another stud?’
‘Arabella; I’m not funding your piercings’.
‘Then I’ll just have to wear the ring’. And that ring through her nose really did look most unattractive but you have to pick your battles, don’t you, and seeing as she has now enrolled in uni and is doing a double degree, I thought we’d be best to just try and overlook her new image and trust it was a passing phase.
But then a miracle. Arabella works at a club where the function room can be hired out privately. Recently Arabella was scheduled to work at a private function and can you believe, Carl had been hired to sing with a few musicians and I’d been invited as a guest. So we all arrived separately and as soon as I walked in I looked for Arabella. And there she was looking so attractive and pretty except for that bloody bull ring through her nose.
I mingled with the guests and then after the pass-around food and following the speeches, Carl started singing and the band started playing and they were performing songs from the 50’s and 60’s. Everyone was up dancing except for me because my partner was otherwise occupied so I watched the proceedings from a corner of the room. One of the guests felt sorry for the wall flower leaning against a pole so came and grabbed my hand and led me onto the floor. After a few spins and twirls he said to me, ‘You have a very attractive daughter; she’s just gorgeous’.
‘Thank you’, I said.
‘But she needs to get rid of that ring through her nose’.
‘I know, I know. We’ve told her. But she had a broken heart and that was what she had to do to get over it apparently.’
‘I was talking to her earlier. She’s so articulate and intelligent. She’s got so much great stuff going on but that ring just doesn’t look right on her. Is she still grieving the ex-boyfriend’.
‘Not at all’, I answered as he spun me around and I did a few more twirls, ‘She’s got a new boyfriend’.
‘What’s he like?’
‘He doesn’t have a tattoo from the neck up.’
‘Oh’, he groaned, ‘I bet she keeps you on your toes. Anyway, I told your daughter she’s stunning and that she’s got so much going for her except for the bull ring’.
‘What did she say?’
‘She laughed and said, ‘You’re so like mum and dad’.’
The next day, we were sitting with Arabella in the sun and we told her what my dance partner had said. She threw her head back hysterically and said, ‘He’s so nice; I really like him; he told me to get rid of it, too’. And then she started talking about a leather jacket she really wants for this winter. Said she’d be freezing at uni without it. Without missing a beat, her father said, ‘If I buy you that leather jacket will you take out the nose ring? Permanently?’
‘All I have to do to get the leather jacket is take out my nose ring?’ she said all excited.
‘Yes’, said her father.
‘Oh, that’s too easy. I’ll do it’.
At the moment the ring is still in because we haven’t as yet produced the jacket. But when it appears, we will be on the other side of the nose piercing phase and I think we can assume that Arabella’s heart is completely mended.
Arabella is on a no-carb, no sugar, no fat, no wheat, no dairy diet. (I don’t think I’ve missed any exclusions). She likes this chicken dish but she passes on the rice.
Lime and Garlic Chicken
Cost: Everything’s affordable except for the saffron (you can always substitute tumeric and you’ll get the colour but not the flavour).
- 1 tbspn white peppercorns
- 1 tbspn sea salt flakes
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 coriander roots and stems, thoroughly washed
- 4 tbspns lime juice (substitute lemon juice if limes not available)
- 1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into thirds (or halves if breasts are smaller)
In a mortar and pestle pound peppercorns until severely crushed. Add salt, garlic and coriander and pound to a paste. Add lime juice and stir to combine. (I added some finely chopped chilli because I’d harvested some from my garden).
Heat the bar-be-cue and add chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side over medium heat then turn a cook for a couple more minutes. Baste with marinade ingredients.
For the Rice:
- 60gms butter
- brown onion, finely chopped
- 500g basmati rice, rinsed
- 1 ltr chicken stock
- pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tspn salt
In a rice cooker, melt butter. (If you don’t have a rice cooker, just cook in a saucepan using the absorption method). Add onion and cook until softened. Add rice and stir until well coated in the butter and onion mixture. Stir in chicken stock, saffron and salt, then close the lid of the rice cooker and press the ‘cook’ button.
Serve the chicken decorated with some coriander leaves, the saffron rice and some steamed greens or salad.