Archie’s given me an anxiety disorder.
On Thursday night Carl and I went out and when we came home Archie was out. Arabella told us that he was staying the night at Webb’s. Webb lives five minutes away from Archie’s uni so Archie likes to stay there occasionally and enjoy a bit of a sleep-in believing he only needs to emerge from bed ten minutes before his first class.
Yesterday I was distracted and rather busy with Arabella so I didn’t phone Archie to make sure he was okay and that he’d managed to get to uni on time and what was he doing about lunch etc, so it was only after Arabella had left for the formal that I realised I hadn’t spoken to him. But then I remembered his final class of the day wouldn’t finish until 6pm so I waited until after that time and then tried to call him. And he wouldn’t answer. And I kept trying and then it was going straight through to message and I worried that his phone must be lost, stolen or out of battery. I then started texting him. And he wouldn’t answer. So then I got really cross because it was now well after dinner time and I had been expecting him home for dinner so if you’re not going to come home for dinner you should at the very least let you mother know so she doesn’t cater for you unnecessarily. So I sent him a text message telling him how selfish he was and he still didn’t answer.
By the time I went to bed at 11pm I was quite worked up and I told Carl I was very worried about him but Carl just said, ‘Well he’s obviously up to no good’ and went to sleep leaving me wondering if I should start phoning police stations (starting with King’s Cross) and asking if they had Archie in one of their cells.
I didn’t sleep well because I had a nightmare, one of those ones where you’re trying very hard to scream and I must have been making some sort of a noise because I woke Carl and he shook me to wake me up and asked what was going on and I told him I was walking through the savannah grasslands and had been caught by a leopard who was eating me alive. And Carl erupted in laughter thinking that was a huge joke and it’s not funny because anyone sensible would know that it’s impossible to outrun a leopard.
At 5am I heard Archie come through the door and was very relived but still livid that he had been so discourteous not to phone to let me know where he was and what he was doing for the night. But in the morning I discovered that it wasn’t Archie who had come through the door at 5am, it was Arabella and some chap who went to the formal but not with Arabella! And that was confusing because Arabella had organised to stay with a bunch of girls in a hotel room at the venue but now she was home and there was a strange chap asleep on the couch in the lounge. But where was Archie?
So I left Arabella in bed and the strange chap on the couch and took Alfie to his rugby match and while there I kept phoning Archie to no avail. I hatched a plan that when I arrived home I would not only ask the police stations to check their cells, I would also ask the hospitals to check their beds.
But when I walked through the front door my mobile rang and it was Archie. ‘Mum, I’ve got all your missed calls and all your text messages. Mum, did you forget I told you I was going to an 18th in Bowral? We discussed it the other night. And you know in Bowral I was going to be out on a property where there’s no mobile reception. I’m on my way back now and I’ll see you in a couple of hours. Are you okay? You sounded pretty upset.’
Of course I’m upset. I thought I was suffering from anxiety but it turns out it’s memory failure. Excellent!
I do remember Archie telling me about the party it’s just I thought it was Saturday night, not Friday night. And Arabella had a brilliant time at the formal except the girl wearing the same dress wasn’t exactly civil and as for the strange chap on the couch, well he remains a mystery but he thanked me very much for letting him stay.
And watch out for leopards – they can run at speeds of up to 88km/hr (55mph).
More comfort food required. A curry like this is very good for anxiety or even memory loss.
Penang Curry with Braised Beef Shin, Green Peppercorns and Basil
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Beef shin is gravy beef and a cheaper cut of meat.
- 2 cups (500ml) coconut cream
- 500g (1lb) diced beef shin
- 2-3 tbsns red curry paste
- 1-2 tbspns light palm sugar
- 1-2 tbspns fish sauce
- 4 tbspns roasted crushed peanuts
- 2 tspns green peppercorns
- 8 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1 lge red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
Open the coconut cream without shaking the tin and separate the cream from the milk. There should be about 1 1/4 cups of milk and 3/4 cup of cream. Place the diced beef in a pot with the coconut milk and just enough water to cover if necessary. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat uncovered until the meat is cooked. This takes about 2 hours. Let the meat cool in the liquid.
Heat 1/2 cup (125ml/4 fl oz) of the reserved coconut cream in a wok and simmer until the oil starts to separate. Add the curry paste and gently fry for about 5 mins. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, half of the peanuts, the braised beef and enough of the cooking liquid to make a thick sauce. Simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly, stir in the peppercorns, kaffir lime leaves, basil leaves and chillies. Remove from heat as soon as the basil wilts.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining coconut cream and peanuts.
Serve with rice.
This recipe is from Spirit House, Essentially Thai. The recipes in this book are all fabulous but I find the portions quite small. For four big eaters who are not having other dishes like a traditional Thai meal, you could just about double the recipe then, if you have any leftover it is great for teenage lunch boxes!
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