I have two other things to update about in the meantime; tonight I will attempt to get some of the Fandom for February backlog under my belt just to get it out of the way. :P
Recipe: Turkey Roulade Tapenade
We got some black olive tapenade from Moseley Farmers Market on Saturday (we were keeping Lisa company on her painting stall again) so I created the following for tea last night...
You can probably make your own tapenade by finding a recipe online (it's basically chopped olives, anchovies, capers and olive oil...) but mine was pre-made, so:-
3x turkey steaks
3 tsp black olive tapenade
2x baking potatoes
Grated (cooked) beetroot
Salad dressing (mine was pesto and balsamic from Asda :P)
2x small cloves garlic
Pre-heat oven to 200C / gas mark 6. (LOL at the fact I now have a gas oven with temperature markings so still guess wildly when converting. :P)
Wrap each turkey steak in cling film and bash it with a rolling pin or meat tenderiser until it's much thinner. Remove from the cling film and spread a layer of tapenade over the top, then roll it up. Place into a baking tray.
Peel the potatoes and chop in half, then quarter each half. Place into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
When the potatoes have boiled, put the turkey in the oven (middle shelf).
Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, make the salad - you don't have to follow the above exactly, it's just what I happened to have. :P Cover and reserve.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Peel and finely chop (or crush) the garlic and add to the pan, cook for a couple of minutes and then add the potatoes.
Saute the potatoes for about 15 minutes, turning frequently, until they're browned all over.
Remove turkey from the oven and cut each roll into half-inch slices (about 4-5 each roll) and divide between two plates. Serve with the potatoes and salad.
Initially I was going to use pork with this, and indeed that's what I thought the Mystery Meat in the freezer was until I got it out to defrost. ;)
Now a minor, petty work annoyance, briefly mentioned on Twitter, in the form of cake rivalry.
When I returned to work on Monday morning (it feels like I've been back for months), I was presented by the welcome (/ -ing) form of Jas, who has returned to us after a year or so being away. I had in fact already been told about this at some point in August and had forgotten, but anyway, one of the first things she asked me was, "Where's the cakes?" This is because my last round of fairy cakes before she left were, well, because she was leaving. Thus, I ended up making a cake on Wednesday night because she asked for one, and it had to be before Kemi went on leave this week so she could have some.
So I made a cake - a chocolate cake with Nutella filling and chocolate butter icing on top, with plenty of sprinkles. (The reason for the Nutella is I had a Nutella-filled crepe whilst in Paris and remembered how much I like it. :D) I left the cake on my desk, pointed it out to Jas (she gave me a big hug) and then emailed the floor - including fee earners and WPO's - to tell them to help themselves and explaining that Jas demanded cake, which was the reason for its existence. (It then transpired that Kemi didn't like Nutella, but whatevs. :P)
The cake was well-received by all, though I find it pertinent to note that none of the WPO's had any of it. Admittedly I accidentally (honest) left Forgetful off the mailing list because she hadn't arrived at that point and I thought she was on leave (which is the same reason I missed off newly-aliased Preggo), and Hometime is gluten-intolerant, but there's no excuse for the rest of them.
Chatty arrives normally at about half-ten, and doesn't check her emails until the afternoon or whatever, so had missed the email. At some point in the morning she looked over at my desk and asked, "Is that a cake?" - I resisted the urge to be sarcastic and explained the reason for it once again. I mentioned to Paul at the time, on Thursday morning, that I worry sometimes that my spoiling the fee earners with cake might be seen as sucking up by the other WPO's; equally, however, I don't care, because that isn't the case anyway. Noor and I have a good relationship (professional and otherwise) with South Team - despite our colleagues' assertions that they're "unfriendly" - because we get on with our job and do things properly. Also, I have worked with South Team since I started at Legal five years (!!) ago. Yes, they are still 'my team', even though we're now pooled as WPO's.
A few weeks ago, Noor and I had to hide the thank-you card that Sharn had given us when she left because it was "upsetting people"; that is the level of pettiness we have to deal with.
Anyway. On Friday another cake appeared. At lunchtime it transpired it had been made by Chatty's husband, for her birthday, which was "in August, but there was nobody here". I should point out that her cake was also a chocolate cake, but it was twice the size of mine, and she didn't 'announce' it like I had via email. (Though half the time it's beyond her to string a coherent typed sentence together anyway.)
Seeing as she did not eat any of mine, I did not eat any of hers. There was about a quarter of mine left, which I took home on Friday evening. I don't know if it was a deliberate attempt at oneupmanship, or just a coincidence, but it did piss me off. I think Noor noticed as much when I said I wasn't having any (I think I gave some vague excuse that I now can't remember) because she later tried to make me feel better by complimenting my cake as well as Chatty's, though by that point I didn't care any more.
I now realise that I had PMT on Friday, which may go some way to explaining my feelings of general despondency on the bus home, which had grown to encompass ambivalence over whether to attempt post-work drinks for my birthday or not, as last year everyone except Gaynor was busy. As Paul rightly pointed out, if Chatty bringing in a cake was an attempt to rile me, then I can't let her get away with it in any event. Aside from the fact she's a pensioner and should know better, I am too mature for this shit. We're supposed to be grown ups; I'm one of the youngest people in the room and half the time I feel like the only adult. Which, frankly, is terrifying, because I definitely do not feel nearly-30 yet. :P
ANYWAY. It's not going to stop me bringing cakes in, it's not going to stop me spoiling the fee earners, and it's not going to spoil the professional relationship I have with them so if that's what she wanted to achieve then she's failed.
After the Farmers / Arts Market, Paul and I headed into Birmingham for translucent's leaving drinks. We went to Las Iguanas first because I wanted Mexican food, where we made a headstart on cocktails before heading to Island Bar for the drinks in question.
Despite drinking about six or seven cocktails, I was actually surprisingly not drunk, just absolutely shattered. We left about ten-ish and managed to convince a taxi driver to cap the fare at £12.00 (bonus!). I think perhaps the highlight of the night was catching up with Clare as I haven't seen her since... wow, I was still at uni. Maybe about eight years? So that was lovely because she hasn't changed in the slightest. I tried to convince her to join CBC, also. ;)
On Sunday we mostly did nothing. I had a migraine kick in right as EastEnders started, which was a pain, but thankfully the Migraleve didn't mong me out so I was able to set the Wii up on our new wireless broadband (WOO!) without any fuss, then spent the evening after dinner catching up on overdue internet-related admin. :P I do still owe Eni some Thoughts, so I'll try and tackle those tonight. :)
I think that's about it. Hopefully updates will now be more forthcoming and regular, rather than every two weeks.