The cleaning lady is away on holiday for the past 3 weeks and my house is now invaded by spiderwebs, insects of all sorts and of course a thick layer of grease and dust. The toilets are smelly, the clean shirts are piling up waiting to be ironed and it's a big mess everywhere in the house. And I have guests tomorrow evening for dinner.
The heat renders me incapable of doing anything. I am reluctant to go out, I do not feel like cooking, I do not even feel like talking. I'm spending the last few days negotiating a new protective net and border padding for the trampoline with the store that I bought it from 2 years ago - and getting pissed off because they cost half as much as the trampoline itself. Italian stores do not know the meaning of customer service, so buy from Germany or the UK wherever possible.
The mosquitos are making me itch and bleed. I need to drive to Bazzano now to buy 2 cakes so that MIL could bring them back to France next week. They are very good cakes (Torta Giuditta), but it'll be like bringing coal to Newcastle. Hub is pissing me off telling me that I couldn't cook this or that on Friday because he wants to serve good bottles of wine to his guests. Why couldn't they just drink water or tea? I've been checking out the prices of those bottles on the Net, they are between 30 and 50 euros each. I'd rather serve abalone or lobster for that price. Which is more important : food or wine?
I'm looking at the Teenager (sitting in front of the other computer) and feeling quite irritated. He does nothing with his days. Just sleep, watch TV or go on the Net. Even Barbie doll has a daughter studying law.
Anyway, irritated or not, I still have to cook and feed everyone. Dug around and found a packet of fresh macaroni, half a packet of frozen prawns...that went into a plate of Spicy Macaroni for lunch. My Malay nanny used to make us something similar when we lived with her and another memory I have of the dish was when my late aunt brought us to a friend of hers after climbing Mount Faber and the lady served us hot and spicy macaroni - probably made with sambal chilli or sambal belachan.
Spicy Macaroni :
250g of fresh Macaroni (4 minutes' cooking time in boiling salted water)
Half an Onion (sliced)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Thai Chillies (chopped)
1 Red or green Chilli (sliced)
1 stalk Lemongrass (bashed and sliced)
1/2 Tsp Shrimp paste (optional)
2 Tsp concentrated Tomato paste
250g raw peeled Shrimps
1 Tsp Sugar or Palm sugar
2 Tbsp Fish sauce
10 fresh Basil leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat up a bit of peanut oil in a wok and fry the onions and garlic till fragrant.
Add the chillies, lemongrass and shrimp paste (if using).
When they are pungent, add the shrimps and tomato paste and mix well.
Add the sugar, fish sauce, basil leaves and cooked macaroni and stir-fry for a few minutes. If necessary add a bit of hot water.
Add salt and pepper to taste, give it another toss and serve hot.