vendredi, septembre 08, 2006

Rest and Risotto

Well, after a very busy week and a lot of running around, I finally slowed down a bit on Friday. Truth be told, there was a not-insignificant amount of stuff to do at work, but the after-work was nice and relaxing.

I started my day by trying to get up hella early and failing. The alarm clock didn't go off, and this time I reset the alarm to the next minute and it still didn't work. I guess I need to change the batteries. Anyway, I still had to walk to the nearest métro station with a photo booth and take my carte de séjour pictures. (On the way, I stopped at a nearby boulangerie and got a pain au chocolat and a Chausson Poire-Chocolat—think croissant wrapped around melted chocolate and pear—gawd, are those things ever tasty when they're fresh!) After the crap I went through to get my captive-bead piercings out of my ears for this photo, I was telling anybody who would stand still long enough about my ear-piercing woes. With photos in hand, I zipped off to the Centre.

At the Centre, I put the finishing touches on my visa paperwork, then discovered that the printer in the computer lab was "broken." As it turns out, several print jobs had been sent to the printer in 8x11" format instead of A4. When the printer gets a print job in a format it doesn't have, it waits for someone to manually re-direct the print job to a particular paper tray. So I had to sit there at the printer for several minutes, pressing buttons as I cleared the print queue. After that sillyness, I sent around a precisely-worded email to the students in English (rather than the usual French) and I logged into the computer lab computers as an admin to see the system preferences settings. As it turns out, the global default paper size had been set to 8x11; this means that students can still override the setting when they print from Word, but it also means that they have to remember to override it. Not satisfied with the prospects of 25-odd students being expected to remember something they don't usually do when they print at home, I got into the system preferences on all of the computers and just re-set them to A4. Problem solved!

Alas, there were other problems waiting for me throughout the day, but thankfully none of them were insurmountable. Things quieted down around 3pm and there was a student at my residences that was feeling ill, so I headed home and checked in on him. With the courtesy call taken care of, I just wandered back to my room, surfed the web and made risotto. I had thought about going out that night, but I decided against it, since I still had saturday and sunday ahead of me. Considering my night on Saturday, that was a very good idea.

Since this is already turning into a food blog, I thought I'd post some pics and a recipe for my What I have at hand Risotto:

1 dry Chorizo, half-eaten 1 Onion or a couple of Shallots, diced fine as much Garlic as you can take, crushed Olive Oil, enough to cover a small frying pan a handful of Arborio Rice a saucepan full of simmering Water, preferably with a Bouillon cube in it a forkful of Butter (to finish) some Tumeric for colour (just a bit!)

Essentially, you just bring these things together in the order they're listed:

  1. Chop the Chorizo into smallish cubes and put on a hot dry pan until they render their fat.
  2. Add onion, garlic and olive oil, until the onion begins to brown.
  3. Add rice and stir over high heat until the rice is glossy and a bit transparent.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of stock/water to rice, which should make it sizzle. Stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Continue adding water in small units and stirring until it is absorbed.
  6. When the rice is almost ready (soft grains, creamy sauce) add a bit of tumeric and butter
  7. Remove from heat and serve.

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