The devil in the detail

I have a love/hate relationship with people.

They walk slowly and hog the footpath when I’m in a rush. They cause wars and hurt other people for funsies. They’re Delta Goodrem (I hate Delta), or Kony (I’m not comparing the two here), or that guy who kidnapped those girls. People are stupid and frustrating and they drive to slow or hoon-like, and just generally make me want to stay in bed, rather than deal with them.

But then, at the same time, people are remarkable. They perform acts of heroism; they save lives; make my coffee; create good art or are just the kind of people that make your life better, just by being in it.

My real love for people though, lie in their quirks. The little itty things that makes them them. It’s something I got thinking about after reading this story by Sarah Wilson.

I need the volume on an even number. I get a weird amount of joy from measuring ingredients and getting the exact weight I need the first time around. I organise my nail polishes by brand and then colour. Books are by genre. I hate fingerprint smudges on polished surfaces, I’m constantly cleaning the screen on my phone. Towels are straightened. I might have rearranged a whole display of pens in a art supply shop so they were all facing the same way. Collars are either up or down – I used to chase down my school friends if it was half up/down, and I’ve caught myself reaching to fix the collars of strangers on the street, before realising that it’s weird. I even fell catastrophically, struck-by-lightning in love with my last boyfriend while watching him eat ice cream in neat rows. Yes, my OCD extends to other people.

As a kid, we argued the order in which you eat the various things on your plate. My dad and I are ‘save the best for last’ kinds of people, while my mum fears that she’ll run out of room before she gets to the good stuff, and thus miss out. I mean, if I had to put it in order, it’s brussel sprouts, pumpkin, broccoli, peas, mashed potato and then meat. Because I really hate brussel sprouts, and spend the rest of my dinner trying to wash my mouth out with better tasting stuff.

The good news with this dinner is, there’s none of that. Everything is really good, and you don’t have to pick out anything. It’s also ridiculously quick, full of good, filling stuff and can be done in one pot. You’re welcome.

 

Spanish prawns with spicy lentils

From Delicious Magazine

1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 chorizo sausage, chopped
1 tbs harissa
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans brown lentils, rinsed, drained
220g jar roasted red capsicums, drained, sliced
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock or water
500g peeled prawns (tails intact)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Crusty bread and mixed salad leaves, to serve

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the chorizo and onion, cooking until the chorizo crisps and the onions soften. Add the harissa paste, and cook for a minute, until fragrant. Throw in the lentils, tomatoes, capsicum and stock, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened.

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Add the prawns to the pan, then cover and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the prawns are done.

Add the parsley, and serve with bread.

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