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Quail confit

26 November 2003

I've been thinking about canapés. God alone knows why, because the complication & expense cannot be worth the reward; but they are fun. Amuse-gueules, soups served in shot glasses, that end of things. Confit of quail, served on toast. Sheer folly, but I now have a handful of quail cooling gently in goose-fat in the larder. The big question is, what does one spread on the toast? Redcurrant jelly would be unsophisticated, which heaven forfend. Cumberland sauce might do it. Or bread sauce, maybe? I shall just have to play, and run tests on willing friends, if I can find 'em. Must be some out there somewhere...

Meanwhile, my poor Misha-cat has suffered an ingrowing toenail, which caused me to suffer paroxysms of guilt. It was a great horrid claw of a thing (well, duh, yeah, she is a cat, cats do have claws, y'know? - but this was gross, distorted, vast) and I can't believe I hadn't noticed it. Especially as it was on her left front paw, which is the one she uses to attract my attention: via the face and neck, largely, while I'm in bed, and the paw not quite paddy, just not quite. So I gazed at it in dismay and wondered if I could just clip it off and tug it out where it had curled under and grown into her pad, but thought best not, so off to the vet we went. Who chuckled benignly and fetched his clippers, and did exactly that. And told me not to fret, he couldn't remember the last time he'd looked at his own cats' claws; and then he went into some tale about a pony's tail and a tangled cat, which I didn't really listen to because I was still fretful and ashamed. Misha was fine, but it's always me that suffers when we go to the vet.

So then I ran away to Stafford, which is a very long way from anywhere else, for this year's FantasyCon; and did a reading and a couple of panels, and met a lot of new people, and ate some good food and drank monstrously and generally had a thoroughly good time, spoiled only by the bad back and the bad conscience. It's not so long since I was assuring my agents that I could deliver a respectable chunk of the new book before Xmas, and the whole by June; but I am just starting to wonder. As ever, there is too much else in my life; I need space, time, an empty canvas, and I keep filling it with teaching, cooking, partying, other things to write. Not sure if it's a self-destructive urge or just self-indulgent, but it sure is urgent. 'Shit, I've got a book to write; quick, let's find a lot of other things to do...'

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© Chaz Brenchley 2003
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.