Meeting with friend Paul and his wife, Sue, a few days ago had introduced us to the fact that there is a branch of our favourite English food shop, Waitrose, in Lymington. Being only about 4 miles further than Brockenhurst and offering a wider selection, we set off in search of supplies and fuel.
Wandering around the store examining our choices, Francine spotted a range of what a bullshit-filled marketeer might call a meal solution. Fortunately, this range of products didn’t appear to have been subjected to such nonsense. On a higher shelf that made Francine stretch a little to see, were a number of “scratch®, fresh meal kits”. The one which caught Francine’s attention she read as “Singaporean Crayfish, Prawn and Poodle Alaska”. Visions of a poodle, it’s curly white coat having been replaced by a mound of foaming white meringue, sprang instantly to mind. Well, how could we resist? After all, the very best thing that could happen to any poodle is that it be humanely dispatched and swiftly baked in a blisteringly hot oven.
Upon closer examination, the object of our mirth turned out to be “Singaporean Crayfish and Prawn Noodle Laksa”. Being fans of south-east Asian cuisine generally, the lack of any poodle didn’t diminish our enthusiasm to give it a try. The kit looked quite clever comprising “all, yes all, the ingredients you need” and ready prepared: a pack of vermicelli noodles, a pack of mixed crayfish tails and prawns, a pack of carrot julienne, a pack of bean sprouts, a pack of coconut milk, a pack of laksa paste, a fresh lime leaf and a lime wedge. A further point in its favour was the fact that the recipe is supposedly by none other than the eminent Michele Roux. This is not the kind of product that we’d be likely to purchase at home, preferring to prepare such things truly from scratch ourselves, but it is the kind of product that is useful given Guillaume’s slightly more restricted cooking facilities. After we’d stopped laughing, we popped a Poodle Alaska kit into our shopping trolley with an air of anticipation – for tomorrow, that is.
Other offerings in the scratch® repertoire include “Vietnamese Chicken Ga Kho Gung” and “Chicken Thai Green Curry”.
In the afternoon we made a second visit to Crockford Stream, our first having yielded nothing. This second visit was more productive and we were entertained by a couple of Broad-bodied Chasers (Libellula quadrimaculata) actively hunting, and a couple of teneral Beautiful Demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo). Most interesting, though, was this which I believe is/will be an example of a female Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), form melanotum.
We also stopped for a second time at Hatchet Moor where, as well as a few more Downy Emeralds (Cordulia aenea), none of which seemed inclined to pose for our cameras, our most interesting find was this colourful female Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans), form rufescens.