Tuesday, September 12, 2006


So, maybe we should get all the lit news out of the way then get to the mint? Well, as you gathered from my last offering I've been in NYC writing and stuff. I returned to the UK to a backlog of e-mail and all that lovely sour mash. The manuscript for my first novel has been doing the rounds and it hasn't found a home yet. I've had two lovely rejections from editors who had very different opinons of my work; one thought it didn't have a strong enough narrative thread, but loved my writing, the other thought the plot and story were fascinating and original but didn't like the language, which was described as 'solemn and brooding'. In any case, both editors were very nice about it and I'm glad for that because I respect them both BUT it leaves a writer thinking WHO'S RIGHT?? This is when you have to trust your own instincts. I mean how many books have we seen turned down that then became mega-sellers; my own agent turned down a manuscript that is now on the Booker longlist. Man, it's a beautiful world!! I do have good news though: a major excerpt from my second novel (in progess) is to be published in the British Council's New Writing anthology next year, and I'm on the verge of becoming a published children's writer - ha! No money, no problems...

Now, the mint. Basically fresh mint was on sale at Tesco so I bought a bunch. I put half up to dry to make tea with later, but I still have the rest of the fresh mint. Yesterday I made six mint teas - lovely! Then today I thought, let's make some interesting food. I had some left over tuna, some spring onions, parmesan cheese, a bit of lamb mince, a last thin slice of brown bread, a bit of double cream, and stuff. And then I spotted the large green pepper - so I thought pepper stuffing tuna/lamb competition. For the lamb the mix was lamb/chilli powder/double cream/half slice of brown bread (crumbed)/mint leaves (ha, ha, ha)/spring onions/salt&pepper and for the tuna it was tuna/mustard/half slice of brown bread (crumbed)/mint leaves (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha)/spring onions/salt&pepper/plus parmesan topping. In the end I had excess stuffing so (influenced by the recent visit of the mother of a Libyan friend of mine whose mom is the most amazing cook!) I dragged some left over rice from the fridge and made rice-stuffing parcels to go in the oven with the stuffed peppers. While they were in there I made a double cream/mustard & mint (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...) sauce and would you believe???? It was SOOOO FREAKING GOOD - and to my great surprise the tuna (from Ghana of course - all the big cans of Tesco tuna are from Ghana - dolphin friendly and all!) actually won the taste wars. Don't get me wrong, the lamb was good... but the tuna was poetry!! The rice parcels were yummy too with that crazy sauce. Another mad recipe for the book!! BTW if you want to try this stuff, the key to any mint sauce is to keep tasting because, trust me, you don't want to get too minted! Mo' money mo' problems!!

I'm listening to Stephanie Mills 'cos she has one of the best voices ever - none of this cheap trilling stuff we get fed these days. My girlfriend always laughs when I sing along to "Comfort of a Man" but it's worth it just to sing along to such dopeness...

what i'm reading/listening to

Stephanie Mills


Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back Nii. I liked the mint recipe face off and the Ha, ha, has! I'm glad the tuna one, althrough the lamb one sounded yummy too.

Congrats on your new gig with the British Council. Excellent news. This has to be a pick me up right?? I'll buy you a drink on celebration next monday.

Anonymous said...

"all the big cans of Tesco tuna are from Ghana"

This made my day, I cannot stop laughing.