Nasty Evil Ninja – A Poet???

Nasty Evil Ninja – A Poet???

I’ve had literally ‘a few’ people ask me about this lately.  For my sins, I am, in fact, a poet.  Or at least was…

It’s really where all this started.

I was forced to write a crappy poem at school in an English lesson in 1990.  So, after being bored silly with ‘Dulce Et Decorum Es’, I sat there and wrote this:

The Chicken

A funny thing happened
To me the other day,
I was walking along
Down an alleyway,
When a bloke in a hat
Said “Psst! Come over here!”
Showed me a chicken,
And whispered in my ear.
“Young lad, this chicken
Could change your life-
It could make you rich,
And pull you a wife.”

To an offer like that
I couldn’t say no,
Asked “How much?”
And hoped it was low.
“Fifty quid to you, son,”
He held up a hand,
“I can’t go any lower
‘Cause I bought it for a grand.”
I gave him the money,
Looked at the hen,
Turned to thank the man
But he was gone again.

So I was walking along
With a chick under my arm,
When I noticed that it
Was surprisingly calm.
I held it out,
And wobbled its’ head,
But it fell on the ground-
The chicken was dead!

I couldn’t believe it!
I just stared in surprise!
All along
He’d been telling me lies!
Now I’m fifty quid less,
With a motionless hen,
And I’m telling you this
So it won’t happen again.

It got a good reaction!  Hell, even Girls seemed to like it!

Of course, my teenage angst soon took over, and stuff got far more moody and twisted.

Most rhyming poems are crap.  They compromise what you’re trying to say because you’re more concerned with trying to find something that rhymes with ‘incandescent’ than just explaining how angry you are!  (Having said that, probably my two favourites DO rhyme, but meh – shup!)

I found people liked this moody non-rhyming stuff even more.  More importantly, Girls liked it!

I found this a bit strange, because most of my poems aren’t actually very nice!  It should also be noted here that I NEVER spend weeks writing a poem like some – mine all came out fast.  A bit like being sick.  I doubt many took me longer than 30 minutes in total (with no more edits after I declared it finished), which made it an excellent release for me.

I went through a period of several years where I’d  write out my latest poems and hand them out by request to several Girls.  I figured this poetry stuff could work!

This is my most published poem overall:

Perspective

She is rape,
For she holds my heart against my will,
Her icy clutch
Freezing me from inside.
Her playful mind is warped
Like a lioness toying with her prey.
She sees my pain as nothing,
When her own life is desolate.
My joys will never excite her,
Though with my self-destruction
She grows strong enough to fade away.

Dark, huh?

My sister actually acted out one of my poems with her friends when she was at school, which is quite possibly better than being published in a book or magazine!  That was another comedy poem about three old ladies causing havoc in a supermarket, titled ‘Clean Up In Aisle Three’.

For now, though, I’ll leave you with one of my few poems I can remember instantly.  I think it’s got a great flow to it, and don’t feel the rhyme compromises the feel or the words.  And if you think this stuff is dark – you should see some of the lyrics I’ve written for my bands!

Lessons Learned From Scars

A fool to believe
If he wore on his sleeve
His heart – he could have it returned.
For his long drawn-out pain
Just what did he gain?
More scars and more lessons learned.
When she returned his kiss
He felt ultimate bliss
But never, since that long time ago
Did she show that she cared
Or was even aware
Of his pain which swallowed him whole.

Spanish Omelette, Nasty Evil Ninja Style

Spanish Omelette, Nasty Evil Ninja Style

First off, for those who’ve never had one, a Spanish Omelette is NOT ‘just an omelette’.

The main thing about a Tortilla de Patatas is that it’s got potato in, and is slow cooked.  Other than that just about anything goes…

I was first introduced to it on holiday in Spain, and fell in love straight away.  Over there they even have it cold in baguettes!  Mmm…

So, years after that first time, and after many bought ones (Tesco’s do a pretty damned good one that you just reheat in the pan), today I decided to give it a go.

Ingredients

1 onion chopped finely
3-4 new potatoes sliced
1 breast of chicken
‘Some’ sweetcorn
5 eggs
Coarse ground black pepper, garlic and salt to taste

If I’d had my way, it would have had ham and cheese in as well, but as I was cooking for two and Lill Boo didn’t want that, it couldn’t go in.

I grilled the chicken breast and then chopped it into small pieces, whilst putting the sliced potatoes into boiling water for around 10-15 mins until nice and soft but still firm.

Whack these into a big bowl (or a saucepan) with a handful of sweetcorn.

I fried the onion until soft and just about browning, then tipped these into the saucepan as well, sprinkled with coarse ground black pepper and a few pinches of garlic salt, mixed it all together well, and then left to cool slightly.

Everyone has a different opinion on this part, because if you pour over your 5 beaten egg mixture, it may cook it slightly if the rest of the stuff is still hot.  I wanted full control, and so let it cool a bit first.

Then heat some oil in a pan.  The ideal pan is a smallish deep on.  I didn’t have this so used a regular frying pan to make a monster-sized omelette.  You can also get specialist pans which make the flipping part a Hell of a lot easier…

Not Saturday Night Sick – Spanish Omelette

So slap it all into the pan, even it out, and then turn the heat down to a low level for around 20 minutes.  If you’re lucky the top will firm up a little, I wasn’t, and so had to improvise a little when I flipped it over.

After weighing up the potential first degree burns from a pancake-style flip, I slid it out of the pan onto a dinner plate, held the pan over the omelette and then flipped the plate upside down so it fell into to pan, using all 25 years of martial arts experience.  Perfect!

I left it sunny-side-down for another 10 mins or so, until the underside was also browned.

It sounds easy here, but there’s a fair bit of prep-work, infinite variables, and a lot of potential for it all to go horribly wrong!

Personally, I was chuffed to bits with my first attempt.  It could maybe do with a bit more salt and garlic, but we both ate the lot happily!

So what next?  Chilli?  Chorizo?

Have you got any tips or think I’ve done anything wrong?

G’is your favourite Spanish Omelette recipe!

Chinese Curry The Nasty Evil Ninja Way

Chinese Curry The Nasty Evil Ninja Way

Most people who mention curry are thinking about some kind of Indian type.  There are people out there who’ve never even tasted a Chinese curry!  Heathens!

My love of this started when I was very young and doing Shotokan Karate.  Every time I passed a grade for a new belt my Mom would buy me a Chinese curry to celebrate.  Mmm… the taste of victory!

I’ve experimented a lot trying to make my own, but now know the main part is down to the sauce.  You may have heard me mention The Wing Yip before – this is a Chinese supermarket which supplies pretty much all the Chinese restaurants in the UK.  This means if you can find the stuff your favourite restaurant uses in a desired dish, there’s every chance you can do it yourself (providing you’re handy with a wok)!

The sauce in this case is this:

https://i1.wp.com/www.wingyipstore.co.uk/pictures/80379/mid/083618.jpg
Absolute quality and taste that will blow your mind for £1.40 per tub!  All you do is add water and boil it up.  You’ll probably get 10+ portions from one tub if you like the sauce really thick like I do.  OM NOM NOM NOM! 

I know some will blast me for using a sauce, but this is honestly as good as it gets, so why the Hell would I want to piss about making my own which will cost more and probably be inferior?

Now the cooking part!

The great thing about curry is that you can put pretty much anything in!  The absolute bare minimum is Chicken and Onion, I’ve found.  My preference is to also have mushrooms and more than one type of meat – especially prawns!  I’ve even used salmon cut into thick chunks so that it doesn’t fall apart too much.  Lately I’ve also been putting Spring Onion in – normally the white part of the stem because I use the green in the fried rice, but the whole lot is good!  I used to use bell peppers, but have stopped these days because I don’t feel they add all that much – but this is all down to your preference!  I’ve had Vietnamese takes on this with courgettes and aubergine in!

I’ll say again that your preparation is the key.  You can cook the meal in mere minutes, but you have to take the time to chop and prepare everything.

I like big squarish chunks of onion… come to think of it I use big chunks of all the veggies and thick slices of spring onion.  Mainly I use button or closed cup mushrooms sliced thickly.  This also makes things easier if you’re going to go the whole hog and use chopsticks!

Prawns I leave whole, and any other meat is cut into bite-sized chunks.  Remember it cooks better and faster the smaller/thinner it is, so if you’re the type likely to poison yourself on raw meat get it into thin strips!  For frozen or pre-cooked meat make sure you have it defrosted and drained or the excess liquid when it melts is a Bad Thing as it thins your sauce.  For frozen prawns in a hurry, put them in a sieve and run the cold tap over them until they’re defrosted.

For the first time last night I tried something a little new to prepare the meat.  I added a sprinkle of garlic powder to my defrosted and drained prawns and mixed it in well, then did the same with a few teaspoons of Corn Flour.  This looks wrong with a white gunky coating but trust me – it was gorgeous at the end!  I will be doing this in the future with chicken etc.

So your Egg Fried Rice is done and on a plate in the oven to keep warm.  If you’re really anal you can clean the wok out, but it’s fine to just add more oil and get cooking this stuff:

Get the sauce on the go in a small saucepan.  Add a few tablespoons of the paste and boiled water in about a 40:60 mix (adjust by adding more water/paste to your desired thickness, or even a little cornflour).  Put this in a low heat and regularly stir it through to the end.  It thickens up a fair bit.  You can also add some fresh chilli or chilli powder to the mix if you want it hotter.

If you’re using fresh raw meat add this to your splash of peanut oil in the wok on a medium high heat.  Remember prawns cook faster than most meat, so add these after a few minutes if doing a meat mix, or just fry the fkrs for less if just using them.  Most you buy will be pre-cooked, so only add these as your vegetables are almost done near the end!

When the meat is thouroughly cooked through (or even slightly pan-seared as I prefer my chicken), whack the rest of the veg in together.

For a while I experimented with boiling the veg up while I cooked the meat, but to be honest the only thing this adds is another saucepan to wash.  And we don’t want THAT, do we?

I like to keep the onion a bit crunchy so the high heat helps to do this bit, and don’t forget to add those pre-cooked prawns or meat now!  Warm them as the veg finishes off, and then pour your sauce over the lot.

Fry the lot together for a few seconds to infuse it all, and then pour it over a nest of your egg fried rice on a plate.

Now try telling me that wasn’t the best curry you’ve ever tasted?

Bird Stuck Up A Tree

Bird Stuck Up A Tree

I know this sounds like it’ll be a blog about a life crisis told in metaphors, but that’s because you’re too clever for your own good!

This weekend myself and Lill Boo had to place the dubious emergency call that there was a pigeon stuck up a tree!

It seemed the little flying bugger had got something tangled around it’s leg, and I first saw it flapping around as it hung upside down, slowly swinging like the moody and feathered internals of a Grandfather Clock.

http://pickypigeon.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/080429-pigeon-picture.jpg?w=450&h=397


I’m sure it’d take a good few days for it to die and bats to eat its eyeballs or whatever, and finding the RSPB was closed at weekends, a call was placed to the RSPCA.  Surprisingly, they sent someone out for the ‘Bird stuck up a tree’ call!

Normally I’d tell you some grand tale of adventure and bravery here, as we battled to free the be-winged creature, only to end up with shots fired, injuries, and diving catches.

Unfortunately, Lill Boo was watching out the window, so after watching us struggle into position after formulating a plan to bring the branch down – she saw that as I got into position to catch the pigeon *has the name ‘Penelope Pitstop’ spring into his head*, and the RSPCA Officer stood on his vans roof with a big long pokey thing, the pigeon flew off as if nothing had happened.

Grr.

The true irony is that Lill Boo -ing hates pigeons anyway!  Next time we’re just closing the curtains a bit so we can’t see it and ignoring it.

Speaking of birds and stuff, I never told you about the Man Test I had to undergo a couple of months ago!

I was down the garage workshop chatting cars and bikes when we noticed a big bloody chicken leg it inside, closely followed by Overall Man in that hands-out running crouch that people running after chickens apparently have to adopt.

Being three men together, of course we all joined in the chase, trying to head the chicken off and box it in – as you do.

After a good few minutes of trying, and several successful escapes by the Ninja Chicken, I suddenly found myself face to face with it’s evil eyes, and to my horror realised that I was the one who was going to have to make the grab!

Now, despite being a man who’s experienced a lot of very weird and wonderful things in my lifetime, having to actually pick up a chicken is not one of the ones I’ve ever done.

https://i1.wp.com/i.ytimg.com/vi/Cf8FQYv9lD4/0.jpg


I know many have a phobia of chickens.  Maybe it’s because they’ve been known to peck peoples eyeballs out for trying to pick them up the wrong way?  This and many similar thoughts ran through my head, as did the thought that this was a very definite Man Test, witnessed by two other alpha males.

I couldn’t let them down, and I definitely couldn’t let the chicken escape. Or accidentally kill it.

All of Abe’s chickeny blogs ran through my mind, and I searched them for useful tips that didn’t include shotguns.

In the end I just grabbed the bastard, learning how chickens certainly do have breasts, and their sole purpose seems to be for a leather-clad man to grab from behind…

Err… so yes – I passed the man test and safely handed the bird (still alive) back to Overall Man.

And only a bit of wee came out.