Happy Birthday Jon!

As you probably already know, Jon and I signed the wedding papers a month and a half ago, having been a couple for four and a half years and having lived together for almost two years. And as you may already know, despite my lifestyle I am practically the poster child for a Strong And Independent Woman™.

How so? Well, coming from an unusual and tough childhood and being already predisposed to not particularly caring for social mores, I have always sought to better myself. I prize independence because independence is safety and safety is happiness. I have seen some of the world, lived wholly on my own and done just fine.

I have learned various skills and can run a home entirely on my own if I chose to. I can fix taps and replace seals, unblock drains and fix ubends. I can weed the garden, mow the lawn and light a fire just fine on my own. I can do all the cooking and cleaning and have some knowledge of most of the feminine arts, such as sewing and crochet.

I have credits stored for when I want to finish my degree and a place almost guaranteed in a decent course for when the time comes, be it in a year or forty years.

I have my own business as a private tutor, writer and translator and bring home around £600 a month steadily, ignoring my dollars on the side or cash-in-hand payments. If I chose to I could probably boost this quite significantly as the demand is there.

I have also developed an amount of self-sufficiency. I don’t need to rely on anything or anyone if I don’t want to. I can grow, forage or snare my own food.

So I don’t really need any specific person. Do I need society? Of course I do. Everyone does. And, as Janet Bloomfield has already mentioned, men are kind of the absolute pillar of society. But I don’t need a butcher, a guardian, any single person I know could, theoretically, have never existed and I would have been dandy.

But despite how easy it would be for me to claim my absolute independence and be cheered on by every back-patting feels-troll feminist I’m not a Strong And Independent Woman Who Don’t Need No Man™. Because not only do I need, as we all need, the social support of men, I also need one specific man.

Again, theoretically, he doesn’t need any specific person.

He has always been independent and has never needed much in the way of human company. He sees his best and longest standing friends once every 3-6 months and that is the way it always has been for him. He has seen enough and heard enough to know that not all people want to care for him and to prepare himself accordingly.

Even before meeting me, whatever I may say of his diet when we joke around, he was feeding himself just fine. He was strong and fairly healthy. He knew how to make a healthy meal when he has to. He also knew how to budget and clean and tidy and live on his own.

He has his degree, several qualifications and many skills. He has work all but guaranteed in the most advanced to most degraded of societies. He understands where he can go for resources if he needs them and he can do most things on his own when he must, such as minor car repairs and growing his own food.

And in that, he enriches my life as I enrich his. We’re both strong and independent. We don’t really need any random person off the street. But he isn’t a random person off the street. He’s a massive addition to my life. He takes the burden off my shoulders when I’m carrying too much. He exchanges work when we could each do the other’s work better. He provides for me and I support him. Everything is better for having him here. And life would be possible without him, but it would, quite frankly, suck.

I’m a Strong And Independent Woman™ and I do need my man. Thank goodness I have him.

TTFN, I’m off to bake a cake.

Preparing and Hosting MeatFeast V.

Seeing as we hadn’t seen C___ for a while, we decided it was time to invite him round for a MeatFeast before we were all busy with work, festivities and the likes.

1: The food.

The spread minus the pork and lemon chicken.

The spread minus the pork and lemon chicken.

The night before the MeatFeast I cut some ox heart off the main piece, defrosted some chicken limbs and a pork shoulder roll. I scored the pork fat and rubbed it with A1 Steak Sauce. I rolled the chicken quarters in honey, cinnamon, lemon and salt, then placing them in a bag and filling it with more salt, lemon and water to marinade. I placed the heart in a bag of water with salt, pepper and chili to marinade. I find that sandwich bags are more than sufficient for small marinades. I also scrubbed some potatoes.

The next morning, whilst the ox heart was simmering in pepper and cream, I started work on the tart.

Plum, Peach and Cream Tart.

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Ingredients:

-1 can peaches (or fresh peaches and juice, if you’re not feeling lazy)

-300g plum jam

-200g flour

-50g butter

Utensils:

-mixing bowl

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the juice and butter together with the flour, leave to cool in the fridge.

2: Once cool, roll it out, fit it into the pan and bake in the oven at 200C until firm but not solid.

3: Spread the jam and layer the peaches.

4: Bake at 160C until the crust is solid.

I also prepared a batter for the potatoes and some chicken wings.

Batter.

Ingredients:

-3 eggs

-200g goose fat

-flour, salt and peppered as desired

Utensils:

-2 bowls

-blender

Recipe:

1: Blend the fat and eggs together.

2: Roll the dry potatoes and wings first in the fat, next in the flour.

3: Place in the oven or deep fat frier until cooked-through and crisp.

Meanwhile, a whole chicken, some lemony chicken quarters and a small pork joint were roasting nicely in the oven. At the very end I sauteed brussels sprouts in chicken grease.

About half the chicken, 1/3 of the pork, all the wings, half the heart, half the potatoes, 2/3 the sprouts and 3/4 of the pie was gone by the end.

2: The drinks.

It was early in the afternoon, C___ is not currently able to drink much and Jon was driving C___ home, so there wasn’t much drinking going off, at least not by our standards. We had some beer and energy drinks for C___ and some wine for Jon and beer for me to enjoy later.

Jon's modest glass of wine.

Jon’s modest glass of wine. Mug for scale.

3: The entertainment.

Again, due to the time shortage we didn’t do much. Watched a few of the Bouncer Channel videos and generally just chatted.

4: The setting.

Decorations were up, the house was warm and the food was kept on the coffee table in the middle of the room, away from the mess in the kitchen. Nothing more in particular.