marcel barang

Mince, alors

In English, French on 01/06/2011 at 12:42 am

Je viens d’inventer une recette de cuisine.

Hachez un oignon, deux tomates, une ou deux ou trois gousses d’ail selon votre degré d’isolement de vos proches.
Découpez une demi-douzaine d’olives vertes en rondelles.
Salez, poivrez, ajoutez des herbes de Provence ou, à défaut, italiennes et une pincée de noix de muscade.
Mélangez le tout et faites cuire quelques minutes à feu doux dans une poêle nappée d’un soupçon d’huile d’olive, en touillant une fois ou deux avec une spatule (en bois ou en plastique doux, pour pas rayer la Tefal® madinfrance, tiens donc).
Quand ça commence à se liquéfier, rangez le mélange sur une moitié de la poêle et, sur l’autre moitié, déversez 250 grammes de porc haché premier choix (le moins de gras possible), toujours à feu doux, puis au bout d’une trentaine de secondes, quand la viande commence à « prendre », retournez-la et mélangez l’ensemble. Une fois homogène, le plat est prêt à servir.
Le tout prend une quinzaine de minutes, le temps d’un demi-verre de pastis.
Une grosse moitié avec deux tranches de pain complet grillé font un dîner. Le reste se mangera au déjeuner demain froid accompagné d’un brin de salade crue et de mozzarella, avant la mangue qui reste et le café.

I was about to write about this when an event unprecedented in the annals of caught me off-guard: after 44 days without a single order, I received one – from some enlightened reader in Singapore – for no fewer than 23 e-books. As the automatic dispatch buttons of the site don’t work, it took me no fewer than six emails to forward the books.

And, earlier, two more emails to send a merely five-page-long Thai short story for retyping: the new scanner turns each page into a jpg picture that can weigh several megabytes. Zipping such pictures proves too much trouble for everyone concerned, as the squeezed file is only lighter by something like five percent. With time to spare, I reformat the pictures to make them as light as impossible.
So, for longer texts, it’ll be back to making photocopies to be sent by mail or hand delivered…

Today could have been my birthday, which is still weeks away.

(Oh, by the way, it’s official: I’ve now spent more than half of my entire long life in Thailand, which, I regret to say, doesn’t make me half a Thai citizen, even honorary.)

In the morning, a special mail delivery brought me four books courtesy of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (Ministry of), of which three valuable Thai novels in good English, especially Mala Khamchan’s The Fang of the Fire Tiger and Nippan’s Butterfly and Flowers. Way back in 1993, the latter almost made it into ‘the twenty best novels of thailand’.
OCAC, which is financed by taxpayers, is in the business of publishing books that can’t be sold but are given away. Contact them for free copies while stocks last.

Same OCAC is busy setting up an anthology in English of some forty of the best Thai short stories ever – yet different ones from those that always make it into anthologies or collections of Thai tales in English.
I’ve just been asked to contribute three translations to it, two I did last month under my own steam and one way back in the mid-90s. I only asked to be allowed to use them eventually in my e-book production.

The day also brought news from dear friends in the EU who’ve been very much on my mind lately: one is fighting cancer, the other minding a variety of animals and charities with a deft foot but ailing bones.

And much of that day was spent 1) putting the finishing touches to Uthen Wongjanda’s ‘Weeds’ and Laweng Panjasunthorn’s ‘Death is just a dream’, now that my English editor has worked her rigid magic on them, and 2) trying yet again to rein in the mustang of HTML formatting: one false move and you bite the dust, only to start all over again.
Can anyone tell me how to indent the first line of a paragraph without disturbing the space between paragraphs? The answer is probably in a part of the code writing I have no access to.

Anyway, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel before the end of the light. And tomorrow – that is today – is another day. Goodnight.

  1. Re. Can anyone tell me how to indent the first line of a paragraph without disturbing the space between paragraphs?

    Marcel, it can be done with CSS (styles). If you have access to this I will give you the code.

  2. Wil be testing the recepe as soon as I can spare the 15′ in the kitchen. I’m sure it’d work just as well sipping a full glass of “jus de pommes-cassis issu du pressoir d’à coté”, what do you say?

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