31 May 2011

Simple Pleasures No. 15

I don't generally follow a Simple Pleasure with a Simple Pleasure but, having been a bit flat out, the other posts I HAVE to do - including a celebration of 24 joyous hours at Le Manoir - will have to wait a day or two. Plus, the subject in this post doesn't happen as often as you'd like it to.

Guacamole is, to my mind, one of the joys of life. Those big bursts of flavour, the contrasting textures, the way it brightens a plate or oozes out of a burrito... it's a lovely and simple dish, a real taste of summer. The pain is the quality of the avocados that you can generally find over here or the fact that they ripen, as Eddie Izzard says of other pears, the second you leave the room. Still, every now and again, you get your hand on one that yields its delicious flesh in a delightfully wanton manner and it's one of those that I'd like to celebrate here. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Simple Pleasure No. 15: peeling a perfectly ripe avocado.

7 May 2011

Simple Pleasures No. 14

It's been a while since I did a "simple pleasure" but hey, that's the point of occasional strands, right? You can't necessarily rush these things, you have to wait for inspiration to strike and strike it did earlier this week.

It was always likely though: a couple of days learning about my one of my favourite drinks, on its beautiful home turf? You'd have to be made of stone not to feel some sort of stirring although that might have been the oysters.

Anyway, the drink in question is single malt whisky. The home turf in question is Islay. After a tour of Caol Ila we retired to the office for the aforementioned bivalves and a leisurely sampling of some of their peaty finest. As well as being perhaps the best office in Islay (huge bar, huge windows with a view across the water to Jura) there was a little balcony to sit and contemplate the purpose of life. Or just sit and enjoy some beautiful whisky in the prettiest of surroundings. And sometimes, you luck into a photo which pretty much encapsulates both. Simple Pleasures No. 14 is then a glass of whisky in the Scottish sunshine.