Liver and Bacon With Mash and PTSD

01.05.15 (Day 495 / 52)


Tonight’s dinner and today in general almost forced me to get a new piercing done: that’s my coping mechanism; a mid-life crisis. I get myself pierced when I’m stressed.

For the uninitiated, I have a scaffold in my left ear cartilage and in the lobe, I have a hoop and a safety pin. In my right ear lobe, I have a stud and in the cartilage I’ve got a helix. Finally, I have a bar through my eyebrow. All are like anger lines: they’re markers. My tolerance to stress varies but at the moment, I’m pretty volatile, suffering as I am with PTSD. My tolerance levels to stress can be measured on whether or not I get a new piercing done. For example, the scaffold went into my ear when I’d lost two friends to a heroin overdose: they took it together in a suicide pact. Two of them, hence two holes form that particular piercing. Once I got beaten up but I didn’t get a new piercing done. When I found out they were changing the name of Marathon to Snickers, I stuck the safety pin through my ear.

So it varies. My current tolerance is pretty low but I resisted another piercing. My stress was down to two things: dinner and hassle. The latter is people who think they’re helping when it’s not just them I don’t want to see but anyone at all. I need to concentrate on myself at the moment, as some people recognise but some of those same people still persist. It’s not that I’m too polite to say no; it’s because I don’t want to make arrangements and prefer to do things on a whim when the fancy takes me. I can’t make plans at the moment, unless it’s for something really important. This is not to say that anyone needs to put their life on hold for me but I wish they would just stop hassling. I appreciate the concern but the pressure stresses me.

As it was, I spent the day with my eldest daughter. She texted me and asked if she could see me. When? Now. Okay. That’s spontaneity and me doing something on a whim; not pre-arranged for a time in the future when I don’t know if I’ll be in the mood. And although my eldest little girl is as misunderstood by others as I am myself – disliked by some of the others who want to spend time with me – I understand her. And although she is only sixteen, she understands me better than all but a very few of my inner circle. She knows just how to be around me: no awkward silences, no pressure on me to lead the conversation, no hassle or persistence, no neediness; just company we both feel comfortable with. Others think it strange that girls aged fifteen and sixteen would attach themselves to me and adopt me as their daddy but I love those two so much because they get me and I get them, when so many do-gooders who think they do, simply don’t. Some of my best times are spent with those two daughter types and anyone who doesn’t like them gets placed firmly in the back seat. I am not going to cut my time with someone I love so that I can see anyone who may not like my girls. Love me, love my girls. We’re part of the same package.

Once the eldest had left, it was on to dinner and tonight’s was meant to be chicken, leeks and bacon with roast potatoes. It’s not suitable for microwave cooking though. My fault for not checking and I may even try it in the microwave by way of an experiment but it nearly pushed me over the edge. So instead it was liver and bacon with mash, which looked like this:


Billed as “Marinated British lambs’ livers in a rich onion gravy, served with buttery mash and topped with pieces of smoky bacon”, it had promise. It actually delivered. 

The cooking time was seven minutes: three minutes on full power in the microwave, a minute to rest, then a final three minutes on full power. Dished up with a lack of aplomb but with a degree of urgency, it didn’t look all that at first glance but a quick poke around in the brown stuff revealed two fairly large pieces of liver and three small rashers of bacon – fat on, good – among the onions in the thick gravy. Then the tasting:

Taken separately, the individual components of the dish taste as they should: the liver of liver, bacon of bacon etc. The gravy is indeed rich, like a red wine sauce and full of flavour in itself. The real test was in the tasting, so stretching my mouth to the sort of size John Torrode would be proud of, I shovelled a fork full of everything into my gob and the combination worked as this classic dish should and it has texture with those various flavours.

I’d taken the precaution of seasoning this one before eating but it only needed a little salt and ground black pepper. I actually enjoyed it. Score wise, this is a 3+.

It was comfort food, just like my eldest is comfortable company and both were the order of today.

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