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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Hangover Helper


The worst possible way to spend a Sunny Sunday, is in bed.
In a dark room.
With the blinds drawn.
And the AC on.
Because light and sound only make the pounding worse.

You see, I am in the grip of a Mammuthus hangover.
I hate hangovers. The sensational combination of ethanol, pain and foolish overindulgence – there is no more powerful realization of guilt than a hangover. 

Proper party poopers, they are too. An unyielding reminder that too much merriment and mirth can leave you as messed up as a hedgehog in a picnic basket.

And they just seem to get progressively more vicious with age.
I keep telling myself I’m going to stop. And now I am.
For a year. At least.

See, we went to my gorgeous friend Nora’s birthday party last night.
And what a lovely Midsummer’s night it was!

Well, yes, it was. And about time too, after what I hear has been the wettest June since they started keeping records - which takes us back to circa 1910.
Lucky Birthday Girl, indeed!

But Aah! what a night...  
Starry skies, balmy breeze, the full moon casting shimmering silver streaks on the Regent’s Park Canal.

The kind of night where broken hearts are mended and promises are made. 
And lost souls find each other.
And melt into the shadows of the night.

In such a setting, pray, how could I resist the glass of wine that was diligently and with an eagle eye being topped up even as a single sip passed my lips?

How could I, I ask thee?
I couldn't.

So today?
Today, I pay the price.
Today, I am destroyed.
I’m a fool, a fool for listening to the sweet nothings that were being whispered into my ear by one man...
…and losing control of the tampering being done to my wine glass by another.

Men are all the same.

And now I have a hangover the size of the (former) Soviet Union.
Which was very big.

And modern medicine has not helped.
So I’m going the old-fashioned way.

And making something fattening and delicious. Which is the only blessed combination that will speedily and effectively combat the vicious effects of too much spirit.

Trust me. I have practice.

So I’m going to eat a heaped plateful of tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole. Ha! Nothing cures a hangover like deep-fried corn and avocado mush. And some salsa to delude myself that decency and virtue still exist in this world. Despite my shocking and appalling behaviour last night.

But, we shall not conduct post mortems.
We shall simply eat.


For the guacamole…

Here’s what you need:

- A love of avocados
- 4 avocados
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 Jalapenos, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Here’s how you do it:

Halve and stone the avocados, and scoop out the flesh into the bowl. Mash well and then add in the diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir to combine. Scatter the coriander leaves on top.

For the Salsa…

Here’s what you need:

- 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 mild chillies, finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeno, sliced thin
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Juice of 1 lime
- Handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Here’s how you do it:

Right, so I’ve noticed a lot of Salsa recipes use fresh tomatoes. Now, I like the word fresh. It’s one of my favourite words. Fresh is new and clean and bright and unsullied. Fresh is not preserved or aged or processed or canned or deep-frozen. Or any such thing. Fresh is the dewdrops on blades of grass. Fresh is the smell of the earth after a sudden rain shower. Fresh is the salty air off the ocean. Fresh is the smell of my baby after a bath.

Fresh is delightful. Fresh is pure. Fresh is worth celebrating.

Except this once.

This once, we use canned tomatoes. Please.

Because fresh tomatoes with chopped up onions is not salsa. It’s Pico de gallo. And there’s nothing wrong with Pico de gallo. But it’s not salsa. And when a girl wants salsa, a girl wants salsa. I moan about this very serious topic in a bit more detail, here

But really, the only way I can think of to make this work properly with fresh tomatoes is to cook them in a bit of water so they soften. And then cool them. And then peel them. Which is already three steps too many. In my current emotional state of mind. So we use canned tomatoes. Please. Just this once.

That settled, please combine canned tomatoes, chillies, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and coriander in a blender. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you'd like. Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour. Or if you’re impatient like me, for half an hour. But don't be like me. Because patience, like sobriety, reflects goodness of character and a high moral fibre.

Now, please, if you will, open a packet of crispy, crunchy, salty, and very-fried tortilla chips and pour the entire lot into a bowl. Because I never do things by halves! Hee!

Now dip into the salsa and crunch away
Or dip into the avocado and crunch away
Or do some of both.
Preferably in turns.
You see, I believe in fairness.

Of course, as you can see, there is ZERO cooking involved in the above. Which is fantastic because I really cannot face the stove when there are 500 men with little hammers banging away at my skull. But there is quite a bit of chopping and dicing. Which (in addition to the occasional whispering of sweet nothings on balmy summer nights) is why, one has husbands.
Enjoy!  :-0

Oh and by the way...
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day."


  1. I spent last Sunday exactly the same way, so fully empathize with you :)I normally don't feel like eating anything in such situations, but after reading this, I need to try 'the old-fashioned way'!!


    1. Hi Purva!
      Firstly how nice to hear from you after so long (think its almost a year now, post the Tuscany trip) Im SO thrilled you're still reading :) Though not so thrilled that you spent a Sunday battling "the dreaded hangover!" Isn't it awful? But on a happier note - try it, try it...after 250g of deep-fried corn, life will seem worth living again. Ha! ;)