Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

31.7.18

The Glass Building, Part One.

Three executives from advertising agency Blake Browning Burns are calling on their client, a major corporate giant in the food manufacturing industry at its headquarters, a modern glass building about a mile high in the CBD.

They are Kate, account manager; Hamish, art director and Vijay, copywriter. They get out of their cab in front of the building, walk fifty steps up to the building's forbidding facade, and enter through sliding glass doors big enough to let in a jumbo jet. They trek across a solid marble floor towards a reception desk the size of a battle ship, Kate's high heels clicking in a disturbingly echoey manner.


KATE: We're here to see Charles. (TO HAMISH AND VIJAY) I'll sign in for you two. Take a tag.

VOICE BEHIND THE DESK (YOU CAN ONLY SEE THE VERY TOP OF A HEAD. IT IS BLONDE): Sign in before you proceed, thank you.

KATE SIGNS THEM IN.

HAMISH: Thanks, Kate. Vijay, have you ever wondered why the reception desks in these buildings are always taller than the people who sit behind them?

VIJAY: No. Maybe it's for security.

HAMISH: Security? But they can't see us either, stupid.

VIJAY: They don't need to see us, Hamish. That's what the security cameras are for. It's also why the security guys all stand around out the front smoking. And don't call me stupid. You're the art director.

HAMISH: You're stupid because you're a know-all, Vijay. You don't get it when someone makes a throwaway comment. You take it too seriously and then explain everything as if everyone else is an imbecile.

KATE: Oh, for Christ's sake, would you guys kill the small talk? Here, put these on.

They attach their ID tags and wait to be told to go and sit on the post-modern steel blocks posing as waiting chairs in a far corner.

RECEPTIONIST, WHO IS PROBABLY POINTING: Take a seat, thank you. Over there.

THEY CLICK ACROSS THE FLOOR TO THE CHAIRS.

HAMISH: See? She just said 'over there', which probably means she's pointing; but how would we know in which direction? We can't even see her. It's lucky we've been here before, or we'd probably walk outside again and sit in the gutter.

VIJAY: You could just open your eyes and have a look, Hamish. Speaking of gutters, how was your weekend?

HAMISH: I spend my weekends in very high class establishments, I'll have you know, Vijay. I can't help it if gamblers and dancers choose to go there as well.

VIJAY: If that's high class, I'm the sultan of Brunei.

HAMISH: I thought you were anyway.

KATE: Would you guys give up? You're like a standup routine without the comedy. Let's sit here and go through the boards. Did you bring the scripts, Vijay?

VIJAY (AFTER A PAUSE): No. Kate, weren't you running off copies? I emailed them to you.

ANOTHER PAUSE

KATE: You're the writer.

HAMISH: Technically, Kate, account service is responsible for arranging scripts, storyboards and any other presentation materials.

KATE: OK. I'll postpone. I'll see if they can do it after lunch.

THEY BEGIN THE LONG WALK BACK TO THE RECEPTION DESK

18.7.18

Cheesy, creamy potato in four steps.

1. Peel half a dozen potatoes and cut them into thick rounds, like half-size ice hockey pucks.

2. Boil the potatoes until they soften slightly but won't yet break up.

3. Drain and place them in a heavy baking dish, and pour 500ml of thickened cream over the top. Now add three cups of grated cheese. I used a pack of that pre-grated tri-cheese which is mozzarella, parmesan and something else. (Why can I never think of the third name in trios/trilogies/triplets etc? Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and ... what?)

4. Season and bake in a hot oven twenty minutes to half an hour or until the cheesy, creamy aroma overwhelms you.