We bought a new washing machine a few months ago, when the old one held up a white flag and said: ‘Have mercy, I can’t take any more dog hair!’ The thing is, as sophisticated and Germanically robust as the new one is, I’m not a fan; it’s too angular and white, with too many flashing buttons and digital messages, none of which I understand.
Our new washing machine makes me think, irrationally, of gaudy designer labels, overly whitened teeth and forced metallic laughter. It’s all about pouting ‘look at me’ selfies in front of a tropical beach sunset. It’s smug and needy and gets super het up over fewer ‘likes’ than usual and bad hair days. You have to be really committed to the lure of clean clothes to summon up the patience and acumen to turn it on, and even then it might throw a hissy fit and refuse to comply for no known reason. I’ve decided to fly it out to a tropical island and abandon it on the beach; when there’s no one to look at it, admire it, even be annoyed by it, it will just cease to exist.
Please, someone point me in the direction of uncomplicated, good-natured white goods and spare me from those with narcissistic personality disorders.
Recipe for Provencal petit fours (serves 4-6)
- 250g puff pastry
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Small can of tomato concentrate
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 70g grated gruyère (or any hard cheese)
- 6 black olives, sliced
- 6 anchovy filets, cut into small pieces
- Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Twig of fresh rosemary
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- Olive oil
Place the pastry on a flat surface and evenly spread first the mustard and then tomato concentrate. Distribute the other ingredients evenly over the tomato concentrate, season and remove the rosemary from the twig and scatter over the top. Gently roll the pastry and brush with the beaten egg yolk. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the roll in the freezer for about 15 minutes, remove and cut into small slices roughly 1cm thick. Distribute the cut pieces on a baking tray, greased with a little olive oil. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Delicious served hot or cold!