In school, P.E. used to be a goddamn nightmare for me. I hated most sports (still do), I hated working in teams (still do), and I hated looking like a goddamn retard in shorts and a white top (still do). The only things I enjoyed to some extent were rugby and a curious object that we used to call the somersault seat, which was an apparatus that enabled you to somersault until you vomited, basically. So it is to everyone’s (including my own) great surprise that I really got into muay thai about a year and a half ago, and that I’ll be fighting my first match this week! I will be punching and reciprocally being punched in the face, all voluntarily!
Muay thai, or Thai boxing, is much like kick boxing, but slightly more brutal in that we get to use our elbows and knees too, in addition to our fists, feet and shins. (And to see how bad-ass it looks, have a wee browse in the section Stuff.) This Sunday I’ll be fighting a light, which means that we won’t be allowed to use our elbows, and that we’ll be wearing full protective gear, including boobguards. Yep, not making this up, boobguards! They make you look like you’ve got a massive rack, and when you tap them, it sounds like you tap an empty coconut shell. I always wonder if it would be funny to put these on when you go on a date with someone, just to see what would happen if it goes really well and you end up getting some under the t-shirt action. You could make up a story that your breasts were amputated and that you now have marble prosthetic breasts, shaped exactly like those of the Venus de Milo. Or something.
Anyway, because I had to do all I could to prepare myself for the fight, and training was getting a lot more intense, my largely vegetarian diet that was always so rich of alcohol had to go. No more cocktails, and I had to stock up on proteins: I had to eat meat. The free-range type of meat that comes from animals that have roamed meadows before being butchered into tasty products doesn’t seem to exist in this country. Most unfortunate, because I really make a point of eating only biological meat, but there was no getting out of the meat situation.
Well, if I’m going to have to silently kill my principles, I might as well do it in an appetising manner. The first burgers I ate in ages may have come from absolutely miserable animals, but the salsa I covered them in did make them good. Please though, if you ever decide to make this for yourself, don’t eat meat that comes from an animal that has eaten nothing but corn and antibiotics all of its life. For your own sake, and for that of whoever you end up eating, get some nice meat, from a cow that has roamed meadows, chewing away on the tasty grass.
Burgers (or anything) with oniony salsa
– a shallot
– two spring onions
– small sprinkle of crushed chillies
– half a tin of chopped tomatoes
– salt, white pepper, enough sugar
– bit of vinegar
Fry the burgers in a frying pan. Finely chop the shallot and the spring onions, keeping the green aside. When the burgers are done, keep them warm in some tin foil in a mildly heated oven. Fry the onions and crushed chillies in the burger grease. Once they’ve gone soft, add the tomatoes, white pepper, salt, sugar and the vinegar. Leave to simmer until it becomes thick. Stick the burgers in some good, heavy, tasty bread, cover them with salsa and top with the green of the spring onions.