30 January 2008

To My Dear Friend who likes fenugreek...

Frequently I practise my own ritual of being close to people whom I miss deeply through cooking something for myself that includes ingredients they like and favour. Weird? Maybe. But this is my ritual, and I’ll claim it to my personality. (I appreciate your understanding indeed *wink*)

When the frost is nippy and the wind is biting, I turn my back to the winter for a while. I don’t want the cold in my heart (and in my belly either *smiles*), so I drift away in warm memories of THE friend (if you read this - yes, I mean you, L.!!) and inspirational ideas in my kitchen. Rummaging through my piles of trusty recipes (I must confess the pile is PRETTY messy, I haven’t managed yet to organise my adorable recipes properly. You can shame me, sure – but I’m telling you it’s messy but PRETTY though *wink, wink, wink*) Eventually I spotted the recipe that featured both the warmth of Indian cuisine (perfect for a winter dinner in Russia) and THE friend’s favourite spice fenugreek* (splendid to call for more memories). So, without a slightest hesitation I got down to business, or to be more precise, to cooking…

***Lemon Rice***
(The recipe adapted from Anjum Anand’s site)

Serves 2-3 (or 1 in the course of a few days *nodding approvingly*)

To please your soul and belly you’ll need this:

350 g cooked Basmati rice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice (or even more to taste)
4 tsp home-made peanut butter**
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds
2-3 dried red chillies, whole or crushed (whichever you prefer)
1 packed tsp freshly chopped ginger
½ tsp turmeric powder
10 curry leaves, torn in half (I used dried curry leaves, crashed)
Salt to taste

…and this:

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add both mustard and fenugreek seeds, stir-fry until the seeds start popping (use a lid to prevent the seeds flying out of your frying pan into the depth of your kitchen – somebody has to warn you, right?). Then add chillies, ginger, turmeric powder, peanut butter (preferably crunchy),curry leaves and salt and cook for 40 seconds. Finally add the lemon juice and stir fry for another minute before adding the rice. Please be careful not to break rice grains too much when you are stirring them in.

Serve hot.

I think you can easily garnish your dish with fresh flat parsley leaves, fresh mint (to multiply the re-freshing effect of ginger and citrus lemony tones present in the dish), or a cinnamon stick (to add a bit of the earthy taste), or steamed seedless raisins (to accent the spiciness of rice).

Anjum suggests serving Lemon Rice with vegetables or any seafood dish. To my mind chicken wouldn’t be bad either. But today I wanted to enjoy the refined simplicity of the beloved rice dish alone as it is (well, with one glass of red wine***). I had the memories of MY friend with me instead.

*For a hand-made peanut butter you’ll need roasted peanuts, a bit of salt, water (if needed) and a blender. Blend peanuts until the powder oozes oil (though it may take a while), add a small pinch of salt and water (in case if the paste is too thick). Here we go, home-made peanut butter at your disposal! So yummy!!

**There is NO DOUBT (isn’t it?) that a girl needs a glass of wine every now and then!

*** Did you know that the name fenugreek is from Latin ‘Greek hay’? I also learnt that desiccated fenugreek seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Wow!

28 January 2008

A complete guide to heavens

Are you sure you know how to treat CHOCOLATE right?

Yes, the inevitable is that you will eat it eventually. But ‘how’ means no less than ‘what’! So, before you give your lovely (if you say it is not, I'm no longer your friend!) piece of dark chocolate a mortal status, make sure you stick accurately to the royal ceremony of tasting the divine food bite after bite. When it concerns chocolate I prefer to learn my lessons in practice. So, while writing this post I’m having the object of my never-ending affection right here by my side to accompany me through my chocolate studies. In other words, theory is good, but practice is so much better, isn’t it? *wink, wink, wink, wink* So, let the fairy tasting begin.

This is what I learnt in theory.

The most famous method of evaluating chocolate is known as ‘five senses’. But if the cocoa content is 80% and more, you’ll definitely need much more accurate way to appreciate your treasure. And this is where wine-tasting skills come in oh-so-handy. *smiles*

1. Tactile test (known as gentle touch). *wink* Take the chocolate between your fingers. Do you feel the silkiness? If you do, then it’s an indication of good texture, structure and preservation. If you don’t, then it’s definitely not your piece of chocolate! Definitely!
2. Auditory test (another name is perfect sound). *wink, wink* To be honest, the auditory component is what I’ve learnt about just now. I never listened to my love before. Can you imagine? I feel so guilty. *sigh* So, what you should do is to break chocolate (but make sure, you don’t break its heart, please!). Snap. Do you hear it? If the snap is clear, it indicates a good crystallisation of the cocoa butter.
3. Visual test (or look-me-into-my-eyes-baby)! *wink, wink, wink* Observe the outer surface and the inner break of the chocolate. The colour can tell you so much about its origins, variety and state of preservation of the cocoa. And believe me, in this case appearances are never deceitful. My chocolate and me…we always take such a joy looking into each other’s eyes, ‘cause we never have anything to hide from each other.
4. Now we are moving to the smell. They call it olfactory test (why everything what’s pleasant is called so dreadful in theory? *a question on my face*). Well, breathe in the chocolate odour and in all likelihood you’ll recognise three types of aromas. I personally never cared to count, I simply ENJOY(ed). The primary fragrances indicate the scents peculiar to the origin of a certain cocoa. The secondary fragrances develop during the fermentation, roasting and conching. The tertiary fragrances develop during the aging stage. I’ve never been good at theory. Never. And yet, who cares? I’m a practical girl. *a smile from ear to ear*
5. And now…taste, taste, taste! *smiles* This is my advice: please, let a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth. Do not use your teeth, do not chew on it! Let it melt, let it melt, let it melt! By doing so you’ll feel all the bounty of flavours and aromas. Simple, I know. But hopefully meaningful.

For a moment I’ll step aside (guess where I’m heading now? *mmmhhhhh*) and let the scientists speak out.

So, the scientist’ word: The complete melting creates a patina on your palate and if you "listen" to the taste sensations that develop, you can appreciate the aromatic scale. The first taste test determines the distinctive physical elements: the time it takes to melt, the graininess and palatability, i.e. the whole of tactile sensations perceived inside the oral cavity. The second taste test is of the aromatic complexity determined through the perceptions of taste, persistence and aromatic roots (cocoa, flowery, fruity, vegetal, toasted, spiced). The third and last taste test is the technical-gustative test, which allows you to reach conclusions on the value of the chocolate: sweetness, acidity, savoriness and bitterness.

It’s me speaking again. Did those knowledgeable guys impress you? As to me I didn’t let them stress me out with all the talking, I indulged myself in practice instead. *wink, wink, wink, wink*
And now for those who dare…Please, meet Cheese in Chocolate.
The original recipe you’ll find here. I found the recipe fascinating, ‘cause for a few months I had been toying with the idea to wed cheese (my best friend) to chocolate (my lifetime partner! Oh men, no jealousy, please. THANK YOU!). I don’t declare to be a pioneer in it, but believe me I got struck by this idea when I was on the metro coming home from work (no food magazines or cookbooks in my hands at that moment). So after some time I gave the newly-found recipe my personal thought relying on what I had on hand. And this is what I came up with:
100g of your favourite extra dark chocolate (I blended chocolate with chilli and the one with truffles); 50 g medium aged sheep’s cheese (like, say, Pecorino); 50g Parmesan cheese; 50g medium aged goat’s cheese, 1 pear.

Creation: Cut the hard cheeses into strips, the goat’s cheese into cubes and the pear into quarters. Steam-cook the chocolate, being careful not to exceed 40°C (After the first tasting I thought something was still missing. A touch of acidity, my taste buds were telling me. So I added a few drops of raspberry vinegar into the melted chocolate and mixed it well). Immerse two-thirds of the strips of Pecorino and chocolate. Leave them all to cool on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened. Then dare and enjoy! *smiles* If you please, you may also garnish your creation with walnuts and serve it with full-bodied red wine.

*All the chocolate tips and a recipe adapted from sugarcompany.net (cuorenero section)

25 January 2008

To boil or not to boil? Oh, spooky...

Before I keep on writing this post I want to declare I’m absolutely SANE (you wouldn’t even doubt it, would you? *smiles*)!

My Dear Folks, I’ve got a poltergeist stove in my kitchen that’s in my hired apartment. Surprised? So am I! More than that, I’m puzzled. Let me pause for breath (I’m really pretty much excited about it) and tell you this. Yesterday I had a peaceful and ordinary intention to boil some water. So I poured the liquid into a saucepan, switched on one of the burners and headed away for a while to busy myself with my daily routine. When according to my estimation the water had to reach the boiling point I returned to my kitchen to find out that it was NOT boiling yet. I shrugged my shoulders, thought that probably it was still too early indeed and waited for another 5, 10, 15, 25, 30, 40 minutes!!!!!! I wouldn’t be baffled at all if there was no heat coming up from the burners, I would just write it off to my stove’s life end. But no. There was heat coming up, and the water was too hot. It just didn’t get boiled!! *an indescribable expression of amusement on my face* As to the oven it works all right, so I can bake or roast. Probably my stove is going through a midlife crisis and thinks upon to boil or not to boil??? Yes, there is an egg on my face now. And a smile too. I’m totally perplexed!

In this entry I wrote about yoga of cooking. And those lovely guys who left their comments* (you are stars, buddies!) mentioned the Slow Food Motion of which I wasn’t aware before (to my shame, I know! But hey, they say one lives to learn. Or maybe it’s about that one who lives to cook? *wink, wink, wink, wink*). So, now unintentionally I’m really practising the Slow Food Concept in my adaptation, ‘cause the food I cook recently is slow indeed. Mostly, it’s stewed rather than cooked or fried. Have you ever had ‘stewed’ pasta**? May I brag just a little to say that I have! Stewed al dente. With a herbless pesto***. What a twist! *smile from ear to ear*

People, please, set my mind at rest by telling me that probably you’ve also got a kitchen poltergeist experience. I need to know I’m not alone in it. *smiles*

At least I’m trying to convince myself it’s cute and normal. Oh, is it?

* With all my heart I thank you all who stops by on my blog to read what I write: whether you leave a comment or prefer to keep a low profile (*wink*), you are all heartily welcome!! If you share a smile or two (or hundreds of smiles) with me, it’s already a great reward!

**Stewed pasta is pasta that’s cooked not in a boiling, but boiling-to be water (in a case if you possess a spooky stove)

***Herbless pesto is pesto made without fresh herbs. My version included ground hazelnuts and cashews, ground parmesan, freshly ground pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

P.S. In case you wonder what this photo is about, it's me forced to be spooked. *smiles*

23 January 2008

Savour(y) me! (my biscottious story: part II)

As you’ve probably read in my previous entry (did you read it, pleeease?) I was enthused by a sudden idea to make some sort of savoury biscotti. It was quite a late night time yesterday, but I didn’t mind. What you’re gonna do if inspiration kicks in? *smiles* So, without any procrastination I got down to business. The principle I was following is easy as ABC. Savoury means not sweet, so eliminate sugar intake and substitute it with mix of spices (any that are dear to your heart) and a pinch of salt were all my actions. I also didn’t go nuts with nuts and lemon zest. Yes, I definitely played it by ear.

So, what's the result? Satisfactory but not yet breathtaking. I think I’ll have to work on the recipe further. I learnt that by some reason (unknown to me) the slab couldn’t be formed that easily as it works for classical biscotti. I ended it up with a medium ball of batter in my hands, so I put a tiny bit of olive oil on my palms and rolled and stretched the batter. It was a good workout for my arms indeed! *smiles*

The aroma in my kitchen was splendid, ‘cause I used turmeric, mix of Indian spices and paprika. It really smelled of India! When I was adding various spices to the flour mixture, I must say I was walking a tightrope to some extent, ‘cause I wasn’t confident at all if they would co-operate together in the batter. *wink, wink, wink* But they did, and the taste turned to be well balanced. Not salty at all, peppery enough. The aromas were easily distinguished while the flavours announced their presence not right away but after a few chews.

Something tells me that my savoury experimental biscottis may serve as a good dipper indeed!

P.S. I didn’t happen to take any presentable photo of those savoury buddies as the light in my kitchen was too dim then *sigh*, so instead (and for fun) I drew what you see above…*smile from ear to ear*

22 January 2008

My biscottious story

I’ve been known to have been searching (these tense forms excite me so!) for my own tranquillity sources for quite a long time. The source of all sources for me is creativity. Inspired by beauty and bounty of nature. By trial and error in my kitchen I learnt how relaxing and inspiring baking can be*. I know it’s not a novel discovery. But could I possibly call it my baking epiphany? You take starting ingredients, spell a cast on them using your magic whisk (you’ve got one, haven’t you?) and here we go – something absolutely new and different in texture, looks, smells…A newly-born, in other words.

But my baking story isn’t at all rosy. It’s like in relationship between man and woman - that proverbial first time counts so much. My first (errr, well…second, third and fourth) attempt to bake something delicious left me heartbroken. Baking and me didn’t seem to match at all. Why, why, why? – I kept exclaiming. Who did I have to blame: me or the flour? Was there the third part between us? And then it dawned on me: of course there was the recipe (as the third part) I’d sheepishly followed all those tearful times. I was naïve, I trusted the recipe completely, I didn’t want to question it. As a result, broken heart and inferiority complex. *sigh*

Time passed by. I acquired cooking life experience. I got mature. I learnt to trust my intuition. And eventually I got rewarded.

As a budding baker (both then and now) I chose a very simple and yet much promising recipe of classical pistachio biscotti. According to my research biscotti loosely means ‘twice baked’ in Italian, these are traditional italian cookies often containing nuts or flavoured with anise. The recipe I relied on initially featured one part flour, one part sugar, one egg, a zest of one lemon and shelled unsalted pistachios. One part sugar and one part flour and one egg!! You see??? People, I’m telling you it will never be formed into dough! Never!! You need two parts flour, two!!!! (I’m sorry I’m being a bit too emotional). But one has to get mistaken first to learn a life’s lesson, right? So today I’ve passed the test and got a degree of a biscotti maker. Officially! *a proud smile from ear to ear’*

And here is the recipe of the aforementioned biscotti that really works and yields many crispy fellas.
Pistachio biscotti

You’ll need:
One part sugar (100 gr)
Two parts plain flour
2 medium eggs
1 lemon zest (or more/less to taste)
1 Tbsp baking powder
50 g shelled unsalted pistachios

(I didn't actually count, but if i am correct the recipe yields about 25-30 fellas)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder well. Add eggs (one at a time) into the flour mixture and mix them in. Add lemon zest, nuts and mix the flour mixture thoroughly to create stiff batter. Once the batter is ready, make a long slab (or two) and put it onto the baking sheet covered with baking paper. To avoid the misery of stuck to the paper biscotti later, I sprayed the baking parchment with a bit of olive oil. Put them in the oven. After 20 minutes take biscotti out (yes, set them free, please) and let cool. Once cooled cut them into thin slices and reheat them to dry them out (low the heat to 150°C) for about 5-10 mins. The longer the second baking is, the harder the cookies will be. You can eat them right away (but make sure you don’t burn your lips and palate) or later when they are fully cooled. The latter is more preferrable while then all the flavours will find their place in biscotti to be distinguished and appreciated. Though the former is more desirable, I agree. *smiles*

My alterations (as always): instead of one part of sugar I used 1/3 cup cane sugar and 2 Tbsp melted honey. I didn’t have pistachios on hand, thus I made my biscotti nutless this time (what didn’t diminish their taste and looks). As to nuts I think it’s absolutely agreeable to use any variety you like (or even a mix). I also added 1 tsp each rose water and vanilla extract to the batter. Sherry is a nice option as well, but I restrained to add it as too many flavours at once may just kill each other. Sorry, Sherry, I promise to reserve a place for you next time!
When something turns out to be really good, especially something baked, it’s really so inspiring and relaxing at the same time. I was pretty much excited to watch my babies grow in the oven. If you entered my kitchen then you’d see me sitting on my knees and peeping through the oven window all those 30 mins. Oops. *wink, wink, wink*

*Note: baking is inspiring and relaxing when the result of the process is good, otherwise…*nervous giggles *

P.S. Right now as I'm posting this entry, I've been enlightened by the idea to make savoury biscotti...if there is such a thing. Will report on the results shortly.

20 January 2008


I love chocolate. Furthermore, I am a chocoholic with purist views. Meaning: I only favour extra-dark, extra bitter (shall I continue?) stuff. Er, suddenly I feel so uncomfortable to call Chocolate ‘stuff’, but what one won’t do to avoid tautology, huh? Moreover, I prefer to find my bliss in a single square of chocolatey darkness (nice twist, isn’t it?) rather than to make something that would include chocolate . Are you already yawning? Wait till I tell you this. Today I committed a thing that changed my chocolate world upside down. Before I confess I’d just like to underscore that I did everything what’s gonna be described below out of purest curiosity. And don’t tell me please that curiosity killed a cat.

Record #1 (this is for a logbook if applicable so far). Occasionally I have a craving to have a piece of chocolate for my breakfast. But I always rush in the morning and I just can’t bring myself to enjoy my treasure in a rush. I’m sorry, but this is the way I am. *wink, wink* I already hear you saying they invented such a thing as chocolate paste long ago. Yes, I say back, but this is just paste, it isn’t real chocolate. It’s winter now and my choco- cravings became more intense, so I got very curious how I could answer my needs. And oh eureka! My chocolate eureka! Hold on please, I just need to clap my hands and dance around my table in joy again…ok, done, I can go on. I took a piece of sugar-free velvety Belgian chocolate (‘Neuhaus’s bar happened to be a guinea pig), grated it finely… Then I took a slice of a good-quality wholegrain sandwich bread (I admit that probably white sandwich bread would fit more to counteract the blackness of the chocolate, but yours truly just loves dark bread so much), buttered it properly…and then…and then…yesssss, I sprinkled my grated chocolate all over the bread slice. At the moment as I was doing this I thought I was committing a crime. So I closed my eyes, asked for forgiveness, folded the ‘chocolated’ bread in two and bid into it. Oh I wished time could stop. It was so so damn good. The bread was very fresh and soft (note: it’s crucial for the effect to use soft bread rather than crispy one), the velvety chocolate melted easily, butter smoothed the fractions between bread and chocolate so nice. I’ll tell you this – such polar sensations are heavenly indeed. Conclusion: I’m definitely a chocoholic with purist views, but I’m gonna enjoy my real chocolate sandwich over and over again. I’ve already included this treat to my weekly breakfast menu!

Scandalous, I know.

14 January 2008

Yoga of cooking...

As much as I love to cook I love practising yoga. Apart from traditional yoga for body and mind, there are yoga of speech, yoga of thinking, yoga of living, et cetera. It’s probably why a few days ago I woke up to understood that probably there exists the yoga of cooking. At least for me. It’s all about expanding your horizons, staying focused, enjoying and cherishing every bite here and now (aren’t we talking about the yoga principles, huh? *Smiles*), staying non-judgmental to your lovely self when something goes haywire in your kitchen (even though it might really be very disappointing, annoying, devastating and frustrating (brrrr…). But what’s even more important is, like in real yoga, the yoga of cooking calls you to leave your comfort zone. Any new recipe (a.k.a. cooking asana) might be a challenge, and sometimes it sure is. Few years back I couldn’t even buy into the idea I would really favour and savour the ingredients/certain types of dishes I had loathed at my teen age. Into this category fell, for instance, all pureed soups (I know my behaviour at that time couldn’t be justified, but I’ve changed, I really HAVE! *wink, wink, wink, wink*)

Thus yesterday I just wanted to make sure that my yoga-of-cooking-theory holds its waters indeed. It was high time to cook pureed soup. I got down to business to pick up a recipe that’d match my affection towards simplicity to the ingredients I had on hand. Such a brainstorming activity, I must tell you. Firstly, I leafed through my cookbooks – nothing matching was found, then called my trusty laptop for help. On Michele’s site (thanks Michele, you and your blog are great!) I picked up that namely recipe. Originally it’s a Tuscan Chickpea Soup But knowing my love for experimentation and such a serious mission to fulfil, eventually I ended up with a la Tuscan Chickpea Soup. *broad smile and puppy eyes* Not only I was satisfied with the results, but also the fresh rosemary I kept on my kitchen window sill while it was 20 degrees below zero (well, I’m in Moscow/Russia, don’t you forget). All week long it was signalling me SOS (Save Our Sprigs) and finally found a consolation in a smooth velvety blanket of my soup.

Adapted version of Tuscan Chickpea Soup (if I used canned white beans instead of chickpeas, might I call this soup a la Tuscan Chickpea Soup? *thinking hard* Well, I simply didn’t have chickpeas on hand, and yet I desperately needed to prove my theory, to save rosemary sprigs and feed myself. You see how many tasks to accomplish? *smiles*

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil1 cup finely chopped onion6 garlic cloves, minced3 cups water1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary3/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12 ounce) can white beans
3 tablespoons tomato paste (I didn’t have canned tomatoes either)1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon mango powder6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Instructions (as featured in oswegotea.com)
'Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Place 2 cups soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. Return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. The amount of the garlic, the balsamic vinegar and the parmesan are all crucial to the taste of the soup, and make it absolutely delicious. If you omit any one of them your soup will quickly become mediocre'

My slight addition: no matter if it’s chickpea or white beans, they all belong to the large bean’s family. Thus I added 3/4 teaspoon mango powder to add sour fruity flavour to the smoothing texture of the beans (plus to facilitate the digestion, smart huh?) *wink, wink*

After tasting the Soup I felt relieved that my yoga of cooking theory is foolproof, so my culinary horizons are pushed a mile forward. Hip, hip, hurrah! The feeling of soaring high in the sky overwhelmed me, I felt enlightened. Either the fragrant warmth of rosemary reminded me of summer with its bounty of sunshine or something beneath my understanding yet, but I thought that ice-cream for desert would be just fine (who said ice-cream is a summer treat?). Again I felt like leaving my comfort-zone and trying something provocative for my taste buds. Vanilla ice cream with olive oil (as featured in Jamie Oliver’s book ), popped up in my mind right away! He suggests the vanilla ice cream be of the best quality and olive oil be rich with fruity tones. Be it then, I said to myself, and savoured my provocative dessert consciously. I’m telling you it was so bizarre and luscious. I was IN the moment till the last bite. Like in real yoga…

P.S. I’d really love it if you could comment on some dish/ingredient/cooking technique that’s somewhat challenging to you and how you overcome it.

P.P.S. In one of her last posts Clotilde asks her readers (and I’m proud to be amongst them, actually) to list 5 you-could-never-do-without items in your kitchen. If I say I could never do without a pairing knife, a tablespoon, non-stick frying pan, blender and ME (ambitious, isn’t it?) in a kitchen, would that count? *smile from ear to ear*

12 January 2008


It’s pretty much overwhelming to start anything new and novel to me personally (what I’m actually a sucker for). But I am in a desperate need to find a way-out for my thoughts, ideas, impressions, plans, dreams, wishes FOOD-related! *Smile* Otherwise my parents will officially abandon their daughter, ‘cause they’ve been full to the brims with excited ohhh’s and ahhh’s I cry out every time to share with them my love for food (and believe me, it happens on a regular basis). So am keeping my fingers crossed (at least I’m doing so in my imagination while I still have to type all this, don’t I?) that this foodblog of mine will be just what the doctor (I’d really appreciate if this doctor loves cooking as I do) ordered. To be honest, I’m feeling a bit anxious as I’m writing this. There are so many great people running their fantastic and inspiring food-blogs worldwide for years, and I just don’t want to seem a country bumpkin with my budding blogging. So please people don’t be too strict with me. I’ll do my best to pass the muster! *smile*

P.S. It'll take me some time until I figure out how to edit my blog properly (synonym: until I up my technical IQ), so now this page might look a bit messy and be continuously changing for a while...*wink, wink*