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While we’re tearing down statues

juan

And Juan is on the left side of the door at the bulk spice company. Pretty sure this would be a hate crime in the US of A at the moment. It probably would be a hate crime here, if we had any Mexican presence at all.

If a statue promotes bigotry and no-one is offended, did it make a stereotype?

Carl wins the dick(™) with Bruce Forsyth, a man who holds the Guiness record(™) for the longest-running television career for a male.

NB: this is Carl’s sixth or seventh win. Do not fuck with Carl.

Too late for this week; come back next Friday for Dead Pool Round…who the hell knows. Rick Rostrom (whose records are better than mine) says it’s not really #100, it’s #97. Because I not math at good.

Have a great weekend, all!

August 18, 2017 — 9:08 pm
Comments: 29

I haven’t had the heart to tell them…

paolo

This large fiberglass vegetable sits outside the door of a store where we occasionally stock up on spices in bulk. ‘Paolo’, if you’ve not run across it, is the Italian version of Paul.

I’m pretty sure any self-respecting giant plastic chili pepper in a sombrero strumming a guitar would be Pablo, nay?

When cultural stereotypes go (slightly) wrong…

August 17, 2017 — 8:19 pm
Comments: 29

Behold, the head of a lettuce!

lettuce

Now is the time of the year when the vegetables come in thick and fast. I make a mean pot of cucumber soup, because what am I supposed to do with eight large cucumbers? Also, tomatoes, chili peppers, green beans. Soon to come: onions, bell peppers.

Early fruits (currants black and red, gooseberries) come and gone. Elderberries pooping up the pavements as we speak. Blackberries after that.

What’s going on in your garden and what the hell are you doing with all of it?

July 28, 2017 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 19

Comes the harvest

jam

Our first year here, we made tons of jam. We had such a fun time making it, and then we realized we…really…just…don’t eat that much jam. Even today, I find the occasional jar of gray glob from all those years ago.

We’ve learned to moderate our jam-making activities, but we still make a few jars a year. In the picture is the makin’s of a red jam — raspberry, tayberry, a few strawberries and gooseberries. That was several days ago, and it turned out real nice.

Tonight, we made redcurrant jelly. Two plus pounds of redcurrants cooked down to two little jars and a bit. I hate to think what that would cost if you bought the berries – they’re super expensive in the store. Oddly enough, redcurrant jelly is usually used on meat here. Brits, eh?

Good weekend, everyone!

July 7, 2017 — 10:51 pm
Comments: 28

Chikken!

chickensoap

This young feller, Daniele Barresi, is making a name for himself doing quick food sculptures. Though this particular one is a soap sculpture. BUT IT’S A CHICKEN. A friend of mine in art school used to do soap carving, so I have a warm spot. More soap.

Here’s some of the better food ones, on Bored Panda. Yes, despite the name “Daniele” it’s a he. And he bites his fingernails.

Unrelated note: I have just put into the oven the greatest meatloaf ever made — I suspect — and no-one will ever know. But me. AHAHAHAHA!

June 13, 2017 — 10:35 pm
Comments: 17

Mmmm…spiritual

friedeggs

That, my friends, is a batter-dipped and deep-fried Cadbury creme egg. Available from a fish and chip shop (know colloquially as a “chippy”) in Deal, next door in Kent. As the news site put it “Walmer Fish & Chips, in The Strand, near Deal, have begun battering Creme Eggs for the very first time to celebrate the rebirth of Jesus.”

A deeply spiritual people.

And don’t miss the sister article: the day the Cadbury Creme Egg Bus visited Kent.

Oh, and I’m sure you’ve heard — Don Rickles is dead. And, in a final insult to you all, nobody had him in the Dead Pool.

April 6, 2017 — 8:20 pm
Comments: 21

Yay! Candy bars!

picnic

Boo, candy bars will cost more in future. Is there nothing they won’t blame on Brexit? Though, in this case, they probably have a point…our currency hasn’t entirely recovered from the shock yet.

One of the great pleasures of being a nimmigrant is getting to try new junk food. I think I’ve worked my way down most of the candy bars — the novel ones, anyway — and this is my favorite. It’s called a Picnic. It’s raisins, peanuts and cookie stuck together with caramel and coated in chocolate.

It’s got an awesome texture. Me, I’m all about the textures. (No marshmallow. NO MARSHMALLOW).

Wikipedia tells me they’re sold in Australia, parts of Canada, New Zealand, New York City, India, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and the United Kingdom. New York City? New York City!

The Australasian version doesn’t contain raisins. Go figure.

The slogan was “Deliciously Ugly” — which. I dunno. Aren’t all chocolate bars somewhat turdlike in appearance?

One of the downsides of being a nimmigrant is I get blamed for all things American. Snickers bars, apparently, have always been sold as Marathon bars in the UK. And now Mars, Inc is selling them as Snickers here. And everybody is sore at me.

Mmmmm…Snickers.

March 6, 2017 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 20

Happy Pancake Day!

pancakes

It’s Pancake Day, calloo callay! Pancake Day is what the Brits call Shrove Tuesday. They make pancakes on this day to use up rich ingredients (like eggs) before Lent. My mother in law made pancakes today, and she’s older’n dirt.

It’s hard to see British pancakes as rich, though…they’re usually more like crepes. Imagine my sadness when I ordered pancakes in a restaurant once, expecting to get a fat stack of flapjacks oozing butter and maple syrup, only to be served one thin crepe, folded over on itself with a dusting of powdered sugar. It was a sad, anemic little object. To be fair, if that’s not astringent enough, you can order them with a twist of lemon.

O wherefor art thou, IHOP?

For Pancake Day, they more or less lose their food status and become athletic equipment, where they feature in pancake races.

Meh. Think I’ll have a hamburger.

February 28, 2017 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 27

The Oven Roaster of Turin

broilerofturin

Went to put the Sunday roast pan in the dishwasher — and behold was revealed unto me in the grease thereof the divine image of…a roast chicken, basically. Look at it.

In one of my (many, many) Facebook chicken groups, someone posted that she’d bought two chickens from a local small breeder. A couple of months later, she bought another from the same breeder. The third chicken was the chick of one of the first two and she was astounded when mother and daughter recognized each other and were happy to see each other.

I swear, I’ll end up vegan. Or a Jain.

If only chicken weren’t so gosh darned delicious.

February 20, 2017 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 13

Think of the lettuces!

lettuce

Whenever I hear about the severe vegetable shortage, I wonder — who the hell wants to eat severe vegetables? But, yeah, you’ve probably read that we’re having Vegetable Issues.

The story is, we in the North are dependent on growers in the South if we want Summer veg in Winter. England relies mostly on the Spanish for things like peppers and spinach that won’t be available from local growers for months. And Spain has had a shit Winter. Much of their February crop was rained out.

How serious? Eh. Two weeks ago, I paid £.45 for a head of iceberg lettuce at Aldi. Last week, the same store was asking £1.10. They had plenty, though.

Frankly, I think 45p is super cheap for a head of lettuce, anyway. I remember in college there was a spike in lettuce prices and a head climbed over $1. We were horrified. We seamlessly switched our salads to cabbage and felt quite pleased with ourselves…until a few days went by and the gastric consequences of a diet rich in cabbage began to present itself.

God, we were stupid.

The oldies I work for aren’t impressed. Summer vegetables in Winter are a danged newfangled idea, like digital whotsits and the gramaphonium. We have plenty of local veg, and all the better for not coming from the Continent.

So, don’t worry. We aren’t facing scurvy any time soon.

p.s. No, I didn’t buy the lettuce. We’ll do our weekly shop tomorrow and I’ll tell you what it’s up to now.

February 6, 2017 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 23