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Elderflowers am in bloom

The drive is white with elderflower. I considered making elderflower gin, but then I thought it made more sense to make an elderflower cordial that I could add to gin (or anything else I fancied).

I like elderflower. I don’t remember anything flavored with it in the States, though. Do we even grow elder?

Anyway, it’s 20 elderflower heads and the zest of a lemon in a 1-liter jar, fill to the absolute top with vodka to exclude air. A good deal of smooshing is required.

Two to four weeks in a cool, dark place and then strain through muslin into a bowl. Take 100ml of boiling water and use it to dissolve 100gm of sugar. Add it to the mix bit by bit to taste. You can use it right away, but it’s better for aging a few months.

That jar is a wonderful 1-liter pickling jar Uncle B gave me that I am forbidden to use for its intended purpose after that time I pickled brussel sprouts and everything in the fridge tasted of fart for a week.

June 8, 2022 — 3:19 pm
Comments: 11

Adventure!

We went to MacDonald’s! I know that doesn’t sound much, but I haven’t had a Big Mac in, like, four years. There isn’t any fast food at all except in some of the bigger towns, and we’re not near a bigger town.

I had to have my eyes checked (they’re fine – my right eye has gotten better!) near to Mickey D’s, so I axed if we could go.

Gosh, it’s changed. It was all touch screens. I tried to order at the desk because Uncle B wants his Quarter Pounder just so, but the girl said the touch screens allowed all kinds of customization.

They did!

There seemed to be as many employees as ever, though. Maybe they were turning over a whole lot more food. While we were there, at least four men came in from food delivery outfits and picked up orders.

They all knew each other and they all were speaking Polish or Russian or some other gargly language (not a linguist, me). I reckon there’s some kind of Big Mac mafia.

One guy came in, ordered a Coke and drank it before leaving with his order. I reckon that was one frosty cold burger when it got where it was going.

June 7, 2022 — 5:26 pm
Comments: 8

Garbage

It’s recycling night! My neighbor asked if she could put some overflow in our bin.

That’s kind of weird, I thought. She lives alone and Uncle B and I together rarely fill more than a quarter of a bin.

She came over with a big bag of plastic and says, Oh, her daughter and family are staying with her.

And I say, Oh, I thought your daughter was a hippie type.

And she says, Oh, yes she is. You wouldn’t believe how much plastic all that organic food is wrapped in.

Ba-dum tiss.

May 25, 2022 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 3

From my cold, dead hands

They’re talking about banning condiments in single-serve packages, like ketchup and mayo. Their point – which isn’t entirely stupid, I guess – is because there’s food in them, they’re more likely to be eaten by a beast.

It’s just, I’m amused at governments banning the tiny, inconsequential bits of plastic that make our lives a tad easier, thinking it will make some kind of difference to our giant plastic-based society. Reminds me of the Aldi employee who explained to me they weren’t putting out plastic bags for me to put potatoes in no more, and behind him as far as the eye could see stretched shelves of food entirely packaged in plastic.

There’s a touch of the Washington Monument syndrome about it, as well. Simply put: whenever a government department faces budget cuts, it threatens to kill whatever thing it does that you like most.

Though, in this case, making tiny savings in plastic at the cost of real inconvenience to normies makes them feel like we’re all making significant sacrifices for the planet. Shopping bags and plastic straws and the like.

You know what? I’m overthinking this. I don’t even like ketchup.

January 17, 2022 — 7:58 pm
Comments: 9

At last – I’m a world-class athlete!

Did you see this? It’s from an online ‘zine called Self making the rounds. This issue is devoted to the Future of Fitness. This particular picture was captioned “What the Future of Fitness Really Looks Like.”

Yes, apparently, the future of fitness is morbidly obese. Who knew?

I’m not entirely sure what they’re playing at. The whole front of the magazine is ham planets, but dig further in and they have a traditional weight loss category in their food section.

Have a poke around if you want to feel svelte after your traditional holiday enbiggening.

January 13, 2022 — 8:39 pm
Comments: 3

Only the Brits…

…would put a generic baked-bean “shootout” in the newspaper Foodie section.

After tasting the Heinz beans first, it’s fair to say the other supermarkets have a lot to live up to.

My first reaction to the Tesco baked beans was that they had a bit more of a solid texture.

This wasn’t too off-putting, but the sauce was a bit too thin and its flavour was not at Heinz’s standard.

Sainsbury’s definitely won the battle of the own-brand beans.

The thick sauce had the perfect amount of tomato and sugar, providing a similar kick to Heinz.

My only criticism is that the texture of the beans was a bit stiff, but this should not take anything away.

Oh, yes. They’re this serious.

The article is part of this Veganuary bullshit. Which goes hand-in-hand with Dry January.

The most depressing month in the calendar, and they want to take food and drink out of the equation.

p.s. Just kidding. February is the most depressing month.

p.p.s. god, I hate Heinz baked beans.

January 11, 2022 — 7:39 pm
Comments: 10

Last of the season

A red sweet pepper. There may be more green ones to come, but this is bound to be the last to ripen this season.

How he does it at all is a mystery to me. I am informed that sweet peppers aren’t viable this far north.

Far north, you say? If you look at a world map, the South of England aligns with Hudson’s Freaking Bay.

Anyway, he manages to coax out a few peppers for me every year in his greenhouse. This variety is an F1 hybrid called Gogorez. It’s a squat pepper with a thick flesh, which makes it perfect for stuffing.

Stuffing as in stuffed peppers, not as in turkey-and-stuffing, I mean.

November 23, 2021 — 7:48 pm
Comments: 11

Ha HA! Nice try, overlords!

We have a roast chicken every Sunday, and every Monday I spend a few hours boiling the carcass and plucking the meat off of it.

I hate this process so much. All those slippery bones and muscles and sinews. I know how they all fit together to make a chicken. It haunts me. And I get it on my hands.

I’m funny about touching food with my hands.

But I get at least three splendid chicken-based meals out of it, so I feel totally compelled.

Anyway, I was doing this unpleasant job earlier and it made me wonder (not for the first time) if I would be able to raise meat chickens. I sincerely believe they’re going to push this anti-meat thing until we all eat less meat whether we like it or not because we can’t afford it.

We have neighbors with sheep and neighbors with cows, so we can avoid those meat taxes if they don’t impose them on the farmer hisself.

We don’t have a good place for a pig, but I’d consider it. I got one as an adorable pet when I was a teenager and by the time he was old enough for the butcher, I was ready to hustle him onto the van with my own two hands.

He was an escape artist and whenever I managed to trace him down, he bit me. Hard. Get in the van, piggie.

But chicken. I really like eating chicken. But I really like chickens.

I’m going to have to be pretty hungry before I go there. I’m soft like that.

November 22, 2021 — 7:32 pm
Comments: 16

Return of the angry, authoritarian fridge

Half of the message has been wiped away, seemingly by people opening and closing the fridge. It appears to be a stern injunction never to put the crab and lobsters above the salad.

I have many unpleasant mental images why that might be.

They mostly involve lobster poop. I have no idea what lobster poop is like, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want it on my salad.

Yes, this is the same fish shop as before.

November 15, 2021 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 2

Hit me with your recipes

I bought Uncle B an air fryer for his b’day. This one, in fact.

I’ve been skeptical of these. Somehow, the combination of the words “air” and “fry” made me think it was a nefarious conspiracy to make me eat less bacon grease. Then I saw a chef on Twitter praising them for making re-heated fries crispy and thought…that’s for me!

Um, Uncle B. That’s for Uncle B.

Anyway, we’re getting along pretty well with it. We’ve made all sorts of combinations of fries. We’re trying chicken breasts tonight.

Anyone have one of these? What’s good?

October 5, 2021 — 6:51 pm
Comments: 19