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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

Just terrible

You may recall that I have access to a neglected orchard (I tried to buy it, but oh well). I’ve just been apple picking and that is easily the worst harvest I’ve ever seen. Most of the apple trees had NO fruit on them at all.

It’s possible someone nipped in ahead of me and picked them clean, but I don’t think so. There wasn’t any fruit on the ground.

The plum trees had a little fruit. Not much. The quince trees were barren. Same for the cobnut. The only thing thriving are the blackberries.

I’ve heard the commercial harvest was similarly shit this year. The cherries earlier this Summer were scarce and sour (not enough sunshine).

I got these two buckets of sour green cooking apples.

So, any simple apple ideas? I tried an internet recipe: core it but leave the bottom in. Fill the hole with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Microwave three minutes.

It dissolved into a giant puddle of mush, but I have to admit – it was a tasty giant puddle of mush. Next time, I’ll a little less time, a little less butter and a little more brown sugar. And nuke it in a bowl.

Oooo…I bet that would be nice mixed with oatmeal.

September 15, 2021 — 6:10 pm
Comments: 15

I had to ask.

Spotted at the fish market. I had to ask.

The girl said, “the fridge is for winkles. They’re kept very cold before they’re sent off to Korea.” I think she said winkles; it might have been whelks. I spent a moment thinking what a silly name that was and wondering why they were all going to Korea.

So the lobsters don’t like the cold? “Oh, no” she said. “The lobsters like the cold just fine. But they all come crawling out and we lose all the cold trying to get them back in again.”

Hm. Here’s a 2019 article about whelks from Wales going to South Korea. The fisherman is quoted thusly: “Goodness knows why they like them – they taste like nan’s toenails – but it’s given me a living for the last two decades,” he said.

But it looks like the Koreans also have multiple words for winkles, see here for a handy pronunciation guide. 흔들 리다 also apparently means, wave, oscillate, whiffle, shimmer, waggle, wag, quake, quiver, waver, swing, rock, sway, shake and tittup. Yes, it’s a word. Despite the fact winkles don’t seem to do any of those things.

Seafood is confusing.

September 13, 2021 — 7:02 pm
Comments: 12

Ear worm

I’m having sausage and biscuits tonight. Well, a facsimile thereof. Actually, it’s scones and sausage, and to make it taste like country sausage I have to add half a pound of cracked black pepper.

For those unfamiliar, the pepper in country sausage will make the sweat bead across your hairline.

Sausage always makes the Tennessee Pride jingle go through my head. (On an endless loop. Until I want to crush my skull in a machine press like that scene in The Fly. The original movie, I mean).

When I were a lass, they mostly shortened it to the couplet: “For real country sausage, the best you ever tried/Look for me on the label of Tennessee Pride.” But the version at the link is longer and includes the words:

It’s Real Country Sausage, yessiree,
The secret of the goodness is the recipe.
Well we start with fresh meat it’s really grand,
Pure whole hog pork, the best in the land.
We add a pinch of X and a dash of Z,
For flavor and taste we add Y9D.
A touch of Odom’s magic blends all three,
That the secret of the secret recipe.

Man, innocent times, when manufacturers bragged how they put delicious mystery chemicals in your food.

Searching for the song, I made the sad discovery that they’re about to close the Tennessee Pride factory in Dickson. I mean, they’re moving it to Jackson, but sad for those Dickson people.

August 17, 2021 — 7:46 pm
Comments: 6