Thursday, September 13, 2012

I (Heart) Cheese!

Few things in life compare to the joys of a nice piece of Cheese, do they?
One day before the dreaded twenty-four hours that marks the date that I have spent two years short of a half century on this miserable planet, the local Co-op suddenly had not one, but nearly a dozen of neatly shrink-wrapped samples of my favourite Cheese on the planet.
Blue Stilton!
It's as rare as hen's teeth where I live, sadly, but oh the memories.
Almost too good for me, but who cares!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vegetarian Bangers & Mash!

Ahhh! The perfect week-day meal and apparently one half of the 'Glimmer Twins' favourite dish.
Celebrated in song by talents no less diverse than Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren and Radiohead.
To slightly paraphrase Todd Rundgren:: "The problem with food today is that everybody is too busy talking and not eating." So Let's get cooking, dammit!

I used Tofurky's excellent approximation of Bratwurst this time, as the Co-Op was out of their Kielbasa which I usually buy for this dish. Both work quite well, however. If you're in the UK, 'Linda Mac' stuff is equally useful.

Now, on to the gravy!

I'm not a fan of staying in the kitchen all day. Cooking is more of a means to an end in my book, so Bisto is about the only way to go. It costs a fortune if you purchase it online from British expat grocers (Cheap, if you're lucky enough to have a Poundland nearby), but, unless you like gravy on everything the 500g. size lasts a very long time. Four heaping teaspoons of it and 10 oz./280ml. of boiling water and you've got loads of simulated beefy viscous liquid.

You'll need an onion or two sizzling in the pan.

I added the onion before the sausage, which is the opposite of how you would do this with a packet of Wall's, obviously. Veg sausages take far less time to cook and since these are going into the microwave..(Shock! Horror!) really all you need to do is brown them so that they'll have that all important 'snap'.
The onions should be carmelised just a bit, so they create a nice hit of sweetness V. the salty savoury tastes of the gravy and sausages.

I won't say much about the mash as I don't like to bother with boiling, mashing and otherwise mutilating poor innocent potatoes. I let the nice folks who work in a factory, somewhere in deepest, darkest Idaho do that for me. (Hi! The name's Bob. I live in a trailer-park. I like Pabst Blue Ribbon.)

Once the onion and sausages are nicely browned and the 'Spuddo Instant' is ready, it's time to put the whole thing together.

"Now that's a hell of a lot of gravy!" I hear you scream. Part of that is the Archimaedes' effect from the blob of processed, re-constituted potato. The other part is that I probably got a little too enthusiastic with the Bisto. I love gravy, so there!
My one kowtow to tradition, here, is that the gravy always and I do mean ALWAYS goes on the bottom of the baking dish. You can always splash it over the top with your fork, if you like.

Next, we stick it in the microwave for approximately seven minutes and it looks like this:

It looks a lot more elegant when it's subsequently served on a plate, but since I'm only cooking for myself this time and I'm a total slob, this will do nicely, thank you very (expletive deleted) ing much!
A quick lashing of HP, A-1, Daddies' on top and there you have it.
I'm tuckin' in!

Bon appetit, mon amis! (Martin?? Kingsley??)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Death Has No Mercy

It's been over a year since I've "blogged", so I should have oodles of news by now.
I do, but little of it is good.
Rainbow Sugaree, my beloved assistance Dog passed away on leap day 2012. The same date that Monkee Davy Jones went to the great by and by. I always felt some synergy with Davy. A short northern gent who wanted to be a real musician but found himself banging a tambourine. (I play a wicked Cowbell!)
I now have a new assistance pup. I named her Sugar Magnolia, but Maggie for short, paid for by my Psychiatrist  and she has provided much joy and  a huge number of frustrations, given the fact that she still has little idea of where she should leave her water or detritus. Helping her to do so correctly has given me some sort of a self-esteem boost, but it does diminish whenever she has an accident. I still suck the Cumberlands there.
Little else to say, I'll kid myself and you by saying "the best is yet to come"
It surely isn't and you won't be fooled.
I have far too much respect for you to even assume.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011...So Far ,It's Rotten

Deadly Twisters in the Mid-West, a flood in Australia, Church bombings in Nigeria and Egypt, make what I'm going through at the moment seem seriously trivial, but nobody should have to nonetheless.  Saturday morning when I woke up, the usual routine of washing my hands, starting a cup of Tea and filling  Rainbow's water bowl was interrupted by a little glitch. Nothing came out of the tap.. That bill is covered by the rent, so here's a problem for either maintenance or public works to tackle. Right? Well apparently not. Numerous calls to both have resulted in zippity doo. So, here I sit, in an apartment that has all the amenities of a cardboard box in Mumbai. Haven't been able to wash dishes, cook anything or shower.  My trip to work on Saturday morning was unbelievable fun. Unwashed, P.O.ed and hating the world in general, I managed to fall flat on my face, right in the middle of a crosswalk through a busy intersection that our imbecilic road department did a lousy job of de-icing.  Then there were the steady streams of completely obnoxious customers once I managed to drag myself  through the BACK door. (Someone graciously forgot to open the front.)   My shift ended a little early when a wildly indignant patron decided to lecture me when I pushed a chair closer to one of the restaurant tables. His take on it was that he had attended a class where they taught him, he claimed and I'm not making this up: "The kilobytes of sound produced by moving a chair can seriously damage  the earlobes."  That was about all I could handle for the day. Clocked out, walked out and trudged home. I had already suffered six hours of similar crap and couldn't stomach one  more.   A hot bath and a stiff drink would have made me feel a lot better afterward. That's if I could actually find some water to fill the tub.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Le Chaise Orange...Or Is It "La"?

I usually look for my MCM fixes at second-hand shops, but found this particular chair, at Big Lots of all places, for the princely sum of $20.  I remember seeing nearly identical ones around the late '60's, early '70's, but have no idea who the designer was. (Help me out here Dana!)   It's interesting to see that the lower-end furniture market has popped up with quite a few revivals of these styles lately. Perusing the other aisles at Big Lots, I found myself staring at mod inspired pillows and some lighting accessories that wouldn't look out of place in a 1967 MOE catalogue.  The experience almost gave me flashbacks to the halcyon days of The Akron stores when I was a little kid, walking around, bedazzled by all the groovy wares they had on offer.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years Eve!

I can't call in to work a second day in a row, so mine will probably be a complete bummer, kind of like Snooki's.     Them's the breaks, I guess. So here's hoping that your New Year's Eve goes better than mine, or hers, for that matter.  If you plan on getting plastered tonight, please choose a designated driver or do the obligatory sloshing at home. Tip your Pizza delivery driver and don't do anything I wouldn't do. Not to worry. That leaves you  free to do pretty much anything, other than  trying out bestiality, listening to the Olivia Newton John channel on or saying anything nice about Sarah Palin.