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Food

Germans Own Themselves (Or Not).

A notorious German cannibal has described in shockingly graphic detail how he killed and ate his gay lover ‘with his permission’.

Armin Meiwes became one of the most infamous cannibals in history after killing and consuming 43-year-old computer technician Bernd Brandes in 2001.

Is any cannibal not infamous?

‘I decorated the table with nice candles,’ he said. ‘I took out my best dinner service, and fried and [sic - it is from the Mail] piece of rump steak – a piece from his back – made what I call princess potatoes, and sprouts,’ he said, in an unprecedented interview for new documentary ‘Docs: Interview with a Cannibal’.

‘After I prepared my meal, I ate it.

‘The first bite was, of course, very strange. It was a feeling I can’t really describe. I’d spent over 40 years longing for it, dreaming about it.

‘And now I was getting the feeling that I was actually achieving this perfect inner connection through his flesh. The flesh tastes like pork but stronger.

So at least it was civilized cannibalism. I mean a well-set table and all.

Brandes then swallowed 20 sleeping tablets with half a bottle of schnapps before Meiwes cut off his penis ‘with his agreement’, and fried it for them both to eat.
Meiwes later ran a bath for Brandes, and read a Star Trek novel while checking on him every 15 minutes.

He eventually killed Brandes in the early hours of the morning, by stabbing him in the neck and then chopping him into pieces.

It is the Star Trek novel that really gets me.

He put parts of him in the freezer, and buried his head in his garden.

Well that’s OK then. Now there is an issue here. I understand homosexuality but this isn’t it by any ordinary definition so the “eating of the gay lover” is an odd way of putting it? So what is going on? The obvious is to say that both were utterly nucking futz. But why not? I mean if this was with consent then as a libertarian then OK but what is the limit of consent? Anyone who wishes to be eaten (starting with their penis) is by most definitions mental. Now, as a libertarian, this puts me in a quandry. I mean how far does self-ownership go?

I had girlfriend who I didn’t eat (odd that) and she is now a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Lancaster. Her subject is basically philosophy of mental health. We had an argument once (we had a few – I implied she was an ex) over self-ownership and mental illness. I am still not sure. I am seriously conflicted. I mean if you own yourself then like whatever but wanting to be eaten is breathtakingly odd. Is that just wrong?

Nigella’s liquorice box.

That sounds utterly filthy. Except, whilst not having one myself I do have a sweetie jar. Yes, I do. I keep sweeties in it and the gods help me! Some of those involve liquorice. I love the stuff. Saeed down the road is my dealer. My Gran got me onto the black stuff. I do appreciate that studies (yeah, I know) have shown that pregnancy cravings can pass down the maternal line. My Mum craved the black gold when pregnant with me. And that was in Zambia. I have no idea if that has any relevance to whatever vague point I am trying to make.

I would love a rummage in Nigella’s liquorice box. Possibly next Wednesday though I am flexible. Unlike that ineffably hard, utterly black Spanish liquorice that Saaed doesn’t usually stock. He normally has liquorice pipes (with the twinkles on the end) which are probs illegal because they encourage smoking. Seeing as I generally buy fags at that shop – and a Coke as well, whatever…

But who wouldn’t want a liquorice box. I would. Wouldn’t you?

Yale Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

This is outrageous — the Yale Administration’s Mommy-Knows-Best attitude, if that’s what it is…but no, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the “You’ll do what I say, OR ELSE, young lady!” attitude. In loco parentis* on steroids! I have to cheer this woman for writing this up, even if she did see fit to post it on HuffPo.

Coming on the heels of Prof. Rubenfeld, he of the Yale Law School, and in light of Yale’s reputation for having an unfortunately highly Progressivist weltanschaaung, I find myself disgusted with Yale altogether. When Lucy grows up I’m sending her to Oxbridge.

Herewith, the whole thing. I just don’t see how to break it up without ruining the flow.

–J.

Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

“I don’t know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds.”

The nurse looked at me apprehensively. “It’s easy to gain a couple pounds. What I’m afraid will happen is that you’ll lose it again and you’ll just be cheating yourself.”

I couldn’t keep the impatience out of my tone. “So you’re just going to keep checking on me until I graduate?”

“If we don’t tackle your low weight now, it will kill you.”

***

In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center. Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?

The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder — but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.

I visited the cancer hospital on September 17, 2013, worrying about a lump in my breast. It turned out to be benign, but I received an email in November from the medical director about “a concern resulting from your recent visit.” My stomach lurched. Was the lump malignant after all?

I met with a clinician on December 4 and was told that the “concern” was my low weight and that I would meet with her for weekly weigh-ins. These appointments were not optional. The clinician threatened to put me on medical leave if I did not comply: “If it were up to the administration, school would already be out for you. I’m just trying to help.”

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

“You should try to gain at least two more pounds.” (What difference does two pounds make?)

“Come next week to take a blood test to check your electrolytes.” (No consideration that I had three exams that week.)

“I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t eat as much when you get stressed out.” (I’ve never said that.)

So instead of arguing, I decided that perhaps the more I complied, the sooner I could resume my normal life.

I was forced to see a mental health professional. She asked me all of the standard questions — how I felt about my body, how many calories I ate. I told her everyone’s body is beautiful, including mine. When I said I didn’t know how many calories, since I don’t care to count, she rephrased the question, as if that would help.

Next step was a nutritionist. The nurse passed a post-it note, saying “Here are two times for the nutritionist next Tuesday. Usually it takes three months to get into nutrition at all.” What a privilege! Now I get to feel guilty about using clinical resources in desperately short supply!

Finally, I decided to start a weight-gain diet. If I only had to gain two pounds, it was worth a shot to stop the trouble. I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite. In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.

Eventually, the scale said I was two pounds heavier. When I saw her last Friday, I felt my stomach tighten, my heart racing. Would I finally be granted parole?

“You’ve gained two pounds, but that still isn’t enough. Ideally, you should go up to 95 pounds.” I hung my head in disbelief. I’ve already shared with you the memorable exchange that followed.

She had finally cracked me. I was Sisyphus the Greek king, forever trapped trying uselessly to push a boulder up a hill. Being forced to meet a standard that I could never meet was stressful and made me resent meals. I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents. At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.

It seems Yale has a history of forcing its students through this process. A Yale Herald piece from 2010 told the story of students in similar situations. It’s disturbing how little things have changed. “Stacy” was “informed that if she kept failing to reach [Yale Health]‘s goals for her, she would be withdrawn for the following semester.” Unfortunately, “the more she stressed out about gaining weight, the more she lost her appetite.”

Furthermore, a recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins.

It is clear that the University does care about students suspected of struggling with eating disorders. And it should. Eating disorders are particularly prevalent on college campuses and Yale is no exception. However, because the University blindly uses BMI as the primary means of diagnosis, it remains oblivious to students who truly need help but do not have low enough BMIs. Instead, it subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health. By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the “correct shape” of the human body.

I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday. But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.

. . .
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Standing Up to the Christmas Board

My conscience would compel me to suicide if I didn’t pass on this vitally important advice; which would be a shame, as I would not yet have been able to follow it. :(

Etiquette and Common Sense at Christmas

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. PECAN*, Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat.  Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two pecans and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

[This is the one bad piece of advice.  Good fruitcake is very good.  Choose "blonde" if you truly can't stand the dark, but if you do, you will be missing out on all that rum- or brandy-soaked rich goodness, bursting with pecans and candied orange peel and other delicacies.  And I will not be responsible!  --J.]

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

 

*Author left out all mention of the best Christmas treat of all (the goose and the eggnog trail by a hair):  Pecan Pie.  Your editrix has fixed this inexcusable oversight.

To those who think turkey is dry and bland.

Sorry chaps, but you simply don’t know how to cook it.

Moist, succulent, and a delight to the taste buds.

You have my sympathy.

Crikes oh Lor! A good news Health story.

Almost inevitably it is… Experts warn… Scientists warn… Uncle Tom Cobbley and his Nanny warns, but this one is different, it modestly celebrates the raising of the wrist.

We tipplers have always known that the safe Units crap was made up on the back of an envelope, much like that secondary smoke will laser its way through walls and kill entire families while they sleep, especially the Cheeeldren!

And on the cure for a cold being alcohol (with a little bit of spicy help), I can concur…

Many years ago the Gay Buddhist, my wife and I were working our way down a bottle of Tequila. I had a  stinking cold, and I mean really stinking , coughing up stuff that looked like well masticated Pistachios. Ness curled up and went to sleep, but the GB and I decided to go out for a curry, Cardiff Curry houses staying open till 3 in the morning in those days.

We both had a Vindaloo, and mine was so goddam hot my eyeballs were sweating. Then we went back to the flat and polished off the rest of the Tequila. The next day I woke up and the cold had completely gone.

So raise your glasses ladies and gentlemen…

…As opposed to Imaginary ?

I have just been presented with a can of fancy-schmancy tomato soup.

It says, right there on the label, in LARGE red letters:

“REAL INGREDIENTS !”

Kitten Nearly Dies

Now this, from Melbourne….

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/west/kitten-nearly-dies-from-vegan-diet/story-fngnvmj7-1226682108386?utm_source=Herald+Sun&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial&net_sub_uid=10147177

Kitten nearly dies from vegan diet

Lort Smith Vet Leanne Pinfold says cats should be fed a proper diet. She is pictured with Roger, who is well-fed and available for adoption. Source: News Limited

A KITTEN has almost died after its owners fed it a strict vegan diet.

The horrific case at a North Melbourne animal hospital has prompted a warning about the dangers of people “forcing ideologies” on their pets.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital veterinarian Leanne Pinfold said the kitten was brought in this month by its owners, who were believed to be vegan.

She said the kitten’s diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta had caused it to become critically ill.

“It was extremely weak and collapsed when it came in. It was almost non-responsive,” Dr Pinfold said.

The kitten was given fluids via a drip, placed on a heat pad and fed meat.

It remained in hospital for three days after which the kitten’s owners were given meat to feed their pet at home, she said.
Dr Pinfold said as obligate or true carnivores, cats needed meat to survive.

She said people who wanted a pet that did not eat meat should consider other animals, such as rabbits.

“Concern for animal welfare has to include a biologically-appropriate diet,” she said. “You can’t force your ideology on the cat.

“Carnivores will seek out meat and your cat is possibly more likely to go hunting and kill local native fauna if you deprive it of meat.”

Dr Pinfold said she had not come across a similar case in her 11 years as a veterinarian.

 

Lard of the Glen.

Apparently a consignment of lard has washed-up in Scotland.

Storms over the east coast have resulted in several unusual relics from World War II washing up on an Angus beach.

Staff at St Cyrus nature reserve said four large, barrel-shaped pieces of lard have appeared on the shore.

The fat is believed to have escaped from the wreck of a merchant vessel that was bombed in WW II.

Scottish Natural Heritage said the lard was still a brilliant white and smelled “good enough to have a fry up with.

Only in Scotland could they elect celebrate…

A washed-up tub of lard.

A washed-up tub of lard.

Angus McHardy [who might just be Scottish], a local resident and retired fisherman, said he remembers similar events in the in early 1940s.

“I’d never seen anything like it,” he said. “There was quite a lot washed up at St Cyrus and beyond, not quite to Montrose.”

“Some barrels were complete and others were just lumps. People collected it. My grandma boiled it up to get the sand out. It was great because we couldn’t get fat during the war.”

He added: “After a storm in the late 60s or early 70s, the lard came up on-shore again. The seagulls thought it was a bonanza.”

Scotland has found a seemingly inexhaustible supply of saturated fats. The First Minister must be delighted. The Hell with North Sea oil when Scotland can lay claim to fat deposits that would put Überwald to shame.

Does this mean the Scottish people will re-elect…

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

…despite the best nannying efforts of Ms Sturgeon (why are these Scottish pols so fishy?) to nanny and coerce the population into “health”?

And I speak as someone who has had a lunch of deep-fried cheese washed down with an excellent beer in the Czech Republic.

I thought I’d died and gone to Hebburn…

A few days ago I was in the local Co-op buying bleech or some such. Anyhows, they have an area manager in and he is uttering the latest diktat. The woman on the till is astonished, gob-smacked by it. It went like this…

“You have to stock aubergines – tell Terry*.”

“But, but… what do you ever do with them?”

Area Manager doesn’t look taken aback. Seriously – must be used to it. He tries to talk her down in much the same way a copper might with some bloke on the tenth floor who is planning on jamming himself on the pavement (I assume Area Manager tasted aubergine once in a moussaka on Corfu and had seen the future). If I was a cruel man when I made my purchase I would have whispered under my breath, “I also like kumquats you know…” but the local A&E probably doesn’t have enough defibrillators anyway so I didn’t.

I have never really seen the point of kumquats but the imp of the perverse is a powerful imp.

This is 2012 and the Co-op regards aubergines (“Aubergines, Auber-here, stealing all our vegetable racks!”) as exotic. I mean if you can’t get a frigging aubergine what hope for a jet-pack? Right next door is a proper greengrocer who stocks several types of squash!!! Such decadence hasn’t been seen since the last days of Caligula! We also have a butcher and a deli (this stocks different forms of cheese). Both the local(ish) TESCO and Sainsburys even have a stab at sushi. Just before Guy Fawkes night the Co-op got in a huge consignment of… Easter eggs. Seriously. The Co-op is like Stalin just shot his load… in an aubergine. Even Uncle Joe would have known an aubergine when he saw one being a Georgian and all… The Co-op is fucking chronic.

I “popped” for some tomatoes a bit back and took them to the counter and had to have them returned because I spotted one had grown a Gandalf of a beard of something I’ve only ever seen on a sodding petri dish. And not any of mine (I know how to streak-plate). I mean the ones in movies where Denzel Washington or someone has 24 hours to save the Earth and bed a well-fit co-star (why is there never a phone call that goes like this, “Can we re-schedule for Thursday I’ve got a lot on right now”. “OK, cool, see you then!”). Nah, instead of that I had two slags** gossiping about X-Factor which was clearly more important than serving moi and Terry replaced my toms with a grumplestiltskin of a face-on at a speed matched only by glaciers. He then disappeared out back grumbling about customers actually wanting produce that wouldn’t give them pantomime poisoning***. Presumably for a fag or a wank**** or (most likely) just a general skive.

But the crowning turd in the punch-bowl came Friday before last. Now I was going out to see “Skyfall” (not bad BTW) and dinner was hurried and the Co-op tend to… Well, my wife is vegan and she frequently has said she can find fuck all to eat there. Well I was in the same dilly of a pickle. I thought I’d get a brace of their reasonable Aberdeen Angus burgers (nowhere near as nice as the ones I make but OK) but no! No burgers for Nick! Useless twats. They had replaced ‘em with – I shit ye not – a fucking display of four types of “Rustlers” (more on those soon). So I looked at the shelves for something tasty and quick (bear in mind this is kinda a convenience store/small supermarket) and there was the fifth-root of fuck-all. I got meatballs in the end. So seeing as I have no dietary whatevers I was as stumped as my vegan wife. That is fuckwittery from the Co-op on a cosmic scale. I got something in the end. I suppose I could have got the frozen burgers by Birdseye but that is all eyelids and rectums. Anyway I didn’t have the defrost time if I wanted to see Mr Bond. Not a fucking chance. No chance for anything to be shaken or even stirred apart from the bowels and that in a cataclysmic Old Testament sense.

Oh yea who eat the unclean parts of the ossifrage behold!

There are things in that shop that violate Deuteronomy. And possibly Leviticus.

This is…

…the Rustler’s microwave burger…

… an atrocity that makes being groped by DLT look like some form of “boisterousness”.

Having said that the microwaveable kebab is some form of Crime Against Humanity

And they had replaced all their proper burgerage with Rustlers. Cunts.

They really are a collection of tit-ends. More tit-ends than a fucking dairy farm in Wisconsin. An utter tittery of dunces.

The milk is OK at the Co-Op. There is pity-all you can do to cunterate milk.

But the water! Christ on a bicycle playing the fuckulating Souzaphone. The shop is hideously expensive. Well, some of it is but that is the “ethical water”. They also have normal H20 for people who are not the “saved class” that show their “ethics” by buying expensive tat and know piss-all about basic chemistry. Ethical-fucking-water!

What the the Allah-buggering-piss-flappery is “ethical water”? Is that water that can write a Desmond essay on Spinoza’s juvenalia as well as quenching a thirst? Or is it just water bought by self-righteous self-abusers? Note the hardly disguised selling of indulgences and the piccies of happy natives who’s water is ultimately sold to some school-run mumster with a BMW X-5 to make her feel better about killing the planet with diesel to take Tarquin and Cressida to school. Does anyone other than me think this more patronizing than anything the (obviously evil) British Empire ever did? Anyone thought these folks might not want to be “happy natives” for Co-op customers to feel good and have the opportunity to own a Beemer as well? Nah, that would be so inauthentic for the poor dears wouldn’t it? Better keep ‘em in abject poverty so they can make “authentic things” to be bought by middle-class Indy readers to assuage their consciences over having the X-5…

It sticks in my craw. It really does. I am typing this on an excellent little netbook/laptop by Lenovo (S205). This machine was designed and built in China by people whose parents were probably starving peasants without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. If they had remained “authentic” or Mao-ist or whatever I’d not have this machine on my lap, you wouldn’t be reading this and China wouldn’t be dragging itself into a bright future. A survey a few years ago showed that 80% of “Chuppies” (middle-class Chinese) liked English cider so Bulmer’s planted orchards and built a factory over there. What goes around comes around. It ought to be about creating wealth, not the “selling beads to the natives” approach of Fairtrade nor the re-distribution idiocy of sharing the morsels of the last ration-box on the lifeboat. Wealth is not fixed. I could go on. And I shall, in a later post…

“I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome.”

(look it up). So is cholera, doll.

- Drew Barrymore (who promised E.T. to “be good” and then became a pre-pubescent heroin addict). She was muntering around some potless gaff in Central America and thought shitting like an animal was “cool”. OK, if that is her fetish – fine. And maybe it is if you don’t have to do it all the time. But how patronizing is that? Coming (so to speak) from someone who at the time lived in a mansion in Hollywood? I could be wrong but I think that was valued at $20m round the time. Fuck off. You are not part of the solution. You are the problem. Poverty does not bring dignity. They are utterly seperate variables.

Wealth (and aubergines) are not to be ashamed of. Protectionism is something to be ashamed of. We should not be ashamed that we have indoor plumbing but that we actively prevent development in some of the poorer countries by our trade policies and then engage in patronising and pointless genuflection to the Gods of “Fairtrade” as, yes, an indulgence is just wrong. That the EU subsidises (controls) our farmers etc. and that the counterbalance is Fairtrade is obscene. It helps almost no-one.

Why not just cut the Gordian knot?

Why not let us all run and play?

*Terry is the most idle cunt who ever (slowly) walked this goodly Earth. If he moved any slower he’d have moss on him – like a three-toed sloth.
**The first time I was ever in Buxton (genteel spa town etc..) some lad walked past me and my then girlf and he just said, “tits”. Oddly enough the same happened in New Orleans with the same girl. She had nice breasts but a slim build and they went with that and were hardly bazonga material so that’s odd. I find it odd that it happened over six time zones but then you are no longer alive if reality loses it’s eternal power to astonish.
***A terrible malady that makes someone think they are Christopher Biggins and playing Widow Twanky at the Swindon Empire. I have actually sort of met Mr Biggins and he seemed a decent sort. And yes, he was a panto dame at the time.
****For some reason (my filthy mind) I’m thinking of an old Turkish proverb, “A women for duty, a boy for pleasure but a melon for ecstasy!”. They don’t tend to have melons in the Co-op. Perhaps they are too exotic or perhaps Terry has jizzed in them during his many “technical breaks”. Perhaps that’s why the fruit and veg tend toward the manksome?

Scrumpy

RAB’s posting below, with it’s prominent promotion of scrumpy, reminds me of the first time I ever had the pleasure of scoffing the stuff.

It was in about 1981, I was newly arrived in England and was still in sightseeing mode. One Sunday afternoon I went up to the British Museum to have a captains, and called in to the pub opposite, the Museum Tavern, to have lunch before I went on my troll through humanities past.

Well, wasn’t that a mistake. I ordered a steak and kidney pud to fill the void, and I saw a chalked sign advertising scrumpy. Now, I had heard of scrumpy, but I had never had any so I thought this was an opportunity. It was sweet, a bit like dilluted applejuice but with a bit of a bite, and it went down as easily as lemonade. I downed a pint while I was waiting for lunch, so when the pud was delivered I ordered another pint, and downed that while eating. When the food was done and gone I ordered another half pint, not wanting to overdo it, finished that off, and started museumward…..

Then it hit me. I wandered the museum in an alcoholic haze for about 30 minutes, but I really wasn’t getting much out of it. It was a beautiful afternoon, early in the English summer, and taking it easy and relaxing somewhere became my preference, so I left and went to sit under a tree in Bloomsbury Square.

Fell asleep of course.

Great Sunday afternoon that.

How times change…

I have been re-organizing stuff round here (decorating) and found a slim volume aimed at gels from the typing pool in their first gaff. It’s called, “Cooking in a Bedsitter” by Katherine Whitehorn. First published in 1961 this “New and Fully Revised Edition” dates from 1982 [it was probs anachronistic then].

Here is a sample recipe, with preamble:

CURRY

Curry finds itself in this section ["Cooking to Stay Alive" - the other section being "Cooking to Impress" - basically a potential boyfriend/suitor who is simply assumed to generally take you out to nice restaurants but now wants to see your diggings!] because it is useless to try to impress anyone with a curry nowadays unless you have spent several years out East and are prepared to talk about it, as well as cook, for hours on end. When it comes to really elaborate curries it is much better to be on the receiving end, and fortunately most people who live in bedsitters know at least one Indian or Pakistani who is delighted to make a curry for an admiring friend [!]. Moreover, they are apt to know their proportions only in terms of .01 grains of saffron per half a sheep, so that they will often make enough curry for you and everyone on the staircase to feed off for a week.

However, here is an unassuming straightforward curry that will work on meat, fish, or any odds and ends you happen to have over.

I have lived almost all of my adult life (and much before!) within easy reach of Indians, Pakistanis (and Bangladeshis – though obviously that country didn’t exist in 1961 when this book was first written and there are also of course Sri Lankans) who were delighted to cook for a paying customer (or maybe possibly an “admiring friend”) or indeed sell the ingredients so you can do it yourself*. I also “love” the racist assumption that you will have a curry wallah on the staircase and their mission is to feed. And also the similarly racist assumption that a native Brit (whatever that means) can’t cook top-notch sub-continental food without having tales to tell of tiger-hunts, malaria and meeting a guru who gives you the recipe upon a sacred scroll that once wrapped the Koh-i-Noor etc ad nauseum. Rather than a book by, say, Madhur Jaffrey (available from all good book-sellers).

Anyway, here is the recipe. Now note this well because I know of one (admittedly unlikely circumstance – guess – it shall be revealed) where it might prove useful…

Curry for Meat, Fish, Rabbit, or Leftovers.

2 onions
2 tomatoes (or squeeze of tomato paste)
1 teaspoon meat extract dissolved in one cup water
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4lb/100g meat or fish or mince
1 dessertspoon flour
fat for frying

Fry onions gently for 5 mins. Add tomatoes and flour; stir. Add meat extract and water; stir. Add curry powder and KEEP THE HEAT LOW AT THIS POINT (too much direct heat seems to burn off the taste of the curry and leave only the sting – if this happens, add more curry, if you can bear to [!] ). Add meat or rabbit and simmer 1hr. If fish, add after 1/2hr. (1 1/4hrs)

This is even better if you let it get cold and then heat it up.

I’d argue if you have got this far in producing this dish fit for the very Moghuls themselves it’s utterly superlative if you bin it and then phone Sayeed down at “The Last Days of the Raj” and order a lamb bhuna.

Unless of course via some peculiar spacetime conjunction between our Universe and Discworld you have Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs round for tea**. Death wouldn’t like it mind – he’s into proper Klatchian.

* I used to live in Levenshulme, Manchester and they even had a hybrid Polish/Iranian grocer.
** Though Mrs Colon always added turnip for the wateriness and sultanas for a “taste of the exotic”.

Complete and utter Bollocks Study of the Week Pt 69.

But bloody nice try guys!

This is the study that all us fellas would absolutely love to be true, but it’s the usual crapola based on statistical insignificance and wishful thinking.

But come on ladies, it might be true, think of all the expensive shit you shovel on your faces in the hope of beating wrinkles, the mad diets you put yourselves through to lose weight, the self help books you devour by the ton… You want to be less depressed, become more affectionate, sleep better (it certainly makes me sleep better, and with a smile on my face!) It’s more than a mouthful, it’s a meal!! Swallow don’t spit!

Culture and food…

Last year I went on two foreign jaunts. The first was to Turkey and the second to a small town in Poland (Silesia). Well, one country is essentially Muslim (though technically secular and I hope shall remain so despite the government there going mental and banning things like elective C-sections for some reason).

Anyway! Food! And culture! I like Turkish cuisine. OK, I had an interesting time in Istanbul (also Troy – a fixer-upper if ever I saw one and Gallipoli (that must have been fucking hilarious). I was struck by the war memorial at ANZAC Cove…

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…

You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…

You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Here it is…

Those are the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Not a nice man but a great man. Anyway I met Allah in Istanbul (aka “ceiling cat”) who dropped almost on me in the Istanbul underground. He, she or it then proceeded to go “Meeer!” and then buggered off which is what cats do. But the food was good and the beer adequate. “Efes” tastes very American – I shall say no more. Turkish wine mind is almost worse than Greek. Coke is much the same though.

But whilst you could drink yourself to death (and Atatürk did) I only saw one restaurant serving pork. And that was in a former Christian section and it was Spanish. I guess it had to have pig. Without pig the Spanish don’t have a cuisine at all.

But the Turks still generally don’t eat pig. They might drink and fondle women of negotiable virtue and gamble and all that but they don’t eat pig.

My other trip was very different. It was a small town in Poland rather than a Metropolis spanning two continents (they have a statue of a bull that I posed with -oh, you know the legend!). I was just pleased to be in Asia – so I performed no utterly dreadful acts – I did have my first pizza in Asia and very nice it was too. That’s three ticked off! I dunno if I can be much fucked with most of the rest to be honest. Transatlantic does me. If I’m going to be strapped into a duralumin can without a fag for an unfeasible period then it’s Mars or bust! Fuck Bali!

In Poland I was staying with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Now in Poland the kebab is the coming thing. But when a Pole talks of “meat” they mean almost exclusively the flesh of the swine. Yes, even with kebabs. Now if you buy a kebab in Istanbul or Manchester a sheep died for it. Not in Poland – a pig copped the unfortunate one. And these are kebab shops run by Islamic immigrants. Some will be Turks or Pakistanis or Bangladeshis (like in the UK) but they are mainly Bosnian and similar in Poland. Now what puzzles me is that I once had a break from the tyranny of the pig and that was wild boar! But what really puzzles me is that when we were picked-up from the airport Marian (my sister-in-law’s boyfriend) had to take it easy around some deer.The Poles regard deer as something for looking at and not driving FIAT Puntos into. I think them also tasty (deer, not FIATs). We could have put the ambling Bambis on the roof-rack.

So there you have it. Culture is determined by food more so, in my book, than by religion or whatever. Of course the intermix is intermixed but that is why we travel! And that is why I like my pierogi over there and Marian always orders lamb here. You see we have other animals good to eat other than pigs (and so do they but they don’t think of them as such).Things beyond the ken of the Poles but then we have turkey (bah!) at Crimble and they have carp (yay!).

I really like Central European food. In the Czech Republic, just past a border-post (then for sale – an interesting property – partially in Poland and partially in the Czech Republic – you could have a DMZ in your dining room! You could plant a minefield!) there is a T-34 tank and a restaurant that fried cheese. And the Czechs can fry a good cheese I can tell you.

Earlier I had had the best Mexican food (not cooked by moi or a Mexican – my office pal Maria was quite good at Mexican food being from Mexico City and all) in the small town in Poland outside of North America (where the vast majority of Mexicans indeed live*). We do Mexican terribly here. I mean the Chiquito chain and all? But then I ate at a TGI Fridays in New Orleans because the alternative was gumbo and I don’t eat invertebrates. New Orleans. A tourist trap (they no longer have a streetcar named “Desire”, they have a bus) ringed by a shanty town (unmetalled roads and gaffs that look like Boo Radley just moved out). It also has the most problematical road system on the planet

*Clue One. Don’t call a Mexican “Central American”. You don’t get invited for dinner.

Damn you for offering us food choice

A visit from SAoT’s matriarch meant that she and Mrs SAoT were watching the Beeboid last night.  After the usual ‘the Olympics is great’ type show tediously explaining the finer points of swimming and something about volcanoes, there was this utterly vile North Korean type thing called “the men who made us fat” or something.

 

There had apparently been two previous episodes of this junk, but since I don’t watch the Beeb I had happily missed them, but this was the sort of background noise that eats into your soul.

 

First, if you want to see who made you fat (assuming you are fat) don’t search conspiracy websites, don’t look to the government or Pravda or the medical community to explain it to you, and certainly don’t listen to a word that some paid advocacy group come up with.  No, just look in the mirror.

 

If someone cannot take personal responsibility for what they choose to ingest, instead blaming some third party against whom they are helpless, then they are more or less doomed.  Needless to say, said advocacy groups are all too keen to relieve them of the tiresome responsibilities of thinking, exercising self-discipline and restraint.  

 

So, to “the men who made us fat” So far as I saw it (I lasted about 25 minutes) UK obesity is all the fault of evil corporations and the men who work in them.  Please note, no women work for food companies in senior roles apparently and cannot therefore be evil.  It’s all men’s fault. 

 

The central thrusts seemed to be stuff which is marketed as healthy may not be.  This woman who was in some kind of regulatory role in the past had taken it upon herself to explain to hapless proles that ‘Sunny Delight’ may not have been that healthy.  Anyone not able to read the label with a list of the contents?  Then there was the staggering revelation that if a Donut is organic it doesn’t mean it’s healthy (sic).    

 

Almost quivering with excitement the program makers had seized upon a report by JP Morgan (boo hiss) to the food industry that government regulation may damage them and that if they were able to take action to prevent that it would be a good thing.  But guess what? Those evil swine in Cadburys did not shift from chocolate to lentil bars ~ oh no.  They continued to sell chocolate and offered some sport equipment if you collected wrappers.  Then they interviewed another woman in a regulatory capacity of some sort (therefore good and the source of all things holy and virtuous) who explained that you need to buy really rather a lot of chocolate to get the free equipment.

 

Well obviously.  The equipment is an additional cost to the company but the Beeb decided to suggest that ‘a person’ would need to eat about forty quids worth of chocolate to get a netball.  No-one thought to say that if a class of kids ate say one chocolate bar a week and simply kept the wrappers then handed them in to the teacher instead of littering, they would have plenty of additional sports stuff double quick.  They gave the regulatory type, an almost uninterrupted bit to camera with patsy type questions for about five minutes before printing two lines of Cadburys reply which was on screen for a few seconds. 

 

Well at this point I could stand no more, but if I may, the food industry, advertising, evil men (etc ad nauseum) do not make me or you fat.  We do by eating and drinking too much.  This is a free choice and it’s far better to have it than be a slim and healthy eastern European shivering in a queue for government bread or a starving North Korean slave.  I am given to understand thhose unfortunates are about five inches shorter on average than their South Korean neighbours due to malnutrition.  Now that is truly evil, not some guy freely selling chocolate bars.     

 

Ayn Rand said “The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap” Sounds about right to me. 

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