Coffee Machine’s Busted

And I am not all that unhappy.

Not that the loss of a domestic appliance is a good thing – particularly as I am a  person who likes the coffee that came out of it, and have several boxes of pods orphaned by the loss. ( Note I recycle the pods in accordance with the latest virtue-signalling on Facebook and produce pure oxygen and small kittens…)

The repairman charged for his time and diagnosis – which I understand completely. The prognosis was poor – the entire brewing unit would need replacing at $ 249. This is more expensive than many of the new coffee makers available in electrical stores – and they come with the correct warranties and even some cash-backs.

So it looks as though my Christmas is sorted. I should have liked liquor or model airplanes, but I realise that some things – like coffee – are essentials in modern life. I can Nescafé it the rest of the day, but after dinner is more serious.

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How Many For Dinner?

A simple question, but there is room for pain and suffering between every word.

a. ” Don’t know “. Shall I cook for four or one? Because it does make a difference in the amount of ingredients committed to the pan.

b. ” I’ll be working late”. Well that means you’ll either be eating late or elsewhere or not at all. Shall I cook a soup that can set or a quiche that will not?

c. “I’ll let you know “. If I am going to cook something slow, complex, or hazardous, tell me early in the piece. If you wait until 5:30 for 6:00 you will be getting scrambled eggs on toast. If you tell me at 6:00 neither the eggs nor the toast will be cooked…

d. ” We were going out but we changed our mind “. Oh good. Let me do the mathematics of dividing a two-person dinner, perfectly cooked, into a four-person snack.

e. ” I brought people home “. Good – you divide your guests into the ones who are to be eaten and the ones who get to eat. Let me know and I’ll stoke the oven.

f. ” I decided that I am not hungry “. The leftover pot grows fatter.

Sure Sell Products For A New Age

We are bombarded these days with every sort of advertisement for goods on this internet connection. While I do not have anything to sell, I can still have the fun of exasperating you. Thus the new range of products from BGA Foods:

a. The Incontinental Roll.

The spicy lunch wrap with pepperoni, csaba, jalapenos, and castor oil. This one-handed treat will get the most sluggish constitution up and dancing for days. Not recommended for those who are slow on their legs or far from a convenience.

b. Rice A Roo.

Now you can combine Asian with Australian in a new way. It’s flat, it’s chewy, it’s packed with substances. Swallow quickly. Bewdy. Bonza. Mate.

c. The Detra Mint.

Not all confectionary has to be good for you. Go back to the good old days when Victorians warned their children not to eat sweets for a very good reason. The Detra Mint may seem dangerous to some but think of the good that you’ll be doing for the environment. If everyone buys just one roll of Detra Mints a week we’ll be able to clean up Wittenoom, Marralinga, and the drainage systems of most RAAF air bases. That’s got to be patriotic.

d. O’Shaughnessy’s Rubber Chicken

Now we’ve all attended civic affairs that involved a luncheon and 90% of the time the meal served has included some chicken dish with a sauce. And none of it is ever eaten.

O’Shaunessy’s Rubber Chicken is the civic caterer’s opportunity to help the environment and cut costs dramatically. It is a tasteless, odourless substitute substance that replicates the feel and flavour of catering chicken. But it is entirely washable and re-useable after the plates are returned to the kitchen. A quick rinse, a boil-up for 5 minutes, and O’SRC is ready for duty under whatever sauce is next. Even pieces that have been inadvertently chewed – by people with bad eyesight, for instance – self-heal in the boiler and are just as appetizing as before.

No commercial chef in civic service should be without a bale of this useful material.

e. Debt By Chocolate

The advent of the ultra-expensive European chocolatier boutique designer snobhaven sweet shop has opened the way for the BGA venture. No longer do you need to have actual money to buy your $ 56 Praline Surprise ( so named when you get out in the street and find that your fillings hurt…) nor do you need to endure the sneers of Trained Backpackers when you cannot pronounce the name of the jelly babies. We give credit.

Now a true-blue Australian shop can deliver diabetes in little bags. We have taken over Darrel Lea, Haigh’s, Hoadley’s and Cadbury and combined the whole of their production lines into one chocolate-type bar. It is durable, portable, and can be used as a substtute for a star picket if you live in one of “ those “ suburbs. Chew it at your peril.

 

Strong Drink, Red Meat, And Immodest Laughter

I am a person of my times. But my times may not be right now. I am brought to this conclusion when I read the social media posts that would nag me away from a steak, a glass of whiskey, or a Catskill comedian.

Fortunately I live in a country that will still allow me my choices in nutrition, drink, and comedy. We have not yet had our life’s spectrum changed to shades of grey, pink, or green. We can still cheer for red, white, and blue.

My table is a private one – the comforting centre of a family’s meals. We see meat, red and white, on it regularly. If I am the cook, it is presented as well as I can manage, and I like to think that it has a great deal of comfort. In any case, the plates come to the washing-up sink pretty clean. I’d be happy if I didn’t have to shepherd hem through after that point, but that’s another story…I need not read how sinful I am for feeding my family…

Drink? I rarely rage through the suburb blind drunk and howling. Not that I don’t want to, mind, but the price of liquor these days means the best I can manage is occasionally standing in the front yard naked and singing. The neighbours have stopped watching.

As far as comedy goes, I am a throwback to the days of Wayne and Schuster, Burns and Allen, and Red Skelton. I want my jokes clean. I can mentally supply all the dirty words and political bias needed to spice them up, so the person delivering the comedy can leave them off.

This Site Uses Cookies

They are used to keep the inner weblog columnist quiet long enough to get a post out. Otherwise it is whinge, moan, and whine all morning long.

Cups of coffee are also used as are cartoons and shots of liquor. Anything to make the news feed from Facebook or the quasi – left press on public radio acceptable. It has gotten a little easier in the last few years as retirement kicked in – no morning or afternoon commutes to inflame the soul – but there are still days that practically beg for a rifle and a water tower.

The preferred cookie is the Arnotts Venetian Biscuit or the Triple Choc Overload. Once the commercial bakers perfect the Quadruple Choc Overload the Triple will be relegated to history. There are technical difficulties – once you get past a certain percentage of chocolate in a biscuit you can’t get it out of the packet in cold weather. Not that it stops the dedicated – we’ve all eaten packaging in our time.

Tim Tams are the belly dancer biscuit. They can be induced to do nearly anything except quieten down with a pack of Tim Tams. Mind you, it’s considered bad sportsmanship to bait a three-gang hook with chocolate biscuits and then go trolling on stage at the dance shows. It looks bad when you are gaffing tribal dancers into the wings…

Home-made cookies, slices, and biscuits are, of course, generally preferred to the commercial offerings. But in the last decade it has become somewhat of a lottery – you never can tell when you’ll encounter the gluten-free, lactose-free, politically correct biscuit. And unless you are prepared for them with a hammer or a crucifix, they can be a frightening sight. It is generally best to approach a plate of new-age biscuits wearing a rubber lab apron and welding mask.

A final note for the people who wish to be superior. I read recently a sneering comment made by someone about commercial cheesecake and how horrible it was meant to be. Having eaten my share of cakes from the very shop that was being disparaged, I can say that the Facebook detractor is being precious. Cake is cake, and if you take it in small doses, frequently, and with adequate coffee, it is a wonderful thing. Commerce is not crime and neither is mudcake.

How Good Are Leftovers?

As a child I hated leftovers…I accused my mother of buying them fresh frozen so that she could serve them every night. There I was…complaining about being fed so well that there was enough food for the next night as well…Yes, you can snort in derision.

Now I treasure them – as much for the time-saving of having a good meal that is 5 minutes away from hot on the table – as for the taste. The taste that in most cases gets better for a night in the fridge. I am talking spaghetti Bolognese, Texican beans, home-made Eternity soup*, casseroles, etc. I’ve even evolved a means for heating and serving day-old fish and chips that makes them good.

And I appreciate the savings of the thing. Part of my brain knows that I have paid for it all, but part of me pretends that the second night is free food. It is certainly better economics than if it were scraped into the recycling bin after the first meal.

I’m a bin. Scrape it into me.

I do not appreciate this approach when out for a commercial dinner or at some resort or conference. I’ve seen the recycling caterers at work at a big Eastern States do and learned not to approach the canapé tray after the first night – indeed not to approach the scrambled eggs on the breakfast buffet. If you want an egg, get it poached fresh.

But here at home, we do not let our food go over the ” Best By ” date by over 6 months. I regularly scrape and wash the cheese to get the green off. Also the bread. The old trick of calling it ” Dad’s fairy bread ” stopped working after the kids started vomiting.

I have been accused in turn by my daughter of overcatering in some things…oh, the irony. But I notice the L/O lasagna, spaghetti, beans, and Chinese food seems to disappear on a regular basis. So I am still going to play the kitchen by my own rules.

*  No soup ever really finishes or starts – there are elements of the things that have carried over several years – in and out of the freezer. No-one has died from soup yet.

 

Which Is The Organ Of Truth?

And anyone who says ” Wurlitzer ” can leave the room.

No, which of our various parts can be said to be the best suited to determine truth or falsehood.? It’s a good question in an age riddled with fake news, click bait, and product-placement advertising. Here, hold my can of Valley Dew ™ sparkling pea-flavoured, famous throughout the world, beverage and I’ll type out the answer…

Is it the eyes? No, they are transparent structures – designed only to pass information in bulk as it is encountered. They make no judgements, being equally prepared to look at men, women, or Justin Trudeau. You can slip anything past the eyes.

Is it the ears? No again. The ears pick up anything within range – though there is the saving grace that they wear out faster than the eyes. The frequencies of sound that pass through them may stay the same but as people age, they are unable to hear the higher ones. If the makers of pop music and rap could be persuaded to raise their voices three octaves, we oldies would find the world a better place. We are prepared to help them to do this with a pair of bolt cutters.

Is it the sense of touch? Possibly – we can tell a rough surface from a smooth one for the most part, though again as you get older things become much the same. And as you become older, your opportunities to touch soft things diminish. A lot of us have to make do with cardboard cutouts of famous aviators and bagpipe salespeople.

Is it the sense of taste? Taste? That thing with the tongue? Have you ever tried some of the concoctions that a modern cocktail bar serves out? Raspberry Cointreau Rutabaga Surprise? I have no idea whether there was more surprise on the part of myself or the rutabaga. And who would willingly taste a modern politician? Apart, of course, from a White House intern…Ptui…

No, children, the organ of truth is the nose. When something you read, see, hear, or touch has an odour about it…whether it be an odour of fish, horse manure, or sanctity…it is false. Your nose does not lie – it can pick one molecule of rancid oil out of a million clean ones and the same with thoughts. If it stinks, it’s rotten.

Can you smell something? Is it my can of Valley Dew™?