Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tall it How it Is

Received a comment via my email sent by someone (and I bet it was a man) who really let me know what he/she thought about my blog. Not quite sure where the comment is shown on this site for it was sent through the 'Taken for Granted' (title) published in October of last year (nearly all of this dealing with 'interesting things' from the trade mag).
He/she said I should take a look at his/her site, and although I tried and the page came up, it got 'stuck' and I couldn't move it to read on, despite having several tries. In any case, the site looked like an advert for a tea producer. The name (in blue) that I clicked on was flowering teas, and another name came up '', so you may wish to try and see if there was anything I said that could have rattled his/her cage.

As the comment is now 'lost', no need for me to even give it a mention, but need to be fair and maybe what was said it quite true. You tell me. Here is what was said:
"expected your site to be interesting, but it wasn't, whining about something that you can fix if you want, and too busy seeking attention!"

It is true, I often do 'have a moan' and this could be construed as 'whining' (one of the reasons I think the comment was sent by a man as if a woman asks twice it is 'nagging', if complaining about her lot this is then 'whining'). A girl seeking attention is only useful to a man if the girl is his 'arm candy', after marriage it has to be the other way round .

In some ways it can also be true that I could fix things I 'moan' about (like yesterday - instead of 'whining' about B eating my share of supper I could have taken mine before he started). But5 the bit about 'seeking attention', certainly I didn't expect that. Anyone who writes a blog is hoping that it will receive attention, but not personally. If I wanted personal attention I would be taking up all the (many) offers that I now constantly get to go down to London and meet celebrity chefs etc. Or I could offer to go on Superscrimpers (but haven't). Me, I prefer to remain behind closed doors and just share my (hopefully) useful hints and tips. As to the 'whining', if I did 'fix' things (instead of complaining all the time) there wouldn't me much of the Goode life worth writing about.

Today did not start too well. I was sitting in the kitchen drinking my mug of coffee and taking my pills, and B wandered in and suddenly I heard a loud tapping noise. Eventually discovered this was water dripping onto a plastic bag in a bowl on the floor (we collect the plastic in the bowl to take to the tip). Something was causing a leak in the upstairs apartment. We phoned them and the man came down to investigate. The leaking had stopped but a damp patch had appeared on the ceiling a few feet away from the drip and this was slowing spreading. Seems it could either be a blocked shower outlet or - more likely - a leaking pipe from their central heating boiler.
It didn't really bother us (more their problem than ours) other than it might affect our electric lighting in the kitchen ceiling (but we are not using that at the moment being summer - we have over the unit lights that give enough light when needed). Of course, this always happens at a weekend, so it could be next week before sorted, thank goodness it is not next Bank Holiday (Jubilee) weekend.

The good thing is that (so far) there are no leaks over the kitchen table, for this week I'll be doing a lot of cooking for two Jubilee street parties, and need space to cook and the table to prepare.

As you say Sarina, positive thinking can also be a healer, and certainly have found am able to cope with my aching back more 'comfortably' when in a good frame of mind. Did not have too good a night again last night, but mainly because it was a bit too warm for the duvet (which ended up on the floor). Am assuming yesterday was hot (it was wall to wall sunshine all day) but we had quite a strong wind blowing, so decided not to sit outside (I really dislike wind). Possibly might do today.

Watched another half-hour of Man v Food yesterday Lisa, this time from Indianapolis, the presenter manfully trying to eat four MASSIVE beefburgers (each the size of a dinner plate) with the usual salad and burger bun (can't remember if there were chips as well), total weight of burgers being 6lb. He only managed two and a half.
Certainly can believe that those 'burnt ends' are worth eating. Our beef brisket is normally sold rolled and tied, but the brisket on the programme appeared to be cooked 'flat'. Really must give that method of cooking/glazing a try for it really did look mouthwatering.

If people really love that 'cream gravy' Lisa, then maybe I missed something. A mixture of equal quantities of cream and soy oil really don't sound that appetising, and even when boiled down to a thick sauce, it is only the water in the cream that evaporates, the oil still remains. Having said that, my B always like what he calls 'greasy foods' perhaps would enjoy it.
During yesterday's prog, the presenter kept calling the customers 'hoosies', so would appreciate you letting me know what this word means.

Pleased you got to see the Olympic Flame procession Alison. There has been a lot of complaints about it due to the fact that in many places the 'flame' is carried in a van (or something) and not by a person jogging along. Makes sense in the open countryside where there would be no folk to watch, but do think that when travelling through all built-up areas someone should be 'out there' carrying the torch. Sounds as though you were in the right place at the right time.

Am not surprised that your OH was not aware he was eating a vegetarian substitute instead of 'real' meat Jane. Quorn products (and other veggie ones) can be quite good, especially when made into a spicy dish (such as curry or chilli con carne). My only beef about this (no pun intended) is that the veggie substitutes are usually as expensive as the 'real' meat. If it could be sold for a lower price then think many would change to using a meat substitute.
Certainly I now add a pack of 'Beanfeast' chilli con carne (or spag.bol) when making the dish, as this means I can use less minced meat. Only a small amount of 'real' meat needs to be used as this being less tender than TVP, having that little bit of 'chew' with each mouthful fools the person eating into believing it is all meat.

Yesterday felt a bit mean after I'd written my blog as I was 'whining' again about the water-bath method of cooking. Think that what bugs me is the seeming need for all new ways of cooking. We have the sous-vide (which may or may not be worth-while), and most cookery mags are chatting/promoting/advertising 'molecular' cookery (a way to make something like tiny 'jelly balls' et al). Some weeks ago on a Great British Menu a chef was endeavouring to make 'smoke' to serve with his dish. And the (no doubt very expensive) machine just wouldn't work. Without the smoke the dish would be a failure (as if!). The daft thing was, it turned out the machine wouldn't work because the chef had forgotten to switch it on!!! But who needs a machine to make smoke, me I just burn a bit of toast.

New culinary 'gadgets' and 'appliances' are rarely worth their money. Fun to play with but not fitting into a 'cost-cutting' lifestyle. Even the basic microwave - useful though it can be for defrosting, baking a speedy spud, or making custard/lemon curd... does not make such good cakes as those baked in the oven. Perhaps now why many microwaves also incorporate a 'roasting' element - getting the best of both worlds.
If an enterprising manufacturer could make a slow-cooker where the temperature could be reduced down even further to 'water-bath' level, then that would make more sense. If the temperature in the same cooker could also be raised much higher, then we could use it for deep-fat frying. An all-in-one cooking 'appliance' that then serves every purpose. Buying a separate one for each form of cooking can work out very expensive indeed, and also need extra space for storage.

Mind you, I do get tempted by all the different cooking gadgets/appliances on sale. I'd love to own them all, but have to consider my purse. Some people do own many, and yet end up never using them. A friend of mine has several, still in the packaging they came in. Admittedly not bought by herself, but given as gifts from her family. Still, having one of the top of the range Kenwood Chef's should be an encouragement to use it. "Can't be bothered with all that cleaning after use" was the excuse, and coming from someone who lives on M & S ready meals and does not have anything on view in her very expensive new kitchen (with glass topped table imported from Italy) other than a toaster and coffee percolator, perhaps this throws some light on her attitude to 'home-cooking' (this being if she can afford not to, why bother?).

Again - trying to be fair - the above friend does sometime 'have a go' at cooking and remember the time she decided to make 'proper' gravy the professional way by first roasting beef bones. Think that anyone who has tried this will agree this is not the quickest way to make gravy and probably best left for chefs and their minions to make in bulk. Throwing ourselves in the deep end of the culinary pool when we haven't even learned to swim is not the best way to keep afloat, and no wonder that many people even now believe that home-cooking is far from simple. Without experience a cooking 'swimathon' - making something that even I would rarely wish to attempt - would be almost doomed from the start. But this doesn't mean to say that ALL cooking is difficult. Everything is 'difficult' until we have learned how, and preferably at snail's pace to allow important things to sink in. Perhaps swimming and sinking should not be mentioned in the same breath, but think by now you will have got the gist of what I'm trying to say.

'Upstairs' has just phoned, and a plumber will be coming this morning to see what is causing the problem. Just went into the kitchen to see if anything else had happened, and the long wet patch has suddenly taken a right-angled turn and is now heading towards the centre of our property. Such fun! With us being 'below stairs' (this puts me in my place as a true Mrs Bridges happily cooking her socks of in the servant's quarters) the leak is not our problem.

As have quite a bit more 'kitchen work' to do today, also must get the washing hung in the garden (not allowed to hang out laundry on a Sunday), plus the usual 'plant-care' in the conservatory, must now get a wriggle on and leave you until tomorrow. See you then.