Thursday, November 08, 2012

Short and Sweet

Very short blog this morning as forgot to mention I've an early surgery appointment this morning  to get the results of last week's blood check.  From there we might drive elsewhere, so need to get a few words written now or there won't be time for any 'chat' today.

One comment from Scarlet (thanks for that), who was saying how over 3 billion (dollars?) was spent on electioneering but TWICE that on costumes and gifts for Halloween.  Over here it seems we had the same spend, spend, spend with our Halloween and Bonfire night.   Perhaps we feel we should keep spending lotsa money to keep the kiddies happy?

A nation's economy seems to fluctuate according to our personal spending.  We are encouraged to 'keep buying' so that industries can stay afloat, but when prices rise for one reason or another (as in our current recession) and wages do not, than money earned has to be kept for only the 'essentials'.  More and more of our High Street shops are closing down, the most recent being 'Comet' that is (I believe) now in administration and seeking a new owner.

If we don't get better wages to give us what they call 'disposable money' once the bills have been paid, then it is a death knell for many of our industries, and unlikely many (or any) of them will rise from the ashes.  A real Catch 22 situation. 

Personally I feel we didn't do ourselves any favours when we went into the EU (the European parliament (?) that take our money then tells us what we are then not allowed to do).  Family firms that had been going - and successfully - for centuries had to close down because their equipment had to be changed under the new rulings, and they couldn't afford to do this.  People from all over Europe (who don't mind our cheaper wages because they earn less in their own country) can now come to work here, and this is fine for the employers (giving them more profits), but not for our own people when there isn't enough work to go round.

My (again personal) gripe is that we have now had to change to the metrics when it comes to cooking. I've grudgingly accepted decimal currency (even though that did increase many prices over the board when it was first introduced), but still prefer to work in lbs and oz when it comes to cooking. For one thing youngsters can now never make head nor tail of the recipes in old cookery books (that are often wonderfully economic) because all measurements are imperial.
But that's progress I suppose.  At least they've still allowed us to drive on the left and keep our miles.

Suppose we have to remember that while we 'cost-cutters' are happily making crackers using the cardboard inners from loo rolls, and ironing out wrapping paper to use again and again, even making our own Christmas cards, each thing we make means one less sold, and does that help industry?  In some ways it might, we do have to buy plain card to decorate, still have to buy loo rolls, and there is cheap wrapping paper for our crackers and gifts.

This reminds me.  I was sorting out my box of 'keepsakes' yesterday (items that might have a further use) and came across a stack of brown paper, neatly folded.  This had come some months previously with an order delivered from Lakeland - they use it for packing.  The paper is perforated so can evenly be torn, and strong enough to use as wrapping or to glue sides/ends together to make envelopes. I also save any cardboard boxes in which that a baking tray (or similar) was packed.  If it opens at one end (usually does) I then prise open where it is glued (usually at one side), and open it out flat, then re-fold and glue so it opens at the top, like a flat shallow box.  The printed side could first have gift wrapping glued onto it so that once made into box form again it makes a good holder for a gift/sweets/cup-cakes etc.   You won't believe how useful these pre-formed boxes were for holding the canapes, shallow enough for singles layers, large enough to hold loads, and strong enough so that one could stand on top of another for delivery.  Everything arrived in perfect condition.
They have been returned to use again.

The Chinese takeaway is shut until the 14th, so with Norma the Hair being here at almost supper time, B said he'd get his own supper (scrambled eggs on toast - then snacked on other things later).  I had a pack of seasticks that B had brought in - these slightly different as flavoured with tomato and basil.  I noticed there was a fold on each, and I unfolded the sea stick ending up with a thin layer of 'fish' on which was spread some tomato paste and a sprinkling of basil.   Preferred the normal seasticks, but the unfolded stick gave me food for thought as I might be able to use this 'lasagne sheet' of seastick to wrap around something else at party time.   The ordinary sticks don't unfold, these seem to be just strips of fish stacked together lengthways.

Tonight's supper for B will probably be liver, bacon, cabbage and potatoes.  One of his favourites.  I also want to have a go at making some 'cinder toffee' as demonstrated on Masterchef last night (they gave it a different name I think).  If I make some ice-cream then some of that can be sprinkled on top.  I might even make some small chocolate desserts and different toppings with the 'toffee' as the ones made by the competitive chefs looked fun to do.

Anyway time is up for today, not such a short blog after all, but then didn't have recipes to write out.  Maybe some of these will appear tomorrow.  Have to wait and see.
Hope you all have a good day, and hope you'll be back again to continue our 'chat' tomorrow.  If so, see you then.