Archive for May, 2013


How to Cook Lunch

Should look like this… Mine doesn’t! image: Deelish recipes

Step 1 :: Open a bottle of wine, preferably a good Riesling. Allow it to breathe, if the wine is not breathing, give the bottle mouth-to-mouth.

Step 2 :: Sample the wine to check the quality. If you aren’t sure, have a second glass to confirm.

Step 3 :: Chop half a big onion and some garlic into the pan with some dripping. Don’t be a wuss and use butter like a housewife, dripping preferably used because it has a myriad of flavours. Besides, it saves chucking it out.

Step 4 :: Check that the wine is still breathing.

Step 5 :: Grab the cat food out of the fridge. It was far too much for him to eat anyway. Leave enough cat food to appease him after lunch, he won’t feel so bad, and it’s less painful. Add mincemeat to the onions and garlic in the pan.

Step 6 :: Chuck in some parsley, thyme and a stock cube.

Step 7 :: Change wine glass for beer mug, wine glass was too small.

Step 8 :: If there is enough wine left, add a healthy splash, then splash in some more. Add sliced mushrooms. Add soy sauce, otherwise the end product looks insipid, needs the colour. Simmer until the wine is nearly gone.

Step 9 :: Add a box of fresh cream…. Hahahaha LOL, fresh cream in a box…

Stir in the cream, serve on hot buttered toast, wash down with remaining wine. If you were stupid enough to drink and cook with ALL the wine, open another bloody bottle – Like I’m doing.

Warning to American readers – Don’t, I repeat don’t be a total dork and put ketchup on it!

You can get the real recipe (mine was modified for expediency) from Deelish Recipes

You will note that the above recipe doesn’t deal with quanities. A real cook doesn’t need them. If you need them, I would respectfully suggest that you get out of the kitchen.

The time frame for this lunch… as long as it took me to write this!

No cats were hurt in the process.

Done a Bunk

Mean green leaf eating machine

My Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine has done a bunk. He’s AWOL. I have just spent the best part of the last hour scrutinising the other guava plants in my garden with an intense ‘scrute’, but he remains on the MIA list. I last saw him yesterday afternoon; he was on duty devastating yet another branch like any responsible MGLEM and now ‘poof!’ he’s gone quicker than a magicians rabbit.

I suspect his gluttony has got the better of him and he’s gone into hiding for his chrysalis stage, but where? I want to see him do it. Maybe MGLEMs like to do it in private, rather like a teenager in the bathroom.

My experimental chilling of my nuts last night was a success, cold nuts and cold beer what a great combination for watching football, even if Paraguay did win 2-1. I heartily recommend you chill your nuts.

I have been watching a few ads on TV lately and two things have pissed me off. Firstly, the car ads, they all show you how to wreck a car or drive dangerously in true macho style. With the rising death tolls in every country despite laws that are designed to lower the deaths on our roads, I find this extremely irresponsible of the car manufacturers. All the driver education programmes around the globe are undermined by TV advertising.

Just take a look at this ad, banned in Australia, teaching your kids to run away, break the law…

Secondly, brainwashing ads for Easter eggs; when Easter is over, brainwashing ads for Mother’s Day; when Mother’s Day is over, brainwashing ads for Valentines Day… the shit never ends.

Well, after my day off on Tuesday, my students cancelled yesterday, today is Corpus Christi, tomorrow is Friday… I have a one-day work week and a six-day weekend.

Started off well this morning, the quintessential coffee, the dishes, then a traditional Kiwi mince on hot buttered toast for breakfast.

Must blog along… Only had a rant on Genes about rosaries and ovaries so far and it’s nearly lunchtime.

Later.

Chilled Nuts

chillednuts

Chilled nuts

Have you ever chilled your nuts?

You chill beer before drinking, you chill white wine, why not chill your nuts?

I am experimenting with that tonight.

I have a bottle of malt beer that I found in the supermarket today in the fridge, and I have my nuts in the freezer.

All set for the football (soccer for our American cousins) game tonight; Olímpia from Paraguay and Fluminense from Brazil. I’m not a Fluminense fan, but when it comes to international matches, I root for the Brazilian team.

I pondered the possibilities of an empty fridge yesterday, and headed off to the supermarket. As luck would have it a taxi rounded the corner at the same time as I did.

“Brazeiro!” I said to the driver. That was 2pm, we were at the restaurant quickly, I would still have been walking to get transport to the supermarket. A much better idea.

Four hours later, I arrived home. Now that was a good lunch.

Football is due to start.

Be back tomorrow.

 

Day Off

dayoffcalendarYes, today is a day off.

While having days off is pleasant, one doesn’t earn enough to ensure that the beer money jar is always full.

My day off is due to the fact that my student broke her hand while on holiday and has been off work for more than a month. As she lives a long way away, it’s not possible to get to class. Hopefully she returns next week.

The other niggling factor is this week already has a public holiday on Thursday for Corpus Christi.

Finca Terranostra Riesling 2011

Finca Terranostra Riesling 2011

My plans involve cogitating, and a high possibility of a bottle of wine being sacrificed in the process. I have chosen an Argentine Riesling from FincaTerranostra in Mendoza.

Can you believe that google doesn’t have a piccy of this wine. So I took one. You can tell by the shitty quality it’s my photo, I hope the wine is a better quality. I tried to get the bottle upright, but failed, so you have a ‘Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa’ effect.

My demon feline (Lixo) watched the process with interest. I could almost hear him laughing as I slowly got up. “That’ll teach you to sit on the floor!” I don’t often get down to floor level, in fact I pretty certain that’s the first time he’s seen me down there.

My mean green leaf eating machine is still eating leaves. I’m sure he’s green, no not the colour, that’s obvious, but he denudes a branch almost totally leaving the leaves at the very end alone.  He poops a lot too, I hope it’s good composting material.

I took a small video clip of him today. Compared with the one I posted on Nature Ramble on Sunday, this is an action movie. The swaying motion is due to the slight breeze, I haven’t hit the turps yet; later.


Now that he’s turned himself upside down, I want to see him turn inside out and become the glorious moth that he’s destined to become.

Could be this…

ahawkmoth1

Or this…

ahawkmoth2

From the images on google these appear to be the most likely options. The caterpillar is not the right colour for a Death’s Head moth, which is also a hawk moth species.

I find the whole process quite fascinating. I feel like an expectant father…

Oh, I measured him, rather than guessing; he’s almost 5″ long, that’s 12.5cm. Bigger than I guessed.

Breakfast this morning resumed ‘normal’. I had marmalade on toast, I don’t always stoop to lowest levels of debauchery like yesterday. But it is fun sometimes, if only to see the reactions of the locals.

The day has been productive, I have blogged on all except Genes.

For those of you with a musical sense of humour I posted something different on Tomus Arcanum yesterday, Music … or Flatulence? It may/may not appeal to those of you with an  earthy sense of humour.

Lunch time, and there’s nothing substantial in the fridge.

Pondering the possibilities.

Later

Debauchery

bellosToscanaYesterday morning’s breakfast at the botequim

Cold roast pork sandwiches, washed down with the remains of the bottle of Italian Bellosguardo Rosso Toscana while nibbling on offered BBQ’d pieces and chicken wings from the BBQ that was in progress.

Does that sound debauched?

I don’t care really about your opinion, it was a rhetorical question after all. My opinion… was yummy!

What a wonderful way to begin a sunny Sunday when there was not a lot else going on.

The fregües (regulars) at the botequim are often bemused by my antics, none the less yesterday. Noises like, “O AV sabe como vivir” (AV knows how to live) and “Ele  não beba vinhos ruins” (He doesn’t drink plonk” were amongst those to be heard.

Of course, I offered them to share my wine, but Brazilians don’t generally drink dry wines, and this was a tart cab sav.

Lixosleeping

Looks so damned innocent, just bit the hand that feeds me…

Lixo bit me. Yes, the first time he has drawn blood. Sitting in the praça on Saturday night, he jumped up on to the bench for a pet, as he is want to do then he lay down and sunk his teeth into my left wrist.

Once I managed to wrest my wrist from the fangs of the demon feline monster, I became the loving devoted father when faced with an errant son and gave him a sound cuff under the ear and went home nursing my ego as much as my bleeding wrist.

After breakfast yesterday, I found an amazing creature. I found a caterpillar. Now normally caterpillars are cutesy things and don’t usually warrant much attention, but this one did. I stood transfixed as this beast gnawed his way through the leaves on my goiaba branca (white guava) tree like a combine harvester.

Mean green leaf eating machine

Apparently he is the caterpillar of one of the many hawk moth species; a fact that google assures me is a high probability.

An amazing 4+inches of green destruction. Big enough that he could have gone on the BBQ grill as a green sausage.

He’s still there this morning gnawing away happily when I put trimmings out on the compost.

I am leaving him to wend his trail of destruction because I am curious, I hope to catch him during his metamorphosis from the Hulk to elegance.

I am also hoping to capture the process on film… Now there’s a point, in the past you ‘captured something on film’ but today there is no film. The last roll of Kodak has come and gone; should we not change that ‘to capture him on a chip’? Do we now ‘SD’ something rather than ‘film’ it?

You see the problem with the language now? The problems that I face being grammar police’? Is ‘capturing something on film’ going to remain with us as one of those linguistic dinosaurs?

Screwed

Screwed!

Problems beset us daily, riddles, enigmas and conundra. Things that cause us to stop and think or worry about. Many of them seem inconsequential, but they all are a part of us, our lives.

Take my comment above, for example. ‘The caterpillar was happily gnawing…’ Do caterpillars really feel ‘happy’ when they are wreaking such havoc? Do caterpillars have emotions? Does he ask stupid questions like man, ‘why am I here?’ There is just so much that you won’t find on Wikipedia.

If we stop thinking we are screwed. If we think about them too much, we are screwed.

It’s Monday, whatever we do today, at some stage we will be screwed.

So much screwing going on, I think it It is time for more coffee.

Later.

Grammar Police

PunctuationsignI posted about the pronunciation of .gif earlier in the week, Gif or Jif, and I was warned that I could be considered a ‘grammar nazi’, I replied that I prefer ‘grammar police’.

I don’t mind being called grammar police, because grammar and punctuation are important. I’m sure that ‘Grandpa’ (r) would agree.

I have also read that the internet is making people stupid. I don’t agree, I believe that people are using the internet to become stupid; a subtle but distinct difference.

My battered shrimp yesterday was a treat.

Well worth the stupendous cost.

The good news is, I can repeat the exercise today, I only used half the shrimp to make a plateful.

I served it with tartare sauce with added crumbled blue vein cheese and a bottle of Italian San Marino white wine, which was finished off watching the UEFA final football match on TV. There wasn’t enough wine to last the whole match, so there was only one recourse… open another bottle, also Italian, but a crudish cab sav.

The sun is out, the day promises to be warmish-hottish. Unlike yesterday which was cloudy and coolish and rainish. I might give me the incentive needed to finishish the cab sav sitting in the praça in the sunnish and watch the world go by.

I’ll leave you with a thought for Sunday…

sleepinternet

Later, I’ll just blog right along.

 

Saturday, at last!

saturdaycoffee

Saturday, coffee and wine glass in the background for later

Well, after a seemingly long day yesterday, I finally changed the battery in the clock. The world began to move again.

Saturday arrived.

I discovered one thing this morning, actually I have discovered it many times, but I was reminded once again of the importance of drinking coffee before the news. I read this headline “Swedish idiots spread beyond the capital!” The I reread it… “Swedish riots…” Oh the folly!

188_Cerveja_Itaipava_Long_Neck_Premium_Pilsen_355_mlToday I don’t have class; my students actually came for a Friday night class so they could drive off into the mountains to Itaipava for the weekend. It’s a place where they bottle water and call it beer.

I call it “Itaipagua!”

The advertising says it’s 100%… yeah, water.

So the day is free of encumbrances. I plan to do nothing, and fully expect the day to be a success.

My ‘nothing’ today will be, do the dishes, so I can make more dishes to do.

I will make mint sauce. I love mint sauce with roast lamb. But as you can’t get decent lamb here, I find it goes well with roast pork; just a little break from tradition  there.

You remember those horrendously expensive shrimps that I got the other day, well I’m going to fry them off in batter, make a tartare sauce and have them with an Italian frizzante wine that is chilling out in the fridge. I know, I said that I would save them for a special occasion, but ooooh the temptation…. Besides, it’s either that or cold roast pork sandwiches; that’s a no contest.

Jerusalem artichokesRemember a few days ago, I said that you waste a day if you don’t learn something new… Well, yesterday I discovered that it is not only cabbage, beans and eggs that make you fart. Apparently Jerusalem artichokes can too.

They are the root of a variety of sunflower.

I didn’t know they existed until I read about them on a blog. They are used to make a liqueur called Topinambour as well. I don’t know if the liqueur makes you fart. Honestly Google is so devoid of information on important issues.

emeraldrockCrack… I have no interest in drugs, but last week on Globo (Brazilian TV channel) they had a series of reports about ‘crack’. Included in the info was that crack had reach the Amazon Indians and creating havoc; but also in a place called Sonho Verde (Green Dream), I think, where the garimpeiros (miners) trade a stone for a stone (an emerald for crack) while underground. Man, that is expensive. But is shows how desperate you get for the drug when you are hooked; and apparently you are hooked from the very first taste.

I’ll stick to my coffee, ciggies, booze and blogging for my fun.

Time to blog along.

Later.

 

 

It’s been 5:30 all day…

saturdayMy wall clock stopped at 5:30am, so whenever I look at the clock it’s 5:30. Horribly disconcerting, because I am no nearer Saturday than I was drinking my first coffee this morning.

To top that, I have just discovered that yesterday’s post didn’t post! It’s still sitting there in ‘draft’… I have no idea what happened.

I have just posted it, so you’re in for two posts today. Oh, you lucky people!

Justice was done, btw. The pork ribs yesterday were just great.

Turned cold again overnight and rained; been cool all day too.

I have just discovered that it is after 3pm, too late to put the roast on for lunch, I’ll have to call it dinner instead. Seasoned pork with crusty cheese on top and roast potatoes of course..

I read today that Richard III was buried in an untidy grave… what did they expect? He’d have a housekeeper? My house would be untidy after centuries too. Wait, it’s untidy after a week, what am I talking about?

Also, Syria is to attend a peace conference… Now that’s a laugh, not for the Syrians though.

gayknot1As from 1st January, the scouts will be happier… well, at least some of them can now be gay.

They probably were anyway, but didn’t tell anybody.

Now the gay ones will want a badge…

I can just see the furore now… non-gay scouts can’t earn the badge!

Then one has to figure out how a gay scout promises to be ‘morally straight’ as required by the scout promise.

I can just imagine the relief of many parents who are aware of their child’s sexual orientation and not entirely comfortable with it. Kid comes home, “It’s okay Mom, I joined the scouts and I promised to be ‘morally straight’.” The Boys Scouts have achieved what the Bible couldn’t.

Pandora’s Box was actually a pithos (large jar) – image: Wikipedia

I say all that tongue-in-cheek, because I have a gay step-son who is now 28. He’s surviving besides the fact that his mother tried to get an evangelical church to bash his gayness out of him with the Bible. Didn’t work.

There’s more cans of worms to open on this, but I leave Pandora’s Box alone for now and go and tend to my roast.

Later.

It’s till 5:30…

I must change the battery and let some sanity back into my day.

baked-pork-dry-rubYup, three big pork ribs and potatoes are roasting in the oven. Rubbed the pork ribs with pepper and salt on one side and lemon zest and juice on the other.

There is this wonderful mouth watering smell permeating through the house.

I will rub them with BBQ sauce and stock soon and let that caramelise a little.

In another half hour it will be lunch time and you won’t see me for flying pork bones.

Yesterday I commented on Pope Francis, and I am going to do so again today after reading this…

Pope Francis says atheists can be good

Just do good, and we’ll find a meeting point, says Francis in marked departure from Benedict’s line on non-Catholics

Read more

Read more

I think it’s more to the point that atheists think that the Pope might do some good.

I mean up until now popes in general have been a lot of old farts so far out of touch with reality (reality = real + silly) trying to maintain the middle ages, they don’t seem to have got the idea that the world has moved on and the church needs to change with it.

BTW, there has been nothing more in the news about that ‘exorcism’ thingy, it seems to have disappeared, not happened.

I went to the supermarket this morning, hence food in the fridge. I saw a pack of lovely big camarão (shrimps). They looked so delicious and just seemed to fall into the shopping cart. Boy, did I get a surprise when the girl ran them over the scanner… R$36. They will be saved for a special occasion with a good bottle of wine.

I went to the supermarket yesterday too; different supermarket and bought some wine and stuff. That was an expensive shop too, but I didn’t buy anything as extravagant as those shrimps.

Oh, here’s my new coffee table in operation.

acoffeetable

Works well.

Must go and do justice to some pork ribs…

Later.

Anything

anythingpossiblecoffeeIt’s true. Given enough coffee I can jump through hoops and perform miracles. I can even get through my day’s blogging relatively unscathed.

Today I was determined that I would not have to put up another ‘apology’ post.

My first post this morning was Change the World Wednesday, on Wednesdays that is always a priority.

So this was me at the keyboard at 6am…

beforecoffee

Not a pretty sight.

So here I am. Now what had I planned for yesterday?

The Pope… Now I am not a religious person, much less a Catholic, but this Pope Francis has almost impressed me; especially as the last one with the poncy red shoes had me calling for the Papacy to be abolished. As an Eggs Benedict, he’s had his day, been a cardinal, he’s got the T-shirt, he should be lining up for the dole like any other unemployed pope. There’s not much call for unemployed popes, you know. Imagine his curriculum vitae… Last post: Pope. Reason for Leaving Employment: Got tired…

Stunned the crowd by producing a pigeon out of thin air - image: BBC

Stunned the crowd by producing a pigeon out of thin air – image: BBC

Back to this Francis person. He’s calling for a change in the paradigm; that’s a bit like pushing shit uphill with a garden fork. Made doubly difficult because he’s calling for a change in the way the world thinks about money. Laudible, but I would imagine that he’d have more luck finding rockinghorse poo. Then he did have luck with that pigeon trick, though, pretty impressive. Then last night on TV I saw a report that disturbed me, was it an exorcism? Many have said yes, just as many have called the idea hogwash. But it was televised, there was no denying that something was going on there.

All those balloons and no air traffic control

All those balloons and no air traffic control

Now that my favourite novela (soap opera) Salve Jorge has finished every Brazilian knows about Cappadocia in Turkey, as a fair bit of the action took place there; and the pretty coloured balloons that give tourists flights over the rocky terrain featured as a filler between many scenes. Two days ago one fell out of the sky killing three Brazilian tourists and putting another seven in hospital.

Google is still stupid. Tells me that Cappadocia is wrong, that it should be cappuccino.

The Brazilian economy is doing great. Well, it would be if you believed Guido Mantega (Brazilian version of American Federal Reserve’s Bernard Bernake). They’re both full of shit. Recovery shit.

Four years ago, when I moved into this neighbourhood, I would buy my nightly beer and ciggies with one of these…

Old design R$10

Old design R$10

…and got R$2 in change.

Now for the same, I hand over one of these…

New design R$20

New design R$20

,,, and get R$4 in change. Now to me that’s 100%, which means that inflation is NOT under control. And the presidenta says Brazil is not being affected by the international financial crisis.

I call bullshit. There is NO recovery.

Time to rattle my dags again, need to fill that beer money jar of yesterday’s post.

Later.

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