CAKE!

Feb. 8th, 2011 08:03 pm
sparkindarkness: (STD)

So Eccentric Friend, haven watched me bake many many a cake and then helped me eat them all, has announced that she can bake too (oh we doubt! Doubt!) and she would bring us a cake she has made with her OWN HANDS!

EF: BEHOLD my magnificent cake (and the boobies)

Sparky: *doubting face*

Beloved: Wooooo impressive.

EF: Made with my very own hands! All Saturday I as chained to the oven

Sparky: *big doubty face*

Beloved: I bet it’s delicious

EF: The toil of my own kitchen!

Sparky: *MAJOR CYNIC FACE*

EF: Do you have something to add Sparky? *danger voice*

Sparky:  Oh it looks lovely. Probably worth every penny.

Beloved: Uh-oh *hides*

EF: Oh you did, You went there! You are accusing me of BUYING cake and passing it off as my own superb cooking?

Sparky: I’m sure you make exceedingly good cakes, Ms. Kipling

EF: OOOOH! OOOH! Back it up or back down mister!

Sparky: Ok, my case.

1) You baked it on Saturday and it’s still fresh. This cake has preservatives in it

2) I have seen you assault cheese with a cheese grater. You did not elegantly place those chocolate curls. You did not.

3) This cake is perfectly symmetrical. Perfectly. This is factory made

4) It has that horrible “consistency of frozen semen” alleged cream you get on factory made cakes. It’s not whipped cream, clotted cream or butter cream. It is an offence to the very concept of cream

5) Also, it’s on a little plastic tray that you haven’t removed from the box.

6) It has a barcode.

EF: What barcode? Barcode?! Where?

Sparky: Gotcha. Now why would you be looking for a barcode?

EF: *pouts* See, see, this is why people hate lawyers. You’re always so insufferably right and have to completely demolish everyone.

Beloved: Try being married to him

Sparky: And yet you still haven’t learned how pointless it is to disagree with me?

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Which means a new word for a new concept is needed

In the past he has brought us the concept of “oh he is so sweet, I love him so much” combined with “I am going to stab him in the face until he stops moving”

And now we have the “awww he’s so sweet, I love him so much” combined with “oh gods, save me from this, PLEASE!!!”

Does it say something that his “aww he’s so sweet” moments coincide with the urge to commit violence?

But yes, he has baked me a lovely, custardy desert according to one of my own recipes. Now when I make it it’s something like this:

Toasted, crunchy biscuit crumb based (from home made biscuits of course)

Sliced, dry, crunchy, lemony flavoured apples

Vanilla custard top with just a little nutmeg.

And it is yummy. It’s fresh and has 2 kinds of crunchy topped with smooth and light and sweet and rich.

When Beloved makes it:

Soggy mushy that used to be biscuits who must have sinned mightily in their previous lives to be subjected to this hell.

Wet, mushy apples, hardly chopped, still loosely connected by the skin that has been LEFT On so it can tangle and stick in your teeth

Scrambled eggs. Scrambled vanilla, sugar eggs. Forming yet more mushiness and a kind of texture that makes you think you are sucking on brains. Yes, exactly that texture. It’s the first custard that automatically triggers the gag reflex. The whole body says “hell NO that is NOT being swallowed” {Insert obligatory swallowing innuendo here}

It is in the fridge now. It is crying because nobody wants it. It is a sad and lonely custard. It is acquiring grief to make it even more revolting and depressing than it originally was. If depression was a food? It would be this custard. It is the essence of tears and wasted promise.

Beloved believes it is fine.

Beloved is delusional.

Beloved is not allowed back in the kitchen to use anything other than the kettle, the coffee machine and the microwave.

Maybe just the kettle.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

I had to send the letter, I just had to

Dear sir/madam

I am not normally given to complain about restaurants, normally preferring to simply avoid them when they are poor and advise friends and family to avoid them (or to recommend them to people I don’t like very much).

In this case I have to make an exception – partially because I have no enemies I loathe sufficiently to inflict your establishment on (and I if I did, I am sure I would be subject to UN resolutions condemning me for such cruelty) and partly because I am almost impressed at how awful your restaurant is. In a way, this is a letter of congratulations, because I am truly in awe at the depths you plumbed.

To begin – the evening took place in a large pavilion. While I realise that, by the quality of the meal, you kitchen staff may regularly indulge in potent hallucinogens and may actually believe it was a balmy night on a Caribbean island or even a warm, bright August noon. Sadly, neither was true. It was late October, it was after 8:00pm, it was in Yorkshire and it most certainly was freezing.

You must have been grossly disappointed that, despite your best efforts, none of your guests succumbed to hypothermia in your unheated, amateur wind-tunnel (I would call it drasfty, but I think winds of that strength are less “drafts” and more “severe weather warnings”) as I’m sure harvesting their bodies for meat would have provided a much cheaper option and would likely be far tastier than the charcoal briquettes and shoe leather you are currently using.

Which brings us to what, for want of a better word, I will refer to the food.

In the past I have gone to restaurants and thought “I could cook a better meal than this” however you have the dubious honour of being the first establishment that made me think my cat could do a better job. I would criticise your chef, but I feel that even implying the drunken baboon you have chained in the kitchen is in any way a chef would be the worst possible insult to the culinary profession.

The starter instilled us with a false sense of hope, for though it was appalling, it did not adequately warn us as to how bad things would get – clearly you were luring us in and unwilling to send us screaming into the night so early in the evening. My husband had a soup so thin and so heavily chilled that it was impossible to tell the difference between it and a bowl of ice water. We, rather charitably put this down to the distance between the kitchen and the pavillion (tell me, did you employ an architect to calculate the furthers possibly point from the kitchen before setting up the tent, or was that just luck?)

I had what was alleged to be garlic mushrooms. I do not know, not having the chance to actually eat one since my fork was unable to penetrate through the nigh miraculously impervious batter each was coated in. I wonder if you’d consider a military contract? This could be the armour of the future. You should still find some of them in the corners of the tent where they bounced after my cutlery rebounded.

But the star was truly the roast dinner that was presented as the main course.
I am going to generously take your word for it that the meat was beef (because nothing short of a forensic examination would acertain what meat that sad lump was) and I further applaud you for honouring poor Ermintrude’s last wish and ensuring her body was cremated. What food group does ash fall into anyway?

I also must compliment your courage. This is Yorkshire. Yorkshire, home of the Yorkshire pudding. And you dared to attach that name to the solid hunks of batter you served us? They didn’t cut, they shattered into a thousand brittle shards. They should have come with a warning and eye protection. Even now, the unquiet ghosts of generations of grandmothers are seeking you out for this dreadful sin – I suggest investing in a priest or at least some Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings to appease them.

And the vegetables? I didn’t even try to eat them, though the smell emanating from them suggested someone already had. Were these grown in a garden or extracted from Ermintrude’s stomach post-mortem? We have a compost heap at home, I can honestly say I’d rather tuck into that mass of rotting vegetation than lay so much as a fork on the stinking mass of unidentifiable greenery

But a prize has to go to the gravy. I still wake up at night thinking of that gravy, shaking and weeping inconsolably. It was cold, it was congealed, it was seperating into various sickly shaded liquids that, thankfully, the low lighting prevented me from seeing in any great detail. Great claggy lumps lurked within its depths and a new species struggled and fought to survive – it wanted to live, but how could such an abomination be allowed to survive? Truly, it was Mary Shelley’s opus interpreted through beef stock.

After this horror, the dessert was positively anti-climactic. While it was grossly unappetising, I did at least feel that none of my food regarded me with an alien malice – which was a definite improvement.

The crème brulee has clearly never seen any source of heat (how was that achieved in the kitchen that must have been one great furnace to so thoroughly incinerate the beef?) I have had crème brulees that haven’t set and ones where the sugar on top didn’t not crunch delightfully. I don’t believe either was even attempted with this confection – the sugar was still in grains and just floating in milk. Yes, milk – the only thing that would set that was a freezer (which, I suppose, given the ambient temperature was not out of the question).

My husband’s chocolate mousse was so desiccated that it actually sucked in all moisture from the atmosphere. We could ship it to flood areas to counter the rampaging waters. I cannot even begin to imagine how one makes a dry mousse, but I am positive the environment agency will appreciate the recipe.

One thing I will not criticise is the wait staff, they really did a miraculous job in horrendous circumstances. Yes, food was heavily delayed, arrived poorly presented and was stone cold – but given the low light levels, the temperature and the distance from the kitchen the only way they could have competently served us would be if you replaced your entire work force with Inuit long distance runners wearing night vision goggles. I applaud them for not stalking out in outrage and disgust half way through the meal when they realised they conditions they were required to work under.

My dear aged grandmother once told me that if I couldn’t say anything nice about something I should not speak at all. So I have been searching my brains for something even vaguely positive to say about your establishment and have decided to thank you for the entertainment

Not, I hasten to add, that you provided anything so conventionally entertaining as music or a band or any such. But I have rarely been treated to a meal that had all the tension, the fearful anticipation and energising terror not normally found outside of a haunted house, horror film or roller-coaster.. In fact, so powerful was the sense of dread that greeted the thought of the next course that I would advise you to place a health warning at each table – except it would be too dark to read it and, really, keeling over from a heart attack before the next dish is plated up would probably be a moment of blessed relief.

I would sign off hoping that you would give my concerns the care and attention they deserve, but I almost wish you wouldn’t. I feel your establishment is somewhat a work of performance art, and it would be a shame for something so truly unique – albeit uniquely awful – to be changed.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

For obvious reasons I kind of wanted to hunker down and not go out the door but Beloved’s work was having a Fancy Do. I’m not quite sure what this was in aid of – it was either a retirement or a celebration of a new contract/merger/new flying unicorn (yes this is how much attention I pay. Computer people do not speak the same language as the rest of us, it is known).
I was begged to go otherwise he would have to go alone and all the people he hadn’t met would assume he was Making Me Up (what does it say that those who hear of me suspect I am fictional? It says I’m fantastic, that’s what, so there) and it could be very very boring so he needed someone there to be snarky with.

I was terrified of falling apart messily in public, but, thankfully, I was rather distracted and needed only to escape a couple of times for air and privacy….

Sparky: What is THAT?

Beloved: It’s the location, by the address..

Sparky: It’s a TENT.

Beloved: A pavilion, yes, maybe they couldn’t fit us all?.

Sparky: It’s a tent

Beloved: Yesss… we covered that

Sparky: It’s late October, night time in rural Yorkshire. We’re going to die of exposure.

Beloved: It’s probably a modern insulated pavilion thing with those global warming space heaters.

…A little later

Sparky: I must commend them on their environmental considerations

Beloved: What?

Sparky: Well, look at the power they’ve saved! No heating at ALL. Not a single one in the whole tent. A couple of insipid lamps for lighting, why the carbon footprint for this event must be minuscule!

Beloved: Remind me again why we didn’t bring coats?

Sparky: Because we assumed that this meal would be indoors. I think it’s a ploy, by subjecting us to subzero temperatures we go numb and can’t feel how grossly uncomfortable these chairs are.

Beloved: They failed, my arse is half falling off AND I’m freezing my bollocks off.

Sparky: Well that ruins my plans for this evening…

Beloved: I don’t think they’ve invested too munch energy into heating the food either.

Sparky: The food was probably boiling before they put on their hiking gear, reached for their compasses and navigated from the kitchen.

Beloved: *pokes beef* If we start succumbing to hypothermia we can go to the kitchens. I think they may be on fire.

Sparky: This cow clearly specified cremation in her will. I’m sure she will be happy knowing her last wishes were carried out. At least they gave us weapons with which to express our disapproval

Beloved: They’re Yorkshire puddings

Sparky: *taps with knife, watches it shatter* so, not fragmentation grenades?

Beloved: Maybe they’re special Yorkshire puddings to go with the jelly

Sparky: I think that’s supposed to be gravy

Beloved: Wow, it’s congealed AND frozen at the same time.

Sparky: That has to be breaking some laws of physics.

Beloved: hey, speaking of laws, does it break any health and safety regs to serve compost with out food.

Sparky: They… they may be vegeatables

Beloved: What kind?

Sparky: Uh… green ones?

Sparky: *closes eyes* oh gods the pudding is here… how bad is it

Beloved: Oh… what have they done to this chocolate moose

Sparky: It’s… dry. They actually made your moose DRY. How the hell do you make DRY MOOSE?

Beloved: The same way they made this ice cream melt. The gravy was freezing over, but they can get ice cream to melt

Sparky: Their food is so bad they have re-written the laws of thermodynamics.

Beloved: check your crème brulee

Sparky: *stirs with a spoon, no crack at all* It’s… milk. It doesn’t even have the consistency of single cream. Milk with sugar sprinkled on top – like someone just opened a sachet of brown sugar and poured it in. I could drink it.

By which point it was gone 11:00 and we were bloody nithered it was that damn cold.

It was not good. No no it does not. For once I was inspired to write a letter of complaint – but when beloved saw my first draft began:

“Dear Sir/Madam.

In the past I have gone to restaurants and thought “I could cook a better meal than this” however you have the dubious honour of being the first establishment that made me think my cat could do a better job. I would criticise your chef, but I feel that even implying the drunken baboon you have chained in the kitchen is in any way a chef would be the worst possible insult to the culinary profession. You must have been grossly disappointed that, despite your best efforts, none of your guests succumbed to hypothermia in your amateur wind-tunnel that you optimistically referred to as a “pavilion” as I’m sure harvesting their bodies for meat would have provided a much cheaper option and would likely be far tastier than the charcoal briquettes and shoe leather you are currently using. I would criticise the wait staff, but really they did a miraclulous job and given the low light levels, the temperature and the distance from the kitchen the only way they could have competently served us would be if you replaced your entire work force with Inuit long distance runners wearing night vision goggles.”

at which point he felt compelled to tell me that, since we didn’t organise (or pay for) the function it wasn’t our place to complain. Which is no fun AT ALL.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

F came round yesterday for a long day of eccentricities :)

Sparky:Hellooooah

F: BEHOLD MY VAST TRACTS OF LAND!

Sparky: Ye gods, what happened?

F: It’s my new bra, stunning aren’t they?

Sparky: Did you get planning permission for those?

F: I’ve applied for their own postcodes. This one is Boobton-on-Cleavage, this one is Boobville.

Beloved: *walks in* ‘ello F

F: BEHOLD MY MAGNIFICENT BREASTS!

Sparky: You have to give the greeting points for originality.

Beloved: Damn, those are deadly weapons

F: Yup, if I turn round quickly I can stun a bull. HI! Hi-yah! *starts twisting rapidly to demonstrate the skills of the ninja breast warrior*

Beloved: Your Ninja-booby skills are totally wasted on us

F: I know! Totally unappreciated in my time. Wait, are your neighbours straight?

Sparky: Yesss…. *with due suspicion and dread*

F: Ok, be right back *wanders outside*

*from outside* BEHOLD MY MAGNIFICENT BREASTS!

Beloved: It’s a good thing our neighbours already think we’re weird.

F: I’m back. Now I need Booby-fuel. Where’s the cake

Sparky: I think we’re out of cake.

F: Damn… wait, don’t you find baking therapeutic?

Sparky: Oh subtle, that, really subtle.

F: *going through my big bakey book* This chocolate fudge cake looks really therapeutic. And damn, that cheesecake is positively brimming with healing.

Beloved: Oooh, look at that treacle tart

F: Oh yes, that one is very therapeutic. And… can he make this?

Beloved: He’s made it before

F: Therapy. Perfect therapy, right there in that sticky chocolate, mocha, coffee rum cake.

Sparky: I’m sure this must be ethically questionable.

F: It’s a universal truth among all healthcare professionals and those who study the most pained of minds that cake is always a good thing

Sparky: Except dieticians?

F: screw them. I’ll set the boobies on them if they touch my cake.

Ok we did some productive talky and analysis stuff as well. Which was… painful. But we had cake. And my inner daemons were threatened with Death by Booby. We watched a lot of TV, we also watched a lot of episodes that have previously had me turning off the TV and crawling off somewhere but they served to make me do the TALKY thing. But there was more cake. And then there was hot chocolate with baileys in it.

Hmmmm Baileys.

I suppose it’s one way to start sorting things, aye?

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Sparky: *is eating* nomnomnom tasteh

Beloved: RANDOM HUGS! *leap*

Sparky: aaaaaargh *falls from sofa to floor* Ow. This random hugging better be motivated by love and not a ploy to steal my midnight cheese on toast or I will have to hurt you

Beloved: Can’t it be both? I could be saving you from nightmares – nasty cheesey nightmares.

Sparky: I’ll risk it

Beloved: No, I shall save you *grab* *kisses* Bllaaaaaagle

Sparky: Oh, that’s nice. Totally sets the mood

Beloved: What are you EATING?

Sparky: cheese & marmite.

Beloved: You Sir, are not right.

Sparky: What’s wrong with marmite?

Beloved: It’s like pure salt! What happened to your health kick?

Sparky: BadNaughtyWrongComment about saltiness

Beloved: Nope, no way – you are defiled, unclean!

Sparky: Tough, I am marmitey and coming to get you

Beloved: *flees* RUNNING AWAAAAY!

Sparky: *grabs jar of marmite* CHASING YOU!!!!

sparkindarkness: (STD)

These past few weeks I have been extremely appreciative of my habit of stocking up vast amounts of food and freezing it. Fruit and veg in season? Buy a tonne and freeze it! Tomatoes in cheap? Make a huge vat of sauce that you could bathe in! If I don’t have enough tinned goods to survive an apocalypse and at least a full cow’s worth of frozen meat I get worried.

It’s a family trait, you will be judged if your stocks are found lacking for the next apocalypse. If there is going to be rationing initiated tomorrow then we’re set up to be the ultimate black market. There is a huge competition to see who can store the most food in BULK. All the family will envy you because you have found pickled onions in gallon vats.

Of course this leaves you with a dreadful dilemma at times. Because if you find a secret supplier of gallon jars of pickles, you are torn between displaying said jar and making it clear to the whole family that you are an awesome hoarder deserving of awe, acclaim and worship – AND hiding said jar so you are not forced to reveal your supplier. Because that would be bad, because they would then buy the vat of pickles or the metric tonne of cabbages or those towers of tinned goods on sale. They would steals our hoards!

There follows awkward conversations where the collected family desperately tries to force out the secret supplier of the pickly goodness and the dance of trying to answer as vaguely as possible. “Uh, I got it in town. Where in town? Oh, one of the markets. One of them. Somewhere. NO YOU CANNOT TOUCH MAH SACRED PICKLES!! GET BACK!” It can be very very very fun to watch.

Of course, this will not stand – the family knows you have a secret pickle supplier and will watch you. Suddenly shopping trips become Mission Impossible style runs with everyone trying to be stealthy while carrying gallon jars of pickles or a brace of whole turkeys. Followed by other relatives crying “That’s Jane, with pickles! FOLLOW her, stealthily!” *queue the theme tune*

It surprises me that more family members aren’t arrested for shop lifting.

But I digress. Yes, I have huge stores of food, I cannot fight my family training and when there’s an apocalypse I can be sure that I will have more pickles than anyone! Ensuring the end of the world will contain a lot of indigestion.

On the plus said, it has spared me Beloved having to cook most of the meals (defrosting and reheating is easily within his skills. Sorta.) – and while he has an interesting idea of how to defrost things (either 3 days left in direct sunlight, or 1 hour in the fridge) it hasn’t put too much of the cooking burden on his less than skilled shoulders and culinary disasters are limited.

The problem is it reminds me yet again just how totally domestically inept Beloved is. Including freezer stacking. So when filling a huge great chest freezer, what goes on the bottom?

Soft loaf of bread. Cake. Delicate meringues.

And what goes on top of them? A full frozen turkey. Sacks of roast vegetables. Half a damn cow. Lead bowling balls. 8 tonne weights. Anything he can find to squish them all to wafers or crumbs.

Ah, I despair of that man sometimes. *Pokes deformed bread*

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Among the many (surprising) successes from Beloved’s garden (which he has developed into a long term obsession. I am surprised and pleased. Less so that I now have to look after his fish. Damn ornaments that need feeding) is his little chilli plant.

And today he presented me with 8 little red chillis to go with our delusion salad vinaigrette (chillis, taragon vinegar, oil, little garlic, sugar, lime juice to try to and convince our taste boods that salad has a taste. And yes, we’re having dellusion salad. Why? Because his cucumbers have also been a success. Unfortunately. Really what exactly is anyone to do with 8 cucumbers as long as your forearm?)

So i cut one up, deseeded it and added it to the goop. He protested – only 1? He thought I was going to put chillis in the salad! He likes chillis in salad, so do I!

Which is true… except nice big salad chillis are much much much bigger than this. Methinks he planted the wrong variety. These little chillis are not salad chillis methinks.

He scoffs at my ignorance, clearly I just don’t realise that home grown isn’t the same as what you buy in the shops!They’re sweet and tasty and *chomp*

There follows a rather eventful few minutes. Beloved announced repeatedly and at great volume that he was dying (quite melodramatic. He clearly wasn’t. I mean, do dying people really have the strength to run around the house yelling?) and that his mouth was on fire (the smoke alarm didn’t go off, so clearly it wasn’t) and that the world was ending (really, I didn’t see one sign of the apocalypse. Not one sign!) before drinking 2 pints of milk (sigh, now we have to buy more).

He condeded that perhaps, just maybe, they weren’t the right variety for salads because they wouldn’t suit everyone’s taste.

I agreed and made awesome onion, ham and cheese bread rolls. And all was good again.

Also, enquiring minds want to know what variety of chilli I have - since I WANT a semi-spicy one for cooking curries and mexican and/or a large, mild sweet one for sandwiches, salads and to use as a vegetable. What I have are bright red chillis that are shorter and thinner than my little finger. And are, apparently, quite hot (one de-seeded added a surprising amount of heat to my vinaigrette)
sparkindarkness: (STD)

Our potato masher has finally died.

I got it from my grandmother. It has probably be handed down from generation to generation since the dawn of time when a Neanderthal chipped it out of raw iron because they were tired of boiled spuds. Generations upon generations of chefs have passed this relic down.

And I have broken it. No doubt the entire family will soon condemn me for destroying a historic artefact they have been abusing for generations.

However, this means a new potato masher is in order. Of course I can trust Beloved of the shiny things to answer this need right?

Oh gods no, what kind of fool do you think I am? Beloved cannot buy kitchen utensils. Or, no, he can – but he will buy an automatic sushi roller with attachment for julienning aubergines. So I demanded an instrument exactly like the one we had – something that had successfully mashed potatoes for the last 8,000 years, damn it.

And he actually behaved! *Gasp* except it’s in rather flimsy plastic. Ok, everything seems to be flimsy plastic now, but there seems to be a problem.

Sparky: *brings masher on spuds*
Masher: *bends*
Spuds: Uh… that’s not really working
Sparky: *tries again*
Masher: *bends more*
Sparky: It’s all floppy…
Spuds: Uh… you can try again in 5 minutes
Sparky: This has never happened to me before…
Spuds: It can happen to any masher…

So, having taken Beloved to task for getting us an impotent masher, he tried again and bought something that looks like this but bigger

Hmmm it looks… stylish. Which tells me it’s probably useless. And lo I was right

Sparky *mashes*
Spuds: *looks at the bar of metal to its left* *looks to the bar of metal to its right* Missed?
Sparky: *mash mash mash*
Spud: Look, those bars aren’t very close together, half of me is just sliding between them.
Sparky *FRENZIED MASHING*
Spud: Still lumpy
Sparky: *MASH MASH MASH MASH*
Spud: Here’s a lump, there’s a lump and another little lump, fuzzy lump, funny lump, lump, lump, duck.
Sparky: Grrrrrr.

So. 2 tries and Beloved has failed to buy a masher that actually mashes. He is now going to find a potato masher that plugs in and buzzes and makes tea at the same time.

And I am going to use a fork.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

So, Sparky has been invisible for a little while, most irritatingly. I dislike it when the absences fall together, I get withdrawl I does.

Of course, absence for Pride was far more fun than trhe Chinese of Dooooooom. Which was not fun. Not fun at all.

Coming in from work, it’s late, I am tired so is Beloved but he has ordered chinese because neither of us can be bothered to cook. It’s a new place and we like to try new places – after all, as I said, I’ve never actually had a bad chinese meal, just different levels of good.

Famous. Last. Words.

Sparky: *pokes spring roll* you ordered vegetable spring rolls?

Beloved: Nope, meat. *pokes* Uh, allegedly? *dissects* hey, there’s some

Sparky: I’ve seen more meat stuck between a vegetarian’s teeth.

Beloved: These won tons have meat… sausage meat

Sparky: Nah, it’ll be pork mince

Beloved: Try

Sparky: *tastes* sausage meat won tons… well that’s a new on

And it gets worse

The chicken tasted like they took the oldest, most mangy broiler chicken, boiled the meat to transparency then left it under a hot plate for a month before adding the sauce – which SAID it was ginger and garlic but tasted like cornflower (in fact, this was a theme of the night. Now I use a lot of cornflower in chinese cooking – but you’re not supposed to use it as a FLAVOURING!), it was thick and gloopy and lacking in any flavour. The vegetables were raw – not au dente, utterly raw, even the broccoli.

The sweet and sour sauce was neither sweet nor sour and was a shade of neon orange that may have dazzled any planes flying overhead. But despite that, the beef it covered was utter identifiable not just as beef but even as meat. We had to take their word for it because there was no way to tell by taste

And nastiest of all was… the rice. Seriously how, in the name of all that is tasty, do you screw up RICE? You expect chinese rice to clump – it should or you can’t use chopsticks. This didn’t clump so much as gloop. It was claggy, thick, powdery, and really really vile. It tastes like it has been boiled for days before frying and then they added a rue of cornflower to the mess afterwardss – it had the same floury taste and the same thick, mushy consistency. I never knew anyone could make rice vile. They almost deserve a prize for that. That’s right – this chinese take away failed at cooking rice.

I finally gave up in disgust at trying to find anything remotely edible in the meal, remarked that they had proven me wrong and at least it didn’t make me sick.

Y’know – I should know better than to say things like that. That’s just tempting fate, that is.

There follows a couple of days of me vehemently wishing death on… well, just about everyone an everything, including myself. AND being less than impressed with the ultra-hot weather without airconditioning that didn’t help my suffering self.

I am now tired, manky, and generally all round BLARGLE. I hate feeling manky. But hell hath no fury like a manky poisoned lawyer. At least, when I have the energy to actually get up and do the whole fury thing. I think I can manage some nasty looks until then. Really mean ones.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Today is our foody night, where we make a foody feast of goodness.

Part of this involves finding a way to use the NINE cabbages. And there are 6 more in the garden.  All white cabbages and all impresive. Seriously, these things are freaking huge and perfect and unblighted and no fertiliser, pesticide, random radiation or whatever other crap they put on our food. Beloved is most proud of himself and right so.

Except – WHAT can you do with this much cabbage except make everything smell truly awful. I have cooked it with dinner as just a plain veg (well with lemon juice and once with nuts), I have made coleslaw, cabbage gratin, saurkraut and even something with apples that wasn’t very nice. What other options are there?! Do I have to freeze the whole lot and just resign myself that we have enough cabbage to last us until doomsday?

Also, does white cabbage pickle? I mean pickled red cabbage is commonplace (and I loves it. And he has grown none. Why is this?) but we don’t see pickled white cabbage – whyfor?

In other news Beloved has expressed criticism of my stuffed mushrooms! (Well, he didn’t. He asked if we should add a herb to it. But in homage to my mother I have decided to take that suggestion to be a fierce indictment of my skills, my honour, my family and indeed all aspects of my life to date. So there :P ) so I am looking at adjusting their scrumminess. Currently they are:

Huge portabellow mushroom, inside scooped out and finely chopped with a stronger mushroom (shiitake or oyster). Mix with grated cheese (red leicester for preference but wensleydale, cheddar and emmenthal work well. So can brie but it’s a bit overpowering.) finely chopped crispy bacon (Note Renee and other Canadians suffering from dellusion – this is real bacon, not ham) finely sliced onion and a glug of soy OR worcestershire sauce.

Now, miscellenaious herb to add. Beloved has declared garlic boring (because I add it to everything. And rightly so). I am leaning towards cumin or paprika – but tbh, I raher think it should be left alone. Maybe something mild like parseley.
So, suggestions?

(It is also ridiculously hot, every window in the house is open and the cat has taken to sleeping in Beloved’s carrot patch – the feathery tops make a good bed and the ones she doesn’t squish shade her. Beloved is not amused. Cat does not care if he is not amused. A small war has begun)

sparkindarkness: (STD)

So while chipping the THING off every flat surface and trying to figure out how anyone makes dough that dries to becomes harder than pykrete I ask Beloved, who cleans with rather less skill than he cooks, to get some stewing meat and kidney out of the freezer to defrost over night so I can make stew – niice slooow cooked stew.

Wake up this morning. Open the little non-frozen baggies…

Kidney aaaand… haddock.

Haddock.

I have to say I’m impressed, he is excelling himself lately.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Or that some may yet be saved.

I cannot speak for long, I know the Thing has heard me and the door is a flimsy barrier at best. Already it’s tendrils surround me

It began when Beloved declared he didn‘t need my help in the kitchen. I should have known better, I should have known!

When Beloved opened the bread maker, the Thing was born in a giant overflowing mass of pure malevolence bent on absorbing all within it’s grasp. I should have tried to kill it then – but it wanted to live! It wanted to live and Beloved was sure it could be tamed… The last I saw of him he was covered in the Thing from head to toe, hopelessly unable to escape it’s sticky clutches.

It was probably too late the moment we opened the lid and it rushed out in one huge, sticky mass. It stick to the cabinets, it adhered to the walls, it desperately clung to the doors and the windows and even the ceiling. I tried to escape but it’s in the hallway, on the wallpaper, it leers at me from every carpet, cackles at me as it slowly covers every surface in the house. I can’t escape, it’s everywhere. I look outside, through the clear patches of glass that remain, and it’s even in the garden, clinging to the patio and wall with eerie malevolence.

I can only imagine that this vile force will continue to spread in a greasy wave of evil. Perhaps if you flee across the Humber – across the Channel maybe, maybe you will escape it’s sticky, pervasive clutches.

Pray for me.. for I am already lost…

Why, oh gods, why did I believe Beloved could make pizza dough?

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Do you ever watch something KNOWING it’s going to be a ridiculous disaster, but don’t intervene out of sheer morbid curiosity? Or just because wonder if the disaster person is actually going to clue in before said disaster?

I do. It amuses me :)

Like watching Beloved strain the boiling hot fat from the wok (for deep frying tempura) into the deep fat friar.

Now he could have waited until it cooled, but oh no. He had to do it now – while I contacted the emergency services.

Thankfully he was not burned.. However he did decide to use a sieve. A plastic sieve.

To strain boiling hot fat he is using a plastic sieve. One that melts.

Yes. Yes he did.

The look on his face staring at the mess that USED to be a sieve was priceless and totally worth replacing the sieve. Yes yes it was.

Despite this I still let him BBQ. Which means him taking the gas powered BBQ, hooking it up, adding charcoal (don’t ask me why) and me putting the fire brigarde on speed dial. There was flame. LOTS of flame. Beloved announced he would FLAME grill… yeah that didn’t quite work. See, putting meat into an open fiery inferno actually BURNS it. WHO KNEW?!

There was also a brief discussion of the merits of letting raw meat drip merrily down on… well, everything.  Honestly the whole day has been spent surrounded by bleeding corpses. Well, except for the places occupied by alcohol. Ah sweet booooze, you make food poisoning so much less of a concern.

Of course the booze also contributed to them “hey all the meat is cooked and the flames are still burning – what can we BBQ?” experiments.  In possibly related news, the remainder of the delusion salad has been… dealt with. And I’m not cleaning the BBQ. No, no I’m not. ESPECIALLY considering the cheese. Oh and Hawaian kebabs? Are WRONG. Almost as bad as pineapple on pizza. Poor poor meat, to be violated so by pineapple.

sparkindarkness: (STD)

Having spent all last night drinking an being informed that I have to go out and do the social thing tonight (my first instinct was to make excuses which, as Beloved says, is probably not a good sign if you’re making excuses before you even remember what the event is and why you’re going out. Bad hermit urges most play with the nice human people in human places.) I am feel vaguely over-indulged. Too much rich food and booze.

But there is a cure – the patented Sparky Delusion Salad! Perfect for when you need to sweep away that nagging feeling oif eating unhealthily with the wonderful power of sweet sweet self-deception

Take the basics of a very basic salad – iceberg lettuce, cucumber, maybe some peppers, tomatoes and grated carrot – don’t get too fancy, that would be a waste. Lightly toss in a light vinaigrette – olive oil, egg, tarragon. Smile down in saintly goodness at the healthy, virtuous salad in its boring glory. Soothe taste buds that are probably crying at this moment contemplating said tedium in a bowl.

Now, the important part. Arrange a little of the salad (only a little) on the edge of a plate (leave plenty of room).

Fill REST of plate with 4 kinds of pickles, coleslaw, mayonnaise, potato salad, prawn salad, seafood salad, piles of cold beef and pork, hard boiled eggs, tuna, smoke salmon, chunks of cheese, more pickles and, if you’re feeling especially delusional, quiche, pork pie and sausage rolls (call it a ploughmans. It then becomes TRADITIONAL and TOTALLY justified).

If any salad leafs are visible cover in mayonnaise. Keep mayonnaise handy in case more greenery is exposed, drown in mayonnaise, grated cheese and pickles until the vitamins give up and go home.

Put remaining salad in fridge, pretend to use it as sides for meals or in sandwiches. Throw away when it starts to rot.

Since you’ve had such a healthy meal, chocolate cake is totally justified for dessert.

Having spent all last night drinking an being informed that I have to go out and do the social thing tonight (my first instinct was to make excuses which, as Beloved says, is probably not a good sign if you’re making excuses before you even remember what the event is and why you’re going out. Bad hermit urges most play with the nice human people in human places.) I am feel vaguely over-indulged. Too much rich food and booze.

But there is a cure – the patented Sparky Delusion Salad! Perfect for when you need to sweep away that nagging feeling oif eating unhealthily with the wonderful power of sweet sweet self-deception

Take the basics of a very basic salad – iceberg lettuce, cucumber, maybe some peppers, tomatoes and grated carrot – don’t get too fancy, that would be a waste. Lightly toss in a light vinaigrette – olive oil, egg, tarragon. Smile down in saintly goodness at the healthy, virtuous salad in its boring glory. Soothe taste buds that are probably crying at this moment contemplating said tedium in a bowl.

Now, the important part. Arrange a little of the salad (only a little) on the edge of a plate (leave plenty of room).

Fill REST of plate with 4 kinds of pickles, coleslaw, mayonnaise, potato salad, prawn salad, seafood salad, piles of cold beef and pork, hard boiled eggs, tuna, smoke salmon, chunks of cheese, more pickles and, if you’re feeling especially delusional, quiche, pork pie and sausage rolls (call it a ploughmans. It then becomes TRADITIONAL and TOTALLY justified).

If any salad leafs are visible cover in mayonnaise. Keep mayonnaise handy in case more greenery is exposed, drown in mayonnaise, grated cheese and pickles until the vitamins give up and go home.

Put remaining salad in fridge, pretend to use it as sides for meals or in sandwiches. Throw away when it starts to rot.

Since you’ve had such a healthy meal, chocolate cake is totally justified for dessert.

sparkindarkness: (Default)
My metabolism is screwed up again. I keep wanting to eat at ridiculous times.

So foraging...

And found a large box of Baileys truffles. Now, Beloved has bought me gift packs of Baileys before - usually 4 miniature bottles of the different flavours maybe with a chocolate or 2.

No this was just a box of chocolates. Truffles, to be exact. Made with Baileys. I was vaguely disappointed. Then I tried one

Oh. My. Gods. It is not possible for anything to taste this good.

I am going to sit here and eat them until someone tears the box from my cold, dead hands.

And I have a glass of Baileys with a hint of coffee (BTW, this is beyond sublime BUT the hint is NOT subtle like the other flavours. It actually has a double espresso kick)


If there is a paradise in the afterlife then I am sure it will contain Baileys.
sparkindarkness: (Default)
It’s important to remember that. He is well regarded in his profession for his ability to do things to computers that should be illegal and make me wonder if he is cheating on me with a PC. His abilities with maths give me a migraine trying to follow them. He is practical on a level I can never grasp, able to take broken appliances, technology, ANYTHING, tinker with them for a few minutes and make them work again (of course, he’d never USE them again because they’re OBSOLETE and he needs the newest model shredder. Gods forbid we have an OUTDATED paper cutter!)

Sooooo when he does something stupid my violent reaction is totally justified, right? Because he must be doing it on purpose. To torture me. Clearly.


So I go hunting in the freezer for dinner - defrost a corpse for the tasty nummy meat within. I worry a little because Beloved packed the freezer and his labels require... creative interpretations at times. But no, every label looks right, everything looks fine until... I find the MINCE.

Yes, lean beef MINCE. He has happily labelled it, correctly and clearly.

All 5lbs of it.

In one bag.

ONE bag.


So, I have 2 questions I need people to answer for me.

1) Exactly what, in the name of all that is holy, am I supposed to do with many many meal’s worth of meat frozen into one huge lump?

2) Would I be justified in heaving the giant mass of meat at his head?

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April 2015

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