Wednesday, 30 April 2008

In The Real World......

A bit busy this week, so I'm sharing this with you. Donated by kitchen weary work-mates.

1. Nigella's Way
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice-cream drips.
The Real Woman's Way
Just bite the end off and suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for goodness' sake. You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

2. Nigella's Way
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
The Real Woman's Way
Buy Smash and keep it in the cupboard for up to a year.

3. Nigella's Way
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking tin, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
The Real Woman's Way
Tesco sells cakes. They even do decorated versions.

4. Nigella's Way
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a potato slice.
The Real Woman's Way
If you over-salt a dish while you are cooking, that's tough!. Please recite with me the Real Woman's motto: "I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes."

5. Nigella's Way
Wrap celery in aluminium foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
The Real Woman's Way
It could keep forever. Who eats it?

6. Nigella's Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
The Real Woman's Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it in 8 ounces of vodka Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache, but you won't care!

7. Nigella's Way
If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
The Real Woman's Way
Why do I have a man?

8. Nigella's Way
Freeze left-over wine into ice cubes for future use in casseroles
The Real Woman's Way
Left-over wine???? Helllloooo....

Monday, 21 April 2008

Your Life In A Limerick:

Here’s another Meme. This time I can’t blame anyone else, it was my idea, though I should say that Amy over on Blog to the Bone is the real culprit because she started it first. The Limerick theme I mean.

Although obviously, as you can imagine, I know some really awful ones (or good ones, depending on how broad your sense of humour is) I decided to put a twist on my Meme (don’t I always?) and this time ask anyone who wants to join in to write a limerick describing themselves, or their life in general. Unless you happen to actually be that Young Man From Tashkent, (who’s genitals were very bent, dah dah dah di dah, dah dah di di dah, and instead of coming you went), in which case we will allow you a bit of poetic licence, but other than that, no filth please unless it’s very, very funny or pertinent to your story. And that means you Travelling. And Knifepainter. Oh, and Cath - don't think just because your Dad's away you can be rude.

Here’s mine:

A mother so normally caring,
Got pissed off and then began swearing,
She ranted and raved, became so depraved,
*And ended up putting it all on the internet and then was ashamed of herself and wished she hadn’t done it because eventually her children might see it and think that she’s an embarrassing foul-mouthed harridan not realizing that she did it
Quite simply to appear a bit daring.

*OK, so I cheated.

Over to you.

Friday, 18 April 2008

If Anyone Says "You're Only As Old As You Feel" There Will Be Trouble!

That naughty little minx, Mean Mom, has tagged me with a Meme. Is she psychic? How did she know that I'd sunk into the slough of despond (remember that slough, it's despond can be very nasty) and was wallowing in my own self-pity, unable to blog, and needed a well aimed kick up the backside to get me going again?

The problem? Well, it's been a really crappy week at work. People keep mentioning my age. Someone only three years younger than me told everyone I was "powering down to retirement" - that really hurt, considering I'm working far harder than some of those who are supposed to be powering up. Then I set fire to a baked potato in the office microwave because I was multi-tasking and answering everybody's goddam phone whilst I was at work and they were not. Now they must think I'm a senile old bat who can't be trusted with hot food. Bollocks.

I. Have. Had. Enough. A joke's a joke, but things are getting on top of me and I'm beginninig to lose my sense of humour. I need some time out, so have taken the week off to go away and think about what I'm doing with my life, which is very little considering the length of time I've been on this planet.

In the meantime, the Meme. Can't believe there's anything you don't already know about me, but simply because I love Mean Mom and she's showered me with awards, I am going to do it anyway. But not with good grace, obviously. I am after all a crabby old bag. And don't think I'm obeying the rules (or telling you what they are) or passing the meme on or anything like that either, because at my advanced age I'll probably forget, simply not bother or be too bloody arsey to do it properly.

Sorry about that.

Now go get a blanket and prepare to nod off while I carry on dribbling down my cardigan:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Precisely the same sodding thing that I'm doing now. Only I was younger and not "powering down for retirement". Huh.

Name 5 snacks you enjoy.

1. Charcoal baked potatoes, left in the microwave too long because I WAS RUNNING ROUND LIKE A BLUE ARSED FLY and didn't notice the smoke.
2. Stewed apple that doesn't interfere with my dentures.
3. Anything that can be liquidised and taken through a straw.
4. Gruel.
5. Crustless bread dipped in warm milk, thank you nurse.

If you were a billionaire, how would you spend the money?

Go into work on Monday and tell everyone who annoys me to sod off.

Name 5 jobs you have had.

Five jobs too many. All involved working my arse off to make someone else look like a frigging genius.

Name 3 bad habits you have.

I can occasionally go over the top with my moaning and swearing(really?).

I am sometimes a bit vitriolic about people who annoy me (the whole wax/doll/pins scenario).

I have a burning urge for senseless violence and hideously bad language when riled (no shit, Sherlock).

I am seriously angry a lot of the time (surprise, surprise).

And yes, I know I am only supposed to have three bad habits, BUT DON'T ARGUE WITH ME, five is my absolute working minimum at the moment.

Name 5 places where you have lived.

Leamington Spa - lovely, lovely, lovely. Really lovely.

Birmingham, not the posh bit. Not very lovely at all. It wasn't my idea.

Birmingham, the slightly posher bit. A bit more lovely.

Tamworth, not very posh or lovely but very friendly. With very affordable housing.

Birmingham, the very posh bit, thinks it's lovely, but is just up itself really. And still not as lovely as Leamington.

So that's it. Wish it was a bit more interesting, but there it is, my life in a nutshell.

And what the fuck does it all amount to?

I have absolutely no idea. Not enough, that's for sure.

And did I mention it's my birthday next week? Probably not.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Home On The Range

It's all that Nigella Lawson's fault. I've started cooking again. Not just meatballs and frites, though as we all know they are totally delicious, but real homecooked gourmet grub. I used to be quite good at it, pre-children, but faced with endless demands for fish-dogs (hot dogs with fish-fingers instead of sausages, bloody gorgeous with tomato ketchup) and cheese and potato pie with sausages and baked beans (shaped to look like a face or a boat, obviously), I somehow went off the boil catering-wise. The Nigella Express cook book husband bought for me at Christmas (was that a hint, do you think?) has somehow kick-started my interest in actual cooking again and now the kids are grown, they're so grateful for a Mum dinner I can virtually get away with anything. Fresh tuna with black beans, spicy salmon, stir-fried just about anything. You name it, they're all now well and truly up for it, and so am I. Not that I am averse to opening a jar of Dolmio and bunging it into a pan of mince, or making a quick dash round to the chippie, somehow the luscious Nigella has caught my imagination with her easier than pie super-fast, minimum fuss dinners. She's caught my husband's imagination too, though in an entirely different way, but that's another story and absolutely nothing at all to do with the kitchen, if you get my drift.

Anyway, moving swiftly on, since my renewed enthusiasm for all things culinary (I've even started to make my own garlic oil for goodness' sake - please be impressed) it's become apparent that my knackered old kitchen could do with a refurb. Think I mentioned this before in a previous post. Husband was hoping that we'd tour a few kitchen shops, I'd get bored (this is what usually happens) because I don't see anything I like that we can afford, we'd go back home and think sod it, let's go on holiday instead. We were following this well trodden path and had almost got to the sod it stage, when suddenly (in John Lewis) I saw it. A range cooker. One grill, two ovens, one fan and one gas, five burners, a wok cradle, a griddle and a cute little rail to hang your tea-towel over, in a farmhouse kitchen kind of way. It comes in four colours. There's a chimney to go with it. With another cute little rail on that too. I've never had a chimney in my kitchen before, with or without a tea-towel rail. I think I want one. No, dammit, I need one.

So the internet marathon began. I'm now glued to the computer day and night trying to find the best possible price. If asked, I can quote all the different options, fuels, accessories and colours. I know what each model comprises, the pro's and cons of all of them, the available extras and delivery times PLUS haulage costs. In short, I could be on Mastermind with my specialist subject being "range cookers, dual fuel, gas and electric, circa 2008" and be assured of winning the trophy, no problem.

Predictably, the simple idea of tarting up the kitchen by adding a few well chosen bits and pieces here and there has turned into the threat of a full refurb, with a new cooker and fridge, tiling, lighting and units. The thing that worries me a bit is that if we do all of this, will I feel obliged to turn out culinary masterpieces day and night in order to justify the huge financial outlay? Whilst I'm having fun with food at the moment, I haven't forgotten that less than a year ago I was the one who reminded everyone that life was too short to stuff a mushroom, and now I'm contemplating equiping my kitchen with enough hardware to stuff just about anything I damn well please. That bloody yapping dog next door had better watch out.

But you know I can just see myself, making jams and baking cakes, taking huge sizzling joints of roast beef out of the oven (sorry, make that ONE of the TWO ovens, did I mention that?), producing fragrant casseroles, popping corks and sipping wine whilst cooking dinner... proper Mrs. Housewife kind of stuff. I'm even considering throwing away my old apron on which is printed the words "IF YOU THINK I'M COOKING DINNER TONIGHT, YOU CAN SOD OFF" such is my enthusiasm for this current project.

But does that image fit with what you know about me already? Or do you think I'll revert to type, get bored with domesticity, start making reservations for dinner instead of venison casseroles, only use either oven for reheating Marks and Spencer's Chicken Kiev and set fire to the tea-towel hanging over the cute little chimney rail because I've had a pre-dinner gin too many?

Difficult question.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

It's Only Rock 'n Roll But I Liked It

Actually, the Stones/Scorcese film "Shine a Light" isn't only rock and roll, it's pure magic. Have just come back from the local premier showing (darlings) and...well, it was absolutely fantastic. The hardest part was sitting through some of the best Rolling Stones music ever without getting up and dancing, although someone did but unfortunately it wasn't me.

Superb music, superb cinematography, just superb everything. Even better than Ikea meatballs and worth all the aggro I went through to get the tickets. Even got a free t-shirt.

As long as you've got blood in your veins, rhythm in your soul and an appreciation of something really special, this film is for you.

Start queueing for tickets NOW.