Joey Chestnut has apparently declared himself the greatest athlete of all time after breaking the world record for eating as many hotdogs as you can in 10 minutes. He ate 76 in 10 minutes. 76…. Jody was clearly not eating hotdogs from outside my so called football teams stadium. It takes at least 10 hours to get served and I dread to think of the chemicals and additives entering into the body after just 1 of those monstrosities never mind 76 of them. Only shed loads of tomato ketchup is saving that.
Yesterday food delivery came with 18 missing items and various random substitutions. Brexit is going really well………
So as I we picked through the damage. No favourite sausages – ok Hawklad can live with that for a week or so. No favourite salad and fruit – again he will make do. It went on and on in a similar vein until. NO Tomato Ketchup. To many amongst us that will just not fly. To Hawklad that’s worse than a zombie apocalypse. So today we go out ketchup hunting.
Lack of sleep does strange things to the mind and body. It took me 30 minutes into a yoga session before that the odd sensation I was experiencing was attributed to me putting on my compression shorts back to front. If only it stopped there.
I decided I needed a milky and sweet coffee to get me going. The sugar is next to the kettle. So what sleep induced madness sent me to the cupboard. Made me reach out and grab a large bag. Open that bag. Carefully add two spoonfuls of the white powder into my drink. Then stir and stir. Rather puzzled at the enfolding congealed mess. Then taste what was clearly something approaching wallpaper paste.
Only a lack of sleep ends with self raising flour being added to coffee.
While I was rummaging around the loft I came across a box from mums old house. Inside I found all sorts of things. Decades old bus timetables, shopping lists, out of date vouchers, instructions from long lost video recorders, random keys and coins from long defunct foreign currencies. My mum had a philosophy – you never know when you might need this. Actually the answer was invariably – NEVER.
But as I still have the box I must clearly have signed up to mums philosophy. But I did find and one of my old school reports. All pretty boring apart from the Home Economics page. I quote
“He shows some talent in cooking. He has mastered a number of baking recipes. He has produced some very good bread loafs and cakes.”
This morning I mentioned that school were kinda hoping that parents would help with a homework task of forage jam making. I was not hopeful as basically I am the culinary equivalent of an accident prone Lemming.
But I had missed the obvious. Much wiser friends than me came up with the idea of just substituting some shop bought Jam. That’s a plan we can sign up to. That’s a worry. A couple of years back Hawklad would have been mortified at the thought of breaking the rules. But now not he is not so principled. That is my influence.
So we ransacked the cupboard. Can you believe it. No Jam. Not even any deeply hidden years out of date jars. The nearest thing was jar of Mango Chutney. Needs must. We steamed the label off and we had forage jam…
But we had a problem, the first home label said ‘Mango Jam’. Ok Mango isn’t a fruit you often find foraged in Yorkshire 😂😂😂😂😂 So we now just have Fruit Foraged Jam. Hopefully the colour and the lumpiness of the Jam won’t be questioned.
In Food Technology today Hawklad was set the task to research how wheat is turned into flour. I was expecting this would set him off about the health aspects of bread. Maybe the additives used.
His line of attack was – flour mills go through all those stages, make all, that effort, spend all that time. This is on top of the months of hard work performed by Mother Nature. So much effort and then a certain muppet Dad can’t even produce a half edible loaf of bread. What was the point….
The other task was to forage and with parents help make some Jam. I remember the last time I tried to make Blackberry Jam. Even after two ceiling repaints I can still see the evidence. That Jam stain has a longer half life than Uranium 235. Plus Hawklad hates Jam.
It’s been over 5 years since I sat down in a restaurant….. That’s as rare as a start to the morning like the photograph above. That’s as rare as my football team winning something. Oh hang on the last time that happened was 1969. So hopefully not that rare….😂😂😂
A bit like my so called football team and silverware, the next restaurant trip is not looking particularly imminent. Hawklad isn’t keen. I can’t think of the last time I went with my family to eat out. Maybe a couple of picnics or a garden bbq before the world changed. It’s well over a decade since I went for a meal with a friend. The height of culinary excellence with friends has been limited to the very occasional grabbing a bag of crisps on the way to see my team get beat again. And the other side of the family is understandably very much more distant now.
But here’s the thing. I’m not missing the food. I’m much happier with a bag of chips , sat on a sea wall and fighting off the mad seagulls. I’m not in a mad rush to expand my social circle again. Do you know what I miss about restaurants. That feeling of being grown up every so often. Having to smarten myself up, even combing my hair…. To sit properly. To feel like I’m doing stuff that other people are doing.
That probably makes no sense at all and anyway it’s not happening anytime soon.
How difficult can it be to give a mad dog and a big fat boy cat, a worming tablet. The answer is VERY, it took ALL DAY…. In my defence it took the Vet 20 minutes to give the boy cat his last tablet. It goes in, but then comes straight out. The mad dog has an unusual ability to get his tablet stuck in his ear fur. In my defence the Vet also encountered that skill.
Today I tried everything. Putting the tablet in food. In treats. Chucking it down the neck. Seconds later the pesky tablet was back on the floor or stuck in the dogs ear.
Nothing worked until I went for the nuclear option. The dog was eyeing up a pack of donuts on the kitchen table. Well worth a go. So the tablet was rammed in half a donut and unbelievably this time it was swallowed in a nanosecond. Just the cat now. Sadly the donut trick is not going to work for our fat cat. But finally feline success. Hawklad was eating toast and the boy cat was doing his usual trick of trying to eat the butter. Worth a go. Coat the tablet in a dollop of better and within seconds job done.
So Pet tip of the day – have plenty of unhealthy food in the house for administering medication.
As part of the long process of helping Hawklad building bridges back to the wider world, we ventured out in the car. Further this time. In to the city. To get a take out burger.
All went well until we hit the city. More car, more people. Even though he was in the safety of the car he was on edge but willing to push on.
Finally we arrived at the burger place. You will know the one. It’s got some whopper burgers. The plan was Hawklad to stay in the car while I ventured out to get the takeout. As soon as I left the car Hawklad panicked. So plan B. The drive through. I’ve never tried one of those but they seem super cool in the movies.
We joined the queue of cars and and snaked our way towards the intercom. With excitement we finally made it to the marked intercom bay.
I started to patiently wait for the helpful voice.
“Dad what are you waiting for.”
I’m waiting for the person to speak to me,
“Dad you don’t wait you just say the order out. Come on Dad the cars behind will start to get annoyed”
####Pants so I blurted out the order. NOTHING. Is that it. Do I drive off now####
“Dad they didn’t hear you, shout the order louder”
#### So I did, really loud this time. This time Hawklad got the giggles####
“Dad you are a muppet”
####And suddenly the intercom whirled into life – ‘afternoon can I take your order’.####
Thursday night is chip night here. When we moved into this little house on the hill two decades ago we quickly found out the real pace of village life. The ultimate highlight of the week here was the Thursday night visit from the mobile chip van. It parked in the road 50 yards from our house. Rapidly the tradition of Thursday Chip night was set. Eventually we even discovered that the new mad dog was also a chip monster. His favourite food.
A pandemic then happened.
Suddenly Hawklad was not comfortable with getting chips from the van. So we stopped being part of the chip social. But the tradition lived on. Now replaced with oven chips. A vegetarian pie for me and skinless sausages for Hawklad. And yes a small plate of chips for the mad one.
So last night was THURSDAY. Time to dine like royalty. Well that was the plan. If you look back a few months you will see a certain muppet falling fowl of the crime of not labelling freezer items. Guess what happened last night. No pies were available from the store so it was time to root around in the deepest recesses of the chest freezer. Success a fine looking pie. Maybe a mushroom one. Maybe a Quorn one.
Chips and a pie smothered in Tomato Ketchup, salt and vinegar. Result…..
The reality sweet cherry pie is and interesting taste sensation when combined with vinegar and ketchup. Heston Blumenthal eat your heart out….
I haven’t really fancied any chocolate all week yet today, as soon as I start a new diet I get an insatiable urge for Snickers, Toblerone, Mars Bar, KitKats, Aero and Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate. All things chocolate. Couldn’t make it up. Sadly the new diet doesn’t feature those wonderful confectionery items too highly.
But so far I’m staying strong. Resisting the urges. A steely resolve lasting 3 hours so far. Trying to tell myself that they might taste real nice but that good feeling is short lasting. That’s the problem. Needing more than one chocolate. In my case normally a bucket load of the calorie laden goodies.
But enough is enough. Tired of having those clothes marks. Being able to see what I’ve worn by looking at the marks on my body.
I can do it….
That Toblerone on the sideboard is looking mighty tempting….