345 – Toast

Mmmm... toast....

The finest of all the foods? Could be my shortest ever blog post. Six words pretty much sums up how I feel about it, but given I’m a bit of a wanker, I shall extrapolate a little.

It’s apparently always best to write about what you know. I think that applies to blogs as well. I know about toast. I’m not sure how much I’ve eaten but if we imagine two slices a day (sometimes it’s more, sometimes less) since I was a child, that’s over twenty thousand pieces of toast. Imagine the weight of butter? It’s no wonder I’m fat. I can’t be arsed to calculate how many jars of marmalade that might have consumed or the total cost involved, but it’s certainly a lot of toast. I love it.

All this week I’ve been eating porridge. It’s messy (relative to toast), takes ages to make (relative to toast) and frankly, doesn’t taste as nice. Yeah, it’s healthy and slow release energy and all the rest of it, but so what? This morning I’m at home and knew long before now that there was a loaf of bread which, lets say, was better served apres toaster. I knew what I was going to eat and it didn’t let me down.

It has done on many occasions of course. Getting the timing right is obviously critical. I’d err on the side of underdone if anything; I feel it makes for a more luxurious dish, though perfection is preferable of course. The timing of the preparation is also vital – nobody wants cold toast, but at the same time I lost count years ago of the number of burns and ulcers I’d sustained in my mouth due to overly hot toast. I like to rush the process once the toast has popped and get it ready good and hot. Cold toast is for losers and hotel breakfasts. Continue reading

Post 309 – When tea goes bad…

Put it in the bin.

And when I say “when tea goes bad”, I don’t mean what happened to me yesterday, when I lovingly brewed a cup and poured what amounted to yoghurt into it, turning it a very strange and lumpy orange colour, and making me gag slightly. That’s not what I’m referring to at all. Before we begin, I urge you all to read yesterday’s nonsense written about tea drinking. This may or may not make sense without reading that. (I say ‘may or may not’ because I haven’t got a clue what I’m about to write).

Tea. Made from the tea plant. Well, strictly speaking it’s made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but that’s known to us as a tea plant. Perhaps it’s not known to us as that, because most of us probably don’t make reference to it – we don’t have to make reference to it unless we’re writing pointless blogs about it. It’s vital that we understand this. Shall I make it a little clearer? According to Wikipedia:

Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many people enjoy. Continue reading

Post 308 – Tea

Yum.

“What shall I write about tomorrow?” I pointlessly asked Mrs. F last night. Pointless because I don’t need help in writing it and would struggle to write about a topic at length which someone else has thrown at me. I think I just wanted her to ghost write it for me, but she has enough to write about at the moment.  “Tea”, she said. “Crap”, I thought. She then gave me the abstract, but again I just wanted her to write it for me. I am lazy. Oh well, here goes.

I love tea. It’s a major part of my life and anyone who doesn’t love tea is an idiot. This is fact. I’m a coffee lover and there are times when only coffee will do. I grind my own beans (poncey) and drink it black. This is the only way to drink it. Certainly don’t get bogged down in where your beans are coming from and how freshly ground they are if you’re then going to throw a load of frothy milk and vanilla syrup into it.

Coffee isn’t always the answer though. It’s too caffeinated as well. “Tea has the same amount of caffeine as coffee”. Well, that’s a nonsense as all non idiots know. They’re not the same, there’s about double the amount in coffee as there is in tea, which is why after a while coffee sends me a bit mental. However, I’m not here to explain in detail how and when I drink various caffeinated drinks. I realise this blog can be dull but that would be taking things a bit far. Continue reading

October 7th, 2011

Yes, a stock photo. I'm not mad, I'm not going to pay money for a picture of some porridge, what sort of idiot do you think I am?

Routine is something I’ve always tried to avoid in my life, but actually I’m rather good at it. Most of the time it passes me by, but I’m reminded of it – such as when people talk about the weekend and how much they’re looking forward to it.

I’m aware of what happens to the traffic on a Friday, when said people are getting excited about the weekend. Whilst Friday traffic is renowned for being bad (and I’m bound to find this later, when I set off on another very tightly timed Friday afternoon excursion), the Friday rush hour is almost non existent, at least on my route. I can only assume people take Fridays off, the lucky things. I guess if you work part time, which many people do now, and you have a choice, you’ll work from Tuesday to Thursday, and have Fridays off. Seems the obvious choice and affords the most flexible of lifestyles when it comes to fun based weekend japery. (My spell check doesn’t like japery. It would prefer papery, Japanese or jalapeno, none of which quite work).

The reason I mention it is that I’m in at my “job” rather early and that’s because of the missing Friday slackers. I’m pleased. I knew it would be like that and I was pleased that I’d get in early ahead of an earlier than normal start. That’s not the point of routine that I want to talk about though.

Back in the day, my very hard working father would sometimes have to start work extremely early. In fact he would often start so early that I don’t actually know when he’d be starting. These days he does pretty much bugger all, but after a lifetime of working hard in a job which, to some extent he worked in purely to make sure his family were financially secure, he’s entitles to do whatever the bloody hell he does or doesn’t want to do.

Anyway, I digress. I found it funny that on those occasions he would prepare for the morning. I don’t mean leaving a shirt out, I mean every single tiny thing was taken care of especially in the kitchen. I shall explain my own strategy, which mirrors that so exactly it’s frankly embarrassing. As I walked into the kitchen this morning, there was water in the kettle. My mug was next to the kettle and a tea bag was inside said mug. To the side of the hob there was a pan, which was pre filled with half a cup of porridge. The cup was next to the pan, ready to be filled with a full cup of water. There was a wooden spoon to stir the porridge and next to that was a bowl, and a spoon with which to eat the porridge. Next to those was an upturned bottle of honey, ready to be squeezed, and a pack of raisins, open, ready to be poured onto the finished product. My cup which I take into the car was washed up and next to the sink, ready for the tea to be poured into it.

On the other worktop there was a bread board and a butter knife, a loaf of bread (wrapped, obviously), the butter and a piece of foil laid out, waiting for me to make the sandwich. Of course I could have pre made the sandwich but for some reason that makes me uncomfortable.

So, I walked into the kitchen, switched the kettle on, put the hob on, filled the cup…. etc., etc. It strikes me now that I could have put the pinch of salt onto the dry porridge last night and saved myself another few seconds!

This stupid anal process saves me a couple of minutes, at most, but it’s very rewarding. Perhaps if I just had toast it would be easier. Maybe when I get really busy (ie the week after next) then I’ll revert to the toast eating in the car scenario. Eating toast in a rush hour traffic jam is no fun; sitting at the dining table eating porridge is fractionally more fun.

I really was going to keep the word count down today. Could have been worse, could have started gushing about the sacrifices my Dad made for me by taking a shit job. I’ll save that for another day (hi Dad!) For now I shall suggest that over the weekend my posts may revert back to something a little more manageable. They might not – I’ve got a gig tonight and there’s every chance it’ll be rubbish. In the meantime, if you’re not working today, have a lovely day. If you are, then it’s nearly the weekend, whatever that might mean for you.