Tag Archives: food

2386. The time is tripe

Brenda’s husband, Colm, detested tripe; whereas Brenda loved it. It was Brenda who did most of the cooking, which is why Colm was subjected to a meal of tripe at least once a month.

Brenda hadn’t moved an inch in the fourteen years they had been married. At first, love overruled any tripe-dislike on Colm’s part. He heartily consumed it. But such action grows thin and now it was a massive monthly chore and had been that way for a dozen or so years. Indeed the marriage had grown decidedly rocky.

Brenda had always worked the night shift at the factory, which meant she would prepare a meal before leaving for work. From Colm’s point of view this was a blessing as he didn’t have to pretend to enjoy eating the tripe. However, he was a waste-not-want-not sort of guy so even though he detested tripe he forced himself to eat it. It wasn’t going to kill him and it was only once every four weeks or so.

It was Colm’s detestation of tripe that prompted Brenda to use the dish when she decided to poison her husband. He so disliked the taste that he would gulp it down, poison and all, with a grimace. The stage was set. Brenda went off to work.

Fourteen years of disgusting tripe is enough. Colm took his dish of tripe outside and buried it in the garden. As Anita from up the road said to Colm in the motel that evening: “Thank goodness you’ve at last taken a stand against that conniving, tripe-cooking lowlife. When tomorrow we begin to setup shop together I shall cook you a mean jellied eel.”

2334. Healthy eating

Anne and Peter had long retired. Occasionally their peace would be shattered by noisy and loveable grandchildren, but generally they lived a quiet, yet active, existence.

“We should really cut down a bit on our meat intake,” suggested Peter one day.

“Meat is certainly one of the more expensive foods. It would save a bit, and besides, less meat is apparently a more healthy option,” said Anne.

“Less meat it is!”

Anne found a recipe for beans and other vegetables that when cooked and minced up looked exactly like ground meat. Because it was the first time she had used the recipe it took a little longer than it normally would. She had followed the recipe meticulously. It smelt lovely. In fact, it actually smelt a little like ground beef. She arranged helpings on plates with mashed potato, and a cucumber and shallot salad.

“Come and get your healthy meal!” called Anne to Peter. He was reading the paper in the next room, ensconced in an armchair. “Everything’s ready!”

Peter continued to sit. He was dead.

2333. Cranberry sauce

Ailsa was a reasonable cook. The thing was, when she cooked a turkey for some special occasion or other, what she was most secretly proud of was her cranberry sauce.

It may not seem much, said Ailsa, but it’s a recipe the early colonists to this country would have used. I got the recipe out of a really old recipe book that was being sold with other used books at the Farmers’ Market. It doesn’t put all this other nonsensical stuff in like oranges and lemons and the baby and the bathwater. It’s simply fresh cranberries and sugar.

This year there was no cranberries in the stores. Ailsa searched from store to store. In the end she bought a jar of commercially made cranberry sauce. I shall place it is a dish and serve it as if it’s mine, thought Ailsa. But everyone will know it’s not as good as the traditional recipe. I’ll simply say I branched out a little this year and attempted to make something more modern.

Oh Ailsa, gushed Candice almost bordering on the salacious. Your cranberry sauce! It’s wonderful! It’s so much better than all the other years you have been making it. Did you change the recipe?

2135. In a pickle

Fergus was pickling cucumbers. There were many recipes but the one he was using was called “Bread and Butter”. The recipe for pickled cucumbers had explained that it was called “Bread and Butter Pickled Cucumbers” because the pickled cucumbers tasted delicious on bread and butter.

Fergus had never pickled cucumbers before. The recipe said to begin by finely slicing the cucumbers. The quantity on the recipe said to finely slice eight medium-sized cucumbers. So far Fergus had carefully sliced two cucumbers and it had taken ages. His wife said “Don’t be so fussy darling”. So he began slicing them hurriedly and not so perfectly.

He was just beginning to slice his fourth cucumber when he cut off the top of a finger. On the way home from the hospital Fergus’ wife popped into a shop and bought a large jar of Bread and Butter Pickled Cucumbers for half the price of eight fresh cucumbers.

Then real tragedy struck. Once home they opened the jar of cucumbers, got out the sliced bread, and discovered they were out of butter.

2111. A visit to town

Malcolm lived a good twenty minutes’ drive from town. He usually went into town about once every couple of weeks. It’s not that he was organized. Meals were planned while walking down the aisles of the supermarket. Pasta! Yeah, I think I’ll get some pasta. Rice! Yeah I think I’ll get some rice. Frozen fish cakes! Yeah! And so on.

On this particular day he arrived in town and there was no trouble finding a park. In fact, there were no cars. There were no people either. Everything was empty. Not a soul about. There weren’t any dead bodies or anything. Yet all the shops were open. One shop even had music playing: Fernando by ABBA. As if that would help a shopper buy shoes!

The experience was surreal; normal except no one about. Malcolm went into a takeaway and helped himself to a couple of chicken drumsticks and a bun. He made it his mission to go from food shop to food shop, and he chewed into fancier and fancier things. He plunged his teeth into the most fabulously decorated wedding cake. No knife! Nothing but teeth! It was not particularly nice. Too sweet! That sickly Marzipan.

He backed his car up to the main door of the supermarket and stuffed as much produce as could fit into every available space. And then he remembered something…

He had always wanted a tent. There would be no space in the car for a tent, so he drove to the Camping Store, selected an excellent tent, and pulled out a few things from the car to make space leaving a pile of produce in the car park.

When he got home he unloaded the car, packing things appropriately into cupboards and freezers. The tent he stored away to be used later in the summer.

What a weird but wonderful experience! He wouldn’t have to go into town for another six months. Brilliant! He hated going into town. Oh, blast! He’d forgotten to get cat food.

Poem 102: A Monologue on the Eternal Banquet

And here in heaven at the Eternal Banquet
there’s strawberries and cream.
I’m not fond of strawberries, I once said.
Everyone was shocked. They like strawberries.
Just eat the whipped cream, says one, rather than insult the Cook.
You’d think with all the resources up here and stuff like that
they could provide more variety.
But no! When Adam and Eve arrived they said everyone would want
strawberries and cream. Certainly nothing with apples.
Strawberries three times a day. Full stop. Period. Permanently.

Then Queen Elizabeth the First of England
(she’s got really fat – I mean really really fat)
says that if I want variety I should go to the other place.
Hell, I say, what do they eat down there?
Raw quince and crab apples.
All day and every day with no whipped cream.
They’re all skinny as rakes.
For a special occasion they get an uncooked cooking apple.
Well, I say, it sounds like that other place sucks.
So I get stuck into my strawberries and cream.
I’ve been here two hundred and eleven years now
and have never got used to the diet.

Once in a blue moon, for a special occasion,
we have a big feast;
like the other day when Abraham and Sarah celebrated
their four thousandth year since getting pregnant.
We all got a dry pink wafer cookie
stuck in the strawberry concoction.
Honestly, I crave a hotdog.
I wouldn’t mind if it came poked into the whipped cream.

The other day some visitors popped over from
the Conservative Sector for a social visit.
They took one look and said, Bloody hell!
Is that all you eat? You need to sack the Cook.
So we’re having a meeting about it, all fifteen billion of us.
The angel in charge said a decision has to have a 100% consensus
before any changes can be made around here.
That’s impossible, especially with some of the politicians in our Sector.
I’m not putting much hope on our chances of firing the Cook.
Besides, God loves to personally prepare the strawberries for us Liberals.
It’s the reward we get for being always right.
Bon appétit.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2081. It’s off to work we go

Joseph didn’t have much to go on. He would go to work each morning, which was a 68 kilometre round trip through heavy traffic, and his salary paid for the gas and the car maintenance and occasionally a bite to eat at lunchtime. He gradually (actually not too gradually) was falling into deeper and deeper debt. He worked out that he would be better off not going to work but to stay home and see if he could find the odd job online and grow stuff to eat in his backyard.

At least that’s the story he told the homeless shelter people.

2077. Enrique’s sandwich bar

Enrique came up with a brilliant plan. His sandwich bar in the side street downtown had been doing poorly. He estimated that within a week he would have to close down. The rent had become impossible. Fewer and fewer lunchtime patrons seem to call. A drastic change was called for; perhaps a final fling.

Enrique’s brilliant plan was this: he would go bizarre. The Bizarre Sandwich Bar had a ring to it. It was everything or nothing.

Lots and lots of strange combinations ensued: banana and lettuce sandwiches, tomato and honey sandwiches, leek and strawberry sandwiches… There was no end to Enrique’s imagination. People were in for a risk; a dare. Have you tried Enrique’s peanut butter and dried apricot sandwich?

Can I have just a plain ham sandwich please? Certainly not; there’s nothing bizarre about that.

Enrique’s experiment was a complete flop.

2068. Fingerprints in the butter

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it is finger prints in the butter. I’m not talking about people who purposely stick a finger in the butter. I’m talking about what my wife does.

We use a butter dish; not like those people who leave the block of butter in the wrapper. We at least have some semblance of respectability. But then when the butter runs out my wife unwraps another block of butter and picking up the block she plonks it on the butter dish. That’s when the finger prints appear on the side of the block. As if it doesn’t matter.

And then, as sure as eggs, the door handle to the refrigerator will be all sticky with butter because after she plonks the block of butter on the butter dish she puts it in the fridge. Hence butter all over the fridge handle.

I’ve put up with this now for thirty-two years. I said to her, “Look, I’ve put up with this for thirty-two years. Can’t you stop putting fingerprints in the butter?”

She’s as stubborn as an ox, my wife. I’ve started to notice greasy butter on a lot of things apart from the fridge door handle. The knife I use to slice the bread is often greasy, and so are the salt and pepper shakers. Butter grease is growing, and all because she picks up the block of butter and plonks it on the butter dish, and then goes and touches everything.

I like ice cream and I don’t mind a spoon or two of it at the end of the meal. My wife doesn’t like ice cream. Yet I notice the ice cream container is all greasy and the spoon in the ice cream is double greasy. She’s doing the butter thing on purpose. In fact, it’s got so bad that I have to wash my hands after I’ve eaten a quota of ice cream. Enough is enough. And now it’s the honey pot.

2010. Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year, apart from whose turn it was to cook the turkey, the Haslett family drew lots as to who would bring what on Thanksgiving. Over the years it had crumbled a little into abeyance because Olga always did the pumpkin pie. In fact she usually did two pumpkin pies. Even those who detested pumpkin pie thought that Olga’s pumpkin pie was to die for.

With her husband off work now with various shut-downs, money was a little tighter than usual so Olga was pleased that in an earlier time she had made some pumpkin purée and stored it in the freezer. Everyone else was a little hard-pressed for cash too, so they all jointly decided that they would make do with ingredients they could find without too much extra expense. Decima’s husband had an excellent vegetable garden so the responsibility for side dishes fell to Decima – although Stacey said she’d do a salad. It was Connie’s turn to do the turkey, and Arnie was an expert at concocting homemade apple cider.

All went hummingly. It was pumpkin pie time! It didn’t look quite right, but Olga said she had varied the ingredients a little according to budget demands. Oh dear! It turned out not to have been pumpkin purée at all, but carrot soup. Both are orange. Everyone screamed with laughter, but coupled with an extra glass or two of Arnie’s homemade apple cider, all agreed it tasted none-too-bad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!