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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Vernon had an abhorrence for any form of brassica, be it cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels spout, broccoli, or whatever. Cole slaw was particularly detestable. It was a difficult situation, because if a possible host enquired about “What do you and don’t you like?” Vernon would say that he would eat any and everything. If he said he had a detestation of brassicas he would have left the host in a quandary of having to choose a side dish from a rather more limited list of options.
Don’t get me wrong. If Vernon was invited to dine and the host served, say, sauerkraut, he’d eat it. Why a host would be serving sauerkraut to guests is beyond comprehension. But you get the drift… Vernon did not like brassicas, and he would stop the car after dining out on brassicas and spew.
Vernon’s wife, Wendy, loved brassicas. In fact, when Vernon went away on a business trip, Wendy would stay at home and pig out on cabbage. As Vernon would say upon his return, “Well, I guess it’s better than smoking.” It was mainly the smell of cabbage cooking that put Vernon off eating cabbage altogether. He would begin with a mild retch and before long he’d be out in the garden leaning over the delphiniums and herbing his guts out.
One day, while Vernon was at work, Wendy (with all the windows and doors wide open to create a draught) cooked up cabbage soup with lots of bacon bones. After removing the bones, she pureed the mixture. The soup was devoured that evening along with some freshly baked buns and a hard-boiled egg. Vernon loved it.
That’s because Wendy called it “Smoked Bacon Soup” and didn’t mention the cabbage. Oh the whimsicalities of likes and dislikes!
Troy Meadowcroft had waited on death row for what seemed like an eternity. He was due to be put down (in a merciful and humane way) any day now. The newspapers were full of it. The guests to witness his electrocution had been invited and were currently selecting what to wear before heading in that direction, looking at last to be able to avenge their loved ones murder.
One of the more interesting features reported on was the prisoner’s final meal. One could order (within reason) what one wished. Troy had never liked complicated food. He requested simply pork sausages and French fries with splashes of malt vinegar and salt.
Letter One: I was amazed at the reported menu of Troy Meadowcroft prior to his execution. You would think humanity would have dragged itself out of the swamp by now. Pork sausages and French fries! How irresponsible is that for the prison to allow (in fact espouse) such unhealthy food? Are there no principles left when the prison authorities care not a hoot about prisoners’ health? And all that salt! Goodness me!
Letter Two: My religion forbids the imbibing of hog meat. I was horrified at the casual attitude taken by giving the prisoner pork sausages, as if such things didn’t matter. It was nothing short of scandalous. It was an affront to all sincere believers. And to feed a prisoner pig meat when so close to death is an instant invitation to the fires of Hell. I was deeply offended.
Letter Three: I couldn’t help but think that the man called Troy Meadowcroft who was put down recently had a touch of class. No one these days thinks of putting malt vinegar on their pork sausages. It is delicious, and something we used to do frequently when we were younger. Three cheers to the prisoner, and I would wish him a long and fruitful existence of enjoying life’s simple things if that was still possible.
Letter Four: Quite frankly I hope the prisoner choked on his pork sausage. The combination of foods looked disgusting – especially the salt and malt vinegar. I’m normally against the death penalty but in this case I’ll make an exception. The world is certainly better off without him and probably safer. People these days, especially those with money, have no sense of taste. Like my auntie.
Letter Five: What a waste of good food. People don’t seem to realize that people are starving and all we hear about is how a prisoner about to expire anyway is fed pork sausages and French fries. If only they had electrocuted the man a few minutes earlier, and then all that lovely food could have been shared by people in need. Waste not, want not.
Letter Six: Electrocution and lethal injection for condemned prisoners is nothing short of the authorities taking the easy way out. In the old days when we lined people up against a wall to get shot I would imagine you could see the terror in their eyes. They were paying properly for their crime. Regarding the final meal; wouldn’t it have been funny if instead of pork sausages they had stuffed cotton wool inside the sausage skins? Then the man would start to hoe into his final meal and it would all be fake. And use garden fertilizer instead of salt. And French fries made out of chicken poo or something hilarious like that. Stuff like that. You know.
Editor: This correspondence is now closed.
Dean’s doctor told him to start eating healthy. He searched online for healthy foods. There were links to different foods that said “Eat these for a healthy heart”. Dean clicked on them, link after link. It took a good half an hour to download all the pages each with a different healthy food.
The following, in this order, were good for the heart:
Oranges, kale, garlic, red wine, chocolate, sardines, lentils, almonds, pomegranates, blueberries, beets, salmon, turmeric, chia seeds, apples, avocados, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, chicken, chickpeas, coffee, cranberries, figs, flax seeds, red hot chilli peppers, ginger, grapefruit, green tea, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, mackerel, cashew nuts, oatmeal, pears…
Dean tried them all, one after the other, and it made no difference. He was still hungry. Health food doesn’t fill you up.
He finished off with a big slice of cream sponge cake and at last was satisfied.
“Now, now, Guzzle-Beak,” said Mother Thrush to her baby in the nest. “You must learn not to complain about your food. It doesn’t matter if you find a bit of lettuce in your caterpillar. Just quietly eat it and things will be fine. It won’t kill you.”
“Look at what happened to your brothers and sisters. There were five of you at the start, and they complained about the food. Next thing, they disappeared. It’s a nasty world out there and we must learn to be grateful for small mercies.”
“Your father and I have worn ourselves to a frazzle finding food for you. So a bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss. Taking a positive attitude to things will see you right in life. You’ll go places.”
Just then a hawk swooped down from nowhere, grabbed Guzzle-Beak in its talons, and flew off.
“Oh well,” sighed Mother Thrush eating the caterpillar she had brought for her baby and spitting out the bit of lettuce that was mixed in, “Mr. Thrush and I shall start a second clutch tomorrow.”
Roderick and David ran a smallish undertakers business. They barely made enough to live on. As Roderick joked, “The new doctor in town is not good for business.”
Then the coronavirus arrived. People were dying all over the place. Business was booming.
“At last we will be able to live it up a little,” said David lyrically. “A better quality wine! Cheeses! The finest cuts of meat! Homemade carrot cake all over the place!” Roderick and David were excellent cooks.
Sadly they both caught the virus and died.