Tag Archives: food

2493. Cat food

Stan was reduced to eating Clara’s cat food. Clara the cat had been almost twenty when she died. Given the price of things these days it seemed a waste of money to get rid of perfectly good cat food. Out of a tin!

Stan had always eaten well. Few things come out of a tin that are worthwhile, not even fish such as sardines or salmon are almost impossible to get fresh. He ate only fresh things so fish was off Stan’s diet. Besides it was rather expensive. Cat food out of a tin seemed repugnant. But food is food, and when one is out of pocket then necessity is the mother of invention. Clara’s tinned cat food. Yuk! Stan almost vomited, but he was hungry. Waste not; want not – especially these days.

After two days of eating the late Clara’s tinned cat food, Stan was beginning to develop a liking for it. It certainly was cheaper than the regular food that Stan usually had. The health benefits weren’t certain, but given the circumstances…

So Mervyn the cat lover decided to permanently feed his cat Stan the same stuff out of a tin that he had given Clara.

2445.  Birthday treat

Babette made twenty little cakes in her muffin tin. They were sponge cakes in which she cut a circular piece from the top, filled it with whipped cream, then sliced and set the cut out top to make a butterfly shape. She called them her butterfly cakes.

With the cream and the sugar and the butter she knew it wasn’t particularly healthy, but what the heck! a birthday comes but once a year.

For breakfast she had two sausages and a fried egg as well as a… no! Not toast, but fried bread; which is a slice of bread soaked in milk and fried in lard. For lunch it was a hamburger and French fries from a local chain, for although she liked to cook, three meals in a day was a bit much work, especially since it was her birthday.

At last came the evening meal. Babette poured herself a wine, set the table complete with her twenty little cakes, and began to prepare the main course of East Lothian beef, braised truffle barley and Scottish girolles. It was to be an early dinner, because as a birthday treat Babette had booked into the finest restaurant in town. She want to see how her cooking compared to theirs.

2443.  Cold comfort

Ever since her teenage son had come home from school, raided the fridge, and had a fry-up, Stacey had labelled everything in the refrigerator. She wasn’t going to be stuck at home for a weekend again with no cat food. Ryan had cooked it and declared later that it was quite delicious. Stacey had threatened to throw him a bone intended for the dog if he ever did it again. That explains why everything in her fridge was named and dated.

Stacey had been a solo Mum all these years. Husband Robert had gone for a bike ride, hit a car, and never came home.

Ryan in his teenage years enjoyed relabelling everything in the refrigerator. Butter was cat food; cheese was dog food; leftover couscous was canary food. Even tapioca pudding was frog’s eggs, and a raisin dessert was fly-cemetery.

Then Stacey met Nick. He didn’t have a sense of humour. It is amazing how one person can change everything.

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.