Posts Tagged ‘Capsicum’

Potato baked in foil is the only way forward

March 27, 2017

photochevati sausages

We all know we have to keep going. One way is to keep things simple. It is amazing how quickly things can turn complicated. Sometimes we get churned up and on reflection are amazed how we reacted so badly despite having arrived at an age whereby wisdom is supposed to be our domain. We all plod along the best we are capable of. One way forward in giving respite to anxiety and relief from life’s foibles is through the potato baked in foil. It is not just by accident that the word foible includes foil.

For some weeks now this family has come to realize that what has been dormant for many years in our kitchen drawer, the roll of aluminium foil, is now finally being used to its full potential. It was staring us in the face all the time. This last sentence doesn’t seem to follow the rule of logic. Following rules have never featured very strongly, let alone logic..

There is no getting away from the fact that we have to sustain ourselves. Food is just one item of that sustainability. We have discovered that through the week we eat fish at least twice a week.  After having tried different fishes, it is the salmon cutlets that have won out. We get 4 cutlets each week. They cost about $14.- The salmon cutlets are spread out over 2 days but not consequently. We might have a pasta or a risotto in between, just for variety.

The potato in foil is now so much part of our dietary habit that I felt it my duty to inform you why we feel so strongly about this ‘potato in foil’ discovery. It is delicious and dirt cheap. Let me give you the low-downs on it and it is free. I cut two or three potatoes in quarters or even smaller. This depends on the size of the potato. The bigger the potato the more you cut it. I prefer the Dutch Cream potato, even though I became an Australian some years ago at the Sydney Town-Hall. I had a choice of doing the oath of allegiance on the bible or in the name of the English Queen. I thought it an odd choice but the biscuit and cup of tea afterwards, prepared by the Salvos, repaired my suspicions and anxiety somewhat.( but not totally, even till this day)

I don’t peel the potato but that choice is yours. After having cut the potatoes, I drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle some pepper, salt and oregano on them. I wrap the potatoes into 2 packages of aluminium foil and leave them for an hour or so. At about an hour and half before eating, I light the outside gas barbeque, put it on low, and put on the  wrapped potatoes. A red capsicum is cut in half and I follow the same procedure by adding some olive oil, pepper, garlic and herbs of choice. This is added to the top of the barbeque plate about 3/4 hour before eating. NO foil around the red capsicum!

In the last ten minutes before eating, the salmon cutlets are fried,. 7 minutes one side with skin crisp and brown, turned around for another few minutes on the other side. All that is left now is to unwrap the potatoes add them on 2 plates with the char-grilled capsicum, salmon cutlets and just eat it all. Slowly does it. It really is a simple dish, nutritious and healthy and with such little effort.

It is the only way forward.

 

 

Back to school for the monsters, and wedded bliss

January 28, 2017

 

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wedding photo of my parents with mum’s brother and sister.

The end of the holidays is for mothers always the best part of a holiday. That is what my mother thought. With six children she was always happy to see us walk back to school. I am sure many mothers today feel the same. Holidays for adults were rare. Dad went to work to earn the food and rent. Mum stayed home, darning socks, washing clothes and cook the food. Millions of tasks. It was normal. All over the world it still is.  Sometimes we were taken for a single day or so. A circus with clowns or a day at the beach is what I remember.

“Have you packed your schoolbag?” “Yes, mum.” This will be echoed around  suburbia this coming Monday morning. I wonder if school lunches are still being made? I suspect many children buy their lunches. In Australia the summer holidays are spread around Christmas. This year it has been hotter than ever and the Nuclear clock has been wound-up to go off in a matter of global minutes. A pessimism is spreading the world which is when I feel most elated. There isn’t a great deal that I can do about Trump or our own coterie of paper mache politicians. I might as well enjoy the ride and make the most of it.

It is just as well that Helvi is the opposite, boundless optimism and full of cheer. Peals of laughter can often be heard. A pretty good match if you can find it. Last Saturday there was the annual Wedding show at the Bradman Cricket Oval. ‘It is huge, a world’s best, that is so true.’ The grounds were taken up by over seventy virginal white marquees with one huge ‘big top tent’ smack in the middle of the oval.  Every now and then the wedding march would boom through loudspeakers. Keen  sparkling eyed girls practising the coming event. Dreaming swirling around, eyes agog, it will be magic, ‘it will be the best, weddings first, love after wilting. It is so true.’

Have a dekko at this lot.

http://www.southernhighlandsweddingfair.com.au/

It is too late now, seeing the event is over, but I might set up my own wedding marquees next year on the Bradman Oval. Show them some real cricket! I want to give balance. I would serve cautionary tales and serious advice, perhaps with video footage shot at Family Courts. Close ups of bitter wives and warring husbands , fighting tooth and nail. Sound would include their sobbing’s with white rage. The marquees would have tables groaning with wedding albums torn to shreds. Photographic evidence of chucked wedding videos. Bins full of wedding gowns and other wedding paraphernalia. It would also have copies of lawyer bills running into tens of millions. The flotsam of real weddings would be om show.

I will also present conclusive proof that there is a strong correlation between,  the more money spent on the wedding the shorter the duration of wedded bliss. In fact, consumer affairs have long thought of banning weddings or at least give it star ratings. I am sure that if fridges failed at over forty percent, they would be banned.

I noticed that minced meat is now also given a star rating. I generally go for the three star mince quality but Helvi prefers the more leaner and optimistic four star beef mince. I like a bit of fat. It keeps me on my toes.

I am going to barbeque some potatoes wrapped in foil, char-grill a few red capsicums and make some patties of my minced beef (3 star) with cumin, garlic and some pepper. It is still too hot and I shall wait till about 6pm when the temperature drops to about c20. It will be so good, so great…the best barbeque and that is true.

You have now been ‘encrypted.’

October 8, 2016

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Yesterday wasn’t a good day. I received a bill from our energy supplier. This same supplier, AGL (Australia Gas Limited) enticed us with a quarterly deduction of $5.- if we paid our bills ‘paperless.’ Going ‘Paperless’ is now the latest fad sweeping the world. You can tell, by the confident strides of people on the world’s pavements who now go through life totally ‘paperless.’

A common question and a good way to start social intercourse at parties is to ask, ‘are you paperless yet?’ Or, less common and sometimes seen as a bit of a friendly reminder or slight rebuke; pardon me Sir, your lack of ‘paperless’ is showing. At those internet quick sex of Romance and Introduction websites, some now ask to show their PL status. ‘Gent, 68 years of age, fully PL and NS, NG, ND desires a nice fulsome woman with some desires to go PL, seen as an advantage but not necessary for a jolly relationship.’

Yesterday was also the inauguration of our latest acquisition, a mini-pizza oven. We always wanted to get back into pizza’s and pizza cooking. This pizza oven fits on a table and made in Mexico of stone. We bought some special hardwood kindling. We thought we would first try out some marinated Angus Porterhouse with foil wrapped spuds and a couple of red capsicums.

This was before the ‘not so good’ came about. Let me explain. I usually hold off going to my computer to check e-mails or the latest hurricane making landfall. The coffee and early mornings’ spousal natter always takes precedent. After the ‘how did you sleep’ with ‘how often did you go to the toilet’ gets over, we heave ourselves from the sofa. Milo knows the ropes and precedes us going upstairs. Milo is followed by Helvi and then me. We switch the computers on. Milo slinks under our desk. It might be another two hours before we take him for his walk. He knows and resigns to this routine. He still gets miffed why this takes so long.

After I perused the news and open the inbox for a flurry of messages to blacken up my screen. I delete many, especially the enticements for Twitter and Facebook paraphernalia. I do answer most of the kinder posts and gradually follow the black list of inbox mail to the very bottom. One of the E-mails was by AGL to pay a bill and take advantage of doing so ‘paperless.’
‘Download your Statement,’ it urged me on, in its devious and pernicious manner. It also said; Thank you! (including the exclamation mark) THAT should have been a warning. But, I am not the sort of man that picks so niftily up on the mind of criminals. True, I do pick up deviousness in Strata monsters and have a well developed sense of people drunk on Body Corporate power, but for serious internet crime, I remain pure.

As soon as I pushed the ‘download’ on the AGL bill, all hell broke loose. I was asked to ‘run’ and ‘open’ the statement, but no statement came. I pushed again and again. Then a warning popped up to draw my attention that my files hade now been locked and encrypted. I needed to pay money to unlock my files within 72 hours. If not paid within that time, the amount would be doubled. I was given an ultimatum. It also infected my home-screen with the above message. I could not get out of it, no matter how I closed everything or re-opened again and again. I was so furious and spent hours googling for an answer. There are lots of help lines and web- sites. They too are often Malware/Ransomware sites. It is a mine-field out there. Microsoft did not give me much hope. They did say that many just pay up and get their files back.

Anyway, I have an American Friend from California. A man who from way back was interested in computers before they even came about. He steered me by phone to do this and that but mainly go through a very long scanning process. Each time I had pressed the ‘download’ button I invited the ransomware virus. It finally went and my home screen is again showing Milo. There was still time to fire up the Pizza oven and it was fantastic. The meat and spud just timed perfectly. The capsicums nice with just a hint of charcoaled skin.

All is well, but it came close to murder.

Is a sugar-tax cricket?

March 20, 2016
Still in The Hague. My parents

Still in The Hague. My parents

 

The last few weeks have been trying. Getting a book to fruition during a heat-wave is nothing more than self-flagellation. Readers might remember that it was suggested to change back the Father and Mother words to Dad and Mum. This was done via my newly advised and learned Word- processing trick, by instantly replacing all the words in the whole book instead of trawling through the whole manuscript, word by word. It even lets you know how many Mums and Dads were changed. There were new issues about ‘keeping Mum about a secret, ‘changed instantly into ‘keeping Mother….’

Of course, during changing from Father& Mother back to Mum and Dad (for the second time,) when writing about an episode of a budding artistic career involving hand painting Friesian Grand-Father clocks with windmills and sea-gulls in endless flight, it changed into Grand-Dad clocks. It still meant going again through it all. How does one remember having used words in a totally different context or co-joined? Just as well the Catechism wasn’t written. ‘It the name of the Dad, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

My good friend, Paul in Balmain offered to format the whole caboodle.  When it was mentioned more changes were likely to come, he stopped. The formatting formula whereby pages get numbered, photos with descriptions or titles underneath introduced, sub-headings appearing, the different fonts  and so much more, would all become hay wired when any changes are made. It does mean it finally has to come together as good as possible. And, all this, with not excluding serif or sans serif, is making an enormous demand on keeping sane.

It has now come about when opening a book the emphasis is on any mentioning and checking the fonts, both the size and look of the letters, spaces between paragraphs, the inclusion of ISBN number, catalogued with National libraries, the back page blurbs. Dedications and grateful murmurs to all sorts of helpful people. The issue of laying claim to copy-right. Issues of privacy and possible libel. Do people who get their manuscript published continue writing and reading?

Most publishers want the first few chapters and a bibliography. Others want the whole manuscripts ‘print-ready.’ Some want one to study the books they have published and write a synopsis of this or that book.

My goodness. One could have been a good surgeon, or prominent lawyer.

Rest assured that all is well. Just now I have made some cuts in potatoes, added chopped garlic and pepper and wrapped them in alfoil. Did the same with some carrots and shallots. For a few weeks all our cooking has been done outside. We sit in the shade with Milo chasing lizards. We chase some Shiraz instead and wait an hour or so when the spuds and carrots will be almost cooked. We put on the salmon cutlets with some red capsicums that have been sliced.

Voila, a perfect solution to book publishing fatigue. And…not a single spoonful of sugar is used. Poor old England, the sugar- tax bogey man is coming. People are starting to hoard sugar in their cellars. Soon, like smokers, sugar ingestion will be done on street corners behind newspapers or in dark alleys. People will try and stir in the sugar when no one is looking.  Husbands will be suspicious of wives coming from the larder. What is the world coming to…a sugar-tax!