Posts Tagged ‘Symphony’

How was your Pulled Pork?

March 2, 2017


After our American friend arrived a couple of days ago we had lunch at a local pub. Our friend from California is having extensive additions and renovations done on his house. He needed to live elsewhere for the duration of this. He is renting a house in the never never of Sydney’s sprawled-out Western suburbs. In the past it would have been referred to as beyond the black stump. In the earlier days of colonisation, the black stump was a landmark used as a pointer to unmapped interior of Australia. This sunburnt never never country. The black stump, a burnt-out tree!

After arriving and perusal of menu, Helvi chose the Pizza with anchovies and my friend and I went for the brisket sandwich. My friend explained this is a traditional Jewish dish. A kind of pulled slow cooked beef. What is it about this pulling of meat lately? There is now a race on to have ‘pulled’ meat dishes on menus. Especially pulled pork. Not long ago it was the pink salt or Himalayan salt. Soon after the wooden platters or slate on which food was served. Remember the waiter going around with giant pepper grinders? That’s old hat now. We have ‘pulled’ pork or beef. Are cooks pulling on a piece of meat before cooking it?

It is all so confusing. Are people now socialising, talking about their latest ‘pulled pork platter’ at the Berlin Café? I can’t imagine asking a nice sophisticated lady during the interval at Beethoven’s ninth symphony at Sydney’s Opera house, ‘ How was your pulled pork today?’

Within about ten minutes or so, our dishes were ready. This pub gives you an electronic buzzer which always frightens me a bit when they go off. So much now is done electronically. This pub is very popular. It means those devices are going off almost continuously with people dancing around from table to table.  With my deafness I sometimes mistake this noise with a call on my mobile phone. I now don’t take my phone with me. Even so I react. It is so crazy out there. Life so much nervous reaction which I can do without.

The patrons then walk to the counter and pick up their dishes. With the introduction of wooden plates it is an art  to walk back without spilling pulled meat or anchovies onto other diners. This is especially so during Friday nights when people go around selling raffle tickets. Most pubs do that. The tickets are raised to fund charity for the poor home-less or football clubs. Lions clubs or Father Riley, The Smith family and so forth.

After we picked up our wooden platters of food, we got stuck into it. The juices from this pulled brisket sandwich soon flowed onto the wooden platter. Those wooden platters don’t have a rim like good ceramic plates have. I made a little dike with a paper napkin. This building of dikes comes naturally. Even so, it distracts and the brisket wasn’t all that well pulled. Enfin, we continued on. Our American friend commented that it was nothing like his mother’s brisket cooking.

Is anything ever like our mother’s?


A world of shrinking Cornettos.( The poor stay poor)

December 4, 2014
The ever shrinking Cornetto

The ever shrinking Cornetto

It is no longer to be denied. Old age and shrinking are synonymous. My grandson (politely) asked my dear wife; is Opa still bending over SO MUCH? Oh yes, more every day. “I am stooped over like buggery and shrinking in front of your eyes”. I could have said. I should have admonished them further, “yes, that’s what happens when you kids give us so much worry, but I didn’t”. In any case, why spoil such delightful curiosity. Some years ago, when same grandson was about 4 years old he asked a very bent-over man at the local supermarket wearing many war medals on his jacket; “What is wrong with you?” Fortunately the old man was deaf, very wise, or pretended not to hear it.

Perhaps, bent over men, now features very much in grand-son’s perception of ageing and realises his granddad has now reached a similar level even without wearing medals. It is really amazing how acute the power of observations are with children. They still see things without too much prejudice or inhibited by societal imposed restrictions. That, together with their innate creativity is what sets children apart from adults who for the most have learnt to behave and toe the line, which in the process often leads to conformity and losing creative ability.

Even more ominous than shrinking granddads are the signs found in the world of consumables, especially the divisions of ice cream, hamburgers and toiletries. Yesterday we were in Sydney again to look after our grandsons. One was (feigned) sick, the other had to be picked up from school as their mum would be working late. The heat and humidity were both impossible and on high alert. The trees were listless, birds depressed and gathering storm clouds on the horizon bode for an exciting day. You know when that sort of electric crackling atmosphere heralds the sirens starting up of the State Emergency Service getting ready their ladders, chainsaws and fluoro jackets to deliver first aid to torn roofs and uprooted trees bending over the Porsches and Mercs of the well lubricated patrons of sailing clubs and members of prominent golf and bowling clubs.

My stooped Grand-parents

My stooped Grand-parents

At exactly 3.10 PM both Opa and Oma with sick grandson took off to pick up grandson from school. My wife thought it would be nice to shout a cold treat, not least because of the heat but also as a way for time to keep moving on. The heat was now seen to vibrate above the bitumen roads and some dogs had already fainted in front of an air-con shopping mall were people had managed to crawl into.

The timing was perfect. No sooner we arrived our grandson run towards our car. He was bright red in his face and I could tell he desperately needed an ice cream. We parked around the corner near a shop that without school kids’ generous contributions of pocket money, would have carked it long ago. It was run by a forever smiling Chinese family who improved it even further by placing some small tables and chairs outside. Summer-heat is a gold mine for those sort of little corner shops. Mothers and grandparents, both with hanging fore-arms, are cajoled into ice cream buying as never before.

Helvi and I rarely eat sweets or ice cream. I prefer salty stuff, sliced salami or herrings and Helvi a sturdy soup with lentils and celery. Everybody knows and that’s how it goes.
TThe poor stay poor,
The rich stay rich
Everybody knows.

Leonard Cohen.

This time we all went for the frozen stuff. Helvi chose the Cornetto and granddad and grandkids all had Gay-time ice creams. All of a sudden and this happens more often lately than not, we came to the same conclusion when studying the Cornetto, it had shrunk in size. The bastards, the maddening way we are all exploited by the Emporiums of Capitalism gone mad. Instead of increasing prices, consumables are now made smaller. Imperceptible to the novice but not to canny grandparents.

The shysters have done the same to hamburger patties. Go to the Golden Arched Big MacDonald’s and take the tape out. Measure the diameter of the minced patty. Even a shrinkage of a millimetre works out at millions more profit for shareholders. The same with toilet paper. Here the most favoured brand of toilet paper is the 4 ply ‘Symphony’ brand. I often see shoppers carrying huge 24 pack rolls to the basement car park. I smile and am pleased recognizing soul mates in the choice of at least that item. Sadly, the manufacturers have narrowed the width of the rolls. Have you not noticed? Or did you perhaps feel that there was a widening of girth in some areas? No, it is the Symphony toilet paper that has narrowed. Rest assured.

We are all being exploited.

The storm afterwards was fantastic. We had a nice day.