Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh for Freekah’s sake!

I’ve done
Hating with Honesty One and Two and it’s been a long time between moans. Time for another one; although this time ‘hate’ is too strong a descriptor; more like ‘annoying’ or ‘could do with a swift slap’ kind of moans around here today.

Pompous Provisions. Why do chefs have to include that one whacky ingredient, even in dishes that appear to be fairly easy and accessible? In The Age Sunday Life magazine, Karen Martini decided that we must have Freekah in our salad with easy-to-obtain onion, parsley, almonds, fetta, lemon, oil and pepper. Freekah?

She then writes, ‘If you can’t find it, pearl barley is a perfect substitute.’ Then why not just put the bloody pearl barley in there to begin with?

And Ms Martini is not alone. All of them like to add that one bizarre bit of food we’ve never heard of – let alone where to find – just to remind us that they are godlike, talented and able to make a meal of marinated goat lips, glass shards and angel tears whereas we have to be wealthy enough to find them from an overpriced providore or give up altogether. My response is always the second one.

Dung-like Dog Breath – this is now serious enough for us to consider a visit the vet, but I’m embarrassed to be using up their time – and my money – on Milly’s breath. It is excruciatingly, off-puttingly, shit-stinkingly awful. The poor beast merely has to yawn from her beanbag on the other side of the room and we humans reel back in horror, going ‘Peeee-yoooo!” She has a regular supply of fresh bones and I’ve even had Love Chunks hold her unwilling jaws apart to let me get in there with a toothbrush and some Colgate. Then the poor dog is set free in the garden, foaming ridiculously at the mouth and trying to run away from her own tongue. Not only do dogs miss out on opposable thumbs, but the inability to rinse and spit also has its disadvantages.

Porridge. I want to like it, I really do because it's full of good GI and is cheap and really healthy and all that but I’m afraid that it’s about as appetising as working my way through a bowl of chunky library paste. My grandfather ate porridge for breakfast for every single day of his life whereas I make it every six months, hate every gluggy, dishwater-flavoured mouthful and resolve never to do it again. Which I don’t, for at least another six months. Same goes for any kind of breakfast cereal, especially Weetbix for the hellish cardboard pulp taste and the noble-but-nauseating untoasted muesli which tends to exhaust and bore me whilst I’m miserably trying to chew my way through it all.

Beyonce – the telly is full of advertisements that, at the very least, break up the diet and meal supplements shoved in between the drawn-out-longer-than-a-full-pack-of-chewing-gum program that is the 'Biggest Loser', and are bleating excitedly that Beyonce is coming to town. Trouble is, the only ‘music’ (and yes, the term is used very loosely) we hear during the ad is a kind of annoying wail that surely she emitted during her last eyebrow wax, and not on a single?

Her latest song, ‘Single ladies put a ring on it’ is a crime against talent, taste, intelligence, common sense and all that is holy in pop land and only makes me mutter where I'd like to shove a ring on it..... She should be forced into a cell with Fergie, post-2000 Madonna and Mika for a slap fight to the death wearing nothing but CD covers and those hurty black plastic ear buds.

Extinct green pillowcases – are we the only adult couple in Melbourne who use pale green pillowcases? I can get bright orange, dark purple, sea/forest/olive/puke/lime green, hot pink, ruby red, bone, stone, maroon and black but no pale green. And, similar to the nonsensical cooking ingredient, I refuse to wander into a snooty linen store and fork out $35 for a small fabric rectangle regardless of thread count, brand name, origin of the organic cotton or the first name of the dedicated young virgin who sewed it.

Careless coffee – when a cup of flat white coffee costs four bucks, the least you can expect is that it’s filled to the top, and not an inch shy when Love Chunks got served his yesterday. In spite of Sapphire’s extreme embarrassment, LC called the waiter over, very quietly and politely explained that the ‘tide was out’ on his coffee and could it be topped up?

The waiter then did the thing that we all loathe: he pretended that there wasn’t a problem and if there was one, it was surely with us, the complainers.

“But,” he said, scratching his gelled-up head, “This is what we always serve.”

It was then I piped up with, “Oh no you don’t – look over there.”

On the table next to us were four cups of cappuccino almost spilling over. “Near enough is not good enough.”

Sapphire died a little more, put her head down and busied herself with the colouring-in sheet they gave her (despite only having two blunt grey and orange pencils to do it with) and he very promptly brought back a full cup. We watched the barista boofhead sulkily slop a bit more steamed milk in – luckily for us he was by the window and couldn’t slyly spit into it.

Social snob-offs. Look, I’m no oil painting but I’m not an axe-wielding maniac either. I’m sure if you’ve seen me every single morning and afternoon at the same time each term with a friendly orange dog, you might start remembering me. Especially when I look directly into your eyes, smile and say ‘hello’ as I pass by.

But no, this particular mother with whispy hair scrunches her humourless lips up into the perfect cat’s bum, looks straight through me and marches on with her son. Is she legally blind and using her child as a seeing-eye dog or do I really look ugly, intimidating and crazier than blowfly on bin day? Would it kill to acknowledge me, seeing as we have to brush up against each other as we pass?

There. I feel better now.


River said...

Dung-like dog breath? I'd say at least speak to a vet about this, if you don't want to take Milly for an examination.
How do you cook your porridge? Do you make it the Scottish/English way with water and salt? Try the continental way, cook the oats with milk and add honey to sweeten once it's done. I soak rolled oats in a little water overnight and add the milk in the morning to cook it. Use enough liquid so it doesn't resemble concrete. I add chopped dried fruit to mine, apricots, (I know you hate them), apples sometimes, sometimes I buy the fruit medley and use that. Forget the untoasted muesli, the toasted stuff is nicer, add yoghurt instead of milk.
Why does anyone pay $4 for a coffee when you can get a nicer, cheaper one at home?
Here's an idea for your pillowcases. Take one to Spotlight or whatever fabric store they have over there, buy cotton fabric in a matching colour and sweet talk your mum (or anyone else) into sewing you a whole bunch of lovely new pillowcases.
As for the woman with the drawstring mouth, perhaps she's excrutiatingly shy?

franzy said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the coffee picture with the tide out is in fact a fairly well-structured espresso. I reckon I can see the milkless darkness through the little bubbles in the middle ...
Although, on zoom factor 10 yon crema does look slightly more dairified than one would expect ...

Kath Lockett said...

River, you are indeed wise and I do have a preference for the toasted muesli, esp if served with yoghurt and not milk.

My porridge is normally done half Scottish half your way and I do want to enjoy it, honestly, but. I. Just. Can't.

Good idea re buying some fabric for the pillowcases. I failed sewing in home economics but Mum is/was a wardrobe mistress so I'll ask her.

Catbum woman shy- maybe. But after 10 weeks, which is 50 school days and therefore two greetings per day totalling a hundred, wouldn't she be prepared to smile or nod?

FRANZY, I did forget that you were once a Coffee Club character. The pictured cup is indeed an espresso made my Love Chunks at home when he was particularly proud of the crema. I didn't have my camera on hand for the real coffee under dispute and my mobile phone is a model that barely manages to ring, let alone take any photos.

Miles McClagan said...

Thank God - we may disagree on Big Ms, but Beyonce...I loathe...the only thing she's good for is making Lily Allen sound ever better...

Benjamin Solah said...

Ah, love your rants. I totally agree with you on wanker cooks using obscure ingredients. Jamie Oliver loves to use things like peasant liver...

Terence McDanger said...

Oooh bad dog Milly! Ours is worse though, he pops out into the middle of the floor, drops an eye-watering fart and then scarpers behind the TV where he can't be got to for chucking out purposes!

Mmmm? Farts or bad breath? I wouldn't know what to choose meself.

anabels said...

On the pillow case front I'm not sure if they would be the right shade but Ezibuy has a rather nice soft green in its sheeting range at the moment. So you can interweb/mail order them!

Yes I know getting fabric is more frugal but honestly I just want pillow cases :)

Baino said...

Oh but you gripe so nicely. I agree with ingredients, my son seems to think that sweet chilli sauce is suitable for everything. Doggy haliotosis definitely needs a vet check . .Porridge? Try the Uncle Toby's flavoured quick oats, not bad.
and Beyonce . .does that woman always have to dance in her knickers? Put some pants on girl! Can't help with the pillow cases - green - how 70s of you . . .as for the pussy mouthed misery guts . . . you just say hello every day until she finally gets it. Or cross over the street when you're within a metre of her . .

Kath Lockett said...

You'll all be pleased to know that Milly's off to the vet after lunch today.... even when I was on the phone making the appointment she yawned and the girl on the other end heard me mutter, "Oh Christ, dog, why?" and made us a top priority today.

Beyonce - pats on, mouth closed. Please.

Kath Lockett said...

Oops, that should be PANTS on, not 'pats'. Unless cows are involved, of course.

AussieExpat said...

With you on all counts there Kath.

As for Miss Priss - she may well be a Southern Brit. Where I currently live (the UAE) the Brits from anywhere East of Slough and South of Watford seem incapable of acknowledging a friendly greeting. I belive however, it's a different story once they've been introduced.

So, could you please do me a favour and conduct an experiment? Try and get introduced, or perhaps even ask to be allowed to introduce yourself, and then see what happens....