Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bits And Pieces 4 (or 5 or 6 or whatever)

I’ve discussed a lot of important things here over the past couple of months – sex, religion, politics and Steven Gerrard (sigh), but I think this is by far the biggest: Have you noticed how early they put Easter eggs in the supermarket?

Oh yeah, eat your hearts out all you hard hitting newsmen, I’m the only one who isn’t afraid to go after the big targets!  If I had a can of worms, I would be cracking it open right now.

It’s been driving me mad ever since New Year’s Day, when I stumbled into the supermarket with my UK friends, (I was in the UK at the time, but I'm well informed that it was the same here in OZ),  all of us suffering a  hangover so big it had its own mushroom cloud, only to be greeted by the shiny sight of Easter eggs.

For a minute I thought “Wow, I really had a lot more to drink than I thought.  I’ve woken up 4 months later.  I’ve missed Australia Day and more importantly, now I will never know who died in the train crash on Corrie street, and what the hell is happening in this year's Biggest Loser?

I need to point out I’m not having a go at Easter here.  Like everyone, I love remembering the death of the son of God in the traditional manner of eating chocolate eggs delivered by a magical bunny (you know just like it says in the Bible, although I think someone had been smoking the burning bush that day.)

You know, I'll be thinking of my grandmother over Easter.  It will be the anniversary of her death. 

Don’t know why, but I do remember her talking to me once when I was a child.  Well, a few times really, but this particular time, it was just before Easter and I was about 5.  “Katie, if you are very good and eat up all your vegetables, do you know what will happen on Easter Sunday morning?”  I glanced up from my biography of Churchill and replied in the negative.

I remember her smiling then and giving me a big huggly-wuggly-snuggly and confiding that if the above conditions were fully satisfied and if I tried to be that rarest of things – a good girl, a giant rabbit would hop into my bedroom on said Easter Sunday morning and give me a large egg made out of chocolate.

She then grinned and nodded wisely.  And I can clearly remember thinking, as I stared at her loving face, how absolutely great it will be when I am a grown-up because then I too will be able to take powerful hallucinogenic drugs just like her. 

The Easter Bunny?  Huh?

Something in our culture has gone terribly wrong when we celebrate Easter by inventing a character which even John Lennon in the post Sgt Pepper years, would have found a tad on the weirdo side.  Honestly, the role models we give kids today.  And we wonder why they grow up robbing cars.

I took my brother shopping the other day.  He's visiting from the UK. Bless!!!  Why do men hate shopping with women so much?  David said that he knows why women like to take men shopping.  It combines two of our favourite activities – buying stuff and seeing their partners miserable.  He says that it’s because we shop differently.  Women will happily window shop for hours, whereas the only time you’ll hear a man say he’s going window shopping is when he has a big hole in the wall of his house and he wants a sheet of glass to stop the wind blowing over his beer.  Oh, he was telling Sue (his wife) recently that he really didn’t mind her buying expensive dresses as long as he can wear them to work just once, so he can then claim the price of them on his tax.

By the way - You know what I like about shopping here?  My size is different at every clothes shop.  From shop to shop, I can be a 10, 32 or 1.  It makes you feel good when you go from one shop where you are a 10 to the next where you are a 1.  Wow, 9 sizes in 10 steps.  Stick that in your health drinks, Jenny Craig!

Speaking of Jenny Craig, I made dinner the other night for a neighbour as a thank you. Now I must admit I can't cook. I'm the only person I know who takes half-an-hour to make two-minute noodles and even then I still manage to burn the water.

Bugger Gordon Ramsay, my mates think I'm the real Surprise Chef, because if anything I make doesn't give them food poisoning, they're really surprised.

To me Macaroni is the dance Peter Costello did with Kerry-Anne; Polenta comes out in childbirth; Coddling is something you would do with a New Zealander after Sux; and as far as I can work out Hummous is some sort of chick-pea terrorist organization.

I'm completely culinary-challenged. To me Jasmine Rice sounds like a drag queen; Arrowroot could well be the nickname of archery groupies; Kumera is an affordable small car from Holden; and Bok Choy sounds like some obscure martial art they used in the Matrix.

You know how they say too many cooks spoil the broth? Well it only takes one me to turn a Cup-A-Soup into a Cup-A-Puke.

Put it this way, I'm so bad I once spent two years in a flat and didn't even get the gas stove connected. In the end we actually used the oven as a spare filing cabinet, and even now the only reason I use my microwave is if I want to put metal inside it and pretend I'm watching the New Years' Eve fireworks.

My idea of a balanced diet is ensuring the cupboard is always well stocked with blue, red and green Pringles and making sure I drink both local and imported wine. Quite often I only get my three serves of fruit a day if my bag of mixed lollies has bananas, raspberries and strawberries and cream.

That said, even if I wanted to cook I wouldn't know where to start. I don't even have a recipe book at home, in fact the closest I've ever come is the time I got bored and arranged all my takeaway menus into alphabetical order.

Not that I can follow recipes anyway. In fact I think I may have some sort of rare recipe-dyslexia. I can't tell a shiitake mushroom from a fuucktake mushroom, and I'd have more luck trying to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls, than Donna Hay's latest recipe for coffee scrolls.

Yep, I'm the girl who used to think the five spices in Five-Spice powder were Scary, Sporty, Posh, Ginger and Baby, so is it any wonder I also thought al dente was a character from the Sopranos and fusilli was just fustupid that hadn't been cooked properly?

You think I'm joking? I wish.  I'm the girl who cooks cheese on toast by putting the cheese on the bread and then turning the toaster on the side.

Unless you count heating up a few hot chicken rolls in the microwave at 7/11 for my drunk mates, I have never hosted a dinner party. In fact, it's my worst nightmare.

I went to a friend's place for dinner recently and he proudly informed me we would be having a "Gordon starter, a Jamie main, and a Nigella dessert." If my mates came to my place, the best I could offer them was a "Ronald starter, a Colonel main, and a Sara-Lee dessert."

But despite my hatred of cooking, the funny thing is I still absolutely love cooking shows. From the Naked Chef to Hell’s Kitchen I could watch cooking shows all day. But no matter how much I watch someone else cooking I still have no desire to do it myself. (Then again I also watch a lot of CSI and have never felt inspired to go out and cut up a body either.)

No, I tend to watch cooking shows in the same way as I would watch porn. Sure it looks easy and impressive up there on the screen, but if I tried it in real life I can guarantee it would be a lot messier, the souffle probably wouldn't rise, and despite sending away for the fact sheet I'd still get all the technical terms wrong.

Tahini was a finalist in Australian Idol, right?

I'm hungry.

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