Wednesday 25 December 2013

A Bloke's Guide To Christmas Cooking. (1)

 Christmas lunch is over in our house today and I have heaved myself up from the festive board, to pen a few thoughts about us chaps cooking this meal and a few tips for any who would like to do it, (cook,) but feel daunted or intimidated by the plethora of written works on the subject.
The first thing to understand is, that it is actually very easy to prepare a fairly complete Christmas
lunch, with no fuss and not very much effort.

There are two major tips to learn before you start: -
  1. Don't read any cookery books on the subject
  2. Wash utensils as you go and you will have nothing to do later, but eat.

Cookery writers have to earn their keep and they have a vested interest in making things sound as difficult as possible. You will have seen articles about cooking the turkey, that promulgate complicated equations about weight, times and temperatures. You could send a turkey to the moon if you followed all their science.

We are going to take a more fool-proof approach. Let's face it, that will be more our style.

First off, don't buy a fresh turkey. A frozen turkey will be just as tasty, despite the "foodies" extolling the fresh ones. Honestly, there is very little difference in the taste and your family will be unable to detect anything subtle, especially after a few glasses of whatever libation you are serving.

What you will notice a huge difference in, is the price. Our 10 lb, (4.6 kg)
frozen bird bought in November and as solid as a rock, cost £14. I see them hawking the same sized fresh carcasses for $38 or more at the butchers this week, and get this, you actually have to queue to get them.

Now for the cooking: -
  1. Read the label.
  2. Defrost the bird in it's wrapping for about 24 hours.
  3. Before cooking, unwrap the bird and take out any spare parts, (neck, giblets and what have you,) that are stuffed into the body or neck cavities, Discard these. Giblet gravy is just an affectation.
  4. Dump the bird breast up in a suitable roasting tin.
  5. Loosely cover the legs and wings with aluminium foil and put a sheet loosely over the breast.
  6. Preheat the oven to whatever it says on the wrapping and when ready, put the tin and bird into the oven and set the timer for whatever it says. (Roughly 3 hours for a 4.6 kg bird at 190C.)
  7. 40 minutes before cooking end time, remove all the foil to allow those protected areas to brown.
  8. End time. Remove bird from oven. Place on plate. Done. 


Saturday 21 December 2013

News Flash.

Have you noticed the long term trend in television news reporting?

In nearly every report which contains video footage, the presenter will warn us that the clip contains flash photography or flashing images.

It is true that some people might be affected by these, if they suffer from epilepsy for example; but do we need these constant safety reminders? Surely one announcement at the beginning of the program would suffice. 

Now that they are warming to warning themes, newscasters are increasingly starting to give notice that a report may contain images which some people might find distressing.

Listening to the news on a radio seems to be an obvious solution for a population too timid to witness life in the raw.

Saturday 14 December 2013

No Room At The Gym. (Gym Slips 11)

The dry changing room at the gym is fairly small and although there are some lockers, there are not a lot of pegs for hanging clothes.

This being the case, I was astounded, (I think the word is not an exaggeration,) to see one chap arrive and use seven different pegs for his apparel, one peg for each item of clothing, except for his socks, which shared a peg.

Whether this was a display of total disregard for the convenience of others, or lateral vision gone mad, I could not be sure.

When someone behaves like this, it colours your view of them henceforth. 


Wednesday 11 December 2013

Showers For The Three Bears.

There are three shower cubicles in one of the changing rooms at the gym.
  • The first shower is at high pressure and is far too hot.
  • The second shower is tepid and counts as being too cold.
  • The third shower is just right, but you can never get into it.
Everybody knows the characteristics and makes for number three.
I'm not sure who did the pumbing, but it was surely done in-house.

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