The Plastic Hippo

July 28, 2017

Poached sushi

Raw sushi

When, on a cold and frosty morning, a car refuses to start when being late is simply not an option or the first intestinal rumblings indicate that the recently consumed piece of fish might have spent too long in the fridge, hope rapidly follows faith down the pan when it comes to being confident in having a mythical good day. No amount of de-icer or splashes of Wasabe can disguise the struggle in acquisition or the irredeemable loss when trust blows a gasket or crawls off the plate in search of greener pastures. The futility of bemoaning bad luck as being unfair can have no better example of wasting time than that of analysing the current government`s approach to governance, its notion of fairness and the Prime Minister`s definition of the words “strong and stable”. (more…)

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January 14, 2017

Risotto

Filed under: Cooking,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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rice If the weakness of the old is a stubborn and irrational reluctance to accept a shift in circumstance, then surly the strength of the young must be the wilful, recalcitrant ability to undergo a change of mind.

Friday morning dawned with the happy coincidence of a planned day off and the first significant snowfall of the winter. The plan had been to dispatch the less than eager sixth former to school and wave off to work the older virago career girl sibling, wait for rush hour to die down and then take a leisurely drive to a middle distant Shropshire market town for a nice day out. A glance at the weather and a quick look on social media confirmed that every motorist in possession of a valid licence but lacking any actual ability to drive was out on the roads sliding into things. The walk by the river, the pub lunch beside a roaring log fire and visits to a favourite butcher, baker, grocer and fancy delicatessen would have to wait until another less apocalyptic day.

Instead we climbed into coats, hats, scarves, gloves and wellies and went for a walk in the Arboretum. It was stunning. Dog walkers sniffed indignantly as if they had never seen a couple of geriatrics running around and throwing snowballs at each other before. Their dogs, however, like the barking mad Labrador I once walked in the marvellous Arbo, wanted to join the game. One miserable young bastard suggested that we were being “irresponsible” by lobbing snowballs up in the air for the dog to catch on the descent. The owner was annoyed because we made his dog “over-excited”. It seems that dogs and old people are not allowed to enjoy the snow. (more…)

January 12, 2017

Go compare

Filed under: Cooking,History,Literature,Music,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:12 am
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Hello...goodbye

Hello…goodbye

Unless you are considering a purchase of, say, car insurance, an aubergine, a refrigerator, a holiday or a selection of racy under garments, arbitrary comparison can sometimes be futile. Obviously a soft aubergine should be avoided as should a refrigerator that keeps things warm and a vacation to the Sahara should not be taken if one is heat averse. Similarly, in a northern European maritime temperate climate, nothing beats a pair of Damart Long Johns when the central heating is on the blink.

Comparing inanimate objects might be of some value but comparing subjective taste and preference can be a futile exercise especially when asked to name a favourite. It might be possible to make a binary choice between Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, the Beatles or the Stones, Oasis or Blur or (for younger viewers) Ed Sheeran or Jack Garratt but to prefer one to the other imposes an artificial hierarchy. Shakespeare is not necessarily “better” than Christopher Marlowe; Rod Hull and Emu are not necessarily funnier than Bernie Clifton and his comedy ostrich and Lobster Thermidor served with a chilled 2005 Coche-DuryCorton-Charlemagne Grande Cru does not necessarily taste nicer than egg and chips accompanied by a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. (more…)

December 24, 2016

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Filed under: Cooking,Politics,Society — theplastichippo @ 2:25 am
Tags:
Lunatic soup

Lunatic soup

The children are finally home, the shopping has been done and the drawbridge lifted in the hope of keeping the hatred out for a couple of days. On the eve of Christmas Eve, a strict and meticulously planned catering schedule required the preparation of a Christmas Eve supper. For best results, Carrot and Ginger Soup should be made 24 hours in advance to allow the ingredients a chance to interact. The production of this tasty and healthy soup confirmed what the children have suspected for years; it seems that their father has completely lost his mind.

Take two and bit kilograms (about four and a half pounds) of preferably organic carrots and give them a good wash. Do not peel them as most of the flavour is in the skin. Instead slice them and leave them in cold water.

Peel and roughly chop three large onions and finely chop six garlic cloves and a six inch piece of ginger. Drain the carrots and heat about five tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large (five litre) cooking pot. Cook the onions and carrots on a medium heat for about 10 minutes continually stirring. Add the ginger, garlic and about six teaspoons of turmeric and cook for a further five minutes.

Pour in about three litres of vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

Allow the soup to cool and then use a hand blender or a food processor to make the soup completely smooth. Cover the pan and leave overnight. (more…)

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