Saturday, September 30, 2006

A toofer

Wee-whoie! Two (2) posts in one day! Dang, I hope y'all appreciate it...

Remember when I said the nice meal I AM gonna make would only take 30 mins... Weeeelllll, you can add some time (thyme, snicker) to that. I was going to use last night's leftover roast spuds for the base of the potato patties, but SOMEONE (actually, 2 (two) someones) had them for lunch.

Oh, the agony. Oh, the hurt. When will this cruel world let me be...?

I have a saying in times like these: If this is the worst thing that happens today, then it's gonna be a good day. I'm actually thinking of taking out a patent on that thar sucker! It really makes any little teeny thing that goes wrong just laughable. Try it (mikey), you'll like it.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or the next time you are delayed by 20 seconds waiting for a streetlight, or the next time some a**hole eats the leftovers you were planning on using, or the next time you drop the razor sharp axe on your shin (oh, scratch that one from the list); just think to yourself, "If that's the worst thing that happens today, then it will be a good day." You'll soon find that all the little, niggly things that used to pile up and irritate the hell out of you and make you drink the six pack before dinner (ok, you can still have the six pack) just don't seem to matter much. GO ON!!! TRY IT!!!! IT WORKS!!

Well, I guess I'm off to peel some spuds...

Oh, the ice cream mixture is cooling and it'll soon be ready to go into the ice cream maker: Homemade chocolate mint ice cream with chocolate mint from your own garden! Mmmmmmm.

Whoopsie, Food Stuff:

You don't get a recipe this thyme (time), but I'll give you a great tip and then expound upon said tip soonly:

Get. A. Steamer. It don't have to be bamboo, anything will do (try to avoid aluminium (aluminum)).

Coming up in the next episode: Things from veggies you can steam that you would have normally thrown away --how's that for a teaser?

Remember folks, keep yer stick on the ice,


Confessions of a Blathering Idiot

Confessions of a Blathering Idiot

I really hope that I invent one of the devices I talked about earlier on Sept 23rd that way when I come up with some really cool stuff to post I won't forget it. All the stories and tidbits that fly like greased lightning through my skull (no brain to stop em, so they get in, see the light from the far ear, and are GONE), can be put down on paper --eeck, showing my age, I mean Wordpad (TM)-- for y'all to peruse at your leisure.

Oh boy (girl); this post could be disjointed. Disjointed: you know, when you are carving a leg of lamb or pig and you need to get through the joint. As completely opposed to someone who didn't respect Spiderman's girlfriend (get it??? No, I'll spell it out for you: Dis meaning disrespected; Joint meaning rolled up cannibis (otherwise known as Mary Jane); Peter Parker's girlfriend is Mary Jane ---NOW do you get it???)...

In case anyone is interested, I've had a lot of edjukashun. I remember one of my 3rd year uni fizzics classes quite fondly... My lab partner wrote on the top of a paper I'd turned in "This paper belongs to Dave Downes, Master of the Obvious; Alias Dave "Read the fucking manual" Downes". I turned it in anyway, can't remember if I got bonus points or not but I thought it was pretty cool. I got the nickname from a lab TA who, after a few weeks of me, said, "Dave, just read the fucking manual", very cool, eh?

I guess I learnt the lesson as I'm the one who always reads the manuals on the new electronic gadgets we perloin --let's see... insert 2 C batteries and turn the knob on the bottom to "high".

Whoopsie, that may be more than you wanted to know, so just pretend you didn't read it and I didn't type it.

Oh, for those of you "up over" it is springtime here in Oz. That means it's 70-85 F during the days and the grass is green. My garlic bulbs are already sprouting (yes, I planted them late), the thyme is fine, the oregano is doing great, rosemary bushes are flowering (so is the thyme), sage is plentiful, the potato vine is flowering, the grape vines are going gangbusters (gotta harvest some grape leaves in about two weeks to make Dolmades throughout the summer), this year's basil is thriving --no thanks to the loopers, the coriander (cilantro) seeds are poking up, just saw the first of the roses opening this morning while I was watering everything... Sigh, life is GOOD! The apple tree is in full bloom, so is the orange tree. The lemon tree has had lemons year-round, very cool. The freezer is packed with last years apricots. Ummm, did I mention that life is GOOD?

Looper (caterpillar) control. There's a bio-insecticide that I use. It's powder you mix with water. It's a bacteria that kills the caterpillars when ingested and doesn't do anything to the beneficial bugs. I highly recommend it.

Snails... Ok, I'm bad; I use snail pellets. The coffee ground (caffeine makes the snail hearts explode) procedure doesn't seem to work, and I don't have poultry (chooks and ducks eat all the snails).

I'm going to have shrooms again this year, and THIS time they won't end up as snail food.

I do have a lot of wood to chop this afternoon, most of it will be easy (for me), but I've got a couple of log-sized branches to get through. No chain saw for me, just a good sharp axe and a blue ox (does any of you mtv generation even know what I'm talking about????). Have you ever tried to chop through gum logs? That stuff is DENSE! I mean, even denser than me! Hey, I can chop and split pine in my sleep, one handed, blind-folded, bare-footed. But gum... Oof-da, tough stuff. Fortunately, one well-seasoned log of gum tossed on the fire will heat the whole back of the house all night. So I guess it's worth it, eh?

FOOD finally, dave

Dinner tonight is going to be potato cakes (with lots of stuff added), with crab and shrimp (prawn) sauce on the side. Another side will be fresh, steamed asparagus with homemade hollandaise sauce. Dessert will be fresh homemade chocolate-mint ice cream. Did I mention the three kinds of mint plants I have growing??? No? Well one of them is chocolate mint --very very good. Total time: 30 mins for four adult sized servings. Well, not true, I will be making the ice cream ahead of time.

Shrimp is called Prawns down here. So for those of you who remember the Paul Hogan commercial about enticing USins to visit Oz by saying "We'll throw some shrimp on the barby for ya"... Well, IT'S CRAP! It really should be Prawns...


This one may be an acquired taste, but you get it anyways:

Another food processor recipe! Actually, this is a spread type thingy so I'm not sure if it counts.

If you don't like salty fishy stuff, then don't bother reading any further. No wait, come baaaaacckkkk... Doesn't anybody love me anymore???

We'll call this one anchovy butter, y'all ok with that?


A few tablespoons of butter
A few anchovies (if you don't know about 'em, then you probably don't like 'em)
Some canned tuna --around an oz (no, not Oz as in folks from Australia, lower case oz is short for ounce) (NOT canned tuna fish!!! Tuna is already a fish, duh. Like, do you say "canned salmon fish", or "canned mackerel fish"??? No, I thought not!!!)


Chuck it all in a food processor and process til it's a creamy butter.

Use it as you would any butter, duh.

Variation #1: Add some roasted garlic!

Variation #2: Add some minced onion!

Variation #3: Add some whips and chains --whooops! How'd that SLIP in there?

Variation #4: Add some ginger powder or fresh ginger!

the list goes on...

Have a great weekend everyone, seize ya later!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Hallowed Unwashed Heathen Horde

As I type this, and think randomly disconnected thoughts, I feel it's best to warn you that this post *might* be for cyclists only. However, since I do have my own version of the Miranda rights, I do reserve the right to pursue whatever tangent enters me wee little ole pea-sized brain at anytime. Oh, and if you can't afford a brain, one will not be appointed for you: you're on your own, sucker!

I am male (biiiiig revelation dave, when do we get the good stuff?).
I have never shaved my legs (damn dave, we hope this is going somewhere).
I ride bicycles (obviously, get on with it).
I ride mountain and ROAD bikes (Aha, us cyclists get it! Next you're gonna tell us you wear underwear under your bike shorts --what a dweeb you are, dave).

Oh, I just remembered an "aside" I wanted to put in hear (here): I do gots and knows good grammer! Your/you're, their/there/they're, then/than here/hear, to/too/two, wear/where; these are all no brainers to me --and it's a good thing they're no brainers-- So any of the typo crap you read on this site is the fault of my serious lack of proophreedeen scillz.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Ponderosa is in trouble again (whoops, showing my age again, damn).

I'm getting to the point (that's the sharp end of the blade): Why Do Roadies Shave Their Legs? Shit, WDRSTL don't mean diddly squat, damn.

We may start to wander here (hear), so fasten your selt belts, put your tray table in an upright position, tuck your head betwixt your legs, and kiss the seat cushion goodbye (fooled ya!).

All racing roadies, and almost all wannabe roadies shave their legs. Let's take this for a given (but not forgiven --did you get it?). And nowadays a lot of mounties shave their legs too. The question for twoday is: WHY?

Firstly, we won't even bother with the ole "aerodynamic" crapola reason. Not worth the brain cells.

Nextly: "It's so that the post-race massage from the massuese (sp?????) doesn't pull on the hairs and hurt." Ummm, dude (or dudette), you just spent 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 hours in the saddle. If you think a massage pulls your tender hair and hurts, then you really weren't hurting yourself out there, eh?

Turdly: "But, the massuere (sp???) likes slick skin and there's not enough oil." Ummm, dude (or dudette), I have gotten MANY rubdowns from massage therapists and sports massage therapists and I can tell you this: It's not a problem for them! Oil's cheap, DUH --just ask Exxon.

Quarterly: "Yo, you moronic idiot dave, Road Rash hurts and heals much slower with hair!!!!!" Ok, I'll give you some points for this, put you get NEGATIVE points for not knowing what to use on your road rash. The great secret to curing road rash (and a sh*tload of other stuff) is... Papaw ointment. Made from Papaw fruit (that was obvious). Hell, I think you can even get it in the lower 48. It heals with NO SCARRING. It heals quicker than anything I know. Slather it on before you shower and the shower is a LOT less painful than you thought it would be. Now, I won't go into what it does (but I do know), or where to get it (I know that too), but I can tell you it's the BEST thing for road rash, hairbound or not.

Fively: Picking out the grit and gravel: Oh come on, whether there's hair or not, it's gonna HURT LIKE HELL. Slather some Papaw afterwards and when the pain goes away then you'll be kneeling at my alter.

Sextly (oooohhhhh): "Everyone's doing it, so I'm not going to be left out!" Ahhhh, dipshit, does this even need a reply? If you'd read this blog then you know I don't give a rat's ass about "fitting in".

Lastly: THE REAL REASON WHY CYCLISTS SHAVE THEIR LEGS. I went into All Weather Sports one day (it's a bike shop in Fairbanks) and one of my fencing students was working there. He was also a mountie and a bit of a roadie. He was wearing shorts that day, and I noticed the shaved legs, the ripped quads and the chisled calves. Just to mention, he wore sweats in fencing class (safety, eh) and when we were riding together I never noticed his legs. So I ask him, "Dan, I've always wanted to know the real reason why cyclists shave their legs, since I never have and may be missing something very important."

He said to me, "Dave, I've spent 10 years getting my legs to look like this, and another 5 years keeping them this way... I'M DAMN WELL GONNA SHOW 'EM OFF!!!"

Needless to say, he passed my class.

There you have it folks: VANITY!

Food stuff (and it's about damn time):

You aren't going to get a recipe today, but you are going to get one helluva cooking tip.


No, you don't get a complete "what you need" and "how to do it" (I hope you are all adults), but you'll get the best tip ever. This will make you the star of the party!

Have you ever tried to make homemade soft pretzels? Oh, come on, we all have. Even if you haven't, you've cringed every time you pay for one of them delicious suckers.

So, like, HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO TASTE LIKE THAT????? You've made your pretzel dough, you've let it rise, you've rolled it into ropes, you've fashioned the ropes into your pretzel shapes, you've let it rise again, you've done the egg wash, you've used the hand ground rock salt, you've baked it for the precise length of time... But... IT STILL DON'T TASTE LIKE THE DAMNED SOFT PRETZELS I GET AT THE (insert your local haunt)!!!!.

Here's how to get it taste like a pretzel (y'all can pay me anytime): After the second rise, you simmer each in a frypan for 30 seconds (1/2 minute) on each side. So, what's in the fry pan? Enough water to bring the frypan up to 1 cm depth, and as much baking SODA you can dissolve in the boiling/simmering water. Then, just continue the recipe as normal; like nothing had happened.

If you would like Dave's Compleat Soft Pretzel Recipe, then how's about y'all making your comments known? BTW I make some wicked mustard/cheese dips...

Cheerios from Oz,

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

modern inconveniences

Hi there!

Hey there, hi there, ho there... you're as welcome as can be!

Does anyone remember that? Alright folks, a big shout from all of you (guy or gal) who had a crush on Annette Funicello (sp???) while watching the old Mickey Mouse club reruns yonks ago! Oh, hmmmmm... deafening SILENCE. Ok, how's about this: a big shout from all of those who have no idea what I'm talking about. WOW! A huge shout went up from the entire blogosphere, I even heard it down here in Oz (only cus the window is open).

I admit it: I'm behind the times. The only rock music I like is what I refer to as Dinosaur Rock. From 1960 to the mid-70's. Guess what though? I don't have a single grey (gray) hair, no bald spot, and shiny blond hair down to the middle of my back --health and hair tips from dave: take biotin and folate regularly and stay away from shampoo laden with chemicals (that's pretty much any shampoo you buy in a store).

I do, however, have a mobile (cell) phone. It's never turned on unless I need to make an emergency call. For example: the car (yes we do have one) dropped the alternator belt the other day. Hey, quick call to RAA and they are there in 15 mins putting a new belt on. Another example: I'm at the grocery store and have completely forgotten a few things not on the list. A quick call home and it's solved.

That's pretty much it. It has voicemail but I don't check it. Folks who know me know to use the landline for ringing me.

Here's a mobile phone story for ya: Went to an Asian restaraunt in August. Never been there before and it made for a nice drive through the hills. The have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, and one other I can't remember. The food was excellant and we were there for 2 hours eating and talking. Oh, quick aside: the sushi was good, but I make better.

Back to the story: There was only one other table dining, they appeared to be Man and Wife and in there early 40's. When we got there they were eating appetisers (appetizers) and drinking wine. The woman was on her mobile phone. 30 mins later, she is still ON THE SAME CALL. The man looked bored (actually she did too) and they were both drinking more wine and eating more food (no worries, I'm certainly not one to judge either the food intake or the wine intake!). He pulls out his mobile phone and makes a call. She's done with her call and instantly dials someone and talks for another 20 mins while he has made another call.

THIS CONTINUES THE WHOLE 2 HOURS WE WERE THERE!!!!! I don't think they ever said a word to each other. I swear! They weren't talking loudly on the phones and the ringtones were very quiet. Mobile phone ettiquette was not breached. But HOLY SHIT: 2 hours (that we were there) and this couple never said a word to each other, they just yacked on their mobiles, ate food, and drank wine.

I may be a little old fashioned, but if you go out to dinner with someone shouldn't you are least say something to that person????? From their body language it appeared this was perfectly normal for them. SHEEEEEYIT!!!

Now, we do have the standard tech stuff: big screen tv, surround sound, three digital cameras, video camera, 3 computers, cd changer on the stereo, one mobile phone, DVD recorder. That's about it. Nothing elaborate, but I can safely safe we aren't afraid of technology. My first computer was a vic-20, and I used trash-80s, and apple II (not IIe, but II). Anybody besides me remember how to program in basic or fortran? Anybody besides me know those words? First video game: Super Pong! Wee, fun!

I'm starting to ramble, I can tell. I guess what I'm saying is that just cus the technology is at hand doesn't mean you have to use it ALL the time. Come on folks, take some time to talk to your partner, take a drive or ride through the hills and just appreciate it at a leisurely pace (I do pull over when I'm meandering and someone comes up on my tail), and just take a deep breath and SLOW DOWN for an hour and appreciate life.

Good god, I sound like an old hippy, holy shit!

Tidbit time:

What's on the cd changer right now: Soundtrack to First Knight, soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans, soundtrack to Lord of the Dance.

What about in the garage: Johnny Cash and Arlo Guthrie.

Food/recipe time (finally, you say)


In case you didn't guess, I kinda like garlic. Hell, I can eat a whole clove raw. Chomp down on it, chew it up and swallow. However, I don't recommend that for beginners.

There will be a recipe here, but bear with me while I talk a bit about garlic.

Firstly, it's EASY to grow your own. Just push a single clove into good, moist soil about an inch (pointy end up). And magically, just like ANY other bulb, it'll sprout soon. Water regularly, fertilise if you feel the need to. Plant multiple cloves 8-10 cm apart (3-4 inches).

When it's grown (you'll know, duh), dig DON'T PULL the bulbs out. Don't forget to use the greens, they make a nice addition to many many thing and can be eaten raw or steamed or whatever.

You don't need a garlic press, nor any type of garlic peeler. To quickly peel garlic, put a clove between your palms and rub your hands quickly back and forth. You'll soon figure out the pressure to get the outer 'paper' off without mashing the clove.

To mash the clove without a press, just place the clove on a wooden cutting board, then put the flat of your kitchen knife on the clove, then lightly and quickly tap the flat of the knife with your fist (NO, you won't cut yourself, sheesh). Then just mince it up and use it, simple. You also get a lot of good garlic juice. Just scrape it off the board with your knife to add to whatever.

You can blanch garlic, boil it, or roast it (my favorite --favourite).

Roasting garlic softens it to a buttery, squishy consistency and mellows the taste out so much you wouldn't even guess it's garlic. The taste is so smoothed out you can spread it directly on bread.

Good things about garlic: It's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and a powerful anti-oxidant. It's GREAT stuff. If used properly you'll never even know it's there. My bro-in-law says he hates garlic and can't stand anything with garlic. Hmmmm, he eats a helluva lot of it! Ahhh, Mike, if your reading this: I'm sorry.

Ok, here's how you roast garlic:

What you need:

4 or 5 whole heads of garlic
Little bit of olive oil
some kind a oven roasting pan

What you do:

Slice the tops off each garlic head (that means take a half cm (quarter inch) off the pointy end). Place them bottom side down in your roasting dish. Drizzle top of each head with olive oil. Cover roasting pan and chuck it in a hot oven for a while.

How hot? around 190 C (375 F) works.
How long? 45 mins or so (every oven is different). You'll know they are done when the cloves look like they are trying to squeeze themselves out the top of the head (as soon as you see this once you'll know what I mean), and they are very soft.

Remove from oven and let em cool. Once cool, just grab a garlic head and squeeze the garlic cream out.

Uses: Way too many to mention! You'll figure some out on your own, I'm sure.

Oh, roasting dish: you don't need a pricey ceramic garlic roaster, sheesh! A glass dish, an enameled one, or even a cookie tray with an aluminium (aluminum) foil tent over the garlic. ANYTHING.

Until next time,

Oh, I know I've mentioned this, but remember: shake, don't wring.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Waffling around

Apologies all 'round folks (all ZERO of you). I'm very very sorry about the previous post... See, I've promised that this will not turn into a Rant and Rave blog and especially not a politcal one. We've got enough bad crap happening in Real Life that I feel these online thingy-bob doo-hickeys should be a little more fun than that.

But hey, that's just my (very) humble opinion and I hope I'm welcome to it.

Sooooo... Think happy thoughts everyone and you'll fly just like me --with a little magic fairy dust. What was it called... Angel Dust or something like that? LDS? PCB? DDT? Mary Jane (Watson)? Damn these memory lapses!

By the way: did anyone else catch on to the name of Spiderman's girlfriend? I noticed it when the comic first came out. Whoopsie, showing my age --of Aquarius... Did you know that I've seen Three Dog Night live in concert? I've also seen Arlo Guthrie live in concert! Let me tell you, the fumes from walking around those "concerts" would make a hardcore Talkeetna Bluegrasser gag (those of you in the Mat-Su Valley KNOW exactly what I'm talking about).

Fortunately, I was able to avoid most of that during my formative years as I was also a sportsdude. Unless it was a team sport where all the jocks were. Then I usually ended up inside a locker... NOTE this is a foreshadowing of stories from my wasted youth yet to come. So you'll just have to stay tuned, eh?

Nowadays, I toss logs over six foot fences, split redgum with only an axe (GRRR!!! WOOF!!!), leap tall buildings in a single bound, and ride faster than a speeding bullet. I have Power Tools (and I can use them). Of course, if I forget my cape then all bets are off as the ole crappy back and weak, spindly arms start to play a slightly more prominent role.

Just one thing to say to the school-yard bullies: You're still working and I'm not! THHBBTT!!

Food Stuff:

You may have guessed that I like to eat and I like to cook. Fortunately, I am very good at both. My waistline refuses to testify on the grounds that it WILL incremenate me.

I was planning on starting to tell you all about the utter coolness of sourdough breads and sourdough starters. However, I don't have nearly enough time to do that right now, so you are just going to have to settle for one of my favorites (favourites). This is also a favourite (favorite) of every single person I've made it for --and that's a lot. I was going to type in "without further ado" but I think I used it last time. Damn, where's that thesaurus? Oh, right, it's extinct...

No more fanfare, here you are:

Special Beer Batter Waff-lees

You may notice something here as time goes on (ummm, besides the ticking of the clock), and that something is the fact that you'll see quite a few beer battered goodies from yours truly (or at least from me).

Remember, the founding fathers of the US of A were home brewers (we'll just go along with modern revisionist history about ignoring them pretty much all being slave owning folk too, eh) and I believe it was one of those dudes (I can't remember which, my memory is hazy from that long ago) who said in reply to a tax on beer "But sirrah, it is liquid bread!"

Alrighty, enough waffling already: here's what you need for some really great waffles:

One waffle iron --well, DUH! However, I am soooo glad that I brought my waffle iron down here from Alaska as I have yet to see a single waffle iron of ANY kind for sale here in the land down under... SHEEESH, the belgian immigrants must be furious.

Alrighty, no dramas, here we go...

What you need:

2 1/4 cups (533 mls) flour --note, not self-rising!
3 (45 mls) tablespoons sugar --I use raw sugar for everything (well, almost, snicker snicker)
1/2 tsp (1/2 teaspoon) salt (NON-iodised sea salt --see a previous rant of mine somewhere)
6 tbsp (6 tablespoons or 90 mls) melted butter (not clarified... ah, perhaps I should clarify that term...)
2 eggs (chicken eggs, not platypus eggs) lightly beaten --don't forget to crack them outta their shells before beating them suckers
1 tsp (5 mls) vanilla essence --imitation or real, don't matter except for the price
1 tbsp (15 mls or 1 tablespoon) orange juice --if you don't have an orange tree out front (snicker, I gots a lemon tree out front too), then try to
use the freshest you can obtain (orange, not tree)
1 can of brewskie --a light pilsner works best, but hey, to each his/her own

Here's what you do:

Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Ummmm, I'd suggest using a large bowl to mix it in...

Melt the butter and let it cool --How to melt butter: microwave for 20 seconds (1/3 minutes), then stir, then nuke another 1/3 of a minute (20 seconds)... repeat till it's all melted (the butter you fool).

Chuck everything (including melted, cooled butter) into the bowl with the flour, sugar, and salt. Beat the heck out of it with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.

Let the batter sit a room temp* for at least an hour (overnight works too).

Give the batter a quick stir before using it in your waffle iron. If I have to tell you how to use and clean your waffle iron then I think you are on the wrong blog.

*room temp... Damn how I LOVE that term!!! The room temp here when the a/c is off is around 100 F (38 C). In the mornings room temp in the back can be 5 C (41 F).

So, like, try it, you'll like it!

'till next time,


Sunday, September 24, 2006


I gots the broadband blues...

Yeah, I know I'm an ancient dinosaur cus I'm still on a dialup. I mean, come on! Everyone in Timbukto and Katmando has broadband. A year ago every apartment in South Korea was getting hardwired for it.

However, I live in a backwater area of a backwater city in a backwater state in a backwater country. AND I LIKE IT THIS WAY!!!!! I go mountain bike riding on the horse trails around the corner --well it's not what I think of as mountain bike riding, but since I'm on the mountain bike while on the trails I guess I can call it that. Three minutes up the hill are the first farms and market gardeners and then it's horse and dairy country (just roll the window down and you'll know its horse and dairy).

Now, I'm not bitching about not have broadband, heck I'd probably go through the monthly allotment in a week and then it's back to dialup speed. Umm, what's that I hear you folks in the US say?? Monthly allotment of downloads??? Yup! Heck, there's still some companies here that charge BY THE HOUR for dialups!

Cable modem? Huh? Duh what's that??? Sheesh, dudes the damn cable lines DO go both ways. Try telling that to Telstra, HA!

So Telstra has promised to build a tower so this area can get wireless broadband... I am not happy with this since I wouldn't be getting broadband anyways. Wireless... Hmmm. Wee hoo! more microwave radiation ALL OVER THE PLACE. Did you know you can cook an egg using two mobile phones (cell phones)? It takes about three minutes and all you need to do is have them placed on either side of the egg with an am/fm radio on somewhere in the room and your egg will cook!

Soooo, which cooks faster: and egg in a shell, or a brain (fat) in a skull?

Anywho, I don't need nor want broadband. I don't download movies or songs and images from cycling sites download quick. I don't want it, and I don't want to be bathed in microwave radiation all day. Sounds to me like I need to move farther and further out into the wild blue yonder, eh?

Ok, 'nuff bitching, on with some food goodness:

This one is SIMPLE! It could be one of the easiest recipes I post, and one of
the tastiest (they're all tasty though, but for a tasty to simple ratio (T/S) this one
really rocks).

What you need:

One small can of tuna in brine (150-200 grams or 5 to 6 oz)
50-75 grams of sun-dried tomatoes (2 to 2 1/2 oz)
an onion (you'll only use a bit of it)
olive oil

What you do:

Drain the can of tuna, then give the brine to the cat that's climbing up your leg (ummm,
put the brine in a bowl first; if you dump it on the cat then the pussy-cat (ahem) will smell like
tuna for days).

slice off around 1/4 (1/4) of the onion and mince the slice finely.

Add drained tuna, minced onion, and sun-dried tomatoes to a food processor. Add some
olive oil (around 3 or 4 tbsp to start with).

Process the heck out of the mix! Ain't electricity great! If it's not smooth and creamy, then
add olive oil until you get a nice creamy, smooth, finished dip.

Refridgerate overnight and then dig in the next day with whatever crackers, chips, fingers,
toes, etc you'd like.

Like I said, couldn't be simpler, eh?

Cheerios from Oz,


ps just a reminder guys: shake, don't wring

I can post again!

Wee-hoo! You'll now notice sept 15th is fixed!

back in a minute (you can take a bathroom break if you'd like)


Missing in action sept 15th

I've been trying to repost this for two days now... Can't get through to publish a damn thing at blogger, sigh.

Trying again to give you the missing bit from the 15th --you'll notice a fairly large discrepency/incongruity, here's what it's supposed to read:

Something to sharpen the knife with. Chuck out the cheap sharpening steel that came with your knife set and get a good stone. Better yet, use the bench grinder in your hubby's (or wifey's) garage.

WOODEN cutting board (I like using caps for emphasis, does it help?) I saw disgustingly overpriced wooden cutting boards and almost puked on the store floor... Then I went around to the local hardware shop and bought a cheap piece of pine (1 foot by 2 foot by 1 inch) and have been using it ever since (ask me how to keep it from warping. See, I'm already begging for comments and questions).

Good thick-bottomed saucepans (not aluminium (aluminum)).

Food processor (processer). Mine holds less than a third of a litre (liter) and if I don't have a great big ole one under the yule tree this year then I'm going to do some kitchen knife sharpness testing...

From here, I'm going to assume (yes, I know the joke) you have a blender, whisk, beaters, fry pans, roasters, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, some type of cooking device, etc.


I got the original version of this from a book called Real Beer and Good Eats. I had originally bought the book as a pressie for a friend, then I saw how good it was and decided to keep it. I bought him a drink-mixing book instead and he was happy (we both were, it was a great party).

I modified the recipe to make it a helluva lot easier and quicker, so I think it counts as one of mine, eh?

Dave's beer and bleu cheese toasted croutons:

What you need:

Croutons (duh) --check out this footnote **

Olive oil (without poppy (popeye) seed --did you get it? nudge, wink)

Bleu cheese (double duh)

a beer --light lager or light pilsner is fine (that means cheap crap)

**Make your own croutons, any flavour (flavor), it's easy. Take a slice or two of fresh bread and cut it into crouton sized pieces (don't use a serated bread knife for this, you'll only end up tearing the bread if you do). Chuck in whatever seasonings you want (salt, white pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne powder, ground coriander (cilantro) and so on). Toss it all in a bowl, then leave UNCOVERED till the little bread squares (cubes, oops) are dry (a few days). Poof, instant croutons.

more soon,

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Way to go blogger

You all know my sept 15th about language skills etc? I just hav ethis to say about it: WHY THE HELL CAN'T I GET ON TO BLOGGER TO FIX THE DAMN THING??!!!??!?


Visited by Visions

Visions and Hallucinations

Yo, dudes (and dudettes). In case you didn't know, I've the best damned eyes around --actually, they aren't perfectly round, duh.

However, before I get to telling you why my eyes (I do wear glasses sometimes) are so damn good, I first need to mention something. Now, this is for you good folks from the future who are perusing (reading maniacally at 3 am) this here ole rich, popular blog.

Oh shit! I just got back upstairs here (insert 20 minute break after the last paragraph) and found those lines typed... I HAVE NO IDEA (memory dies with age) where it was going... SHIT! See, this is why we need one of those instant note type thingy doohickeys that transmits your thoughts into the damn computer. Now, I realize (realise) for those of you reading 50 years from now that it is common technology (huge boom in blogging on March 3rd, 2032... then when the patent expired in 2052 and it was produced for 1/10000th of the price in Ghana suddenly everyone had a blog), but right now in 2006 it sure ain't! Hmmm, I could make a fortune with that idea...

Ok, getting back to my eyes. Now, I've only got 20/35 in the right and 20/40 in the left. I do put on my glasses for watching a movie in the theatre or watching one on our big screen tube with the awesome surround sound. With my contacts in I have 20/15 in both eyes, and that is VERY cool. But that's not why I have the best damn eyes around... I can see in the dark.

Now come on dammit! Don't mouse away over to the next blog, I'm not kidding! Seriously, I can see in the dark. Would you like some examples? Of course you would:

1) We have a cat. Not just any cat, mind you. We have a CAT. He is totally black and was born on All Hallow's Eve. He's not allowed out at night (otherwise the entire neighborhood (neighbourhood) would be full of corpses drained of their blood, but that's another story). On the rare occasion when he (unholy terror from hell --he's sooo cute) gets out at night I go get him. Now, not only do I know his favorite (favourite) hiding places, but I can see him in them WITHOUT a flashlight. Thinks about this: Black cat, night, hiding in the shadows... and I can see him.

2) I don't turn on the lights in the middle of the night when I get up. No, it's not cus I know where everything is in the house (it changes daily, trust me on that) but because I see where I'm going. No lie, this is true.

3) When we set up the telescope in the backyard, I can easily change the viewing lenses without the red-tinted flashlight (torch). No one else can even see where the heck the box is that holds the spare lenses.

4) I have to keep my incisors filed down.

5) I don't have to file the horns since I have long, flowing hair that covers them up.

6) The leathery, bloody wings fold up quite nicely under a shirt.

Seriously, I can see very very very well in the dark. Now, if I could just think of some way to make a lot of money with this superpower of mine... Any ideas?

ON WITH THE FOOD (shouted the queen, thanks Lewis Carroll)

More Dips --some folks would say it's cus I'm a dipshit. They'd be right!


Or at least that how I think it's spelt (spelled). This is that nice, yummy, yoghurty dip (or sauce depending on how thick you make it) you can get with your yiro. It's also served with greek lamb dishes and also used as a dip.

Now the yohgurt (yogurt, yoghurt, heck who cares, we know what it is) to use is PLAIN. No nothin, no fruit, no vanilla, just PLANE --oops, PLAIN. Most grocery stores down here have "Greek Style", but that's a fancy way of saying "PLAIN OLE YOGURT". If you pay more than Aus$4 a litre (USD$3 per quart) then you are getting ripped off. In fact, if you pay for your yogurt AT ALL then you are getting RIPPED OFF!!!!!


It's very easy. You can make it in a thermos, but it's easier in an "off the shelf" yoghurt maker. I think they run about 10 to 15 bucks. You'll need one (and only ONE) packet of plain yogurt. Gee dave, why only one packet? Cus after you make a batch (1 litre --1 quart) you start the next batch off with around 100 to 200 mls (3.5 to 7 oz) of the last batch. See?? You get it??? FREE YOGURT! FREE, LIKE, FOREVER!!!! Just make sure you clean the container well betwixt batches (boiling water and/or anti-bacterial soap, not just regular dish soap).

So, you've got your FREE yogurt (more in a later post about yoghurt --did you know you can make a great creamy cheese overnight from yogurt with no rennet?), now what?


Yogurt (well duh) around 200 mls (7 oz) or thereabouts
peeled cucumber; 1 to 2 inches worth (don't matter what kind, Lebanese, Continental, whatever)
garlic cloves (can be raw, blanched, sauteed or roasted... Hmmm, garlic post coming soon to a blog near you)


Mince the cucumber as fine as you possibly can. I do this by slicing it (not shaving, but I can do that too --impressed? No, damn) then laying the slices on the cutting board and then chopping straight up and down as quick as I can (I have a very cool video and pics of me doing this, very impressive). If you do it right (practice, practice, practice --oops, didn't need that finger) then in about ten seconds you'll have the finest minced cucs there ever was.

Add the minced cuc to the yogurt (use a bowl, eh?).

If you are using raw or blanched garlic, then smash the garlic with the flat of the knive blade and mince thoroughly, add to the bowl.

For sauteed garlic, just mine it up finely, then add to the bowl.

If you've roasted the garlic, just squeeze the garlic cream into the bowl.

Grab a spoon and mix everything thoroughly.

For a thinner Tzatziki, take your yogurt out of the yogurt maker after only 12 hours.

Tzatziki freezes quite well, no worries there.

To sum up: Yogurt, minced cuc, minced garlic! Makes a great dip.

Now all your vampire, devil, werewolf myths are totally debunked! I love garlic, and I can see in the dark (with all the accutrements thereof).

Coming soon: Blood Sausage!

cheers from Oz,


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I am touched


Gosh, that word can have so many different meanings...

Obviously, there's the fizzical (physical) touching between two organisms that can result in an orgasm. Ok, since you all know that, why don't we just go on to the next one.

Isn't there something like 'touched by god' or 'touched by spirits'? Not exactly sure what either of those mean, but hey, to each his or her own.

Then we come to the obvious definition... touched meaning "a bloody well crazy bloke"! Yup, that one fits yours truly (that's me, SHUT UP!) just fine. Ummm, what else do you call someone who biked at minus 58 (minus 92 with the windchill)? What else do you call someone who moved to the other side of the world sorta on a whim? What else would you call someone who thinks it is feasible to cycle across Antarctica? Ok, the riding across Antarctica was NOT MY IDEA, but damn I wish it was! My bro-in-law suggested it after a night of me regaling the family with my massively studly winter cycling exploits up in the frozen north --that cool (cold) place known ignominously as the 49th State of the US (Not Anchorage! That part doesn't count as Alaska).

So, like, why won't "I" do it? There's a huge list of reasons, firstly is that it'd be fucking 'spensive.

Nextly, I don't like crevasses! Oh get your mind out of the gutter you sluts. I'm talking about the glacial ones (alright, now your mind really is in the gutter, shall we have a drink while we are down here?)

I'd be totally out of human contact for months... No 'puter, no family, no tv, no politics, no work (oh wait, I don't work)... Shit, that sounds good, eh?

Digging ice-trenches every night might get tiresome. Of course, I'd be the worlds foremost expert on them when I was done.

Now, ski-joring across would be cool. Nothing like the smell of malemute and husky to get a man going in the morning --I mean that in every possible way (wink).

This post was supposed to be about the planting and gardening I did today but the gardening didn't happen. Oh, I bought everything I need: new chili plants, new basil, new ground cover, new potted color. Got all the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction ready (thanks Arlo), troughs, rakes, trowels, shovels, etc. Oh, yes, I did trim back all my perennial herbs a while ago. Got the garlic bulbs ready.

So... what happened? It got cold and windy, THAT'S WHAT! And that's is the REAL reason why I ain't going to bike or ski-jor across that there continent a few thousand miles south of here: I've turned into a WUSS!!!! Six years in an endless summer will do that to a hardy (formally) sourdough. Yeah, yeah, 4 years ago I was riding in a hailstorm at 5 am down here in a short sleeved jersey and shorts and the only thing on my mind was that I hoped I remembered how to slide through bends in the road on the ice properly.

I am now officially NOT a sourdough. sigh... hanging head in dismay... Brrrr, someone light the damn fire! Oh wait, that's me... Oh wait, I also gotta split the wood...

Now here's the part you all have been waiting for:


Remember, I'm righting (writing) this blog like I'm a wealthy, world famous, Antarctic crossing, TOUCHED blogger... This is for those of you who have found me 30 years from now and are time-traveling (travelling for all you UK folks) through my archives.

Without further ado (about nothing, thanks Shakes):

A Cassarole (not the US style, please note)

This is another easy one, in fact you get TWO recipes with this --weeee, something
for free in this world: a toofer (you know, two for one... toofer... oh, never mind).

Extra bonus: No conversions needed!!! Woo-hoo! This one's for everyone**!

Have you noticed I'm starting you all out gently with recipes and cooking? Don't
worry, they get more fun and adventurous as time drags on. Ugh, can't believe
I just typed that line of crap...

What you need:

one roaster pot with a lid (them old black, enameled ones your mum had that she
got from her mum work the best)
a few of hunks of really cheap, tough beef (or pork, or lamb, or roo, or moose, or bear, or wombat, or sheep, or BUNYIP, or wooly mammoth, or smilodon, or sasquatch, or caribou, or whatever)
2 onions; rough chopped
4 carrots; rough chopped
6 spuds (potatoes) peeled (or not); rough chopped

What you do:

Put the hunks, chunks, or pieces of cheap beef in the bottom of the roasting pot.

Add everything else, layering as you go (up, dummy) and lightly salting each layer.

At this point, your roaster should full be right to the top. Add water (H2O) till the
water (H2O) is about half to 2/3rds to the top.

Put the lid on (this step has a serious DUH-factor).

Cook in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours at 175 C (350 F).

Ummm, serve it up! You can make gravy with the juices if you'd like (damn, gotta do a gravy
making entry soon).

BONUS recipe: The next day, take all the leftovers and chuck them in the blender (add
more H2O (Water) if needed) and blend it till it's all liquified (I like that word: liquify It can mean so much to so few...). Heat it up and serve with fresh, homemade (homaid) bread (damn, gotta do a homaid (homemade) bread entry).

Do ya'll like my use of parenthesis? Comes from a programming background.

** I put a double asterisk so you'd notice. Don't worry you vegetarians, I've got several
coming up for you too so please stay tuned :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Alaska versus Australia part zero

Before I get started with similarities and differences betwixt Alaska and Oz ('stralia), let me make something pretty darned clear:

Oz is the Aussie abbreviation for 'stralia. See, they like to shorten everything down here, and Oz works great! It has NOTHING to do with Dorothy, the wizard, or some damn munchkins. It also certainly has NOTHING to do with a tv show I just saw advertised about Oz being some thug type jail! Sheesh. Anyways, when I sign off of emails or posts as "cheers from Oz" it means Australia! Not a land of munchkins and certainly not a US tv show jail.

Alrighty, on with the fun:

Alaska and Australia both start with the letter "A"! Hey, I stayed up late thinking that one up.

They both have some seriously long coastlines (seriously).

Alaskan moose taste pretty damned good! Austalian roos taste pretty damned good!

Alaska has snow... SO DOES AUSTRALIA!

Australia has deserts... SO DOES ALASKA!

There's a helluva lot more similarities, but I think (actually, I WILL) save them for another time and post.

So, like, what's so different??

It's seriously fucking cold in Alaska. On a personal note, the coldest I've ever experienced was -62 F ( -52 C) and that's WITHOUT a windchill. The coldest I've experienced for any length of time was -58 F for an hour on a bicycle (many many many more dumb cycling stories to come, STAY TUNED!). Hmmm, windchill... Let's me see the charts... Well, gosh darned, the charts don't even go down that low for the actual temp... Good thing I know the conversion formula, eh? So, with a windchill of 13 MPH (that's how far I went in the hour) that means it felt like... MINUS. 92. DEGREES. FARHENHEIT!! FOR. AN. HOUR!! As I wrote, it's seriously fucking cold in Alaska. Stay tuned as I dredge my memories of Alaska stories (but not today).

It's seriously fucking hot in Oz. An hour riding at +47 C ( +116 F) --Oh, that's SHADE TEMP-- can make you pretty loopy... No shade, temp on the road of +56 C (+132 F) for an hour... I thought my lungs were on fire every time I had to go up a hill (or down a hill, or coasting, or doing nothing). As I wrote, it's seriously fucking hot in Australia.

Lots of wild Dall Sheep in Alaska.

Lots of lamb in Oz (not very tasty, if you ask me).

Roos are very cute and friendly, Moose aren't.

Alaska has former commies living right next door (you know, Siberia).

Australia has current muslims (about 100 million of them) living right next door (you know, Indonesia).

Alaskans don't abbreviate or truncate words.

Aussies shorten loads of words... Ok, here we go: Those of you in the US may or may not have heard of Aussie Rules Football. Well, now, imagine my surprise when I arrived and I found out what it's really called... Footy! Nothing is funnier than hearing 200+ pound blokes talk about "footy"... The weekly highlight show is called (no lie here) The Footy Show! Ummm, I guess if you are as tough as an Aussie footy player you can call it anything you want, eh? Personally, I prefer watching Rugby and I think Rugby players make Footy players look like sissies and they all make US footballers look like sissies. But hey, that's just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree.


Yes, I know, silly use of an exclamation point... Isn't that the point though?

Have you ever had a rich, yellow, creamy, smooth, buttery sauce at a restaurant and wondered, "how in the hell do I make that?" Or you may have wondered, "what the heck is this wonderful sauce?"

It's that yellow sauce on Eggs Benedict; it's that yellow sauce on asparagus; it's that yellow sauce served with some types of fish... Yes, you've guessed right:


But, alas, you've heard that hollandaise sauce is hard to make and it doesn't always come out 'right'. So off you go to the grocery store and buy a little packet of hollandaise sauce mix --you know the kind! Yup, the one with a paragraph of fine print ingredients that aren't fit to serve to your worst enemy (for those of you that gots em).

So you despair... You love the taste, but the pre-packaged crap will kill you and you don't know how to make the sauce from scratch. Never fear cus it's EASY!!! It takes all of about 3 MINUTES --no wait, it really only takes 45 seconds! No, I'm not doing a 'cheating' Hollandaise Sauce (hey, I can type Hollandaise in my sleep now), this is the real deal.

In fact, it's sooooo easy, I'm going to give you a few variations --of the recipe, get your mind out of the gutter, this is not Penthouse!

Here we go:

What you need:

1/3 cup (75 ml or 2 1/2 oz) of real butter (DO NOT USE MARGARINE!!!! More about that crap in a few posts...)
a pinch of salt (non-iodised sea salt Ah, more about the salt you all have to put up with in the US soon)
1 tbspn (15 mls) lemon juice Have I mentioned I have my own lemon tree out front? No I haven't? Well I have now.
2 egg yolks eggs from chooks, not emus (An emu is a very cool bird, I'll try to upload a pic for y'all)

What you do:

In a small saucepan (Don't use a coated saucepan, BLECK!), heat everything except the egg yolks until the butter is melted but not bubbling. Then: TURN THE HEAT OFF.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl (ten seconds perhaps).

Pour egg yolks into saucepan while whisking like a lunatic (I can relate to that).

Use immediately

There now, wasn't that quick and easy? You can make the sauce in about 45 seconds with some practice getting the egg yolks out without the egg whites (I know three different ways, I'll pass them along to you eventually). BTW Always save the egg whites. If you aren't going to use them soon (more soon) then they freeze well, just make sure you put them in a container before tossing them in the freezer.

Now for some variations on a theme...

Use half lemon juice and half lime juice. Or all lime juice, they are both tasty.

Use some tarragon (great herb). Put the tarragon in the melted butter and let it sit for a bit before whisking in the egg yolks --you may need to SLIGHTLY heat the butter mixture back up. You can use either fresh or dried, no worries.

So cheers from "Oz" and thanks for reading,


Remember guys: shake, don't wring.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Language skills, utensils, and beer

Hi folks! I'm really here, did you all miss me? Ummm, going by the DEAFENING silence I'll assume that my readership is a big, fat, goose-egged f*cking zero (at least for now). Hey, that's cool. However, for those of you who have found me four years from now and are going back through the archives... "HI!" Hey, the archives are, like, time-travel dude (or dudette).

Ok, try this one one:

Dude (guy) Dudette (girl)


Babe (girl) Babette (still girl)

Isn't the english langauge great?


Before giving you your first recipe (actually, it's MY recipe that I choose to share with you, but whatever, eh?), I thought I'd put a post here about kitchen essentials. Sooo, in no particular order, here's what you should have:

One (or three) good chef's knives --NO stainless steel (that junk will go dull while you watch it). Make sure you test it in the store before buying (not in the annoying person behind you) so that the handle is comfy and your knuckles don't bang on the cutting board. Shape: I prefer the shape of a french style knife, but to each his/her/its own. NO serated blades!!!! Key-Rist, tell the damn ginsu people I'm not trying to cut a bleedin' can!

Something to sharpen the knife with. Chuck out the cheap sharpening steel that came with your knife set and get a good stone. Better yet, use the bench grinder in your hubby's (or wifey's) garage.

WOODEN cutting board (I like using caps for emphasis, does it help?) I saw disgustingly overpriced wooden cutting boards and almost puked on the store floor... Then I went around to the local hardware shop and bought a cheap piece of pine (1 foot by 2 foot by 1 inch) and have been using it ever since (ask me how to keep it from warping. See, I'm already begging for comments and questions).

Good thick-bottomed saucepans (not aluminium (aluminum)).

Food processor (processer). Mine holds less than a third of a litre (liter) and if I don't have a great big ole one under the yule tree this year then I'm going to do some kitchen knife sharpness testing...

From here, I'm going to assume (yes, I know the joke) you have a blender, whisk, beaters, fry pans, roasters, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, some type of cooking device, etc.


I got the original version of this from a book called Real Beer and Good Eats. I had originally bought the book as a pressie for a friend, then I saw how good it was and decided to keep it. I bought him a drink-mixing book instead and he was happy (we both were, it was a great party).

I modified the recipe to make it a helluva lot easier and quicker, so I think it counts as one of mine, eh?

Dave's beer and bleu cheese toasted croutons:

What you need:

Croutons (duh) --check out this footnote **

Olive oil (without poppy (popeye) seed --did you get it? nudge, wink)

Bleu cheese (double duh)

a beer --light lager or light pilsner is fine (that means cheap crap)

**Make your own croutons, any flavour (flavor), it's easy. Take a slice or two of fresh bread and cut it into crouton sized pieces (don't use a serated bread knife for this, you'll only end up tearing the bread if you do). Chuck in whatever seasonings you want (salt, white pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne powder, ground coriander (cilantro) and so on). Toss it all in a wok, add some olive oil, crank the burner up and lightly toast them suckers. Poof, instant croutons.

What you do:

Crumble 50 to 100 grams (gms) (1 1/2 to 3 ounces (oz)) of bleu cheese in a bowl.
Add a tablespoon or two of beer. Mix and mash the concoction. Then nuke (microwave) in 20 second increments (stir between increments) until you have a thick (or thin: more beer=thinner sauce) bleu (blue) cheese goop (sauce).

Lightly coat a baking tray with olive oil, then spread croutons on the baking tray. Drizzle the bleu cheese goopy sauce over the croutons (the ones on the tray, dummy) and chuck that tray in the oven. Hmmm, 200 C (392 F) for around 12-15 minutes (720-900 seconds) should do the trick. They'll be done when they are crispy and lightly browned.

Drink the rest of the beer and eat the bleu cheese croutons (you could have figured this step yourself, eh?).

So, like whaddya think? Easy stuff, right? Don't worry, they get more interesting... I promise!

Friday, September 01, 2006

First post

Ok, I'm geeky/retarted/anal enough to do the first post as a test... Sigh. I do the same thing when I'm setting up new email accounts too!

There'll be much much much more to come; lots of food stuff, lots of cycling stuff, stories from Alaska, stories from Oz (Aus), some gardening, and general comments about life. Sorry folks, no political crap --I feel there's more than enough bad news in the big ole world so why should I add to it, eh?

more soon,


Oh, yeah, there'll be a cool recipe each post too, I'll probably run out of my own in a few decades...