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.

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