A feast of Schadenfreude

Where on earth did the producers of The Restaurant dig up the latest contenders? Wherever, bravo! One thing seemed fairly clear, they were not selected for their cooking skills.

Did you see that poor girl trying to breach the coconut by clutching a lethal kitchen knife by the blade in her fist, while smashing the handle with the rolling pin? Then trying to open a tin by the same method? Thank heaven she and her mum were sent home straight away before she severed an artery.

How about the lady who bought a packet of Asda smoked salmon and served it with some vermilion cabbage and bread and butter?

The strange blonde gentleman who kept winking at Raymond? “Why do you keep weenking at me?” asked Raymond.

The military two-some who gravely announced that they would not hesitate to use their martial skills on any difficult customers?

The two girls who couldn’t cook peas?

The odd young man who couldn’t think of a name for his restaurant, let alone explain the concept?

As far as I could see, the only edible dish, out of the nine produced, was a chocolate fondant.

While the contenders provided the slapstick comedy that had me in tears, it was the three judges – Raymond Blanc, Sarah Willingham and David Moore who served up the best moments with their pained winces and facial expressions. Raymond chewing, chewing, chewing the delightful Nigerian ladies’ mutton stew, Willingham’s wide-eyed shock and Moore’s raised eyebrows at the general level of incompetence. Lovely subtle humour here.

From this first episode, I think this series is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Bring it on. 😀

Goings on

Looks as if WordPress is having a funny moment. In my links (Stuff I Like) on the sidebar, it’s decided to insert a backslash before an apostrophe. I wonder why? Still, in the greater scheme of things I don’t suppose it’s very important.

This is more serious. A friend who recently flew out from Stansted was searched by security. There’s nothing new in that. We are used to having to take off our jackets, belts, shoes, put any liquid/paste make-up/toothpaste/medication in a clear plastic bag, put mobile phones and computers into a black plastic bin, step through a scanner, and then be body searched. And then quite likely be asked to unpack all the contents of our bags and explain why we have so many paperback books, as if that was somehow suspicious or anti-social. It’s all to combat terrorism and stop people getting onto planes and blowing them up, and I have no problem with that.

However, I’m trying to work out why they found it necessary to ask a respectable 60-year-old lady to step into a cubicle, make her remove her bra, and take it away “for testing”, a process that left her standing naked from the waist up for ten minutes. What were they testing it for? What did they expect to find in it?

What am I missing?

So Microsoft has launched Windows 7 to general whoops of joy and delight, and Vista will soon be no more than a horrible memory. When I bought the new notebook a few months ago I was told that although it came with Vista, I could upgrade that to Windows 7 when it was available. Nobody has ever explained how, or whether I have to pay for it, or not, so I probably never will.

But the thing is – and I feel I should hide my face with shame – I haven’t yet been able to discover exactly what it is about Vista that earns it such bad press.  I can’t see how it’s difficult to use. All my applications and devices run smoothly and quickly. And when the cat turns off Internet capability, as it does frequently if I forget to close the lid, Vista diagnoses the problem and solves it. So what am I missing?

Masterchef Professional

Tonight’s the night! Which of the three finalists do you think will win?

While I think they’ve all earned their places and are totally dedicated, likeable and extraordinarily talented, I’m putting my money on Steve Groves. If one of them was going to cook for me, I’d want it to be him, because he is so creative.  Although, in a perfect world, the adorable Michel Roux would be my plat du jour. 🙂

Although I have been a piscatarian since the early 80’s, I have noticed that on every cooking programme I watch the meat always seems really undercooked, bordering on raw.  Is this how people eat it these days?

Beautiful e-book – FREE

Yes, that’s right, it’s beautiful and it’s FREE and it yours by clicking here.

It’s also interesting, educational, splendid, fun, and important.

If you would like a hard copy, you can pick one up in the United Kingdom from Borders, HMV, John Lewis, Waitrose, Waterstones, or WH Smith. FREE.

We need the rainforests. Please add your name to the SOS Rainforest Appeal.

Twittering the day away

So this morning there is a notification in my email that Simon Dixon is following me on Twitter. Thank you, Simon, I am flattered.

However, honey, here’s the bad news. For too many reasons to list, I am not “on” Twitter. I am not a Twitterer, Tweeter or Twit.

But if I was, here’s what I’ve done so far today:

Got up, dressed, drank water, drank coffee. Fed cats. Had pee. Cleaned goat shed. Fed neighbour’s horses. Cut back ivy. Swept leaves. Checked email. Made lunch (guacamole, baguette, fritters made from leftovers from last night’s dinner party). Drank another coffee. Took word count on manuscript – 38,000.