The problems in America? It’s got to be the food.

It’s enough to turn anybody crazy. The things they eat over there get more and more extreme. I follow this site where the delightful Betty reviews food that she seems to buy from someone called Trader Joe.

Whatever next?

I have this vision of Joe in a large shed somewhere ( I’m keen on sheds as a place to be creative ) thinking “What can I put out there that will tickle their taste buds and send me laughing all the way to the bank?”.

Here are some recent gems from Joe:
Turkey Bacon. Great idea, lets get all the grim bits of that old turkey and press it until it looks like bacon and then get the road roller to flatten it so it resembles strips of bacon. No Joe! Bacon is bacon.

Organic Roasted Teriyaki Seaweed snack, what’s not to like? Well everything really Joe.

Shredded Cheese Blend. ” What if they think of buying cheese in a block, say three types, and then mixing it together Joe?” They’ll never think of that will they?

Coffee Flour. Made from dried and ground coffee cherry husks and husk skins. I kid you not, this is for real as they say. You know when you go to a coffee shop and the barista person knocks all those old coffee grounds out of the filter thingummy into a bin. Well Joe has been in there and knows how to monetise this stuff. Put it in flour. You’ll be delighted to know that it has limited production.

I was begining to think that we’d reached the nadir of foolishness when Betty posted something about Butter Lettuce. I’m pleased to report that they don’t put butter on the lettuce. It’s tempting to think that they do but it’s a type.

All these things might just be the tip of the iceberg.

Last on my list is Joe’s Beefless Ground Beef. If it’s beefless it’s not beef, so how come thay can call it beef if it’s not. This is not fake news, rumours to the contrary are groundless.

Eating any of this stuff is likely to make you trump. Hopefully they’ll find an antacid that will solve the problem.

Burger3web

 

Footy Chair

We don’t call football soccer over here, it’s football.

It must have been around 2002 that there was a World Cup tournament as I came accross this drawing when clearing stuff out. It was, I think , for a calendar. I suspect that I got the month when we were in the tournament and this is as anyone will recognise a footy chair. You can tell it’s done a while ago as the computer monitor is a little on the large size. I also borrowed a theme from an earlier project called ” Things to come” when I did a series of drawings about what we could have expected in the future. Ready-chewed food seems to have happened, judging by the amount of processed stuff you can get these days.

I lost the original of this but found a very good 5 x 4 transparency in a drawer with quite a lot of other early works. Getting scans of these proved to be a little tricky but I found this place on the internet that did them and they scanned them all beautifully for me. Massive files that gave my mac a bit of work to do, but the colours very true to the originals, and as in some cases my colour work fades quite a lot after a few years, they are much truer to the originals.For your info the place I found is Treasure Memories , I’d recommend. I suspect that it might be a one man business, perhaps someone who just likes photos and restoring stuff.

Anyhow I thought you might like to check this one out, and as England lost to Germany yet again last night, it seemed right for me to post it. Chair is empty as with all English fans there’s a tendency to wander off into the night at the end of a tournament and contemplate just what might have been.

Footychair4web

 

Walking for talk’s sake…

There’s more too it than you think and less than you might sometimes expect. That’s the sort of nonsense I talk after a good walk, that’s ended at a pub. Anyhow, my chum Robin, chose to chauffeur me out to a place I’ve never been before, the Cheltenham Canal. Apart from the pleasure of the drive in his spectacular vehicle with buttons for everything, we had a brilliant sunny day and a good walk to look forward to.

robinb

Robinus Burtonicus in it’s natural habitat.


 

It’s a fact that if one earns one’s living in a career where most of the time you sit behind a desk and listen to nothing much more than Radio 4 and your own record collection for company then there is a tendency when let out to talk too much. I was once described as ‘garrulous’ in a school report and asked the teacher what it meant, he simply said ” You talk too much Davies”. He was a religious education teacher and I’d have thought he could have been a tad more Christian about it. I was not particularly wounded by his comment, as it was plainly true. The Games master’s report for PE was something that did hurt when describing my athletic prowess in gymnastics: “Tries hard, fails miserably”. Anyway, as someone who talks too much I’m typically going off the point.

Suffice to say that Robin and I had chosen a golden day to visit the area. In the distance the Malvern Hills were as clear as crystal, May Hill in the other direction looked closer than it was from us, and the light on the fields and water was simply golden.

malverns

There be yonder Malvern Hills


Sodden underfoot from a lot of rain that we’ve had recently, it was a great day to get out and chatter. I was able to recycle stories of hearing a sedge warbler on a similar visit further down the Severn Estuary and mistaking it for an HP Deskjet Printer re-charging with expensive ink, whilst Robin patiently listened to me like a kindly doctor.
Is that a Sedge Warbler or what?

There was much dancing from clump to clump of slightly dryer grasses to reach bird hides to view loads of ducks and other such birds peacefully going about their business.Trouser leg bottoms were beginning to act like a fairly sodden wick and rising damp was likely to become and issue.

The Fulcrum of the walk was the pub at Wainlodes, which Robin, who’s something of an expert on local folk history, gave me the true meaning of the name, whilst I just thought that Wayne Loades was a fork lift truck driver. I’ve had a bit of a thing about unusual names recently.

It was the Red Lion at Waindlodes that was our target and well worth the walk. The food was excellent and the service great too. If you feel like a good walk and some great food and beer, I’d certainly recommend this place The Red Lion

forkinglifters

Wayne?


 

Striding across fields we came across this fine set of potential cricket bats. How do they make willow into such things? Who thought that might be a good idea in the first place.

willows

Perhaps being cricketers they were expecting rain and knew that willow was a good plant for damp areas. I’m sure if there’s a folk song about it Robin will either find out about it or already know it and belt it out right there and then. He is, after all, a quarter of the Gloucester Diamonds folk ensemble and is naturally good at belting out a song. He sang a couple on the way back in the motor and it was quite unlike a computer printer charging up, or even a Sedge Warbler. Good day, good talk, good food, try it yourself when we next get a sunny day.

The Gloucester Diamonds Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

It’s one of those bookshops…

…with no books most people have seen before, and with the most esoteric titles. It’s in metroland of course, where else would anyone buy books like these, and it’s almost next door to the £3-50 loaf bakery. Incidentally I am addicted to the bread from this place, and last week on my most recent visit to metroland I strolled over to take a little look round the district. Avoiding as best I could the oncoming stream of meedja people trying to make a film about the 70’s, I found another branch of the bakery and popped in to shell out for some lunch: a half baguette filled with salt beef and pickle salad. I steeled myself for the price and handed over a nice new transparent fiver from which I got no change whatsoever. I swallowed deeply but bit even deeper and have to say, that was some good sandwich, but a fiver!!!

I never got into the bookshop preferring to view from the outside. God knows how much toilet paper retails at. Middle class people like what I am tend to call it “bathroom tissue”

toiletpaper

Sorry about the fuzzy picture, I think it’s due to chortling camera shake.Incidentally, the Sainsbury’s mention in the article below is still as good. Keeping up their standards, good for them.

Five star bread and a five star Sainsbury Store.Go and try them both.No one’s paying for this ad.

 

Chip off the old block?

battersea-cods

Sheffield again , and silly names for chip shops. I suspect that the author of this one was a little reticent about it, as it appears on the bedroom window above the shop. Is there something in the water in Sheffield that makes them want to give their chip shops silly names.

For those of you reading outside the UK, the Battersea Dog’s Home is a refuge for homeless dogs. The connection with chip shops is tenuous to say the least, but of course we do batter our fish over here and it does come from the sea.

Time for a quick lie down in a darkened room to get over it.

Adult cereal and leg of salmon.

Meandering into the Northgate branch of Gloucester’s Sainsbury some years ago, this friendly supermarket unlike it’s big faceless brother on the other side of town, catered for the city centre folk. Not exactly ‘trolley full big spenders’ but loyal nevertheless.

It was obvious from the quaver in her voice that this was Tracie’s first ‘go’ on the tannoy to announce the deal of the day. She was approaching it with all the trepidation of an ‘x’ factor finalist. Speaking to her mum that morning she said she was a little nervous, more accurately she said ” Oooer Mam am bricking it!” “Oh you’ll be alright our Trace “, her Mum said back reassuring the poor thing by saying ” no one listens to that stuff anyway”.

You could hear her breathing before her first big lines, supplied no doubt by the manager with a sly wink at his colleagues he handed the script to Trace and said, as if the script was perfectly normal: Don’t forget the bit about “Thank you for shopping at Sainsbury”

Going for it big time the announcement commenced, Trace’s voice was perfectly modulated until the last three words of the main script:

“Today’s special offer is Leg of Salmon”

and then, with some off mike sounds in the background and barely a whisper ” Thank you for shopping at Sainsbriz”

Leg of Salmon was delivered with just a little lack of confidence. I noticed it and burst out laughing. No one else really took it in, some of Gloucester’s population may well be under the misapprehension that leg of salmon exists, but the manager and script writer were perfectly aware of what they’d done to the script. As he passed me with a broad grin on his face I asked him if he could direct me to the salmon in question. ” It’ll make a change from browsing through the adult cereal ” I told him. ” Did you find anything ‘special’?” he asked me still sniggering.

“Well nothing as special as leg of salmon” I replied.

adult-cereal

This is a true story, just some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

British Camp?

Ok, this is the first time I’ve posted a film. This is called British Camp, it’s an outdoorsy type of epic starring Malvern Hills and has far reaching views. Production values are not up to much, it was done on a phone after all, so you’ll be pleased that it is very short.

An October walk on the Malvern Hills is the main story line. The story ends with Tiffin the hero of the outing which can be found at the end of the walk and is not to be missed. No saccharin here this is real chocolate with a chocolate topping, absolutely topping with a cup of tea.

malverntree

This is one of the opening scenes

viewtowales

Way out West you can see for miles over to the Shropshire Hills and Wales beyond.

malvern-cafe

Back down on the home run there is the cafe, perched on the hillside. Ring both bells and you will be well served. Tiffin and tea, what better way to end the adventure.

tiffin2

Roll credits:

Tiffin was served by Ruffz Refreshment Kiosk
Midsummer Hill, Malvern and made by the proprietor

Miss Toni Leigh Hollings
who sounds like a star too!

Find them on Facebook:Ruffz
Then seek out after a healthy walk. Well worth it.

To Sheffield, studying the northern diet?

sheffieldfood

They like good coffee in Sheffield, there are loads of great places to find it and with it comes some exceptional food.

There are still places to get a bacon sandwich on gluey white bread but Sheffield seems to me to be going through a food revolution, with smart tiny places producing great stuff. One such that you should seek out as soon as possible is Joni which can be found right next to the traffic lights on South Road in Walkey. Tiny inside and not over furnished this place specialises in macarons, which are just sensational melt in the mouth offerings. The coffee is great and the little lemon meringue pie, which my son had and  let me taste, was equally so. I had a cooked breakfast there which was so good that it would not wait for a photograph. I had the Classic: two poached eggs on toast does not sound that great but with a béchamel sauce and the addition of tiny cubes of garlicky sweet potato and bacon strips it was a small haven of fine dining in a tiny diner. Seek this place out and buy their stuff, they deserve success.

This blog seems to be turning into a travel and food thingy, but it’s really just a diversion. I’m back at the drawing board and plans are afoot to get the results on here when I’ve stopped going hither and yon. Next trip? London. In search of the £3.50 loaf again, it was worth it, honestly.

£3-50 for a loaf of bread?

The price of blasted courgettes…

Here he goes again talking about the price of food. I really do not grumble all the time, honestly. Here’s a gem spotted in my local supermarket in the “no added anything section”. By the looks of it it’s just a bit of courgettes spiralized and blasted, and then put into the regulation ‘no-fun’ packaging.

As someone once said to me about my own work ” Who buys this stuff? ” At the time I was able to say ” quite a few people actually”.

Let’s make one thing clear though, courgettes do not make pasta. They are a watery green vegetable with not a lot of taste. At this rate we’ll all be having radishes for breakfast.

That is £90-00 per kilo you are looking at there, and that’s on special offer.

And I thought they ate croissants.

couregetti-nests