A toilet fit for a funeral

We learn from our mistakes, no doubt about it. We also learn simply by ‘being’…….. every day presents opportunities to learn something new if we care to look hard enough for the lessons.

I learnt something from a mistake this week – don’t ever try to nonchalantly shave off a skin tag. But uhmmm, these protrusions belong on octogenarians and have no business setting up home in my neck! Okay okay, lesson learnt – let a doctor deal with skin tag relocation.

The other lesson I learnt was that my favourite Nexcare plasters leave the sensitive skin red with fury, like my neck is shouting “How daaaaaaaaaare you cover the botched skin tag job with a thin skin-like plaster that is almost invisible when you know you should use a loud Disney plaster on that highly visible and sensitive area you have just mangled!!!!”

I know I’m going to learn something else this week – it will be one of two things:

  1. Don’t ignore an angry lump forming near mangled skin tag jobs.
  2. Angry lumps, when in close proximity to other trauma sites or the result of a possible allergy, will go away eventually. As long as you can breathe you’ll survive. I knew I was right.

Eventually I will have to take the neck to the doc to finish the job, and risk him being totally unimpressed with my surgical skills, and I don’t want to get on my doc’s bad side because, well….. needles. Who knows what future pain he could inflict just to remind me who should do the doctoring and who should do accounting. Sigh. It’s ouchy and it stings a lot, but I can’t stop touching it… it’s like masturbating a third-degree burn. Not pleasant.

Seriously, how can one’s body just spontaneously sprout these shrivelly little penisy things?! The ONLY living being who can pull off skin protrusions is Gabriel Macht, or as he’s better known – the crotch-tingling hot Harvey Specter.

I rest my case…………….

Okay on second thought………. and because I’ve been staring at this pic for 10 minutes, maybe he should lose just ONE of those testicles growing above his brow because it kinda looks like a plugpoint for alien probes. And Harv, honey, ditch the hair product…… I assure you, you will still get to part just as many Pastrami Curtains……….

So that’s the skin tag lesson…….. I wonder if nail clippers would have been better for the job? ……… Stop it!

Some lessons you will never forget. One of those, for me, is “The Peekaboo Game of Thrones”……. I learnt that the choice of toilet, or Water Closet as the builders refer to it, for your home is an extremely important decision. It’s not just a log shuttle, especially when you have kids, and even more so when the kids are young and have pets that are marginally larger than a healthy turd.

When we renovated our home a few years ago, this lesson was retrieved from the memory archives and toilet choices were made with both aesthetics and future Games of Thrones in mind.

 

My son Dr Fresh had a hamster called Fudgey.

Fudgey was more than 2 years old already when my Late dad brought his youngest brother over for a visit one night. I had not seen my uncle for a few years, and Dr Fresh barely knew him, but was really excited because we had another visitor he could show Fudgey off to. The three of them were huddled around Fudgey’s cage when my son asked “Mom, why is Fudgey hard?” GROAN.

My uncle chortled, sprayed a bit of snot on the cage, and then broke into a full stomach-churning grunt-chortle-laugh, trying desperately to maintain some composure as my son was about to experience trauma and learn about death for the first time.

Pappy and his brother left, laughing like hyenas all the way to the car, and I shrugged my shoulders and made a puppy-dog look that said “Shame booboo I’m sorry my boy, Fudgey is in heaven now.” whilst trying to suppress a huge grin, because…… – no more hamster cage cleaning every week!!

I made a small mistake with regard to the choice of funeral service though. Should have buried it in the garden. But, I convinced my son that Fudgey would want to be with his sewer friends – you know, like the ones on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the easiest way there would be via the toilet. “Trust me, he’s going to be so happy with his new hamster family down there.”

But Fudgey still had a bit of a rigor mortis issue, so the fucker wouldn’t flush. Whaddaya know – a floater. It was traumatising – for my son. Every time he waved and shouted “Bye bye Fudgey”, the water would swirl, the fudge-coloured fur would vanish, and a few seconds later up it would come, those extra old extra long extra yellow hamster teeth, pink nose and the little curled claws next to its lifeless little face popping up after every flush. Then we’d stand there and wait for the cistern to fill, and I’d tell my son that Fudgey was playing peekaboo – coming back for one last goodbye every time. He bought it, but I was severely traumatised by The Hamster That Wouldn’t Flush.

I should have just removed Fudgey with a plastic packet or something after the first failed attempt to send him to his sewer friends via the ‘tube’, but by the time I thought of it I had already convinced my son of so much bullshit, scuse the pun, that I had no choice but to stand there and play along, waving to Fudgey, shouting “Peekaboo!” with a horrified expression of expectation every time I pulled the handle to flush. Fudgey came back for a last goodbye six times. SIX. The trauma!

So, if you ever renovate, pick a toilet that is small animal flushworthy, even if you don’t have young kids I bet it will be a good future selling point for your home.

Now, if Harvey Specter has left you feeling a tad flushed, go and pour yourself a stiff drink and try this week’s recipe…….. it’s made with a dead animal part.

 

PULLED LAMB SHOULDER ON CIABATTA WITH CARAMELISED BABY ONIONS


Ingredients:

  • 2kg Lamb Shoulder – bones in
  • ¾ Cup Red Wine (good wine, not plonk)
  • ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 7 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled
  • Few Sprigs Rosemary
  • Generous glug of Olive Oil
  • Salt Crystals
  • Just a Hint of Black Pepper

     


For the Caramelised Baby Onions

  • 1kg Baby Onions, Peeled and Sliced
  • ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • Teaspoon dried Thyme

Place all onion ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, add half a cup of water, bring to a boil, turn the heat down as low as possible and leave the onions to cook and caramelise for about 2 to 3 hours. Towards the end you will need to stir it every few minutes to prevent onions caramelising unevenly or burning! Just do it. Or just buy a jar of onion marmalade……..

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 230⁰C (446⁰F).
  • Place the lamb in a heavy casserole dish, on top of half the garlic cloves and rosemary. Rub it lovingly all over. Once you start you won’t be able to stop. It’s slippery and sexy and simply a lot of fun. Lather up your hands and wash them well. Add salt and pepper, rub the meat some more. The Lamb Shoulder. Although you can rub whatever meat you want. Anywhere, anytime…….. we don’t judge.
  • Roast the lamb in the hot oven, uncovered, naked and exposed, for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 140⁰C (290⁰F), put the lid on the pot, plunging Mary’s pet into hot darkness, and leave it to slow-roast for four hours.


  • Using two forks, shred the meat off the bone. The aroma……….. aaaaaaaahhhhhh wow………
  • Top half of a ciabatta roll with some meat, no butter or oil required because the meat is juicy and ooooozing flavours and dribbles. Top with some of the onions and tuck in.
  • If you’d like, pop a few pieces of Danish Feta on top of that – it is sublime………..


 

The Baron’s recommendation:

The lamb shoulder sounds delicious. I had something very similar in Bordeaux in 2010, but accompanied by some haricot beans. It fell off the bone. Although I drank a Bordeaux then, a varietal from the Cote du Rhone would be more appropriate for the lamb. Cloof’s “The Very Sexy Shiraz” would be spot on.


Stoned Friday

I woke up on Friday morning with a terrible pain in my jaw and in front of my ear. Anti-inflammatory painkiller – no effect. Hot compress – no effect. Massage and sweet-talk…… nada, so I walked around pulling faces and trying to ease the pain by imitating “Dog eating peanut butter”.

By midday the left side of my face was swollen to chipmunkian (YES it is a word now…) proportions. I jumped into my car, placed the chipmunkian jaw on the passenger seat, and went to the doctor hoping he’d issue a Cease and Desist Order to the unwelcome intruders causing my discomfort.

Apparently I was stoned. My salivary gland to be more precise, and said motherfucker calcium stone blocked my salivary duct, causing all the pain and a face that scared even blind children. I was still nursing a vile dose of flu, taking antibiotics and antivirals to fight off the little terrorists that resided within, and left the doc’s rooms with a script for yet more tablets, and an instruction to suck on lemons. I filled the script at the chemist, bought a bag of lemons, and headed home. Sir said something about “Well if sucking will help you………” I wasn’t paying attention, but I think he was offering me some of the mountains of chocolate in his bedside drawer.

I did not realise that everytime I put a wedge of lemon in my mouth, it was like releasing an army of miniature surgeons with scalpels in hand, to shave enamel off my teeth, and by Saturday one kind of pain was replaced by a different kind of discomfort. Besides feeling a bit bruised and battered, my jaw was almost back to its old 44 year old self again, and my teeth got treated with generous lashings of toothpaste for sensitive teeth, applied with my fingers like a soothing ointment…….

In the meantime, the NUMSA strike continues. Our business operations came to a grinding halt three weeks ago and there seems to be no imminent resolution to the impasse between union and employer groups. The behaviour of the marauding masses of strikers has been deplorable, doing nothing to garner sympathy for their cause. I for one feel less than fuckall for them after witnessing this barbaric savage behaviour. It has turned the focus from a need for a decent wage to the basic criminality and short-sightedness of those who DO have jobs in a country with an unemployment rate in excess of 25%.

Light-bulb moment! Haaibo!!! South African strikers / protestors / picketers / marauding masses engaging in barbarism (*now I’m humming tune of BA-BA-BA… BA-BARBARA-ANN!*) do seem to love their sticks! Seriously, WTF! Wherever mass gatherings are to take place, Sir and I could pull in with our little retail wagon, I envisage something like a hotdog cart, but we sell sticks. Short ones, long ones, thick ones, thin ones, painted sticks, beaded sticks, sticks with slogans and sticks with quotes……. We’ll make a fucking killing – with sticks! We could call it “Sticky Issues”. Sticks and puns may break my buns……….

And right now is the perfect time – since we cannot work at the moment and need an alternate source of income…… we could sell to the very people preventing us from producing. (*Now humming ISN’T IT IRONIC?!*)

Why does this pattern exist in South Africa? Why do strikers in all industries behave like violent vandalising scum? Why does the Government stand by watching this with drool dribbling onto their pure silk ties and/or leopard skins? Why not employ decency and intellect? Isn’t it the better way to get enormous support for a cause? The union bosses and employer groups should also, like the striking members, receive no salaries for the duration of these strikes – then perhaps negotiations would be done with more urgency and realism rather than what we perceive to be a “Who has a bigger dick” contest…… Just saying.

I do not understand the lack of economic sense either. Workers strike for extended periods on a no-work-no-pay basis. They then get the increases agreed upon between employer groups and unions, but chances are that their overall annual income is in fact LOWER than the previous year because of the income lost during the strike. The strikes generally impact very negatively on the economy, especially now, with South Africa already showing lacklustre growth and manufacturing figures, and the highest inflation rate since 2010. Prices will go up to compensate for the sad state of the economy, further pushing up the inflation rate, thus swallowing up whatever ‘increase’ workers got, and then some. So rand-for-rand, with a 10% increase, people will have less this year than they did last year. Doesn’t that equate to “Paying to make them pay”? Isn’t this common sense? Isn’t this logic? Or does logic not prevail in Africa?

All this drama has made me feel Oats-so peckish, time to make some crunchies……..

Delicious Oat Crunchies


 Ingredients: 

  • 3 Cups Dessicated Coconut (which, when off, tastes like soap) 
  • 1 Cup Cake Flour (which feels so lekker to twirl your fingers around in)
  • 4 Cups Oats (which makes good floaters)
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar (which the carb-haters are now branding the new poisonous drug – fuckoff already!)
  • 3ml Salt (which is suddenly regarded as not so evil after all)
  • 5ml Cinnamon (which is to men what vanilla is to women – boner spice)
  • 227g Butter (which is apparently also a big hero again and preferable to margarine! Yay can’t wait for pork fat to take the title!)
  • 3Tbsp Golden Syrup (which my late dad used to eat on a 6mm thick slice of butter on a 6mm thick slice of bread.)
  • 2Tbsp Bicarb (which my friend Barbs used instead of toothpaste during her “Anti-Consumerism” phase….. she also stopped using deodorant then…. I think it was really a “Keep people at continent’s length” phase… Not sure if it’s ended yet, too scared to get close enough to find out.)
  • ¼ Cup Milk (which should be the full cream dairy variety, not goat’s milk, or soya crap, or lactose free…… FFS, have you noticed how many more ‘issues’ people have with foods the more variety becomes available? Refer to anti-consumerism spiel above. Somebody magically has the exact ‘cure’ for ailments hardly anybody had before……… gluten intolerance? Really? All you need to do, is fart. Let it out. Don’t blame the fucking gluten. Stop holding in your farts!)

     


Method: 

  • Preheat oven to 180⁰C.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Dissolve the bicarb in the milk, set aside.
  • Melt the butter, stir in the syrup, and then stir it into the dry mix.
  • Add the milk and bicarb and mix well.
  • Press the mixture into a medium sized baking sheet (the mixture must be about 1cm thick)
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Cut into squares while it’s still warm, and then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container.