Sunday, 22 January 2012

do the bistro grind

You may have picked up a vague theme running through my ramblings over the last couple of years - yes, I'm into my third year of blogging, believe it or not - of a bit of an obssession with kitchen gadgetry. Well, here we are again.

I've always been quite clumsy.  To be perfectly honest had educationalists in the 1960s given a toss I would probably have been diagnosed as dyspraxic (as well as borderline Tourette's and slightly ocd) but then you were just considered as clumsy (and naughty and a bit odd for the other two conditions).  However, clumsy I am, indeed.

Several times over recent weeks the Pepper grinder we've been using - a Bart's if you must know - has fallen apart whilst I've been grinding pepper over my food.  This, of course, is hilarious to observers, especially my son.  I have to stress that this only ever happens to me. A while back it exploded over a joint of meat I was preparing.  Something had to be done.

Yesterday, whilst hobbling around Sainsbury's I noticed this rather fetching gadget.  It's called a Bistro Grind which sounds like some improbable dance craze like The Strand or Locomotive. Or even The Stanley for Stackridge fans.  Anyway, it's a remarkable improvement over the Bart's exploding pepperpot. The salt is kept at the top and the pepper is automatically ground by depressing the handle on the side.  A marvellous piece of kitchen kit which I've been proudly using at every possible occasion. No more dumping of whole a whole jar of peppercorns and wrecking my food anymore.

I'm currently nursing the start of a cold which is annoying as I only got rid of one a few days ago.  I assume working in a school is to blame with all those pesky kids being ill all over the place. Anyway, I took quick action and looked up a suitable way of getting rid of colds.  Or at least, a way of getting rid of them. It's called The Micheladas Cubana.

Equal measures - say half a glass each - of Clamato and dark beer mixed with 8 or so drops of Tabasco and a twist of lime juice. Yes, that's what I thought. But I made some anyway.  Or at least a version of it.

Clamato appears to be, believe it or not, a mixture of tomato juice and clam broth.  Obviously I couldn't find any so I used a spicy tomato juice called Big Tom which doesn't have clam broth in it.  Not to be deterred I duly poured some into a glass with some dark beer.  Now, I'm not sure if by dark beer they meant stout or not.  I used some Hobgoblin which is a ruby beer - darker than normal bitter. It's evidently the Tabasco and chillis that cut off the neurotransmitters that trigger headaches, whilst the chillis are supposed to help clear mucus from one's nose and lungs. I know it sounds disgusting, gentle reader but I am doing this so nobody else has to.

It is quite disgusting.  Almost foul.  Mind you I've never been a fan of tomato juice but I thought I should try it as it sounded ridiculous enough to work.  Perhaps I should have bought some clam broth too.  Maybe that's the magic ingredient. It's so horrible that I've had to open a can of Abbot Ale to take the taste away.

Ah well, I'll let you know if it works. But don't hold your breath.


Martyn Cornell said...

Canadians drink lager and tomato juice, and some idiot in Japan invented tomato beer, but the only alcohol to mix with tomato juice is vodka (plus a little sherry, together with Worcester sauce, celery salt and a dash of tabasco. And ice. The best Bloody Mary I ever had, strangely, was in Gibraltar).

What you want to cure a cold is hot whisky, lemon and honey: equal measures of whisky, hot water and lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey stirred in, and a couple of cloves dropped into the glass. Sip, and go to bed immediately.

Mike C. said...

Tourette's, eh? Did you hear that woman on Radio 4 Pick of the Week last week who frequently and randomly inserted "Biscuit!" and occasionally "Happy Christmas!" into her conversation? Utterly weird. It was like she had a parrot on her shoulder.

I have never found anything particularly useful for colds, other than swatting it early with a slightly bizarre yogic exercise called Jala Neti involving sucking salt water up your nostrils. I haven't done this for years, mind, as it can resemble waterboarding if your mind isn't on the job.

A few drops of Olbas Oil in a bowl of boiling water as a steam decongestant works quite well, too.


Dave Leeke said...

Martyn, thanks for that - a hot toddy is indeed the only one that both a) works and b) is pleasant enough to imbibe. However, I do usually drink more water than an equal measure, probably to make it last longer!

Mike, no I didn't hear her but I definitely have the sweary type. Always have had.

Er, salt waterup the nostrils does tend to sound more like a punishment for having a cold rather than trying to deal with it. A bit like tomato juice+ which really is quite revolting. Check with the Olbas Oil too!