Pumpkin Publog

Jul 04

Sausages 4Ever

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Sausages 4Ever: this is going to be the best blog in the world.

Jul 04

Things to do with half a carton of orange juice.

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Things to do with half a carton of orange juice.

a) Drink it
b) Drink it with gin
c) Drink it with Vodka
d) Brown a chicken leg, with onion and a bit of red pepper. When nicely browned pour the orange juice on, and let stew for about twenty minutes. If you have any lemon handy, a squeeze won’t hurt. I also added some turmeric just to make sure everything stayed orangey-yellow.

Serve atop some couscous with raisins in it.

The left over sauce (and there was quite a bit, was later tipped over some cold roast chicken and went great on a bed of salad leaves. NUM!

Ooh that’s a Big One

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Ooh that’s a Big One

I went to see Belle and Sebastian at Somerset House earlier this month and at the bar, they sold two pint plastic glasses.

The first glass you see is a normal pint glass in my hand. I was drunk and channelling Father Ted Crilly.

Anyway, I’ve decided they’re rubbish. Plastic glasses are rubbish, so making them bigger just means you have to be extra careful as you’ll spill more beer when they warp / crack. You also look ridiculous – look mom – munchkins getting pissed!


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Of all the booze I brought back from Romania (including this tasty little goer), the strangest is Romania’s national drink, Tuica.

Brewed from the latest technology tuica stings your throat like grappa’s crazy cousin. Basically, it’s 50% proof plum brandy, distilled twice and marketed with blunt Dracula associations (Jonathan Harker enjoyed a snifter on the hunt for The Count). The aftertaste lasts a fortnight.

Tomato soup, I love you

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Tomato soup, I love you — tomato soup has always been one of my vices, graduating from the basic Campbell’s can plus milk combination of my younger days to something more elaborate and tasty in various combination since. And tonight for the first time, taking advantage of those fresh tomatoes from my friend who also provided the corn, I prepared my first such soup from scratch, using this recipe at the suggestion of a friend. I avoided the garlic, didn’t miss it, but next time I’ll cut up the tomatoes a bit more to allow for even more broth to be created — had enough for a fine bowlful, though, and the slow process of its creation added extra zest to the joy of eating it with some fresh bread and a glass of Chilean red. Give the recipe a whirl, you’ll find yourself able to create a fine soup on its own or potentially a base for something else.

Jul 04


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Picoletta: food blog! Only just got going. What amazes me is the VAST list of food blogs on its sidebar – we have been lagging in our linkage, there’s a veritable gobblesphere out there…

In praise of fresh corn

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In praise of fresh corn — I realized last night that corn (or maize if you will) on the cob is truly a divine food. Basically I’m lucky enough to have a couple of friends who raise a number of plants on a small plot of communal garden, and have done so with great success, and I always offer to help out a bit and reap the according rewards. So right now I have a slew of tomatoes that I’m going to try and make into a soup tonight plus some fantastic cucumbers, but last night was cooking up two ears of picked-not-more-than-a-hour-previously corn via a quick boiling, a little bit of butter, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. And I was a happy man.

Jul 04


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one of the funnier and/or more charming aspects of the respectabilisation of political blogs in the US over the past three-to-five months has been the fact that
a. a whole bunch got invited to (and given fairly generous treatment at) the democratic convention, and
b. they have responded to this like their first ever big old FAP!!

ie the convention is primarily a mainstream advert for the candidate; but they are superexcited mainly about MEETING EACH OTHER!! of course this sorta replicates the shallow edutainmentization of the Corporate MediaTM, but it is also v.sweet and human and – actually – a GOOD thing in that (insofar as more and more bigwig journalists are recognising the freedom that having a blog on the side gives them from the crushing (not to say fraudulent) this-side-said-that-side-said “objectivity” demanded by american big-news culture, it rescues humanisation from barren “professional” StepfordSpouse&AnchorPerson “personality” (cf Julia-Lennon-Theory corollary there is no such thing as “backstage”)

viz 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and etc (scroll down generally for convention-related gossip)

[UPDATE: i am however by no means convinced that FAFBLOG has proper accreditation]

On Do You See they’re having a pleasant little chat about childhood and film

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On Do You See they’re having a pleasant little chat about childhood and film, as set off by Police Academy gaining a place in the world’s first scientifically-based Top 100 Films Ever ever.

Now I’m so little of a film buff that films very rarely conjure deep feelings or deep-feeling memories. But I’ve been reading about licensing hours in Andrew Barr’s Drink: A Social History  and I saw a reference to lunchtime closing on David Stubbs’s Melody Maker reminiscences.

And I remember: it was a summer afternoon in 1988. I was out celebrating the new all-day opening hours with my friend Ian. The pubs were open: it seemed rude not to! Afternoon closure had been such a fixture that to drink through seemed like the golden joy of a lock-in, which had been such a rare privilege for a pair of 18-year-olds.

We got drunk on Newquay Steam Bitter, an early doomed attempt at selling premium real ale to the funny-top Grolsch market. And Ian worked in the kiosk at the local cinema and had to go to work so he dragged me along that early evening and let me in free.

Police Academy 5. I suppose I saw 15 minutes of the film before I was fast asleep, and that remains the only part of the Police Academy franchise I have experienced. Nevertheless I feel very positively towards the series because, for me, it still means afternoons in the boozer. And I’m convinced #5 is the best.

On the Buses

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On the Buses

I went to the 50th Birthday Bash for the Routemaster at Finsbury Park on Sunday. I say ‘went’, but for the record, I popped in on my way to Tescos rather than planned my day around a visit to see the buses.

I like routemasters – I think they’re superb pieces of engineering and the idea of the Routemaster (syntagm for London blah blah) is interesting. But the buses themselves? How many times you can see a bus that looks like another bus before being, well, bored?*

As I have no memories of using these buses when a wee slip of a lad, I couldn’t get misty-eyed about particualr buses that served certain routes and had thus been travelled on. As I’m not a Londoner by upbringing, I don’t feel that sense of the passing of an era in quite the same personal way. In fact, I was being an experience tourist – I was there so I could say I was there, not for any real pleasure being derived at the time.

So far, so bugger all to do with publog. Until I saw the RCL 2240…

It was a pub! In a Routemaster Bus! It had a Bar! And seats. And tables. It was Stan and Jack’s Dream Bus, and mine too. Forgive me Lord, but I doth covet my neighbours ass (using ass as a symbolic placeholder for property) How cool is that!**

They weren’t open for business sadly, but the bar has a cask on it, and fridges for beer. It’s actually a PR stunt but as stunts go, this one gets a thumbs up from me.

* – 6
** – Way Cool