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Friday, February 27, 2009

Masterchef

Mat won! I knew he would.

Man, the things those amateur chefs had to do in that competition, it was just incredible. Cooking for Michelin star chefs, working with Michelins star chefs, preparing meals for eight people or for two hundred, cooking in world renowned restaurants or in the middle of a field for the Royal Marines...

I like to muddle around in the kitchen, but this is something else. It must be great to be able to cook like that. But I'm not envious of the stress levels these finalists experienced, not at all!

Posted by Bart at 6:15 PM
Categories: The Hunter Gatherer

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tasteless

I've been ill for a week now, and I'm more than fed up with it. I can live with the constant pressure on my eardrums and those snot glaciers in my nostrils. What's bugging me the most is that I can't taste anything any more. Everything tastes more or less the same. So when it's time to eat, I don't eat much and then a short while later I'm hungry again.

The doctor prescribed me a nice list of pills. Just one question though: why are people with a sore throat made to swallow pills the size of one of the balls of the Atomium? My pain killers are the size of footballs, my antibiotics are the size of rubber dingies and best of all, the pills against my sore throat would make a blue whale choke.

I promise my next post will not contain the word 'snot'.

Posted by Bart at 5:15 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Buy-Buy-Buy On The Snot Exchange

Today I went to the doctor again, and it doesn't look as if I'm going to Africa the day after tomorrow, as I was supposed to. So I canceled my ticket and I'm looking forward to staying indoors and decaying in terminal boredom for the next five days.

Well, it gives me a bit of time to finish the 'new' (I've been at it for four months now) lay-out for this site.

Good news though for those of you who lost a lot of money on the stock exchange these last couple of months. I'd suggest you buy Kleenex shares. Unexpectedly, their production has know an exponential growth. Analysts say that their shares will continue to soar until Saturday at least, but then their may be a steep decline.

Unless Wolf brings back another disease from the childminder's.

Posted by Bart at 4:13 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Of Those Days

'Wolf's has had a double ear infection for weeks now. I'm lucky he didn't pass it on to me'

The moment I had formed that thought into my head, the virusses clambered into their Stuka divebombers and scrambled into the air. So as of yesterday night, my head feels like it's going to explode and release a giant tsunami of puss, slime and snot.

While I remained in bed and perfected feeling sorry for myself, Mrs.B went to work. Two hours later, she was back.

The police had closed the office, arrested her bosses and sealed of the place. No-one is to enter. The investigating magistrate wouldn't give anymore information, apart from the fact that he wouldn't interrogate my wife because she's only been working for this office since the beginning of the year.

Anyway, it's very unclear now if she's without a job or not, and if she will be paid for the last couple of weeks or not.

And I thought I had a bad headache before I heard that news.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oil Shortage

I almost blew up the deep fryer today. Plugged it in without realising that I hadn't put any vegetable oil into the thing when I last cleaned it. It's totally understandable, since generally I only clean it after every 1420 times. The manual says I should change the oil every 10 times, but I can only assume that's a printing error.

Anyway, heating up the deep fryer without any oil will make explode in a white ball of flame, or maybe just burn up with a sizzle, or make it terminally malfunction – so it's not good.

What's more, the Belgian law doesn't take this kind of misdemeanor against any items so vitally important for the production of the holy (all rise please) Belgian Fries (you may be seated again) lightly. Killing a deep fryer is a capital offense.

Good thing Mrs.B smelled something funny. I was quick to grasp the situation, so I scrambeled to the kitchen on my new slippers, without any regards for passing cats. I arrived just in time to prevent the drama.

Close call there!

Posted by Bart at 9:08 PM
Categories: The Hunter Gatherer

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bart's Vegetarian Lasagne Recipe

Go to the shop and buy:

  • 1 pound of minced meat
  • 1 green and 1 red paprika
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 pound of mushrooms
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 big onion
  • A box of lasagne leaves (500 gr.)

Cut and dice the onion, the courgette, the aubergine and the paprika. Stir-fry everything in a wok, starting with the onions and adding the rest as you see fit. Slice the mushrooms and add them when the first batch of vegetables is tender. Cut up the tomatoes in parts and add them right at the end, so that they get warm without cooking to a pulp.

Make a bechamel sauce (white sauce) with 100 grams of butter or margarine. Add two to three spoons of flour and stir on a low fire until you get a smooth roux. Then carefully add about half a litre of milk while stirring until the sauce is medium thick and nice and creamy but not too runny and not too thick either.

Completely forget to bake the minced meat.

Take a square oven dish and butter the sides. Then you start of with a layer of the vegetable mix. Next you put a layer of lasagne leaves on top of it. Forget to add a layer of minced meat, which you haven't baked anyway. Go on without even a single clue about the presence of the minced meat in your refrigerator. Be as oblivious as possible about the mere existence of minced meat on this planet. Then pour a layer of white sauce on the lasagne leaves, instead of putting it on top of the minced meat. Add another layer of lasagne leaves and repeat the process until you've reached the rim of the oven dish.

If you value a clean oven, do not stack additional layers of vegetables, creamy sauce, invisible minced meat or cheese on top, because the sauce and molten cheese will drip over the rim. If you're me, do exactly what you're not supposed to.

Put the dish in the oven for about 35 minutes. Swear profusely after about ten minutes, when the molten cheese is dripping on the bottom of the oven and burning totally, creating a thick blanket of black smoke in your kitchen (warning: possible exaggeration here). Anyway, it smells foul.

Serve hot. When members of your household claim you've forgotten the minced meat, look bewildered, then invent stupid lies about you wanting to try a recipe for vegetarian lasagne. Ignore sniggering from the other side of the table and any mother-son conspiracies against your fatherly authority. Make things work by exclaiming all the time how nice the lasagne is and how well you can taste the mushrooms now that the taste of minced meat isn't so overpowering. Ignore the fact that other members of the household aren't eating nearly as much as they normally do, and that you don't eat as much either.

Try to avoid the subject of lasagne and/or minced meat during the next couple of days.

Posted by Bart at 8:45 PM
Categories: The Hunter Gatherer

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ibe

Finally found some time to check out the pictures of my sister's brand new baby boy, Ibe.

Baby Ibe in the arms of his mummy  

Baby Ibe with his mummy  

The proud father  

The proud father

The proud teddy bear  

The proud teddybear

Baby Ibe with his godmother  

The proud godmother (picture taken by the proud godfather - that's me!)

 

I don't like taking pictures in maternity wards. Lighting conditions are generally horrible, with a single TL light hanging on the wall. Outside, it was grey winter weather, so there wasn't a lot of natural light coming in. In such circumstances, my standard kit lens just doesn't produce nice photos. Often, I switch to black-and-white to get more or less decent pictures.

Wolf was a little bit jealous  

Seeing his mom with another baby in her arms made someone a teensy weensy little bit jealous. So we got the enjoy The Big Wolf Show, in which he showed off all his party tricks.

Wolf playing on the hospital bed  

Without any scrupules, he chased poor old sis out of her bed and claimed it as his own. Then he feasted on the sandwiches we'd brought for him. At least he shared a bit with Ibe's teddybear.

Posted by Bart at 3:55 PM
Categories: Next Generation

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hell = A Shoe Store

We went shopping for shoes last weekend. Anyone who has an ounce of testosterone in his blood will know that men would walk trough fire, swim naked under the North pole, wrestle an anaconda or dive from a 200 metre high cliff into shark infested waters rather than enter a single shoe store. In fact, there lies the heart of the problem, because it never is just a single shoe store. It's shoe store in, shoe store out while you follow your wife while she reprimands you for the shoes you like and makes you try on shoes you don't like.

To make it even worse, it was the sales period, or 'solden' as we call it here. As if shopping for shoes wasn't horrible enough, you have to fight your way through the shopping districts and into the shops through a mass of hyperkinetic women, grumpy men and screaming children. Sales periods are when Belgians leave their houses in one giant mass to buy their clothes, I'm always surprised people buy any between the winter and the summer sales. Personally, I think running around naked is a sound alternative to trying to survive this mass frenzy. This must be why naturism is becoming increasingly popular.

But there was no escape to it. I've been walking in my summer shoes all winter long, even when it was very cold and when I had to march through a thick (at least 1,5cm) layer of snow. My old winter shoes had given up on my a year ago, when the shoe sole broke in two. It always does, because I have a tendency to walk on my toes. It's a genetic thing, my mother does it, my sister and brother do it and unfortunately my son does it too. If we want more children we'll have a hefty annual shoe bill to take into account.

But in a remarkable and happy twist, we found a pair of shoes both Mrs.B and I agreed upon, right on the last day of the sales period. We were in and out of the shop in five minutes. And then we went in again to buy a pair of slippers, because the two balls of rags I wear in the house qualify as toxic waste. So I bought four items of footwear at a time, in a single store, during the sales period, without having to wrestle through a crowd or wait for a seat to try them on or having to pull a shop assistant by the hair or anything.

And if anyone is wondering how they look: they are brown - both the shoes and the slippers - and shoe-like. Except the slippers, which are more slipper-like. I'd like to give you more details, but I'm a bloke.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Gesundheit!

The other day, when I returned home from work, I had to sneeze.

Really hard...

The lamp post I was standing under flickered, and then the light went out.

This cold is killing me.

Posted by Bart at 9:03 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous


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