Archive for ‘food’


You’re no good for me.

I know you’re bad for me.

No, you’re terrible for me.

When you’re a part of my life my stomach never stops roiling. My chest never stops hurting. My throat is tight.

But when you’re not I long for you, oh Goddesses how I long for you. All I have to do is walk down the street, and see you inside a shop for my heart to skip, or on the street, held by the hands of another woman, a luckier woman. For my chest to tighten. For my mouth to water, for my eyes to sting and well up with never forgotten longing for you my darling.

But last week the stars aligned and you came back into my life, no matter how briefly it was. I held your body in my hands once more. Felt your flesh against my lips. Reveled in the decadence of that same flesh passing through my lips as it slid into my mouth. I still remember how firm, but somehow still so soft your flesh was against my tongue. How you tasted at the same time somehow smokey, but also sweet.

And that moment when I pushed your flesh gently against the roof of my mouth with my tongue, and felt your juices running out, over my tongue and down my throat. The delicious saltiness of it, coating my mouth, my throat. *sigh*

And then you left me again. Back to your other, luckier women.  You left me, even after I licked your juices off of my fingers from where they had ran down over them. A single long slow trickle of thick salty liquid, licked lovingly, lustfully with one long slow lick from the very tip of my tongue.

You left me despite how much I love you.

But as much as it hurts, I can still feel you inside of me.

I can still feel your mass, deep in my body, filling me.

And I can still feel my skin stiffen, tighten, that wondrously odd sensation where your juices escaped my lips to run down over my chin, before dropping to my breasts.

Those are the memories I will carry with me. Because and I say this for the world to hear.

I love you toasted bread, with real butter melted into every pore. I love you! And I’ll miss you for the rest of my life.

(I spent the whole of last week preparing for a coeliac blood test. Which basically meant I had to eat everything that makes me feel sick in anyway. So I did. Anyway my coeliac adopted lil sister, The Kitten, asked me to eat some buttery toast and write up a description of it for her. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.)


Little Ruminations on Food – I Thought I hated it.

I can still, vaguely, remember my first time in a McDonalds. I was maybe 4 years old, living in west Mayo, and on a visit home to Cork to spend some time with my Moms family. Anyway in, what I imagine was, an effort to separate my brother and I, from our cousins for a few hours of blessed peace, Mom took us to Maccy-D’s in Cork City.

This was about 30 years ago, and I had a cheeseburger.

This article is not about how I thought I hated McDonalds food. Though I still truly loathe it, I really do.

No this is about how McDonalds was responsible for my thinking I hated pickled gherkin. You see, just in case you’ve either been living under a rock for the past several decades, or are Hindu, most burgers in most fast food chains include a single, thin, sad, pathetic, rotten tasting piece of what they claim to be pickled gherkin. And because of that singular piece of revolting organic crap I spent the next 25 years thinking that I hated pickles.

I didn’t, I hated fake pickles. Fake pickles that tasted horribly sweet, and somewhat like the way that rotten boiled cabbage smells. It was only when I had started hormone treatments, and was beset with lots of often quite insane food cravings that I discovered what real pickles taste like.

In a two words…


So what’s the point of this post? Why gentle reader simply this. If you think you hate a food, maybe you should try a different brand, or type. Because it may well be that some soulless, low grade evil has misled you into thinking you hate something, that actually you’ll love.

In my mind that’s Tim Curry under the make-up. (Image via )

A Poor Girls Guide to Being Great With Money – Grocery Shopping.

Food is expensive. We all know that, and it’s only getting more so all the time. So with that in mind it surely makes sense to take a thrifty approach to our grocery shopping? Well, I’m going to assume that you’re still reading, and responded to that question with a loud, clear “Hell Yeah!” Here are my five top tips for keeping that grocery bill under control.

1: Eat before you go food shopping. Going food shopping on an empty stomach is a really silly thing for anyone to do. Hunger taps into your reptile brain in a way that makes you want all the food in the world right, frikkin’, now! And grocery stores know this. That’s why they smell so often of fresh baked bread, a scent which, I guess, taps in to the bready doughy centre of our brains. So don’t go shopping hungry.

2: Be very careful before you buy anything that’s in a stand away on its own. these are usually “Special Offers”, often only being special for the company selling them that is. Look selling anything is a science. And the people who study that science know that we’re programmed to go after the lame member of the herd first. You know, the animal that’s standing away on it’s own, trailing well behind the herd, because that’s the one we’ll expend the least energy killing. So something standing out on its own in a shop is going to be “Special”. Sometimes these are genuinely good buys. But often they’re a “new” product, which is in fact an old product in new packaging, at a higher cost, for less.

Which leads us nicely to…

3: Pay attention to the price by weight part of packaging. Here we’ll use toilet roll as our example. There are two packages of toilet roll. Four rolls per pack, but one pack is 5% more expensive. Which should do you buy? Well you don’t really know until you look at how many sheets there are per roll, and work out the price per sheet. The same goes for buying most other things which we tend to buy in bulk. In fact the same can be true of buying just about anything. Whenever you can find out the price by weight, it could save you a lot in the long run.

4: Try to buy special offers, which really are special offers. Super Mega Frikkin’ Euro Stores is having a special this week on a your regular washing powder. Buy 5 boxes for the price of 3. Do you buy it? Or do you think to yourself “How much washing powder do I really need? And then I’ll have to carry it home, and store it, and the cost…nah I’ll just get the one pack.” WRONG!

Look, in my first article in this series I spoke about rounding up your weekly budget slightly to build up “just in case” money. Well this is one of those just in case situations. The fact is that if a special offer appears on something which you use constantly, which is a genuine bargain, then get it. You WILL use that washing powder. You WILL work your way through all that toilet paper. You WILL use all that dry dog food, unless scruffy runs out in front of traffic, in which case you can use it to pebble dash the back yard wall. So be smart, if it really is a bargain for you, then buy it, and save yourself some money in the long run.

5: Don’t shop for everything in the same place. Humans are at heart lazy animals. We’re all the descendants of a species which, barring special exceptions (the Da Vinci’s, Columbus’s etc) has lived by the creed “If there’s nothing needs doing, then do nothing.” Which as all dog owners know is the rule most adult dogs live by, and is I believe the source of the harmony which exists between our species. They like to chill out, and so do we. But if you have to live a thrifty life, you don’t have the option of the lazy route.

Sure, your fresh fruit and veg are cheapest in shop A, but fresh meat is cheaper in B, and cleaning chemicals are best bought in C. The problem is that it takes time, and effort to shop in all three. Your conscious brain says “I’ll save 20 Euro’s if I spilt my shopping.” your lazy primate brain is saying “Ya, but we could be home 45 minutes sooner to watch The Big Bang Theory, while our puppy is all cute, and snuggled up against us.”

Don’t listen to the lazy monkey brain. Let’s make the savings even more modest. You save 5 Euro’s on your weekly shopping by splitting it, and because the shops are close enough together it only costs you time. That’s 260 Euro’s a year. Or in another way of looking at it, that’s a really nice Xbox for Christmas.

Now ask yourself, this…

What would the (adorable) Master Chief do?


Who the hell though frozen Smarties were a good idea?

My mom is wonderful. But bless her cotton socks she does seem to think that deep down it’s still the 1980’s, and that I’m still 10 years old. Say this because I can think of no other logical reason for her deciding that I would be delighted to chow down on a huge tub of Nestle Smarties Ice Cream.

Okay let’s get this out-of-the-way first. I generally don’t like Nestle chocolate. The occasional Kinder Egg. But overall I find their chocolate far too sickly sweet.

However I am at heart a child of the 80’s. I was raised on Jelly Tots, Polar Mints, Whispa bars, and of course Smarties. I seriously doubt that any child who grew up in either Ireland or the United Kingdom managed to get through their childhood without eating a couple of kilo’s of Smarties. After all they were cheap, brightly coloured, and for a Nestle product surprisingly tasty. Though far from my favourites. To be honest these days I’d rather eat cat kibble then Smarties, but when I was a kid, chocolate was chocolate. And coming from a relatively poor background you took what you could get.

Flash forward from the 80’s, when my favourite thing to wear were my pair of royal blue corduroy shorts, to the present day, when my favourite things to wear are either my Mistress or my boyfriend.

My mom had decided that as a treat for my puppy sitting (just wait til I finish the post about THAT experience.) for her over the weekend, she would get some Smarties ice cream in the shopping. Admittedly along side two bars of Lindt white vanilla chocolate, a chocolate swiss-roll, and a dozen bags of popcorn. My mom knows me very well. I was dubious, but grateful, after all ice cream IS ice cream.

So Saturday rolled around, and feeling bloody awful I decided a viewing of The Andromeda Strain and a large bowl of ice cream were in order. I sit down, Take a spoonful, but it in my mouth, and without thinking I bit down on a harder than normal lump.


Who the fucking hell thought putting Smarties in to a frozen dessert was a good idea? Seriously?

The ice cream is delicious, but those little flattened pieces of chocolate are nothing less than a booby-trap. Perfectly designed to send you shrieking to the dentist.

Besides frozen Nestle chocolate tastes of pretty much…nothing. Nothing at all.

Okay maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m at fault here, and I’ve lost so much of my inner child that the idea of rock hard chocolate waiting in ambush in my ice cream doesn’t fill me with glee.

Maybe it’s my fault because I’ve gotten older, and my health has weakened my teeth a little.

Maybe it’s my fault because didn’t look at what I was eating, assuming foolishly that I would be allowed to keep my teeth a while longer.

Or maybe, just maybe, who ever came up with the idea for Smarties in ice cream needs a good hard, swift kick to the testes. You know just to remind him that ice cream should be fun, not painful.





A students guide to cooking – A romantic meal for two.

So you’ve been in some sort of third level institute of learning  for a while now. Somehow, in between drinking contests, watching reruns of The Simpsons, and occasionally sauntering in to class you’ve managed to find someone who might, just possibly want to rub pasty bodies against your’s. It was wonderful, eyes meeting blearily across a crowded room, filled with drink and drug addled people. They smiled, you were pissed, and with the courage of Bacchus flowing through your veins you asked them out. Better still, with the idiocy of Bacchus flowing through their brains, they said, yes.

The thing is that you told that person, who you just asked out in a drunken moment of bravado, “Why, yes, I’ll make up a wonderful romantic dinner for us both.” The problem now is that the only thing you know how to cook is Detonated Potato. Well never fear Auntie Amanda is here to help. So just follow the simple steps below for as romantic an evening as our mutually pathetic cooking skills will allow.

  1. Go to the local pharmacy and buy condoms. Odds are you’re going to screw this up and end up alone, curled tight around a pillow sobbing, but better safe than sorry.  Buy the extra strong “You won’t be feeling anything at all through these wellies” kind. That way you’re less likely to catch anything and frankly you (or he) will last a whole lot longer.
  2. Find someone to explain how to put one on. Odds are there’s a peer educator somewhere on campus who can help. I don’t recommend asking the chaplain, any members of the institutes executive team, or your housemates.
  3. Inform your housemates you have a date/are getting laid and in order to seal the deal you need the gaff to yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t actually know what the word “gaff” refers to. More than likely neither will they but everyone will assume you mean the house you share.
  4. Clean up the kitchen.
  5. Clean up the living room.
  6. Incinerate every living thing in the bathroom.
  7. NOW clean the bathroom.
  8. Clean your bedroom, including changing the bed linens which have been on it since you started your third level education.
  9. Decide what you want to cook for dinner.
  10. Come to the realisation that you actually won’t be able to cook anything apart from Detonated Potato.
  11. Consider making some Detonated Potato.
  12. Remember that you read this step-by-step guide a few weeks ago, and re-read it.
  13. Follow the next step.
  14. Find the cheapest Italian/Chinese/Indian/Thai take away in your locality, who deliver. (This is important, there’s no point in wasting precious energy you might need later in the evening.)
  15. Order only the main course, arranging delivery 15 minutes before the arrival of your potential partner in jiggy-jiggy-wah-wah!
  16. Remind your housemates that they need to go elsewhere tonight.
  17. Have a shower, and shave which ever bits seem most important.
  18. Smell your way through your laundry basket, and wear the pieces of clothing which combine smelling the best, have the least number of suspicious stains, got together appropriately.
  19. Pop around to the local shop and buy 1 carton of ready cooked custard, along with one raspberry ripple swissroll.
  20. Heat the custard in a CLEAN sauce pan, this way you can semi-legitimately claim to have cooked the meal.
  21. Slice the swissroll into a large bowl, pouring the custard between and over each layer of slices.
  22. Place in the fridge.
  23. Remind your housemates that they need to leave, and that the dessert in the fridge is off-limits.
  24.  Answer door to the delivery man.
  25. Pay the delivery man. (Important step, they tend to take offense to not being paid.)
  26. Place the main course on plates and put in the oven set to a very low temperature to keep it warm. Put a cup/glass of hot water in with it to help keep the food moist.
  27. Put the microwave garlic bread on, and then place in the oven on a separate plate with the main course.
  28. Lay the table with knifes, forks, and spoons. If you have one put a table-cloth over it first to hide the burn marks and blood stains.
  29. Light candles in both the kitchen and living room.
  30. Physically kick your housemates out. Using only the level of violence appropriate. For example if they’re 4’10” tall you should simply pick them up and deposit them outside, however if they’re 6’11” and play rugby you may need to use a hurley and a carving knife.
  31. Lay the still hot food on the table.
  32. Panic when you realise the take-away containers are still on the kitchen counter.
  33. Run outside and shove them into the bin.
  34. Turn around and come face to face with your intended conquest.
  35. Sputter, hiccup, and generally do you best impression of Hugh Grant in one of his horrific romantic comedies. (Don’t pretend you haven’t seen one, we all have!)
  36. Take them inside, and serve dinner.
  37. Find out that they work in the take-away you ordered from. Laugh it off.
  38. Discover that they’re diabetic and that the dessert you made will make their foot drop off.  Recover from this set back by suggesting your body for dessert.

At this point depending on your gender/sexuality one of four things would seem most likely happen.

Female Straight –

  1. Get physically dragged upstairs to your room.
  2. Tear each others clothes off, somehow forgetting to remove each others underwear. (No-one actually knows why this happens, but I personally blame pre-watershed sit-coms.)
  3. Struggle to get into the condom packet, in the end using your teeth in what you hope is a sexy manner.
  4. Pull down his pants.
  5. Wonder what the hell that 2 inch long mushroom is.
  6. Remain single a while more.

Female Bi/Lesbian –

  1. Buggered if I know. Seriously if you figure out how this one works out please let me know. After a lifetime as a lesbian I still suck at getting from “I like you!” to “Boom Shaka Wah Wah!”, usually it happens by accident.

Male Bi/Gay –

  1. See previous statement, and adjust language accordingly.

Male Straight –

  1. Well, I can only go by what television has taught me, but to judge from episodes of Scrubs, and the fact that if you’re reading this then odds are you name is not Charlie Sheen, it ends with the chorus of this song, and a very soapy shower.

So there you have Auntie Amanda’s guide to the perfect third level romantic evening. Please remember your own experience may vary, and that despite your own best efforts you will probably have lost your virginity by the time you re-enter the real world, three years from now.

Next time I really will get around to explaining the  preparation of non-crunchy porridge. So something for all you starving college student types to look forward to.


A students guide to cooking – Detonated Potato.

With so many newly minted 3rd Level students having just evolved, from semi-literate 2nd Level students, it seemed timely to write a very basic guide to cooking for ones self. So here is a step by step guide to making “Amanda Harpers not in anyway famous Detonated Potatoes”.

Required for the cooking of Detonated Potatoes – 1 Potato, 1 Fork, 1 Oven, 1 Microwave, 1 Plate.

1: Preheat an oven to ridiculous degrees centigrade, or Gas Mark Holy Fuck! Having first emptied it of all those sticky, greasy trays that usually call it home. Having to fight your way through a room filled with eye-burning black smoke only makes everything else more difficult.

2: Pick out as large a potato as you can find. This is important, you’ll see why later.

3: Wash said potato. DO NOT PEEL IT!

4: Also wash the inside of the microwave.

5: Also wash the fork.

6: Also wash the plate.

7: Also while you’re at it wash your damn kitchen, honestly your mother would be ashamed of you living in filth like that!

8: Prick the potato with a fork only barely enough times that it doesn’t explode in the oven. Once or twice very shallowly should do.

9: Once the oven has achieved the necessary temperature, place your prepared potato on the top shelf. Try to remember that everything inside the oven is now liable to strip your flesh off, so don’t touch any of it.

10: While you wait watch an episode of Scrubs, or Two and a Half Men. They both last approximately 30 minutes which is important. Or you could do some studying…nah!

11: Once J.D. has given his generic closing monologue, or Charlie has smugly wandered up those stairs with yet another hot woman, it’s time to return to the kitchen. The kitchen is the room with the cooker, fridge, and possibly rats, depending on the quality of your housing/cleaning. You may recognise it as the room where your mother cooked most of your meals growing up, and you grudgingly did the washing up after dinner…once or twice.

12: Wrap your hand in something non-conductive. That means a dry towel, an oven glove, a newspaper. It does not include tin foil, or for sanitation reasons a pair of dead rats.

13: Carefully remove the potato from the oven, taking care not to balance yourself by grabbing the shiny metal inside.

14: Place the potato in the centre of the microwave. Set the microwave to its highest setting, start it, and stand back.  Don’t go anywhere you’re going to want to watch this.

15: After between 30 seconds and 2-3 minutes (this isn’t an exact science and a lot depends on how many holes you previously poked with that fork) you will hear a loud “Booooffff!” possibly accompanied by the microwave jumping slightly, depending on the size of the potato. If the light still works in the microwave, and you’re the sort to stand with your face pressed against the glass, mesmerized by the food spinning inside, you will have seen your potato detonate.

16: Open the microwave, and scoop out the fluffy white stuff that exploded out of the potato, and encased the entire inside of your microwave with itself, on to your plate. Simply throw away the probably empty potato skin. The size of the potato will decide how much of the fluffy white stuff you actually get to eat, I told you the size was important.

17: Eat the fluffy white stuff with a knob of butter, and the fork you used earlier to prick it. If you’re male and possibly a rugby player, please don’t use knob-butter and then give the resulting unholy concoction to your housemate. It’s not funny, it’s not clever, and when he finds out he’ll probably slit your throat while you sleep, with a dull, rusty bread knife.

18: Laugh at all the dick jokes I made in the last two steps.

19: Laugh because I wrote the word “dick” in the last step.

20: Clean the microwave and kitchen again after cooking. Don’t look at me that way, living in filth is the reason why your cereal has that extra crunch that only cockroaches add to a health breakfast.

21: If you didn’t clean the fork, and microwave, or if you did in fact pick up your potato with those two dead rats, enjoy your night of sitting on the toilet.

There you are the recipe for detonated potato. Next time, a step by step guide to preparing non-crunchy porridge. It’s trickier than you might think.


Nothing like a delicious cup of stealth lesbian tea.

I’m sure everyone reading this will at the very least know a tea drinker.  Many will in fact live with a tea drinker, it is after all very much the ubiquitous drink of our age.  But I wonder how many of you live with that oddity of tea drinkers, the ninja trained maker of stealth tea.

So how does it manifest?

Imagine you’re sitting in the kitchen, some how the ninja tea maker manages to boil the kettle, make themselves a cup of tea, a snack and sit down next to you.  But incredibly, the first knowledge you come into possession of that cup of tea being made, is when they start to drink it.  By some fantastical means they have managed to hide the entire process from you, while doing it right in front of you.

My partner is one of those rare people trained in this semi-mystical culinary art.  She can literally make a cup of tea, a sandwich and raid the biscuit tin,and the first thing I know about it is when the cup of tea lands on the coffee table.  I should point out that we live in a small apartment with a kitchen/living room combo.

Of course the use of this wonderous stealth art is not what gets to us poor victims of its application riled up.  No, it is the fact that the stealth tea maker manages, in addition to forgetting to make any sounds, not to consider that we ourselves might enjoy a lovingly made cup of delicious lesbian (for lesbian read fruit) tea.

That said, of course nothing tastes better than that delicious cup of lesbian stealth tea.  You know the one we untrained practitioners occasionally draw forth from the aether, right under the nose of the unsuspecting in-house mistress.  Pay back is a bitch, and she sure tastes sweet.


Oh you have to eat them it’s traditional.

Ok to start with let me tell the world loudly and clearly that I hate brussel sprouts.  They are hateful little wannabe cabbages, that look like oversized snots and taste precisely the same as the wind they cause the appearance  of later.  At best they taste sour and unpleasant, at worst they can make me want to projectile vomit.  Which when you’re sitting opposite a beloved family member is anything but a good thing.

But you have to eat them because it’s traditional.  Because those hateful green coloured balls that make you wish you could lick your own crotch have some how become a part of our dining culture.

Why oh why do we do this to ourselves?  Year after year every last one of us sits down to a celebratory meal at some stage and eat something we either merely dislike or even loathe beyond words.  This it seems to me to be a manifestation of peer pressure in the home and in society as a whole.

Taking Christmas as a very good example we have so many foods which we tend to avoid at other times of the year.  Turkey which I feel is nothing more than a chicken on steroids but without the flavor.  Yet despite my dislike of it until only a few years ago I would eat it every year to make someone else happy.  Or Christmas pudding which admittedly I do like the taste of.  However what I do not like is the way that a few hours later it turns me into a human pebble-dashing machine.  But still for years I ate it and did my best to ignore the discomfort that always was the end result.

I know people who don’t like roast potatoes, or stuffing, or gravy or, or, or.  The list kind of goes on for a while but the thing is they’re all foods which are considered tradition and so you just have to have some.

All the trimmings and to the left of the turkey, SPROUTS!

Well I say what the hell is so wrong with a really nice homemade curry for a celebratory dinner?  Or an amazing lasagna?  Hey I know how about roast lamb chops with roast carrot and parsnips?

Just because it’s traditional is not enough of a reason to inflict hateful flavors and textures on ourselves.

Of course there is a flip side to all of this.  One day in the year we in Ireland indulge ourselves in one of the most delicious foods ever invented by mankind.  They’re cheap to make, they’re quick and simple to make.  They taste like angels tap dancing on the tongue and three good thick ones will fill you  up for hours.  We are of course talking here about pancakes.  They are nothing short of wonderful and yet I’m quite sure that most people eat them only once a year.

So good, so why the hell do we wait a whole year between doses?

This appears to me to be a reverse of the “you have to” tradition.  Where we instead of having to indulge at least once in the year are left feeling that we should only do so once a year.

Now how in the hell does that make sense?

So I here and now make an appeal to all right thinking people.  Throw off the shackles of traditional eating.  Those of us who hate sprouts lets turn to our loving family chef and say “Mam thanks but I’d rather not eat fart bombs”.

Those of us who hate turkey let us say loudly and proudly “Mam could we not have something that tastes like it’s actually rich flavorful meat this year?”

Let all those who love the yumness that are pancakes cry out to the world “I will not eat these divinely delicious savoury treats but once a year. No I say.  I will eat them many times a year and I will be happy that I did it.”

I say to you now my loyal readers and yes even to you reader who just passed through my blog by accident on the way to your favourite free porn site.  Let us all now throw off the chains of traditional eating and for once have a celebration where we enjoy every course, every mouthful and let us as one united people undo our top jean button with a relieved and happy sigh.


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