Posts tagged ‘food’


A Students Guide to Cooking – Non-crunchy Porridge.

Yes, after a prolonged absence your favourite guide to cooking food fit for an Arts student is back. So far we’ve covered some of the most important cookery topics, cooking the perfect potato, tha romantic meal for two, dealing with the morning after a serious lash up, and of course when your mother comes to visit. But this time we’re covering the tricky topic of porridge. Porridge is an essential food for the financially strapped student. It’s cheap to buy, and cheap to make, thus maximising your available drinking money. But it’s tricky to get just right, so read on and Auntie Amanda will guide you on your journey to porridge perfection.

  1. Find a pot.
  2. It’s probably best if you now wash the pot.
  3. Reach for the package of porridge.
  4. Realise you forgot to buy it, and go to the shop for a bag.
  5. Return home, and measure out one cup full of oats, and pour into the pan.
  6. You can make porridge with either water, milk or a mix of both. I advise you go with the milk. It just tastes better. So go to the fridge.
  7. Return to the shop for a carton of milk.
  8. Measure out 3 full cups of milk, pour each of them into the pan with the oats.
  9. Now, you’ve worked hard so chill out for half an hour while you let the oats soak up that milky goodness. Have a beer, bought with the money you’ve saved by deciding to live on 90% porridge for the next three years.
  10. Pause “The Evil Dead” (The cool kids still watch that, right?) and return to the kitchen. Turn on the cooker ring which, and I can not state this strongly enough, has the pan on it.
  11. Bring the porridge to a soft gentle boil, stirring constantly.
  12. Turn down the cooker, and allow to cook for a minimum of ten minutes. The packaging on your porridge will say less but ignore those instructions, they’re wrong. They were after all written by some pencil pushing bureaucrat in an office somewhere in Europe, and you’re a renegade porridge cooker who goes his/her own way when it comes to the cooking of porridge!
  13. Somewhere in those ten minutes get distracted by your extremely hot housemate (of any gender, that preference is entirely up to you) walking, possibly naked who knows what might happen, into the kitchen.
  14. Pour your porridge into a bowl.
  15. Put the now dirty porridge pot into the sink, and leave for 24 hours before cleaning, after all no need to rob yourself of a challenge.
  16. Sweeten, salt, or add jam to your porridge to suit your own tastes.
  17. Taste porridge.
  18. Note with satisfaction that it is in fact creamy, with a pleasing soft texture in your mouth.
  19. Note with dissatisfaction that it also tastes like that time aged 7 you tried to make custard and ended up with nothing but a pot filled with burn.
  20. Order a take-away.
  21. Beg parents/bank manager/any god of your choice  for more money for “tuition”.

And there we have it. How to make perfectly un-crunchy porridge. So enjoy your take-away, and next time we’ll discuss how to make a pizza.


One of these things is not like the others…

As you gather experience in cooking for yourself you’ll come across new foodstuffs, and other new substances. Some of these will look cosmetically similar, but trust me when I say that they truly are not. So here we have five sets of somewhat easily confused foods (if you happen to be a brain damaged puppy, or a drunken student), and other items, as a basic beginners guide to what works, and what really doesn’t.

1: Cabbage and lettuce.

Yes these are somewhat easy to confuse. Both are leafy, both are green, both are sort of ball-shaped. However if you boil lettuce it quickly becomes slimy, and tasteless. Where as cabbage becomes…well as far as I’m concerned it also becomes slimy and tasteless, but hey that’s my opinion.

Lettuce, cut it up, check for bugs, eat it.

Cabbage, cut it up, check for bugs, boil it, and throw in the tra…eat it.

2: Butter and cheese.

Now while butter and cheese do look superficial similar, yellow and block shaped, they are in fact rather different. For one thing if you eat butter the same way you eat cheese, your heart will end up exploding. Mind you if you eat cheese the same way you breathe air much the same thing will eventually happen, so appropriate relative moderation is probably the key here.

Butter, is smoother looking, and greasy to the touch. Scrap it off and scrap it thinly onto bread…eat it.

Cheese, carry it in your handbag, slice it up, eat it anywhere, anytime.

3: Popcorn and Styrofoam.

This is an easy mistake to make. They do look rather similar, and have much the same texture, as well as  flavor. But while one will just bung you up, the other will bung you up before tearing you a brand new arsehole on the way out. Guess which one is which.

Popcorn, cook it, salt it, eat it. Remember that butter on it is evil, and that you’re going to have a sore backside shortly.

Styrofoam, use it for insulation. Seriously don’t eat this no matter how drunk you are, or how good an idea it seems right now.

4: Brussel sprouts and green plasticine.

You’re on your own with this one. Seriously either way just, ewww.

5: Real beer and American beer.

I felt I should round this one up with a beverage every student will recognise. With one of these the barman tops up the barrel by tapping straight into the mens room. With the other you have liquid bread, which I understand can be good for you. However which is which is a very simple exercise in deductive reasoning. The recycled form starts with the letter “A”, the good one doesn’t.


American beer, don’t, just don’t. If you really want to drink piss go and hire a good professional dominatrix willing to supply. At least it’ll be sterile when fresh.

Real Beer, guzzle it. Especially if it’s liberally flavoured with ginger.


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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