Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Only two things are infinite

A week ago when shooting through a health shop I got some LSA, which, to those unacquainted with health food, is not some trendy drug but a blended mix of linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds. It can be thrown into smoothies or baking. I only got it because it was on special, but the reason most vegetarians would buy it is that it has lots of the oils that are in fish, but not in a great deal of plant foods, namely, Omega fatty acids, which, incidentally are good for the brain and focus. I had some in a smoothie yesterday morning but it either cursed me or was expired and had the opposite effect.

It all started after a good samaritan morning when I was being shouted lunch for my good deed. As I came back from the restroom and I was about to sit down, I attempted to remove my wallet from the back pocket (I hate sitting on my wallet) and found it wasn't there. A brief search of the cafe revealed it had been standing crease-up near the counter, completely unmolested by evil-doers. What a pleasant surprise!

Then later in the day, I left my home to go vege shopping, drove about 1o minutes, perused the odd vegetables at Mt Eden vege, bought some and headed back to the car, when the car demanded the keys and I was found wanting. I turned to find the cashier charging down the footpath after me, keys glinting in the sunlight. Service and dedication supreme!

Lady luck had insulated me from the worst aspects of my stupidity twice. But the third time she was utterly charmless. I got back to my car and drove a hundred metres down the road when something hit me: fortunately it was just a thought; unfortunately it was a disturbing thought. You see, I'm fond of saving time and also home cookery, which I must say is a bad combination. Before I had left home I thought that I could prepare for a dinner guest that evening by putting a small amount of lentils in a pot, covering them with water, turning up the heat to boiling, and then turning off the heat before leaving. This was the lentils can absorb water and cut cooking times in the evening. I had done this before. And regrettably I had nonchalently done it again: sans the very last step. I had left the lentils in less than a centimetre of water on the stove and full heat... for at least 25 minutes... and I was about 10 minutes from my apartment. I jolted myself out of shock and U-turned my way back homeward. I called both my landlord and flatmate to see if they were close enough to scream home and do whatever could be done, but I was the closest one.

A few months ago, there had been a fire alarm at our apartment complex. A smouldering in an underground carpark had set off the alarms for all the apartments (most of which would not have been in any conceivable threat), so I had visions of burly firefighters using a big ramrod to burst through the door and attend to my overcooked cooking. I pulled up opposite my apartment grounds, dashed across the road and while traversing the parking areas, detected in the air a whiff of one of those dreaded burnt odours, while still 30 metres from the door. I was pleased by the lack of alarm bells and a munted doorway as I shot up the stairs into my smoky lounge. I dashed to the stove-top, threw the smouldering pot into a full sink of water and opened all the doors, windows and extractor fans. But the main crisis was averted, and a jittery Daniel could collapse into a chair with a strong cup of tea.

I can tell you my lessons: lentils exposed to direct heat are reduced to a tar-like substance that will certainly doom any pot the process is carried out in; apparently white vinegar absorbs the burnt smell; my flatmate is completely unflappable; and the universe is certainly boundless.

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