Avatar Fine Dining

Hello, hello and a little more hello for you. Where have you been? Hiding indoors like the rest of us? Well, that doesn’t surprise me. There hasn’t been much reason to go outside apart from flicking wet slush at unsuspecting pensioners. Not that I do that of course, I see other people doing it.

Anyway moving swiftly on, I know what you’re here for. Within the confines of the recent Government legislation there are a lots of things we can’t do but there are also still things we can do. Our chefs have been working tirelessly to try and cultivate a menu which speaks to the now, the then and also the could be. They have put together the very finest in cuisine, delivered and served at an arm’s length. Tonight I will be serving you from 50 feet away using these rugby goalposts as social distancing chopsticks.

Take a seat in this somewhat grungy corner (did anyone hear sirens or was that just me?) and I will show you all of the goods we have on display for you today.

FIRST COURSE
House Cured Whetstone Maxipads
with spangled beets and swish turkey slaw
~~~~~
Bovril de Foie Gras
served with rubber jelly, champagne border collie and brioche aspirin
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‘Borough Market’ Textile Nosecups
stuffed envelope prawn sparkle, cracker anus eye tingles,
organic cheese sentences and bad omen gin stockings
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Little Billy’s Seafood Cocktail
dour elderly gent’s fist, Cornish crab wank cloth, spiced avocados,
elvis prawns with knickerbocker sauce and questionable dialogue

MAINS
Corn Fed Goose Helmet
truffle handspans, “spicy” mashed wishes and a prickly tomato porcupine omelette
~~~~~
Salmon Pavement
crushed armpit flap cake, glazed grandma and vermouth kisses
~~~~~
Saddle of Welsh
rolled in profanities and oblongs, served with a fine tart of fish whimsy and tap dancing
~~~~~
Pan Fried Cod Quoins
clingfilm, nosebleeds, elbow hair cassoulet and sulking parmentier

DESSERTS
Poached Warlock Pears
nightmare ice dreams, dark chocolate snifters and dust
~~~~~
Outrageous Stripper Macaroons
belly buttons, dandruff and creme brassiere lace
~~~~~
‘Thick Love Island’
goths, turps, masala Anglaise with soft gnomes and almond kerfuffle
~~~~~
Shoe Polish Cheesecake
with a mascarpone and flirty Aswad sauce.

Yes madam, the menu has had to be compromised and shortened. It’s a shame really because the lipstick smear puffs were a big hit last year and we have been dying to try out a new flavour of jaunty anagram steak towers. Still, it is what it is. If you are still deciding I can fetch you some refreshments from the drinks pit? Absolutely. I’ll be back in a jiff.

Avatar Christmas wrap-up 2020

Another year is over, Christmas has ended, and all that remains is to sweep up a large quantity of pine needles from the carpet, move an item of furniture over the conspicuous mulled wine stain in the middle of the living room, and plant a boot firmly in the arse of 2020 to make sure it departs on time and never returns.

What’s left, now the stocking has been emptied, the wrapping paper is off and the dust has settled? Let’s have a look.

House fixables

  • Large Stanley sorting box with starter collection of screws, bolts, dry wall fixings and other DIY essentials
  • Bird table camera for capturing visiting wildlife in HD video without having to leave my iPhone on a windowsill and then spend 20 minutes looking for it even though it was me that put it there
  • Bee hotel

Tasty eatables

  • Chocolates intriguingly shaped like walnuts and acorns
  • Odd coffee bags that make very fancy coffee by pouring hot water into a paper bag, somehow
  • Large bars of marzipan. I fucking love marzipan

Thrilling enjoyables

  • Husky ride where I get to drive the huskies (not sure how you drive a dog but since I basically like having a go at driving anything I’m allowed to climb into I am well up for this)
  • Segway safari

Well done everyone. Now let’s buckle up for 2021. It can only be better than 2020.

Avatar Everything’s better (with an onion)

The world is pretty macked, you’ll note,
Sweet Petunia, help us turn the tide.
The simple truth that everything’s better
With an onion nestled by your side.

I faced a day of vigorous work,
I faced a mountain of calls and ‘mails,
An onion at home there, steady and strong,
A solution, yes, that never fails.

The doctor had some bad news for me,
He called me into his surgery,
Before he spoke, an onion in hand,
I threw it at his face so grand.
The onion won and he fell over,
Knocked out by my supernova,
A triumphant look amidst my brow,
I quipped so quick, “Who’s laughing now?”

Don’t feel too bad when you need to cook,
Don’t even give it a second look.
That onion is so glad to aide
When you need some bulk to your bolognaise.
It will titter up your stir-fry woes,
You’ll forget about your week-day lows.
Your arms will rise when you realise
The flavour it brings to your sad meat pies.

It’s the tonic you’ve been waiting for,
Your new best friend, your new amor,
The world is sweeter with an onion to hand,
Everything’s better and life is so grand.

Avatar Birthdingtons lunch

Today I became 36.

Today I had the day off work, and we actually went out! We went out for lunch, do you remember that? I barely do. Being able to go out for lunch.

Well we had to drive all the way to Harrogate to do it because we fancied going to Wagamamas and that was the nearest one that was open, but it was almost, almost, like the before-times.

That, and all the waitresses were dressed as surgeons, and there were screens on the tables, but it was almost like the before-times.

Oh, and you had to pay by using your phone via a website because despite bringing us drinks and food for an hour or so, holding the card machine for us to beep would be just too risky, but it was kind of like the before-times.

Aaaand they only had a limited menu, because… reasons, but it was a bit like the before-times.

OK so it was nothing like the before times, but we had a child free lunch out in a nice restaurant with nice food and the weather was nice.

Today I had a nice day.

Avatar Episode 19: Kitchen Gadgets

In a podcast recorded at a point in time when we all clearly had pretty sore throats, we discuss the useless kitchen gadgets we all have in the back of that awkward corner cupboard.

The key points this month are:

  • Bacon
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Kebabs
  • Eggs
PouringBeans
Episode 19: Kitchen Gadgets
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Avatar A Tunnock’s tragedy

As you almost certainly know, last year I made the fatal error of joking to Ian that what I wanted for Christmas was a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes. For Christmas he got me a bucket of Tunnock’s Teacakes.

Despite eating a lot of Tunnock’s Teacakes – including, on more than one occasion, eating three of them as “breakfast dessert” – there were still some sitting in the bucket at the end of March.

At the end of March, of course, I was forced to abandon my usual residence on top of the exploding mattress emporium, and among the many belongings I left behind, I foolishly failed to cram a bucket of teacakes into my suitcase.

A couple of weeks ago my flatmate Steve “Stevey” Stevingtons was kind enough to fly overhead in a sort of psychedelic biplane and airdrop some of my belongings, including several t-shirts, a few bits of post that I would have been happy never to receive, and a bucket containing precisely five Tunnock’s Teacakes.

I ate one and I won’t be eating any more.

The passage of a further four months has caused them to deflate. Inside, the chocolate is now strange with white bits in it, and the marshmallow has turned sort of hard and chewy. The biscuit is virtually inedible.

The last four teacakes from that epic gift are now, as a result, in the bin. A sad end to a brilliant Christmas gift.

Avatar Random Sandwiches

Let us address the elephant in the room. You are so predictable. You are so absolutely boring when it comes to food and you know it; each and every time you wander into a supermarket, a corner shop, a Subway you purchase / order the same thing. They have a full menu of sandwich fillings and all of them are ignored so you can eat the same dull slice of nourishment.

You need to buck your ‘chude up, sunshine. You think your good lady wife is going to stay with you and your sluggish Ham ‘n’ Cheese forever? No way. Both of you are teetering on the edge of a marital precipice and the only way to tip it in the direction of the future is to fill your plate with something different. Grab your raincoat and follow me.

Nestled in the wonderful corner of the world that is somewhere nearby, Random Sandwiches offers a world of culinary perfection unseen in the rest of the country. Their list of fillings would blow your mind if you saw it in person and so everyone who wanders into the shop must wear a blindfold, and have it read to them by a woman with a posh voice.

The most popular flavours at the moment are as follows:

  • Jagged glass and American irony;
  • Rubber dingy, yeast and sun-bleached afternoons;
  • Heron and scotch egg;
  • Two lemons encased in a pagoda of dreams;
  • Swordfish eczema on naan bread, smothered in forgotten dances from the 1920’s’;
  • A fresh pair of stressed socks under a splodge of elk light bulbs and mayonnaise.

I don’t know about you but my mouth is already watering as I finished typing this. I can’t wait for them to re-open after the lockdown so I can grab a patronising handshake on rye and crisps for lunch.

Avatar Episode 17: Crisps

Cracking on through series 2 we go, and this ones a nice example of the casual ramblings that appear with an unscripted/unprepared/unorganised podcast about… stuff.

This episode we discuss:

  • Sweet Crisps
  • 50/50 Flavours
  • A Meal of Crisps
  • An endless lists of flavours
PouringBeans
Episode 17: Crisps
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