Tuesday 21 October 2008

Reason 19,614 why you SHOULDN'T buy crap.

UPDATE!!!! (23.10.08)

A couple of things. Firstly, I just received a call from the lovely Ria, from 7 Eleven. And yes, she apologised for the situation, particularly in my not having received a call before. Here's the thing. Because I reported the issue as a "past its use-by"complaint, it was dealt with as a stock rotation issue. And here's where I buggered up. As the luscious and canny Vida says in the comments section of this post, the youghurt was NOT a month past its use by. That big date in the photo? That's the date the product was packed. The youghurts use-by date was actually 09.10.08, the date it was purchased. So the youghurt wasn't out of warranty (just). I still reckon it's a bit bloody confusing, but I admit, I had my facts wrong.

It was however, still mouldy, so Ria will now be investigating the issue as a production problem.

I was offered a sincere apology (Did the lovely Ria know of my prediliction for a Scottish accent?? *le swoon**), some compo (err... not in the form of any foodstuffs, BTW!), and all is right in pg's little world.

And the funny thing?

Ria didn't follow up because of the original complaint. She followed up because "someone" alerted her to this post. ;)

Just more fuel for my permanent encampment on the Grassy Knoll **insert slighty nervous of Big Brother icon**

Ok, it's no justification, but I'm going to try anyway.

Life has been crazy busy. Crazy busy like I haven't had a day off in 26 weeks busy. Busy like sitting in the driveway, in the car, in tears, not wanting to come to work busy.

Hence that lack of posts over the past month. It's been the end of a very long and grueling professional crisis. That unfortunately spilled over into my real life. And affected my time and desire to blog.

So, it's all coming to an end soon, and Furry and I will FINALLY have some time off. In which we're going to recharge, fall in love again.. with food and life and each other. And hopefully, I will return from my 2 weeks in Merimbula with photos and blog posts galore.

So, to heart of this post.

With all the above going on, Furry has been shouldering most of the cooking at The House of Fur and Purple Love. And despite him conjuring up some AWESOME food, I just haven't had the wherewithal to photograph anything and plan posts. It also translates to a complete lack of interest in food. And believe me, when that happens to me, I am sick. Very VERY sick. So early on Thurday 9th Oct, I had once again forgotten lunch and decided to drop by a 7-Eleven and pick up something.

Berry yoghurt. Doesn't look too bad, does it? Sorta healthy. Better than a pie, right? Or one of their sammies that was probably put together some time last Millennium?

Newp. Wrong. None of the above. I purchase it, drive to the office, whack it in the fridge, get it out at lunch time and notice:

The use by date.

Check my dates again. I purchased this yoghurt at 7.25 on 9th Oct. That means it was exactly ONE MONTH past its use-by date. And see that weird looking discoloration on the right hand side??

Yup, you guessed it. Despite the seal being intact, THIS is what greeted me in my lunch.

Now, as well as being stressed at work and giving up smoking, I've got me a useless frickin' mouldy lunch, that has stunk out my office with the vilest odour you can imagine.

So I call 7-Eleven head office and complain. Someone tells me that someone else will get back to me. The day wears on, and no phone call. So I ring the local city council, who come and take offending yoghurt away, promise to look into the issue and get back to me.

And maybe cause I am currently a pre-menstrual, nicotene-deprived middle aged woman prone to ranting, but here's the thing.

AS OF TODAY, Tuesday 21st Oct, NO-ONE HAS.

I recieved one call on the Friday after this incident, where someone with an inteligible accent, from 7Eleven rang and took my name, my number, and where I bought the yoghurt. (The 7Eleven at 792-806 Heatherton Road Springvale 03 9562 3123, if anyone is interested). But no apology, no offer of a refund... NOTHING!!!

Not so much as a "By your leave". And no feed back from the Council, either.

But here's the thing that pisses me off. Not only were 7Eleven selling goods outside their use by date, not one single person from that organisation has apologised.

I'm not interested in a refund, I want someone to say "Oh, I am terribly sorry that happened, Ms Hall, and we've discovered a glitch in the store's checking of stock, and it has now been fixed. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention"

And WHY does that make me feel so pissy? (apart from the stress and the nicotene withdrawl)?


Cos I find myself saying "In my day........." and wondering when basic human courtesy slipped away.

Cos I wold like to believe that a tub of youghurt ONE MONTH past its use by date is a once-off thing, and an honest mistake, but I find myself muttering into my twin sets, that it was more likely a grab for a fast buck ("Hell, no-one will notice, and it's still sealed, she'll be ok, mate!")

Cos of ALL the things I DON'T need right at this minute, is to feel like a GRUMPY OLD WOMAN.

And when a tub of, albeit it, mouldy youghurt makes me feel more righteous than Germaine Greer on Day 3, with a chocolate jones, then I KNOW it's time to get some down time.

Bah Humbug.

pg will be away from Fri 24th Oct to Mon 10th Nov. She will attempt not to bite the heads of small children, should they act like screaming gibbons in her presence, for the duration of her holiday. She will also attempt to "go to her happy place" should she encounter any Green P Plate drivers in Supra's with Remus exhausts, blaring out ooonce ooonce music, during the drive.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Mezze recipes


1 packet grape leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
750g lean ground beef (or lamb)
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
1 lemon (zest)
1 bunch of green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup dill (chopped)
1/4 cup mint (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
* chicken stock
2 eggs
1 lemon (juice)

1. Separate the grape leaves and place them in a large bowl.
2. Cover the grape leaves in boiling water and let soak for 20 minutes.
3. Drain the water and rinse the leaves a few times.
4. Heat the oil in a pan.
5. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Mix the onions, garlic, ground beef, rice, tomato puree, feta, lemon zest, green onions, dill, mint salt and pepper in a large bowl.
8. Place a grape leaf on a flat surface with the vein side up.
9. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the leaf and fold the sides over the filling and roll the leaf up. Repeat until all of the filling is used up.
10. Place stuffed grape leaves into a baking dish in layers and just cover with chicken stock.
11. Bake in a175C oven for about 1 hour.
12. Whisk the eggs in bowl over a small pan of simmering water until frothy, about 3 minutes.
13. Slowly pour in the lemon juice while whisking.
14. Add some of the liquid from the baking dish and continue whisking until it thickens.
15. Mix most of the avgolemeno sauce into the dish with the dolmades reserving some for garnish.
16. Serve the dolmades garnished with the reserved avgolemeno sauce and some chopped dill and or mint.

(Courtesy of my old mate, Dimple Dots, in Canadia (sic))

Pide recipe:

Mix 250g of Self Raising flour and 200g of natural yoghurt. knead until elastic. Place in a bowl, cover and allow to sit for 30 mins.

Divide into rounds, roll out until 3-4mm thick and dry fry in a cast iron pan, or on a BBQ grill.

Ginger glazed shallots:

500g shallots, peeled and left whole.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, Turn off as soon as it hits boiling point and throw your shallots in. Leave for 4-5 mins, drain and run under cold water to refresh. Allow to drain well.

In a wok, bring 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil to smoking point. Add the shallots, Fry for 3 mins, or until golden.

Add a grated 2inch knob of ginger and 4 tablespoons of honey. Continue tossing in wok for another minute or so, until shallots are glazed with thickened mixture.

Allow to cool to room temp before serving.

Roasted Lemon Potatoes:

8 med Coliban potatoes (approx) halved
I cup water
Half cup olive oil
Half cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbs oregano
Salt and pepper to flavour

(I also add a clove of garlic, minced and some paprika for colour)

Preheat oven to 220c
Add all ingredients to potatoes and mix well
Bake approx 45-50 min (turn potatoes over half way through)
Add more water if needed