Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Omnivore's 100

I first came across this on Lulu's blog, but since then it has popped up on several others, so I thought, what the heck and decided to do it myself.

This is what you do and here are the results:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. I don't know how to cross things out - I will make them italic instead and maybe someone can tell me how to do crossed out text
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros - don't fancy this, eggs and peppers - might try it but...
4. Steak tartare once, but never again
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding LUSH! First had this when I was 4 from a stand outside of Gigg Lane, Bury Football Club ground - my first ever football match and my first black pudding - heaven (except Bolton lost)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht Cooked by a lithuanian - delicious!
10. Baba ghanoush - dunno what this is and I am too busy to go to Wiki
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - dunno about this, I've tried some pretty smelly cheese so I may have - I would given the chance
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes Mmmm, some nice stuff too.
19. Steamed pork buns - steamed pork on a bun? or...
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom ?tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - when I was a child (under duress) -never again
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda - see 10
31. Wasabi peas - dunno what the first bit is.
32. Clam chowder not in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Prefer coke float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - not yet
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail One of my favourite meals
41. Curried goat and uncurried goat
42. Whole insects only by accident
43. Phaal - And this is?
44. Goat’s milk preferably in the form of Feta cheese
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - close but not that much, but I have drank brandy from a bottle costing 3 time that,
46. Fugu?
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut but I don't like them
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear A pain to handle and peal but delicious cold from the fridge
52. Umeboshi?
53. Abalone
54. Paneer?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal I will admit to this, but I haven't been in a MacDonalds for years and will never eat this again, what is the point, it only cardboard with the flavouring removed
56. Spaetzle?
57. Dirty gin martini I don't understand the dirty bit, but anyway my ex made wonderful gin martinis
58. Beer above 8% ABV Possibly too many of them
59. Poutine - see 10
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolinassuming that this is the stuff that goes in maalox!
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - dunno about this, there is a bisuit/cake thing that I love that Mrs DB calls pigs ears - would that be the asme stuff?
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho - this is almost italic
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche? absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost?
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu?
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky?
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. FlowersI've had many pints of this and got banned from a pub in York for eating chrysanthemums
89. Horse- once, never again
90. Criollo? chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa?
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Some pics of our home (2)

OK, as promised, some more pics of our home - this is the bottom floor (assuming that you don't count the cellar.

Stairs from the back door

Now, as you come in at the back door ('cos we always use "the tradesman's entrance"), these stairs are directly in front of you. On the right (out of shot) is the entrance to the cellar. At the top of the first flight there are two doors to the right, one leads into the dining room and one into the kitchen. You can see the main bathroom directly in front - that is next to the kitchen. At the top of the second flight of stairs (and to the left when you get to the top) is the front door which I mentioned in the first set of pics of our house, here. The floors and ceilings are both traditionally Skopolitan.

Our Dining Room

This is the dining room and it is the most important room in the house to Mrs DB and I. When we are there we spend most of our time in here - apart from eating and drinking, this is where we play cards and backgammon, it is where we watch the world go by, it is where people will look in through the windows and ask directions to the Castro or where Dmitri pauses to say hello on his way to work in the evening (he works a the Vraxos Bar which has a fantastic location giving it stunning views across the harbour and he is late every night!). I can stand upright in the window and I like to stand there in the morning when it is still cool and watch the comings and goings in the little square in front of the house.

Our Dining Room

This is the view from the window looking into the kitchen, the ceiling is about 2 metres high, but if you are any taller than about 180 cm you need to watch out for that beam - it is pretty solid! Fortunately I am about 172 cm and therefore safe - but the lampshade tends to get me every now and then if I am not careful when I get up from the table.

Our Dining Room

And finally, this is the picture looking from the kitchen into the dining room - we refer to the window as Uncle Sam's window because when Uncle Sam and Aunty Beeb came to stay with us there a couple of years ago, Uncle Sam would put his chair by the window and spend hours just watching the world go by and chatting to the people who went by, tourist and locals alike without an concern that they couldn't understand each other - that was a lovely time and we are hoping to repeat it in Summer 2009.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The cheapest car repair ever!

Oh dear!

The Pajero was ill...

I had to take it to the karma mechanic (5 points if you can say where that phrase comes from - no, don't be looking it up, it's an easy one).

This is the story...

I got in the car the other day and drove it to work - 100 kph down SZR and it's fine - takes the slip road and eases off the accelerator to slow down for the up coming roundabout - revs fell to 0, zilch, nada! Car stalled on me. Steering went really heavy.

It's an automatic - to start it again I have to put it in park which entails coming to a complete halt. Car starts, no probs. But, every time I take my foot off the accelerator the same thing happens.

Start getting worried about this.

Friday morning (the quietest day of the week here) I drove it to the main dealers (no, it is not still under warranty, it is about nine years old, but I can't afford to replace it, don't even want to replace it). So I take it to the main dealers with Mrs DB following me to give me a lift home (via the shops where she could relieve me of even more of my wealth! But I digress...) All the way it is fine whilst I keep my foot on the accelerator but take it off and it tries to stall. I had to drive it with my right foot controlling the accelerator and my left controlling the brake (hence the reason that I chose the quietest time of the week to take it in).

Saturday saw me back at the garage booking it in and explaining to this guy what is happening. By now I am thinking "New automatic clutch mechanism, new automatic gearbox, new engine, plenty-several thousand dirhams job).

"We will phone you when we know what is wrong, Mr Dubaibilly". Yeah, right, I'll look forward to it.

Anyway, the next day was Sunday and I was back at work. My phone rang. The Pajero people.

"Mr Dubaibilly, you can collect your car now if you like".

"How much is it"

"85 dirhams".

"I'm sorry I must have misheard you, I thought you said 85 dirhams".

"Yes, that's right, sir".

"What, eight five with no zero's?"

"Yes, sir".

"Thank you, I'll come and get it then, bye".

Now, 85 dirhams is 23.15 US dollars, 12.94 GB pounds or 16.31 Euros, depending where you are.

I am gobsmacked!

Apparently all that was required was the throttle body and the idling control needed cleaning.

Thank you Al Habtoor Motors who could have really ripped me off but didn't. I think that is the cheapest non-warranty car repair I have had in my entire life!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Some pics of our home

I promised you a little while ago that I would put up some pics of the inside of our house - so these are the first two.

Lounge 1

These are photo's of the lounge. Now, the house has a cellar and three floors. so, if we discount the cellar, this would be on the middle floor.

Lounge 2

Having said that, in the second picture you can see the "front door". The "front door" is on the back of the house, the "back door" which leads to the kitchen and dining room is on the front of the house and there is a staircase between the two. Given that both doors are at street level, you get some idea of how steep some of the streets in Skopelos Town really are!

The empty bookcase in the first picture is just waiting until we have filled up the other bookcase - Mrs DB makes me carry about a hundredweight of books in one of the suitcases every time we go there! Anyway, as I said, this is the lounge, I'll put some more pics up later.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Greek Night

It is Friday evening and in about two hours 6 of our friends will descend on us for a dinner party. Mrs DB and I have decided to have a greek night - not that everything will be Greek, but I don't suppose our guests will know. We've done these a couple of times before and they have always been successful (ask Keefieboy). I usually do a menu in an odd mixture of Greek, transliterated Greek and what I can only describe as Greeklish, and I always put a Skopelitan scene on it as a background. This is tonight's menu:

Greek Night Menu

Now I know that I have some native Greeks who come on here (for example Lulu) and people who are fluent Greek speakers (like Kat) so I hope they will be kind enough to forgive my torturing of the Greek language! My menu's are meant to be fun and I have had guests take them home in the past!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a good night - much of which will , no doubt, be totally lost in an alcoholic haze by tomorrow!

Yammas! and that isn't the correct spelling either!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Images of Skopelos

I promised you some photo's of Skopelos that I took while on holiday. To be honest, blogging has taken a bit of a back seat since coming back to Dubai. The last two and a half weeks have been really busy getting the school set up for the new year. We had a lot of new staff this year and the changes have made things a bit more difficult than a normal start to the school year for yours truly. Never mind, things will settle down soon, the new staff are beginning to find their feet and find their way around the place - soon they will have to cope because the kids come in on Sunday. We are in Ramadan now and our hours are supposed to be shorter - officially we work from 8 until 1, but for me it was start at 7:30 and finish at 4 and no break for lunch - ah well, when Ramadan is over I guess I will be back to normal - in by 7 and leave at about 5 or even later and still no break for lunch - it is just a matter of getting used to it!

And I shouldn't be using it as an excuse for not blogging. Mrs DB and I (her working hours are every bit as bad if not worse than mine) have agreed to not moan about our day at work to each other no matter how bad it has been - I wonder how long we will last!

Anyway, I promised you some pics, so here they are:

Skopelos Church

This is one of the many beautiful churches on the island - and look at that sky, what a fabulous shade of blue - and yes, it really was that colour!

Plant pots

You just have to love the Greeks - the amount of rusty or battered feta cheese cans or olive oil cans that enjoy a long and serviceable life, standing outside someone's house, doubling as a flower pot is amazing! Me, I prefer terracotta, but I find something really rustic in scenes like these. And, hey, far be it from me to tell people what they can use for their geraniums.

View over the town

This is the view from the top of the town looking down to the harbour and across to the hills beyond. Are you jealous yet?

Well, as promised, these are some of the pix - I may post a few more in a few days. I have also promised to put up a few pix of the inside of the house which I will, but not today.