Tag Archives: food

Buildaburger Conference 2nd March 2015 – British Pie Week – The long egg of limitless growth

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It’s British Pie Week 2015, or at least that’s what Jus-Rol want us to think. As you will be fully aware by now, I am not above jumping on the coattails of a commercial promotion in order to push my own message, so here is my first post of British Pie Week 2-8 March 2015. After my previous two failures to produce seven coherent (or even incoherent) posts for British Sausage Week 2013 and 2014, I am not going to promise a post every day, we’ll just see what comes out of the oven.
http://www.britishpieweek.co.uk/
http://www.jusrol.co.uk/default.aspx

Having just been in Sainsbury’s looking for some Indian sundries, the most obvious thing was staring me in the face from the chilled area of the deli counter. Yes, I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the pork and egg gala pie!

If you have never had one of these, you might be intrigued as to how it is made. The pies are normally made in oversized “loaves” a foot or more long. So how does every slice have a regularly-sized slice of egg, featuring both white and yolk?

The answer is the “long egg” and it’s not an egg. Well, it is egg, but it’s not an egg, it’s a reconstituted roll of egg whites and egg yolks, cooked hard and baked into a pork pie aka the “gala” pie. There is a video of the making of long eggs here.

I can’t help being reminded of the myth of limitless growth, the mantra of capitalists. The long egg is a manufactured fake, designed to fulfill an aesthetic ideology, but its genesis requires a Ponzi-esque re-imagining of reality in order to meet the requirements of it projected economy of scale.

I bought this single slice of gala pork pie (top), and in isolation, the beauty of its symmetry is undeniable, but common sense tells you that eventually, you are either going to get a narrow, yolkless end of a real egg, which might prepare you for a change in the economy, or else the sudden and unyielding bulwark of animal gelatin and pastry.

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Buildaburger Conference 16 December 2014 – Strategic vs Tactical

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First Christmas dinner of the year, dining on a flight case.

Regular readers will know that I do not like to miss a meal, but the work I do for a living often presents me with variable hours, irregular breaks and meal times that are movable feasts. Also, I sometimes have long periods of enforced idleness in locations where I might or might not be able to leave in order to seek sustenance.

Consequently, I favour both a strategic and tactical feeding strategy, although I prefer not to take it anally. Those of you in the United States military or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might be unaware of my own definition of strategic and tactical. They are not the same as yours.

I can’t speak for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) or MI6, but as a rule we British don’t euphemise as much as the Americans. We prefer understatement and sarcasm in a knowing and witheringly ironic fashion. Voila.

My own “core interests” mostly comprise of getting enough sleep and not going more than four hours without eating. And when I say eating, I don’t mean snacking on chocolate and crisps.

This is the strategic bit.

As I am a diurnal mammal, and my working day was due to start at 3pm and probably finishing no less than 12 hours later, I decided on a substantial lunch at 13.30 with a packed meal to last me for the rest of an unnatural working day.

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This is a “Mini-Fish Special” from my local chip shop, and I must say, there is nothing miniature about it. The only thing that makes it “mini” is by comparing with the whale, chips and peas that is deemed a full-sized portion.

Moving forward.

Although I knew the event I was about to work on was a Christmas dinner and awards ceremony, there was no guarantee that us workers would get fed on the job. My employer for this particular event is notorious for not feeding his staff and also not communicating all of the details about when the working day will finish. As a result, I had to insert myself into the event zone with incomplete intel.

Torture is not a method I would normally employ in the workplace, and for good reason. According to the recently published report on the CIA by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), it turns out “tactical questioning” and “enhanced interrogation” are unreliable methods for gaining intelligence. Another priority for me is to attract repeat business from the source, a situation that would not normally be a priority for the spooks of the CIA. So, as a jobbing professional, torture is always a last resort.

As a result, it was important for me to take whatever precautions to safeguard my food-security without resorting to any “extraordinary” methods. However, What you see here is a variation on my favoured packed lunch for such a situation.

This is the tactical bit.

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Whereas I generally favour a multi-layered, deli-style sandwich including meat and/or cheese, salad, pickles and relish, such a sandwich does not survive well once battle-stressed by sitting, unrefrigerated, for 10-12 hours. What you see here is a plain cheese sandwich with sweet pickle on a sliced, seeded batch loaf, accompanied by McCoy’s crisps and undressed carrot and celery sticks. This can be picked at over a long period without getting too sad. Also, it can easily be rescued the following day by toasting any leftover sandwiches and dressing the salad.

All that said, we did get fed with some leftover main courses (no starter and no dessert), but the portion was meagre (see above) and we didn’t get it until 8pm.

Just as well I had my strategic fish and chips earlier in the day, and my tactical butty box to supplement it at 2am.

Buildaburger Conference 21st November 2014 – Costapacket (my other limo is a tank)

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In the UK, we have a tradition amongst the older generation or giving our houses slightly cynical puns such as Costaplenty or Dunroamin’. I have inherited the more cynical humour of my Grandfather who used to joke about calling his mortgaged home Halifax House. There is a large, private house near where I grew up called Nirvana and there is a Soviet-era missile launcher in the garden.

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You might have noticed that I have a deeply cynical but fertile imagination, but even I don’t know what to make of that.

Anyway, yesterday I drove to Newcastle to work an event and promised myself a break on the way for a refreshing beverage.

Foolishly, I had decided against buying a bag of crisps to go with my homemade sandwiches when I had refuelled my car in the Cooperative garage the previous night. At the time I thought 85p was excessive for a bag of deep-fried potato slices, even if they are ridge-cut and generously seasoned. Silly me, I still wanted a packet after three hours driving and was left at Washington Services with Hobson’s Choice.

Whereas I do not object to paying a little extra for the convenience of not having to leave the motorway, £3.35 for a medium latté and £1.20 for a bag of McCoy’s is just taking the piss.

On a long journey such as this, I often listen to BBC Radio 4 despite my reservations about their right-wing bias, and yesterday one of the news items was about how Tony Blair has just been given a Global Legacy Award by the UK charity Save The Children.

This kind of Double-Think would not seem out of place in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Henry Kissinger authorises the carpet-bombing of Cambodia, which in turn leads to the radicalisation of Cambodians, the rise of the Khmer Rouge and ultimately two million corpses in crowded corners of foreign killing fields, that will be forever Kampuchea.

And he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

US President Barack Obama similarly sanctions the indiscriminate and distant bombing of Jihadi Johnny Foreigner.

And he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tony Blair, in cahoots with the United States government, either through design, or negligence, or maybe just sheer incompetence, contributes to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including tens of thousands of children.

And he gets the Save The Children Global Legacy Award.

To be fair on Save the Children, he certainly has established a global legacy, but I think it’s justified to assume that they consider the award an affirmation. He was also awarded “Philanthropist of the Year” by GQ magazine, but that’s just an upmarket Daily Mail so it doesn’t really count despite the irony of Blair earning shitloads as an advisor or lobbyist to foreign dictators.

It’s only a matter of time before he gets a Nobel too.

At the age of fifty, many of my peers are thinking of retirement, but not I. I am destined to be traveling the motorways of England, Scotland and Wales for some time yet, only occasionally indulging myself in the grotesquely over-priced treats, and my own Costapacket will have to wait. However, I couldn’t help thinking “Where do war criminals go when they retire?”.

I guess Kissinger must have a portrait in the attic, although he is no oil painting in real life, but I am surprised he is still alive. If he ever does decide to retire, I think it’s pretty obvious he will call his pied-à-terre (geddit?) in Cambodia called Dunbombin’.

Obama could have an “extraordinary” retirement home in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, called Dunrenderin’.

And Tony Blair will end up somewhere in the Middle East, what’s left of it, in an English colonial-style cottage called Dunlobbyin’.

Bulidaburger Conference 9th November 2014 – “Advisors” #buildaburgerconference #bilderberg #bilderberger

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It is reassuring, ironically, when you realise you are not the only one who sees war and money in every move by the government of the United States. However, it is a shame to be bolstered in your opinions by Trevor Timm’s article in The Guardian “The American fear-mongering machine is about to scare us back into war again”.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/10/american-fear-mongering-war-again-isis

As he observes “Of course, there are already ground troops in Iraq, fighting alongside the Kurds – we just call them “advisors”, which is another innocuous euphemism for special forces.”

This has got to be my new favourite euphemism, “advisors” – it could mean anything. In this context it means highly-motivated, well-equipped and well-trained individuals that are seeking to appeal to your heart and mind.

With extreme prejudice.

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On Remembrance Sunday, my “advice” is to say no to the hot dog and say yes to the sausage butty.

Bulidaburger Conference 6th November 2014 – “Extraordinary Rendition” #bildaburgerconference #bilderberg #bilderberger

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Rather like last year, I have set the bar a little too high with concept vs available time. I am rarely short of ideas but everything takes time and yesterday’s departure was something of a surprise.

Anyway, back to the euphemisms used by the United States government, and the so-called military-industrial complex.

One of my all-time favourites is “extraordinary rendition” which actually means kidnapping, torture and murder, although the “extraordinary” part of it is that it is a term used for political and legal prudence. It is a term used for when the United States captures individuals and takes them to foreign countries where their “enhanced interrogation” is not necessarily illegal in that country, therefore allowing Donald Rumsfeld to claim that it is not torture.

It’s all in the definition and here is a glossary of euphemisms used during the Iraq War. That is, the most recent Iraq War.
http://vizettes.com/kt/american_empire/pages/euphemisms-glossary.htm

My favourite by far is “protective custody” which means, in any other words, imprisonment without charge or evidence.

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Anyway, here is a rendition of meat that I considered to be quite extraordinary, two videos of hot dog eating contests at Guantanamo Bay.
http://www.dvidshub.net/video/295740/hot-dogs-heroes#.VFwCto1_vLs
http://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/71159

Bulidaburger Conference 5th November 2014 – The Bonfire of the Vanities

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Seeing as it is British Sausage Week and includes the 5th of November, that means it is Bonfire Night in the United Kingdom. Consequently, it would be foolish to ignore the British Parliament on a day as auspicious as this, especially as the humble banger is a food traditionally eaten on this day each year.

Not hot dogs, mind you, but the dirty tricks mentioned in this post are just as British as American.

I am, of course, referring to the strange behaviour of the press in the night.

Last week, Channel 4 News reported how the British Navy will be reducing its commitment to rescuing any sea-bound Libyan “migrants” attempting to reach Italy, and how from now on the Navy is going to effectively let them drown.

Actually, these desperate people are not economic migrants hoping to come over to Britain and scrounge a life loafing existing on benefits. No, they are refugees from the anarchy left by the US’s & UK’s intervention in Libya in 2011 under the euphemistic moniker of “Operation Freedom Falcon”.

This morning, a very strange story was reported on BBC Radio 4 about three Libyan soldiers, training in the UK, have been ejected for alleged rape and sexual assault.

Maybe you asked yourself the same question I asked myself. Why are Libyan soldiers being trained in Britain?

Well, The Guardian went into a little more depth than Radio 4’s lurid sex crime story. It turns out several thousand Libyan troops are being trained in Britain (at a cost to the Libyan government) in order to train them to keep peace in their own country.

It’s a shame the cadets in question could not keep their rockets in their pockets, but much worse is worse is the willful suppression of the real story rather than the lurid details of sexual assault.

It reminds me of that old protection racket cliché (to be read in an East London accent):

“It would be a shame if your country got a bit (ahem) broken, wouldn’t it? We could arrange for some of your boys to be trained up to look after it for you. For a small fee.”

I was almost at a loss for a sausage reference for this grotesque and ongoing injustice visited upon the people of Libya aka Bongo Bongo Land, but here is a photo of two hot dogs cooking over an open fire. Fill in the metaphors for yourself.

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US & UK “foreign policy”. Photo: Michelle Swift

Buildaburger Conference – British #SausageWeek 4 November 2014 – Day 2 The “Foreign Policy”

Screen shot 2014-11-04 at 19.24.33It seems that despite my natural skepticism, I am something of an optimist. I genuinely believed that I would be able to stomach a hot dog each day for a week, even if I would not normally indulge myself so.

However, I was defeated on day one.

But how hard could that be? It’s only a smoked sausage in a finger roll. How could all that promise, all that work to win my “heart and mind” result in such a cynical disappointment?

The thought of the extended balloon of meat-approximation that is the Frankfurter sausage naturally leads me to the next euphemism that I would like to feature as part of British Sausage Week 2014:

“Foreign policy”.

Despite the phrase’s (just like the sausage’s) neutral appearance, we all know that, to the government of the United States at least, “foreign policy” means invade the foreign country in question, steal its resources, kill its people, and (most often) leave said foreign country in anarchy once the United States’ “core interests” have been “secured” (I might write about “core interests” in a separate, sausage-related post).

Here is a partial transcript of President Barack Obama’s (the late great black hope) address to the United Nations General Assembly on 24th September 2013.

The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests in the region. We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War. We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world. Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends upon the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.

This is a threat not even thinly veiled and evident in half the countries in the Middle-East.

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My own “policy” deployed today was neither punitive nor paranoid, and the “securing” of one of my “core interests” this lunchtime was to seek solace in the bosom of the familiar surroundings and reliable comfort food of a sausage sandwich at the Rutland Arms in Sheffield, UK.