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I think it is great that Frenchies are starting to accept cheddar as a viable cheese. There isn't really anything like it in France. Cantal is close, but the process is different so it is a hard cheese rather than cheddar-like. The process is, actually, called cheddaring.

Sliced cheddars
Sliced cheddars.

There is, of course, a story behind this. The checkout girl, a newbie, noted that there wasn't a sticky label on the back of the own-brand cheddar, so she just passed the Président cheddar through twice.
I called her on this by pointing out that it wasn't the same product. So with an eye roll she corrected the entry...

No, don't put it through as the same item.
No, don't put it through as the same item.

So she then got up, picked up the hand scanner, and ambled off in no hurry.
After long enough I was starting to wonder if I should show her where it was (this is France, the cheese aisle is big), up came a bunch of them, as if she was using the scanner to zap aliens or something.

She returned, and then rolled her eyes looking at the checkout, and ploddingly deleted each of the unnecessary ones. Note, by the way, the rather obvious price difference.

No, I didn't buy a half dozen of them.
No, I didn't buy a half dozen of them.

She's probably a "student" doing a "summer job". We have some at work. Some are good, while others... are either doing media studies or looking for a productive career in hairdressing or something that doesn't require much in the way of effort or intellectual abilities.


Speaking of supermarkets, there's a rather definitive "No Pepsi here" attitude to the soft drinks aisle. Where there used to be a selection, it's now wall to wall Coke-is-it.
There also seems to be a distinct absence of Belvita products. Is there a supply problem, or is it a statement against unacceptable price rises that's less nuclear than the Pepsi Option?

Sorry, we're all lunch.
Sorry, we're all lunch.


Mowing didn't kill me

It was rainy this morning. It's been a pretty miserable week actually, given the storm that blew through.
And guess what - there's another one, Antoni, blowing through right now.

Still, this storm pushed the rain away and gave me partly overcast with plenty of wind. The wind dried the grass. It was warm. The grass had grown in the week of rain. You can see where this is headed, right?

Two wobbly wheels soldier on.
Two wobbly wheels soldier on.

After doing the Western Wilderness and the bit by the Potato Patch, I was going the Picnic Lawn and the front. Which was a bit of a hassle due to pushing the weeping willow bits out of the way so I could pass.

No sooner had I passed from cutting the grass under the tree when a big gust blew.

Big enough to flip the picnic table.

Big enough to do this.

Another bit has snapped off.
Another bit has snapped off.

Which deposited this.

Oooh, 'eck, I was just there.
Oooh, 'eck, I was just there.

So, I didn't get impaled by a big piece of willow. Which, at least, would have been a somewhat unusual way to die... (silver lining and all that)



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David Pilling, 6th August 2023, 12:27
It would be rather exciting to buy a 'tranche' of cheese (because usually it refers to a large amount).  
On the packet it says United Kingdom milk - a game they play here is stuff comes from X and is packed in Y. But making cheese seems a bit beyond packing. Got a Union flag on the packet. 
Pringles is suffering from shrinkflation at the moment - smaller packet size. 
You can always look at the Pepsico profits: 
Seems 2018/19 was the best time. 
David Pilling, 6th August 2023, 12:30
In that URL there should be no space between 'ne' and 't-income'
[Rick: fixed and linkified]
Rick, 6th August 2023, 15:16
Maybe it's a legal thing? Some cheeses say things like "Normandy milk". The bio semi-skimmed I buy is very big on saving it's milk from Brittany. 
I can't tell you where the U cheddar comes from, as there's no label on the back. 
The other one, the PrĂ©sident, has a Union flag and on the back it says it is made in Scotland by the Caledonian Cheese Company in Stranaer... which is not only the origin of the Seriously Strong that I also eat (same postcode DG9 7DA), it is also part of the Lactalis group - which is based in Laval in Mayenne. To put that in context, Laval is my nearest KFC... 
Small world, huh? 
Whatever, I'm glad cheddar is a thing here in France now. 
And I'm doubly glad it is proper cheddar and not that awful orange "Cheddard" (note the extra 'd') rubbish that is like an attempt to make red leicester by somebody who's never seen any British cheeses, never mind eaten them. <angry face emoji> 
Anon, 6th August 2023, 21:36
I prefer Coke, but will drink Pepsi if that's what's being served. The number of times I've ordered a Coke and the assistant has replied with 'we only have Pepsi, is that ok?' Yeah, that's fine, as long as it's not diet or Pepsi Max. (I won't drink Diet Coke or Coke Zero either.) 
Because of the 'sugar tax' introduced by the Corrupt Party, most KFC outlets have stopped doing regular Pepsi. The Diet stuff acts like a strong laxative on me, so if I do go to KFC I'm stuck with Fanta. 
As an aside, I'm rather regretting drinking 4-5 pints of Robinson's Fruit Creations pineapple, orange and passion fruit yesterday. (It was hot and I was doing some manual work.) Spent most of this afternoon on the throne. If I'm there any longer I may have to change my name to Charles. 
Now, cheddar cheese. When I was younger (I'd say about 10 or 11) I visited Cheddar Caves, and bought a small wheel of genuine Cheddar cheese. It was... very very nice. So nice that I'd basically eaten the whole thing whilst sitting in the back of my grandparents' car on the way home. 
I'm not really a fan of the stronger cheeses. I can go for a medium cheddar, but mature is a bit too strong for me. 
Red Leicester cheese is great on burgers. It melts well and has a great texture when melted. For real indulgence on a burger, put a slice of Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Red Leicester on top of your freshly cooked 1/2lb steak burger and chuck it back under the grill for a minute or so. Top with a couple of rashers of streaky bacon. Serve in a bun. 
Whether said bun should be a brioche bun or a soft white sesame seeded bun is a matter of taste. Personally I'd go with the Brioche, but I wouldn't complain either way. 
Most of the supermarkets (local Co-op and the Sainsburys in the next town) also sell a pack of grated mixed cheddar and mozzerella. Sainsburys also do a very nice pizza topping sauce (yes, I know you can make your own, but at 79p for a jar that will do two large pizzas it doesn't seem worth it). Slap half a jar of the sauce on the base, spread it out evenly, chuck about 8oz of grated cheese on the top, evenly spread, then add half a pack of shredded ham hock, a couple of slices of parma ham (hand-shredded into 3-4 pieces each) and 2-3 slices of pepperoni per slice. Stick in a hot oven for about 8 minutes. Delicious. 
That, of course is an American-Italian style pizza, not an authentic Italian one. So by all means serve with chips on the side. 
(I'm hungry just thinking about it.) 
Rick - close call on the tree branch. We really don't want to see you be killed to death.
Rick, 6th August 2023, 22:00
When I was younger, I used to prefer Pepsi. These days, I find it sickly sweet, though there's probably stuff in there that isn't sugar if you know what I mean. 
Coke seems to me to have a more matured taste, like the difference between regular beer and Guinness. 
Aspartame is a known laxative. That's why cough drops carry a warning not to eat too many (or you'll crap yourself messily). 
Yup, had cheddar from Cheddar. Didn't survive the journey home. 
I think the hardest cheddar I've ever had was Canadian smoked that had been aged for two years. Far too powerful for cheese on toast, but damn it made a fine Mac&Cheese. 
"Slap" sauce, "chuck" cheese, oh you'd make an Italian cry. Finesse, man, finesse! 
Don't worry, the black maw of death is not yet prepared ready for me to join the obituary section of the local paper. 
Anon, 7th August 2023, 09:00
If you remember the "Pepsi Challenge" from back in the 80s (you know, a blind test with a glass of Pepsi and a glass of the 'leading brand') - it was actually rigged. 
Pepsi has more sugar in it than Coca-Cola. Which means if you take alternate sips of the two (as you would do in such a test), the higher sugar content of Pepsi would make the Coca-Cola taste slightly bitter. Similar to the effect of taking a mouthful of coffee after you've just brushed your teeth, only more subtle. 
Pepsi knew this when they designed the "Pepsi Challenge" of course. And I stil prefer Coca-Cola. 
'Slap' and 'chuck'... like I said, I'm talking American-Italian (or maybe just American) style pizza, like the kind of thing you'd get from Pizza Hut, Domino's etc. Which, I'll admit, is completely different to a genuine Italian pizza. (Which I also like, but depends what I'm in the mood for.)
C Ferris, 7th August 2023, 10:34
Err - you drink that stuff - good for cleaning coins though :-)
Rick, 7th August 2023, 15:07
Anon: The food-like entities available from those sorts of places resemble pizza in name only... 
And no, calling it American doesn't excuse it. 
Colin: I sometimes drink the acid juice, but my usual tipple begins life as a small round bag (other, inferior brands đŸ˜‰, may offer alternative bag shapes, they'll tell you that this is important). 
David Pilling, 7th August 2023, 15:25
I had a phase of drinking Coke with my lunch, and a work mate would tell me the same tale every day "My brother works at the Coke plant and every six months they have to change the stainless steel vats because they become corroded - so Pilling thing what it must do to your insides". 
Sad to say I grew out of Coke, for a very long time I relished it, but eventually it was no longer to my taste. 
May explain why you get old people ranting about fizzy drinks - different when you're young - nectar. 

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