Of Coffee & Chips in disposable packages

 

Of Coffee and chips in disposable packages

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If you were having coffee with me, we would be having takeaway. Coffee and Chips.

I bet you have never paid much attention to the packaging or had much of a reason to, maybe you have noticed it discarded or how it spills out of bins and is blown about easily blown away by the wind……..

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that this is the last time we might be enjoying a snack in this type of packaging (Expanded Polystyrene EPS) because our government has with immediate effect ( The Herald 13 July) banned it.

Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) or Kaylite as it known our streets or Styrofoam (as it is referred to as in some countries although strictly speaking Styrofoam is the Trademark name for a company which makes Extruded PolyStyrene foam (XPS) ) has many uses as packaging material in not only takeaways but even supermarkets and I have seen it packing electronic components and appliances.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell why EPS is bad. Being an eye sore is the least of its problems to the environment but littering is still a big one, it is non-biodegradable, so it doesnt go anywhere for a long time even though it was only of use to you for just a moment over lunch, some animals will eat it, which cant be good and if it ends up in rivers, well so long fish and marine ecosystem. Recycling EPS is costly and burning seems easy enough, but you would have to incinerate it temperatures of upto 1000 degrees Celsius and with lots of oxygen otherwise you get lots of carbon soot and gases…. Global warming and climate change are real.

And if you thought simply managing the disposal and recycling was a nightmare ever wondered about the chemical processes to manufacture this stuff… A number of chemical by-products are released and although they claim to no longer use CFCs (those basically mean bye bye Ozone layer) it’s not entirely true for manufacturing of all polystyrene products.

Oh and by the way Styrene (the monomer from which PolyStyrene comes) is a Cancer Suspect Agent and studies show it may alter thyroid hormone levels and a host of other side effects none of them good, ranging from depression, fatigue  to abnormal pulmonary function.

A study by the University of Zimbabwe’s Food And Nutrition Department shows that under certain conditions Styrene can leach into the food packed within…….

And before you start to panic; between 1999 and 2002 a panel from Harvard Center for Risk Analysis conducted a review on the potential impact of exposure to Styrene. Styrene naturally occurs in some foods (although in small quantities) and if we are exposed to trace amounts our bodies rapidly metabolize and excrete it. The study concluded that the amounts of styrene that can migrate from packing materials and into food are not in quantities that should alarm us….. but still try to keep away from microwaving food in disposable plastics polmers

For these and other crimes against the environment, through implementation of Statutory Instrument 84 of 2012 the government has banned use of EPS.

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If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that much as I understand why this has happened I would have preferred to know it before the fact. One cant just wake up to the news that something has been banned and not know why. The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) really needs to work on its awareness campaigns, and then you cant just go around banning stuff without putting in place an alternative because no one will stop or it just makes the black market thrive…..

I researched on Polystyrene packaging because my mother asked me why they had banned use of kaylites (EPS). Without an awareness campaign you suddenly find an angry man on the street saying “it’s another government tactic to make life hard” because this was a cheap form of packaging and now we will have to change to more expensive alternatives and one can predict a rise in food prices….

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I never liked coffee served in styrofoam cups, it tastes so temporary…..

If you were having coffee with me; I would ask you how you like your chips?

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I would tell you that there are only two types of people in the world:

Which one are you?

~B

PS I prefer my chips drowning in tomato sauce thank you very much.

Image Credit: EMA

Sources: The Herald EMA  You Know Styrene

Of The Home Renegade’s Curry #MEATLESSMONDAYS

A Guest Post

The Home Renegade’s Vegetable Curry!!!

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I am not a “Home Cook”. The disaster I make in the kitchen, the absurd number of pots, bizarre amount of cutlery, and countless times I have to wipe down my counters is testament to that. When I cook, I am in a war zone, and I am the General sending my “troops” to inevitable victory. Because, I can cook. Very well. Just don’t call me a home cook… maybe, a Home Renegade. Because I am not prim and proper, or meticulous… I throw things in that pot and that pan, and BOOM (I’m shocked the explosion hasn’t been literal), a meal!!

So, I make it a point to do Meatless Mondays, just to get my people used to the fact that veggies do taste pretty good. This time, I had no idea what to make, I was way too lazy to go to the shops after work, cause all I was thinking of was getting to my hot stove and cooking (no, it was just because it was real cold!!). So with my measly haul of vegetables, I managed to make a pretty decent meal, I think. I mean, my husband and kid said it was nice; I’m not sure if it was true, or because I was giving them the scary mom eye that scares you into submission. In my defence, I had to make sure they ate their veggies…

So here is the “recipe:

Cooking oil

Curry powder

A mixture of vegetables (I had carrots, green beans, and butternut squash; at times I add cauliflower, baby marrow and sweetcorn) all chopped however you like

Onions (diced)

Tomatoes (diced)

Tomato Puree

Garlic

Salt to taste

I don’t measure a thing, I wish I did, then I’d be like a fancy chef on Masterchef who writes down their recipe before starting to cook. I’m a renegade guys! As long as it tastes good and is healthy, I am happy. How will I pass on my recipes to my kids though…?

Heat oil (a lot of oil, whatever a lot is to you) in a saucepan, and add onions and garlic. Cook till softened. Add curry powder at this point. (I just pour, till I’m happy… I need to start measuring things…). Add your tomatoes , and vegetables, and let simmer till tomatoes are mushy (forgot the culinary name…). Add tomato puree, water (water should be up there! *face palm*), and simmer for some time. ( I didn’t time it…). Add seasoning, and gravy thickeners if they’re your style and serve! Goes well with rice & rotis.

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So here you go! If you wanna try Meatless (day of the week) in your house, here’s a recipe for you. And my son actually eats the vegetables! So maybe it’s a miraculous way to get kiddies to eat their veges!!!

Until next time… Your Quarter Wife.

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Bio

Rutendo Matongo (nee Sewani)

I love making lists! I love making lists with categories and subcategories! I’m not a neat person, but I love a compartmentalised life, where I can get information quickly. That was the inspiration for the Quarter Wife.  I love the nation of Zimbabwe! I live in Harare with my husband and son. When I’m not making lists, I’m working as a General Practitioner, and wondering which knitting project to start.

Twitter: @quarter_wife

Facebook: www.facebook.com/quarterwife/

Website: TheQuarterWife.WordPress.com

Thank you for joining do check out her blog you just might pick up an apple or two

~B

PS I cook in an almost similar fashion, and the good thing about it is no meal ever tastes exactly the same and the bad thing about it is No Meal Ever Tastes Exactly The Same.

 

Of Coffee With Unexpected Things 

​If you were having coffee with me I would say “Hello February 🙌” because you see I am a February baby **hint hint**
Remember the last time we had coffee☕ in the rain ☔….  well it kept right on raining on and off; mostly on but it’s stopped for now, and out comes the sun☀ 

Although not before it managed to rain up a storm that felt pretty much like the end of the world as we know it, or a scene from Orson Welles’ War Of The World. 🌋There was lightning, ⚡there was deafening thunder, there was flooding, trees got uprooted, and the falling trees, just had to land on power lines, because when nature starts dishing out disaster it doesn’t go for half servings, so that pretty much took out the electricity for our neighbourhood. 

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Pastor Evan Mawarire of the #ThisFlag online movement returned back into the country after almost 6 months in self imposed exile in fear for his life, only to get arrested at the airport immediately upon return. When he left the country the judicial system had thrown out the state’s case of charging him with trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government on  a procedural technicality, not sure what they decided to charge him with this time and naturally social media is rife with speculation and conspiracy theories but that’s to be expected.
If you were having coffee with me,  I would tell you that the tea’s ready and when I say the tea’s ready, what I mean is that; the water has boiled and cups are in the kitchen cupboard, the spoons are over there… 

 The tea leaves are in the container for the powdered milk and if you take sugar, there is brown sugar in the old coffee jar. There’s powdered milk in the bottle for salad cream, just dont confuse it with salt, which is in the bottle for mayonnaise…. and there’s the bread 🍞 jam and peanut butter Help yourself. 😇😇

And I baked a cake 🎂 well it’s not ready it’s like you know that furniture you buy and it comes with a manual of how to assemble it in your house,  well there’s the cake. 

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you, to “Guess what?” “What” you say.  I say “Guess” and you look at me with that eye that says you don’t like guessing games. OK fine I’ll tell you. The postman came to pay me a visit. He brought me a late Christmas card I guess that’s why they call it snail mail thank you Tara 🙂 it was unexpected…


I also got an unexpected email but that’s a story for another day. 
Thank you for dropping by have an awesome week. 

~B
PS Also something unexpected our house is haunted or a giant rat lives in the ceiling….. Spooky 🎃 

Of Coffee: A Candlelit Affair

If you were having coffee with me ……….

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If you were having coffee with me, we would be having coffee by candlelight. This is courtesy of the power utility company who just switch off the electricity for no reason. Ok it’s not really for no reason its something called load-shedding, when the electricity usage becomes too high they flip a switch and here we are sitting in the dark.

Fortunately I had candles. I always keep them handy even though we do not get as many power cuts as we used to, I hope it’s a good sign, there was a time when we had no more than a few hours of electricity per day. Electricity was like that errant spouse who left before you woke up, only to come back after you went to bed.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about this one time when I was having dinner by candlelight. The thing about candles, they are not very bright, they don’t talk and shed very little light, even if you move the candle as close to your plate as possible and lean so near into the light that  you smell something burning as the ends of your hair start smoking and possibly burst into flames (hair is spectacularly inflammable especially if well oiled and moisturised) or you singe your eyebrows, you still won’t really see clearly the stuff in your plate. Imagine you throw the last piece from your plate  in your mouth thinking it’s a cubed potato you were saving as a dessert, and turns out to be something else.

Anyway, so there I was eating my supper and there just had to be this big bone, and I was attacking it whole-heartedly, trying to suck out the bone marrow, that’s the best part, so it’s said. So there I am busy licking and sucking you know, really going at that bone at all angles, then suddenly the lights came on, because the power was back, and I had a close encounter with my dinner.

In my hands was the complete jawbone of a pig with teeth and all….. I inspected it in the light and to my horror I had been busy giving tongue action to the teeth of it… some of them were clearly cleaner, sparkling even, compared to the others which were covered in layers of plaque and lawd knows what else pigs eat…  Anyway pigs ain’t the most dentally hygienic animals that’s all I will say…

How I did not squeal and throw up right then and there is a testament to the skills I once told you about (see here)  but it was still quite shocking I even thought of following up on a pain and suffering lawsuit against the power utility company  but heck they got enough problems of their own.

Now I am all for not eating the heads of animals especially pigs and fish but that’s for another reason, it’s hard to eat something clearly looking at you.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that what’s cooked in the dark should be eaten in the dark… And what goes on in the kitchen is a story for another.

Now hurry up and finish your coffee before the lights come on.coffee

 

Of A Particular Set Of Indiscriminate Skills

Genre: comedy

skills

I have long since acquired a particular set of skills, skills which include not being overly fussy about the food I, I will find food and I will eat it.
I do not mean to brag, I can eat anything and I have eaten what I have killed, many times, not that I am auditioning for to be on an episode of Survivor.

Very little surprises me, being a mission boarding school product…

<blockquote>where the head cook’s finger goes missing and a fingernail turns up in your meal, a lizard’s tail blending into hot vegetables like its got chameleon skills, and it’s still wriggling around even in death despite being cooked…..and footsteps in the night</blockquote>

When it comes down to starve or eat….  I pick not starving. I do not discriminate against anything edible based on calories rating or aesthetic appearance, unless it smells bad, there is always an exception.

I have a knack for finding exceptions to every rule, which is a really a fancy way of saying I do not follow rules, especially rules I do not like which are usually rules that do not make sense, what do you mean I before E except after C, see that is just weird. 
This also includes generalisations, I never include myself even in my own generalisations, I am not most people, I am unique, just like everyone else.

Apart from toughening up my digestive system and learning the fine arts of skipping ice cold showers and still appearing as if you bathed; (mostly in the winter season but again there were exceptions.)
I also acquired a set of skills that make me lethal to chickens. As a practical in Agriculture lessons we had to rear the school’s chickens and then dined on them on Thursday and Sundays meals but they had to be slaughtered first.

The first chicken was the hardest, you always remember your first kill, but it gets easier and you get faster more efficient and make a whole lot less of a bloody mess.
So I can kill and fancy dress a chicken in many different ways mind bending ways with or without a knife and jug of hot water in just under five minutes. The are many way to kill a chicken and I have applied several of those in real life situations.
I think that’s pretty impressive stuff but do not tell that to my niece who still wants to know what happened to her pet chicken “Huku”, we had Huku for dinner, not as a guest but stir fried with a generous serving of salad.

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Huku

Moral of that bit of the story is do not make pets of your dinner menu, never play with your food.

I watched this documentary about how they train child soldiers in some countries by making them look after a pet, killing and finally eating it (it was some intense stuff) I am not saying my mission school experience in anyway made me a soldier but if war against chickens ever breaks out, or if we had to hunt for our own food….. I would as they say in the movies when giving Executive Orders to Execute  terminate with extreme prejudice

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zombie chicken

Years later here I am thinking how I am all prepared for life, death and the chicken apocalypse (it’s kinda like the Zombie Apocalypse but with chickens trying to perk your eyes out)….. Yes I definitely have an indiscriminate set of skills, if any chicken is reading this, I will find you and I will eat you.

~B

#BlogBattle Entry themed Indiscriminate and yes I watched Liam Neeson’s movie Taken Countless times 🙂

P.S. if you ever need a chicken killed I am your guy

 

of coffee and egg rolls

 If you were having coffee with me….

tea
If you were having coffee with me I would be pleased you joined me. We would sit in the kitchen, I would put the kettle on and say “I hope you like scrambled eggs. Please feel at home” and when you were nicely settled “tell me how have you been?
I would tell you how I have had downs and ups on the roller coaster ride that is the circle of life, we buried an uncle, a brother got married and a niece was born all in a short space of time, that is life for you, round and round it goes.

If you were having coffee with me I would share with you my secret recipe for making perfect scrambled eggs, but first I would show you how to make an egg roll
You need 1 egg.

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Step 1 place egg on flat surface
Step 2 push egg gently with you index finger….
Congratulations you have made an egg roll.
Do you hear a voice in the background saying don’t play with your food? Me neither we are not playing with food I was simply, erm…. lets just say illustrating how nothing ever is as at it seems.☺

Moving along on I was going to teach you how I make my scrambled eggs.
You need eggs, seasoning, tomatoes onions and any other stuff you fancy on an omelette.

Step 1 take the eggs that we were rolling and break them into a bowl then whisk together with the seasoning.
Step 2 pour the beaten eggs into a preheated pan (works best if it is a non-stick pan without any fancy Teflon coating)

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Step 3 it should now look like you are making the perfect omelette, here comes the fun part now try to carefully flip the egg.egg1.jpg

 
Step 4 presto scrambled eggs

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If you were having coffee with me I would confess that most times I try to make to make an omelette, I usually end up making scrambled eggs. Maybe I really should get me one of those fancy non-stick pans, in the meantime hope you enjoy your coffee and eggs.