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Ort: "Whatever is left on one's plate after they finish eating" saggy sammy/Urban Dictionary

"a small piece of something, especially of food that has not been eaten" Cambridge Dictionary

Now there's a word I did not know. In fact most dictionaries describe it as archaic, which means it's no longer used. However the Urban Dictionary site seems to know it so somebody somewhere must still be using it. Maybe in a dialect somewhere. It was first noticed in print between 1400-50 and comes from the Old English 'oræt'. Well you learn something everyday, even if it's useless knowledge. And yes this is a bits and pieces post.

"nothing beats a thoughtful gift homemade with heart. Spread joy with these tasty treats."

So reads the introductory text to a section on homemade foodie gifts in the Woolworths Fresh Ideas Magazine. And most of their suggestions are sort of what you would expect - biscuits, fudge, rocky road and so on. This one, however is a bit weird and when you look into it, not much of a gift either. I don't think you would spread much joy with this one.

Basically what you're giving here is a jar into which you have put some sugar and some dried fruit - orange, lemon, apple and strawberry. So OK you dried the fruit in your oven for 5 hours, but that's it. The real rub - even an insult - is that you provide instructions:

"Open jar and add 1/2 cup brandy, allow to infuse overnight in the fridge, shaking and turning occasionally. Then, decant into a large serving jug and add 750ml chilled dry white wine, 1.25l chilled soda water and ice cubes."

Well unless you are gifting the brandy and the wine as well it's not much of a gift is it? Not only do you have to pay for the brandy and the wine, you have to 'infuse' and 'shake occasionally'. Besides if you are a purist it should be red wine - and fresh fruit. No, really I don't think this is much of a gift.

Fizzy summer drinks

Not much to say here but I was talking about drinks and it reminded me of an article in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival newsletter - which was basically a list of trendy fizzy drinks for the summer. Pet Nats and Prosecco to the fore with a mix of other bubblies. But I rather liked the picture. It was summery, even though I hate oysters. They didn't say how much any of their recommendations cost - so not cheap I'm guessing. Try the Aldi South Point bubbly instead - it's really rather good. And, more expensively - Brown Bothers Prosecco Zero - no alcohol.

Undersea champagne

Back in 2010 some scuba divers diving near the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea near Finland found a wreck of a ship from either 1840 or 1852. (I found two dates.) In the wreckage the found undamaged bottles of champagne, some of which were Veuve Clicquot - 47 of them. You would think they would have exploded under the pressure of the water would you not, but I'm not a scientist and they obviously didn't.

They were opened and tasted and pronounced good, with many, of course, being sold for small fortunes - thousands of euros. A professor of wine called Philippe Jeandet said:

“I have never tasted such a wine in my life. The aroma stayed in my mouth for three or four hours after tasting it.”

Now, personally I think that could mean that it was indescribably awful, but apparently not because Veuve Clicquot, in 2014, began a forty years experiment of sinking champagne under the sea to cellar the wine because:

There you have total darkness, a cooler constant temperature, and most importantly, under water the pressure is closer to that inside the bottle – which makes the best bubbles." Lucy Edwards

And other companies have followed suit, leading to one company now specialising in the equipment, etc - mostly off the coast of Brittany it seems.

The things people will do.

I saw a brief reference to pasta water candles somewhere, and just had to check it out. However, having now found the article from Spoon University - the link is in the title - I think the writer Colette Offerman has probably said it all. So check it out. It makes you wonder what people will pay big bucks for doesn'it?



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