Friday, March 21, 2008

The stars are projectiles...

You know, I was browsing through the rantolotl archives today, trying to work out what I may have said about easter this time last year. Sometimes I feel it's important I do this, so my general rants don't contradict each other too much, or at least not too often.

Luckily, I was safe. It appears that the only thing I had to say about Easter last year, was regarding the importance of sticking things in a blender. And while that's not quite where I was intending on heading this time round, it's certainly an excellent, if not timely reminder.

This easter, I've been less concerned about giant food and blended ice treats, and more so over bloody easter products. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of foil wrapped chocolate bunnies and other such delicious seasonal treats - but jesus, the chocolate companies are getting bloody lazy these days. I guess it's fairly safe to say they always have been, but maybe they bank on children being far easier distracted with colourful bits of foil & sugar highs than with the intricacies of the product they have just consumed whole, wrapping included.

I got all excited about a week ago when wandering around the supermarket, I happened across one of those egg-carton style easter packs, proclaiming that the eggs inside were indeed Malteser eggs. I thought this was most exciting! The eggs looked quite a good size; not too big, not too small... in fact, just the right size to secret a snack-sized handful of maltesers in the middle. Images of the perfect easter egg containing bite size treats swam around my head - excitedly, I leaped at the carton, lifted it to my ear, and gave it a good shake. My face which until that point had to have been struck with a look of pure, joyous amazement suddenly collapsed into an angry and confused frown. There was no rattle from the carton, as you would expect from chocolate containing little bits of chocolate, but instead an unsettling silence. I suspiciously checked the packaging on the eggs, only to find by 'malteser eggs', they actually meant yet another fucking crunchie egg. Not a malteser in sight, but instead bits of fucking honeycomb interspersed in the shell of the egg. Now that's fine if that's your thing, but it's certainly not a fucking malteser egg, and you would be a lying fucking scoundrel if you attempted to claim otherwise.

Then there's the gift packs. You can buy the Mars bar egg 'casket', and for some fucking ridiculous reason, they'll give you an egg, and two mars bars. What the hell is special about that? Why are you paying $12 for a fucking $1.50 egg and two pint-sized mars bars?! Surely the packaging is not that special? Christ - talk about bloody unimaginative - put something worthwhile in there. Like a hot cross bun. Or a rabbit.

For years, all I've wanted in an easter egg is to be able to crack the edible-enough-yet-a-bit-shit shell, and find awesome little tasty treats inside. Like gummy bears, maltesers, marella jubes, or hell, even those awesome little hens eggs with the uber-crunchy shell (now they are excellent). I reckon you could even have an adult range too - forget those nasty little chocolate liqueur bottles - bring out the real deal. Minibar sized alcoholic treats for all! How fucking excellent would that be? Nibble open your egg to find a spliff and a shot of scotch inside. Now that's how easter should be.

Instead, we have months of crappy advertising and crappy products saturating our supermarket shelves. All stuff that gets your hopes up, but just doesn't deliver. Then there's Easter Friday and Sunday - we get given this great long weekend opportunity, which frankly, gets a little ruined when you wake up on Friday morning really, and I mean really needing some berocca, or maybe a lucozade - but every fucking shop is shut. Here I am today needing to complete my easter shopping, and I can't buy an egg for love nor money. At least not from a reputable retailer - I suppose I might be able to find some homeless guy selling them in a darkened alleyway somewhere, but I'm not sure I want to tread down that path just yet.

But the really grating thing, is that last night when I was wandering around the city looking for said gifts, I saw the queues and the stacks of half-mauled merchandise and the fiery eyes of every pissed off office worker in the city, and I thought to myself; 'now I know nothing will be open tomorrow - but you know what? I'm not dealing with these lines right now. They can go joust'. And I was right. Everything is closed today, I'm still annoyed about it, and you know what? I have every right to be. 365 days a year, give or take, we have our shops available to us in some form. Anzac day, they're open from two in the arvo. Christmas? There's even a few open then. Queens birthday? Labor day? Everything's open! So what the hell is with Good Friday? What makes it the supreme motherfucker of public holidays? Surely the celebration of christs' birth would be a little more important than when the dickhead managed to get himself nailed to a plank of wood? Why would you even celebrate that, let alone with buns filled with fruit? Ugh - bloody christians. I don't understand them, and I resent their bloody holidays taking precedence over real annual celebrations that we don't get holidays for, like Mayday & Boxmas. Plus I must say that it's just a little bit mean in todays consumer society that supermarkets can be advertising hot cross buns & chocolate for several months, and then decide to not sell them to you on the actual days we're we're meant to be consuming them.

What kind of backwards logic is that? Stupid fucking capitalists.

Anyway. On a lighter note, I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite recipes. It's for the most awesome treat, namely, golden syrup dumplings. Make them, eat them, and bloody well enjoy them. Tonight, we shall enjoy them with some roasted chestnuts & a good riesling. Perhaps followed by some amaretto. All in all, an excellent appetiser to the long held easter tradition of cocktails blended with such culinary delights as marshmallows, easter buns and steak.

Stuff you will need:

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/3rd cup of tasty tasty golden syrup
1/3rd cup of milk
1 1/4 cups of self raising flour

1 tablespoon of butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of tasty tasty golden syrup
1 1/2 cups of water

Stuff you will need to do:

- Mix all your dumpling ingredients until they become a delicious batter

- Heat butter in a largish saucepan (make sure you have a lid for it somewhere)

- Add sugar and syrup to saucepan slowly, giving a good stir. Add the water, and stir until it's a tasty looking delicious syrup. Bring to a simmer. Maybe throw in a splash of amaretto or cointreau if you feel so inclined.

- Grab a teaspoon and drop lumps of the batter into the simmering saucepan mixture, until all batter is gone. Stick the lid on, turn to the lowest heat setting, and leave it alone for... 10 - 15 minutes or so.

- Go and check out your dumplings. They should be all big and puffy and gooey. Don't worry too much if the bottoms are burnt a bit, just scoop out into bowls with the syrup.

- Enjoy with some ice cream or cream - you'll need it to cut through the tasty sweetness of the dumplings.

The Rantolotl.
PS - A note to Rat, Kit & Aunt Hillary: Hah! I told you so!


CJ said...

Tasty tasty dumplings. My goodness they were good. As for the Jesus on a Stick holiday - that's exactly how we should celebrate it. Yesterday I found little Peter Rabbits on a stick - why not go the whole hog...?

rws said...

the worst part about good Friday is the restrictions on the sale of alcohol. :(

I would support the moving of good Friday's status as a "supermegaholiday" with nothing open to Labour Day (in Queensland we have it on or near May Day), except the alcohol restrictions just wouldn't do...

ss said...

Yeah, supermegaholidays blow. It always feels like you're wandering around a ghost town - all the shops closed, people hiding in their homes bored and hungry and sad. It's just wrong! This oppression of the masses must be stopped!

I think the best way to fix the problem is to get the easter bunny to diversify a bit. Instead of just chocolate, he could also drop off tasty dinners, dvds and booze. Then it won't matter that the shops are closed! He could drive around town in a big van with bunny ears on top. Then it would finally be a holiday worth celebrating.

Fandango Jones said...

And if the Easter Bunny doesn't diversify you could always catch it and turn it into a tasty stew.