Tag Archives: beer

Vegetarian food for non-vegetarians

I have mentioned in a previous blog about my poor short term planning skills, specifically in relation to food. Food is simply not a big area of interest for me. I only think about food when I am hungry, bored, or procrastinating, and all of those states are quite immediate. I just don’t possess the forethought to anticipate eating requirements in advance.

I have also never been any good at doing the whole balanced diet thing. Therefore, if I am going to make not-eating-meat a serious part of my life, realistically I am going to have to rely on someone else to do the legwork to make sure I don’t end out a) massively overweight due to reliance on simple carbs and b) utterly deficient in vital nutrients.

Pearl

“You NEED me, Frost!”

To this end, I have been trying loads of meat-free products which I have never eaten before, just to see what works and what doesn’t. Another really important qualifier is that they need to be easily available, so everything I have tried has been on regular sale in Tesco.

Meat-substitutes have always gotten a lot of stick for being frankly awful, and while I would agree that some of them are indeed grim, in the process of investigation I have found a few I really like, and so I wanted to stick up for them. Which I have, plus said unpleasant things about the stuff that mings. For good measure, I’ve also thrown in a couple of my pre-existing favourites that just so happen to be vegetarian.

Good

These are all foods that I would be genuinely happy to consume in their own right, irrespective of the fact that they are meat-free.

  • Beer It goes without saying that I am absolutely delighted to announce that my favourite thing in the whole world is actually both vegetarian and vegan. Oh the joy!
Beer

“No animals were harmed in the making of this thing of absolute beauty.”

  • Alpro Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (vegan) Oh god yes. This is just like chocolate milk, although personally I think it tastes way nicer, and doesn’t leave that sticky coating in your mouth when you drink it. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want is a sticky coating in your mouth.
20150221_174606

£1.45 for 1 litre.

  • Alpro Devilishly Dark Chocolate Dessert (vegan) Not as firm as chocolate mousse, but rich, gooey and thoroughly tasty. I bought four packs less than an hour ago because I noticed they were on sale; I can’t promise they will still be there in a few days. Nom nom nom.
20150221_174625

£1.50 for 4 desserts

  • Quorn Picnic Eggs These are properly nice. The consistency of the ‘sausage meat’ is pretty much spot on, and the balance of taste with the egg is really authentic too.
20150223_175326[1]

£1.70 for 10 ( I think )

  • Quorn Cheese & Broccoli Escalopes Very convincing; if I’d been given these without knowing what they were, I wouldn’t have guessed that they weren’t chicken. This is the only hot Quorn product I have tried that isn’t horrible. Plus, broccoli, hurray!
20150221_174731

£2.00 for 2

  • Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages These have a great texture and tasted really nice; they reminded me of the fancy-pants sausages you get from the ‘Finest’ section of a supermarket which is trying ever so hard to convince you that it really DOES cater to middle class shoppers.
20150225_163721[1]

£1.70 for 6

  • Tesco Soy Burgers Not going to lie, these are very good. Again, great texture and nice taste.
20150226_184002[1]

£1.75 for 8

  • Quorn Sausage Roll Much like the Picnic eggs, they have hit the nail on the head with these. The ‘sausage meat’ has that same great consistency, and also has the same herby flavour as you get in normal sausage rolls. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
20150223_175355[1]

£1.70

  • Broccoli This is kind of a cheat, because I have always loved broccoli and so it’s not something new. I have however discovered how quick and easy it is to cook chilli, garlic and soy sauce broccoli, and that has made my life a better place, so it totally qualifies.

20150222_144421[1]

49p for enough broccoli for two people. Or for one me.

Bad

While I am talking about my discoveries, here’s a few on the less enthusiastic end of the spectrum that are worth mentioning. On The Sliding Scale of Fail from ‘insta-barf’ to ‘not great’, here are the products that I really wish I hadn’t spent money on.

  • Quorn Sausages Oh my fucking god NO. These are truly, truly awful. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am not sure I could eat another one of these, regardless of how hungry I was. The taste and texture are way off. They are hellish tubes of Wrong. I really can’t stress enough that you should stay well away from these.

20150223_173720[1]

  • Quorn Bacon Slices Smelled like smoky bacon crisps with a cheesy twang, and looked like worn shoe insoles. Whilst they were hot they were palatable,  but got weird as they cooled down. I definitely wouldn’t recommend them, but they didn’t make me feel queasy like the sausages. Oh my GOD, the sausages…

20150220_170000

  • Quorn Steak Strips Bleurgh. Vaguely savoury compressed marshmallows. I drowned them in soy sauce, and they passed as edible largely because I love soy sauce way more than is normal or healthy.
20150227_183056[1]

£2.00 for two meals for 2 people.

  • Quorn Chicken Pieces There is no way you could ever pretend this was actual chicken. The texture is better than the steak strips, and to their credit the pieces pick up flavour well, although they totally miss the lightness of chicken. So far I have tried them in fajitas, Thai green curry sauce and pad Thai noodles and they took up space where the meat would normally be, while substituting in protein. That’s the nicest thing I can say about them.
£3.00 for two meals' for 2 people.

£3.00 for two meals for 2 people.

This isn’t definitive, I have more stuff in the freezer to try, so expect some revisions in the future. In the meantime though, I can recommend giving some of these things a go and see what you think.

Except the Quorn sausages… oh god, the sausages…

"...you weren't THERE, man..."

“…you weren’t THERE, man…”

What does it mean to be a woman? Actually, whatever the fuck you like.

For a long time, I called myself a misogynist because I thought I didn’t like women.

What I have come to realise through age, experience and also a lot of the work done by institutions such as the Everyday Sexism Project and Upworthy, is that actually what I don’t like is what everyone has always told me it is to be a woman.

Pirate 3

In the nicest possible way, deal with it.

I was born female, and I identify as female, therefore having reached the tender age of 36, I am officially a woman. I haven’t always been comfortable with that title though, because it didn’t feel right. What wasn’t right about it however, was what other people expected ‘woman’ to mean.

I have never been ‘ladylike’. I have always walked like my father, because Genetics. I have always sat with my knees apart, because that’s comfortable. I have always slouched, because my back is twisted. I have never fought against what I am naturally inclined to do for the sake of what other people might think…much to my mother’s chagrin in my teens.

Say hello to 15 year old me. I fucking LOVE this picture.

…and say hello to 15 year old me. I fucking LOVE this picture.

1380723_613939908658150_153186223_n

Before I started making choices…

 

 

I have always found a certain twisted joy in challenging peoples expectations. “You look like a boy!” Not a boy, deal with it. “You look like a lesbian!” Not a lesbian, deal with it. “You look surly and aggressive!” Happy motherfucker right here, deal with it.

I have always liked tinkering with gadgets and machines to see how they work. I also like making and building things as solutions to problems around the house. I like to approach things in a practical and logical way. I used to call that collecting Man Badges, since those things were all traditionally viewed as male activities, but the truth is I just like Fixing Shit. Making Stuff Better is one of my strengths and I would go as far as to say, my primary calling in life.

I have an intense dislike of going shopping, because there are too many factors beyond my control; the people that I don’t know who I am forced to come into contact with, the soulless music that assaults my ears, the weird range of smells that I have to suck into my face, not to mention the ghastly array of shit that people are told that they need. I already have all the clothes I need, and anything else I can buy online.

This has been known to upset people.

This has been known to upset people.

Speaking of clothes, my wardrobe has remained largely unchanged over the last 10 years. The reason? I liked what I wore then and I still like it now. I have no interest in what anyone else is choosing to put on their bodies, other than to raise the occasional eyebrow at an outfit that I suspect someone is going to regret wearing in a year’s time.

I don’t wear fitted tops, I prefer to wear baggy slogan or band t-shirts. When people look at me, what I want is for them to notice is that I like Firefly or Korn, not for them to just look at my tits.

It's not about the tits, people.

It’s not about the bewbs, people.

I also wear big baggy jeans because they are comfortable, and I like the shape of them. Similar to the t-shirts, I wear them to be a beacon to others of my kind, because that is way more important to me than wanting to outline my sweet ass in clinging denim. And I DO have a sweet ass, just so you know.

I don’t like handbags because for my purposes they are utterly impractical; I prefer pockets for their simplicity, and besides – whoever thought it was a good idea to put all of your important shit in one easy-to-steal container?

As a rule, I end out buying men’s clothes because  – in the UK at least – I am reasonably tall and men’s clothes fit me better. Also because manufacturers don’t insist on sewing sparkly shit and DETAILS onto men’s clothes. It’s completely unnecessary and utterly infuriating on the odd occasions that I am forced to shop in the women’s section.

I love to travel, and I prefer to travel alone [on a side note, I’ve been told that’s brave; it shouldn’t be fucking brave, it should just be a choice.]. It’s a point of pride that I only ever take a rucksack, and never check a bag when I fly because 1) it’s way easier, and 2) it challenges the perception that I am supposed to travel with three suitcases because I have a vagina.

All of that said…

I made this.

I made this.

I like to draw in pencil, and paint in acrylic. I like to knit and create things for people. I like to make sock puppets. I like to grow flowers and vegetables. I like to make costumes. I like to cook roast dinners. I like to make the world a better place for future generations. My heart breaks easily when I see the pain of others and I will defend the rights of children to the death.

I didn't make this, sadly.

I didn’t make THIS… sadly.

I like to drink vast quantities of beer and laugh at my own farts. I like obnoxious humour and children’s cartoons. I like loud, primal, aggressive music. I like to play computer games and immerse myself in Sci-Fi and fantasy. I love graphic novels and comics. I don’t like or want children of my own. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what the rest of the world is up to.

I like kittens and bunnies and baby otters.

I like dragons and robots and demons.

I am gentle, I am supportive and I am kind.

I am bold, I am fierce and I am fearless.

I am EXACTLY what a woman should be – MYSELF.

 

2014: My Best Year So Far.

I think that it’s fair to say that both globally and nationally, 2014 has been an absolute boil on the arse of existence. Granted, there have been worse years when you consider history as a whole, but 2014 has been astonishing in its array of awfulness.

It almost makes me feel bad for having had such an awesome year.

…almost.

The holiday year at work runs from the 1st of April, and this year I bought myself an extra 5 days of leave…which I had subsequently beasted by the end of November. I have gone all guns blazing into life and done many wonderful things.

Rise Against - probably the best gig of the year.

Rise Against – probably the best gig of the year.

I have been to 19 gigs this years (that I can remember), including 3 all day music events; Barclaycard BST, Strawberry Fields and Ouch! My Generator. It would have been more but I bowed out of three due to, in no particular order;

  • Being unable to face taking the train into London
  • Being utterly exhausted
  • Realising that I no longer have easy access to the amphetamines that would have been required to stay the distance

I have seen at least 50 live bands, including Killswitch Engage, Soulfly, Korn, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Arnocorps, Scumface, Catharsis, Soil, American Head Charge, Alestorm, Rise Against, Seether, Machine Head, and bands I never ever thought I would get see like Faith No More, Soundgarden and Inspiral Carpets. On top of this, I managed to see my beloved TrollfesT three times, and also joined their Street Team which has perhaps been one of my proudest achievements.

I spent the week of my 36th birthday trying to pretend I wasn’t whining and complaining at Brother’s Bootcamp.

They made me a cake and everythin'!

They made me a cake an’ everythin’!

I started writing this blog, and sharing the whirlwind of Ridiculous that is my life these days.

Blog Eyes

I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed sharing in my daft exploits.

I drank many times my own body weight in beer, and even had a go at brewing my own.

10556528_780312128687593_1752933870593561266_n

…can’t say it tasted much better than it smelled.

I learned how to drive a tank.

DSC02313

Fuck. Yes.

I learned how to not die as quickly in the event of being stranded outdoors in an emergency situation.

DSCF2629

Forests are slug-harbouring dens of evil.

I went Segway riding again, and discovered all sorts of wonderful new body armor that I need to get, because reasons.

10338602_760168197368653_7716614312260350946_o

Need.

I bought my first weapon, in preparation for any impending apocalypses, zombie or otherwise.

Gordon

Say hello to Gordon.

I have travelled a lot – significantly to Bergen, Copenhagen, Oslo and Minneapolis – my first venture across the pond.

Can’t even joke, I yearn to go back to Bergen.

I have made my skin that little bit more awesome.

leg (2)

You’ll have to use your imagination over what the ones under my arse look like.

DSCF2696DSCF2695

 

I have finally decided on a plan for what I actually want to do with my life.

75cl. Yes, yes I think so.

For once I have a strategy that involves more than beer.

I have laughed. A lot. On more than one occasion, I laughed so much that beer came out of my nose.

Not actually joking.

Not actually joking.

I met many new people, and reconnected with friends who through my own stupid choices I had lost touch with.

10580902_10152660882992265_5857142681496194543_o

I learned a harsh lesson about disconnecting from your people.

I created my first cosplay/halloween costume from scratch.

10644823_10153473640170752_6863807988965477332_n

I can’t lie, I even impressed myself.

At Christmas, I did a Good Thing, and knitted a load of scarves for a local homeless charity, proving that I am not entirely self-absorbed.

Felt like a decent human being.

Felt like a decent human being.

Regardless of where I have been and what I have done, above all else in 2014 I have been joyfully, gleefully, unapologetically ME and I have loved it.

Here’s to seeing what 2015 has in store for me! Cheers everyone!DSCF2715[1]