Speciality of the day

Dish of the day: I'll take twoDish of the day: I'll take twoWho doesn't like Chinese food? Especially with the rise of the British £4.99 All You Can Eat Buffet - admittedly one has to question it's authenticity, but it's cheap, filling and not beans on toast.

There are probably limits to the average citizen-of-the-world's preferences though. One Beijing restaurant that possibly shouldn't start a chain in the UK is Guo-li-zhuang. Why? It has been described as a "speciality restaurant". It is situated in a beautifully restored house alongside a lake, and the owner has seen fit to name it after his family.

To determine its particular raison d'être, take a look at the illustration to the right, and see if you can guess the name of the dish.

Dieter's Diary

Regular and/or observant readers of The Poorhouse will be aware that Laura is doing a sponsored slim. Your money will motivate her to do well, so get donating. All proceeds go to Medecins Sans Frontieres who do amazing work giving emergency medical treatment to wherever it's needed as a result of humanitarian disasters, whatever the conditions.

In order to keep us all up to date, we are happy to announce that Laura has started a Dieter's Diary blog. Go here to see the first entry - which includes progress updates, temptation, cash, cake, references to breasts and a smattering of cliches to boot. Fear not - it is entirely Safe For Work so you have no excuse.

Cheese more salty than the sea

Ever found whilst sipping a cup of dirty old seawater that it wasn't quite salty enough for you? Well, whilst it may only get worse due to global warming, "Consensus Action on Salt & Health" may just have an answer for you.

In a study released yesterday, CASH- a group concerned with the adverse health effects of a high salt diet - found that cheese packaged for children had a rather high salt content. Higher indeed than many adult cheeses. This finding might not have been particularly thrilling to the world's media, other than they noted that 100 grams of Kraft Dairylea Light Cheese slices for example contained more salt than the same amount of salt-water from the Atlantic Ocean.

Please sponsor Laura & save lives

Readers! Please put those piles of cash to good use and go donate to Laura for her sponsored slim.

Laura, an occasional contributor to the Poorhouse, has set an ambitious target for weight-loss, so to keep her inspired to keep on track, go to the gym and eat lettuce please go give her another reason to do so. Money can be donated via the highly reputable justgiving website and you can be sure that your contribution will go to Médecins Sans Frontières. MSF is a humanitarian aid organisation that goes wherever and whenever needed to provide emergency medical assistance throughout the globe. They are just gearing up to go into Lebanon so why not send them a few pounds to help them on their way?

ZuPreem food

Still on the subject of crazy things to do to yourself, but this time without financial incentive, comes The Monkey Chow Diaries.

To quote: "Imagine going to the grocery store only once every 6 months. Imagine paying less than a dollar per meal. Imagine never washing dishes, chopping vegetables or setting the table ever again. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it?"

Yes it most certainly does, but doubts about the goodness may be raised if the reason that can happen is because you are only eating weird hard pellets that are normally reserved for monkeys in zoos. In a kind-of-reverse tribute to Morgan Spurlock, Adam Scott decided to ensure he only ate monkey food for a week to see if he lived, and, if so, what the effects would be.

Ice cream tunes

It's summer! And with summer comes the occasional background "music" of the heat-wave saviour: the ice cream van. Since the 1950s the ding ding ding cacophony of fake tinny bells has been projected out wherever such a beast locates itself, bringing joy and excitement to all. Before that a hand bell was frequently used, showing that the absence of electronica doesn't impair noise pollution ability.

Illness by chocolate

We all know chocolate is not exactly a healthy option, but nonetheless, you wouldn't exactly expect or desire a chunk of Dairy Milk to give you a "sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhoea with mucous".

These are a few of the delightful symptoms of a Salmonella infection. An outbreak of this illness affecting over 40 people was being investigated by the Health Protection Agency when it turned out that Cadbury knew that they had a Salmonella problem in one of their factories in Marlbrook back in January. This was caused by a waste water pipe developing a leak and outputting bits of filth into the product.

Ooh, I could make a raisin

Grape: day 1The Poorhouse suddenly had an urge to eat raisins. As this urge is not frequently found, it was thwarted at the first step of locating such a beast. However, a raisin is merely a dried-out grape so "they" say. With that in mind, here begins a myth-busters style investigation into whether that is indeed true in a practical sense, or mere legend.

Luckily it has entered what could be termed sunny season here in the UK, surely a perfect time for raisin manufacture. Rather than doing any mere third-party research into the feasibility a delicious and nutritious grape was located and hung out to dry. Hypothesis: within a certain (unknown) amount of time, either the grape will be gone and in its place a lovely new raisin shall be found - or it will go mouldy and hairy.

Danger: potato alert

A new food scare is about to hit our shores, possibly called DEP*. So far the story has largely been hushed up by the media, with the brave exception of such Reuters-rerun papers as The Scotsman.

Last Friday, whilst workers were doing their stuff to vegetables at the McCain Foods factory in Scarborough, one keen-eyed potato polisher noticed a bomb shell tip in amongst the produce. Sensibly, the police were called and the bomb squad set up a perimeter 100-meter perimeter for safety and dealt with it expertly. Dramatic yes, but a happy ending...or was it?

Bean tarts

Enter a brave new world of Chef Laziness. The Poorhouse is no cook; to suggest otherwise would denigrate what for many is an honourable profession. However, come Sunday afternoon, one of the world's finest delicacies - Beans on Toast - is often successfully created. Annoyingly though it takes around 2 minutes to prepare and there is the consequential washing-up of between 1 and 2 dishes (depending on methodology used).

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