Augmented Humanity

Great title, innit! Unfortunately, after having come up with this great title, I googled it and somebody had already coined the phrase, in fact the ex CEO of Google. I should have firefoxed it instead. bollocks. Actually though, this CEO had a completely different use for this/my phrase.

What this is about….apologies that this has zero to do with eating, drinking, in Madrid or anywhere else…is about the way our relationships and friendships have changed in these interesting times we live in. And how these relationships and friendships come to be.

My mate Dan told me that his brother had gone missing and had been at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and that he was worried as nobody seemed to know where he might be, they’d checked all the hospitals in the area, phoned all his friends, and the most worrying thing was that Dan’s brother had such a hefty social media presence and nobody in cyberspace seemed to know where he was either. Dan feared the worst and a couple of days later his brother Matt’s remains were identified. I didn’t know Matt, the brother at all, but my shock and sadness were no less real for that. I realised that I had known Dan for almost twenty years but we’d only met a couple of times when he visited Madrid to do a vomiting in metro stations tour of the city with his girlfriend-now-wife-motherofhischildren. We’d actually become friends on a Brit forum a bit like a third rate Reddit, mainly populated by porters in an Oxford hospital. We’d probably had more contact over the last ten to fifteen years than I’ve had with my more analogue friends that I made at school or university or various jobs.

I also remembered another similar friendship. A few years ago I was putting it about a bit, as you do, and I e-met a lovely woman on tinder. we never actually met never mind the ONS* that tinder exists for (which could become a TwNS*, a ThNS* or even a TWYNS* depending on what the pair of lovebirds decide) as we matched while she was waiting at Barajas airport for a flight back to the US of America after a holiday in Spain. But we kept in touch cos she’s nice and she’s funny and she’s interesting and she’s haaaatttt, and you never know, she might visit Spain again. I’m certainly not going to visit the shithole™that is the US of A. Too many guns, too many racists, not enough hospitals, not enough schools, not enough public transport, too many coppers who would probably want to put a cap in my arse. Well, this lovely woman, has quite a big presence, on social media and off it (I’m not saying she has a big arse, no…she’s quite well known as a businesswoman and activist) and she received a worrying message from a friend who seemed to be having a breakdown or was in some sort of trouble. She missed the call and the fella wasn’t replying when she rang back. To make matters worse she had no idea what part of the big country he might be living in these days. So she activated her social media resources and the guy was tracked down by a copper who was a cousin of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, on the other side of their shithole™ country. He wasnt in the best of states but he was unhurt, he was safe and was able to be looked after. Hurrah for augmented humanity

*ONS=OneNightStand…nobody wants them apparently. I think it’s considered a sin or some shite.

*TwNS=Two night stand, see above

*ThNS=Three Night Stand, see above

*TWYNS= Twenty Years Night Stand, see above

+ my own…NKaNA=No Knights and No Anal. Just so you know, if we match on Tinder, Grinder, Scruff, Snapdirt©, DirtyChat©, H8R© or FaceTwat©

While I’m on the subject. internet dating is the modern version of the old 80s meme, voting tory being like wanking…nobody admits it but everybody does it. Actually, I take that back…voting tory now is quite open and those that do don’t just wank, they also put their dicks into dead pigs mouths and try to foment racial hatred and try to sell off the NHS all at the same time. Our ancestors met their SO (Special Other) at school, or at university or if they were paricularly gross, at work. But luckily they were able to die of TB at the age of 32. We have to live well into our 70s, which is lucky cos we can then have about two weeks of retirement before our body gives up and we become less of a burden to the tax dodgers. Meeting an SO, or a ONS for that matter, is just chance anyway, so why be proud of it or ashamed of it…you happened to be in place A and uttered the words Y and Z and you happened not to be with your X. If you meet on tinder you don’t have to be in place A, you can decide how far away you want to look…1km, 10km 100km or whatever. And what if AYZ and X all align perfectly but he or she turns out not to love laughing or life or travelling, doesn’t ski or do yoga, isn’t a friend to his/her friends? you’ve just wasted your damn time, Holmes, I hope you didnae pay for his/her drink. shit happens, bruv

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here’s a picture. of madrid. you could eat or drink or do both nearby

Sous Vide ribs

Why do I keep going on about sous vide? Well, I’m like an apostle or an evangelical or some sort of fanatical shit. I think, at the heart of my mission is my hope that people live their lives better in terms of eating and drinking in Madrid, and outside Madrid. Sous Vide might look like unneccesary faff or fashion… but it delivers outstanding results and turns the cheapest cuts into five star shnizzle. and the faff is outweighed by the lack of faff…it means you can set it all up and pop off to the pub for a few pints before finishing it off before you eat.

My mum still goes on about these ribs I made for her years ago…I think I slow cooked them in a stock and then roast. So if they were good slow cooked, I reckoned they’d be even better sous vide. and they must have been good ribs in the first place…because I made them and my mum has something positive to say about them.

I’d tell you pork ribs are cheap as chips, but that would be a lie. They are cheap but slightly more than chips. you could get enough meat out of them for 6euro for 6 people, especially if you cook them right. There’s 1 of me so I spent 6euro on ribs and divided the rack into 4 so that they would fit easily into a vacuum pack. I poured honey over the ribs and then some mustard, then stuck them carefully in the bag trying to make sure not to get the marinate onto the front part of the bag…wasnt careful enough and had to clean with kitchen towel a few times. then vacuum sealed the bag….set the water bath to 70c and when it was ready I put the 4 bags of sealed pork into it. let it cook overnight and most of the morning (this was about 9pm at night). After watching Match of the Day on Sunday morning/afternoon…I peeled two spuds and sliced them hasselback style..salt and pepper and pinch of paprika and a spoon of butter then vacuum sealed a bag. took the pork bags out and left them to cool to make easier to deal with. put spud bags in the water bath and went to my local to read while drinking beer.

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Flashforward 3 beers later. I went home, took the spud bag out of the water bath and turned off the Anova and put it away. Opened up the pork bags and poured the liquid from it into a pan. Put the pan onto a high heat until the liquid had reduced. carefully put the meat onto a raised oven shelf thing (bearing in mind, this meat is so soft it could just fall apart)…poured over the reduced liquid and put the pork into the oven until they browned

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the meat was so tender and tasty. and still had some of the reduced liquid to pout over a wee bit onto the butter braised hasselback spuds

Still a load of meat left the next day, so I pulled out the ribs by hand (just a matter of pulling them out, the meat is so tender) and put the meat into a nice bread roll with melted cheese and topped with fresh spinach