“After all, all he did was string together a lot of old well-known quotations.” H.L. Mencken on Shakespeare
“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know. ” Abraham Lincoln
“I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.” Dorothy Parker
Recently a writer sounded off about aphorisms. Or maybe it was maxims, Anyway he hated them. I disagree, OK they’re abused and misused, they’re often boring and better left unsaid, but there are many which distil a lot of wisdom into a small space and help us avoid having to re-invent the wheel of life every time we’re confronted by a quandary or need a little advice.
Here are some I value or which make me smile. I’ll add to them from time to time, so I won’t put them in any logical order apart from the newest at the top. Or not.
Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!
If you have anything to tell me of importance, for God’s sake begin at the end.
Sara Jeannette Duncan
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H L Mencken
Sometimes I’d like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I’m afraid God would ask me the same question. Anonymous
Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed? Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna af Södermöre
When poking an old bear in the eye with a sharp stick, always ensure that the stick is longer than the arm of the bear. Continue reading →
Most rich pots de crème recipes contain lethal quantities of cream and egg yolks. this one doesn’t. Although the coconut milk used in this recipe is richly endowed with cholesterol and saturated fat it’s not the long-chain-molecule saturated fat found in animal products and it’s nowhere near as guilt-inducing.
If you don’t like the flavour of coconut, never fear, you can’t taste it in this dish.
Unless you’re one of the ten people on the planet who suffer the great misfortune of being chocolate haters, I guarantee you’ll love this. I found the original—proclaimed as the best dessert in the world—at thevoraciousvegan.com but that link is now broken. This divine dish deserves to be recorded for posterity, so here’s One Wild Kiwi’s version: Ingredients:
1× 400g (14 oz) can of full fat coconut milk.
140g (5oz) of dark chocolate.
This is where you have some control over the final result:
you can increase the amount for a richer result;
the sweetness of the chocolate should be chosen to taste;
you should choose a good quality high cocoa content chocolate, definitely not budget cooking chocolate—I tried it and it was awful. I found Cadbury’s 70% cocoa Old Gold to be perfect but if you find this is too bitter, next time go for something a little sweeter.
2 Tbsp (30ml) honey (if you can locate it, agave nectar is an excellent alternative to honey).
½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla essence.
a pinch of cinnamon.
a pinch of nutmeg.
Don’t go feeling guilty. Dark chocolate is a superfood. It’s choc full 🙂 of antioxidants and will help you live for MegaYonks. Give or take.
Full fat coconut maybe not so great but who wants to live forever?
Break the chocolate up into pieces, put it into a food processor or a bowl along with the honey (or agave nectar), vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon—don’t process it yet!—just wait…
Bring the coconut milk up to a simmer on the stove, and then pour it over the ingredients in the food processor
Blend everything together in the food processor (I use a stick mixer in a bowl—less cleaning up) until smooth and creamy, pour into small ramekins, sherry glasses or coffee cups and chill for about 5 hours until firm and creamy.
I’m a sucker for desserts with chocolate and cream. The good news here is that this is so rich and satisfying that a small serving is sufficient even for a weak sinner such as myself and it’s so delicious and luxuriously smooth that the addition of extras like whipped cream is just gilding the lily. Not at all necessary.
If you haven’t tried an overnight bircher muesli you’re missing a seriously healthy and delicious treat. This makes 4 – 6 servings, depending upon your greedy level.
1 generous tablespoon honey
2 cups (500ml) rolled oats
1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
1 cup soya milk
½ cup dried cranberries
a handful of chopped nuts. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts… what have you.
Peel the oranges, cut them across the equator, remove pips, then cut into smaller pieces and use a stick mixer or blender to liquefy them.
Mix in the honey.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the apple and nuts – mix thoroughly.
Leave in a cool place overnight to soak. An hour will do if you’re pushed for time.
Grate the apple and mix in thoroughly.
Sprinkle the sliced nuts on top and serve with fresh or canned fruit. Blueberries, apricots, bananas, rasberries and/or loganberries go well.
It’s usually served cold. I prefer it zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove the chill. If you wish serve with added milk, yoghurt or soya milk.
Most recipes use fruit juice where I’ve used whole oranges peeled. Any dietician worth their salt will tell you that fruit juice is bad nutritional policy. The extra fibre in the whole fruit helps your metabolism to deal with sugar and cholesterol.
You can use any sort of milk, but soya milk provides creaminess without the fat overload of whole milk. Buy organic if you can and check the sugar content; some brands have too much added.
I particularly like cranberries, but raisins, blueberries, or any other dried or canned fruit will do the job.
In some places you’ll find Light or Lite yoghurt, give it a miss it’s full of disgusting chemicals. Stick with low-fat Greek yoghurt or, if you don’t give a stuff about fat, regular Greek yoghurt.