In Memoriam: A Farewell to Blind Mullet
In this world of cyber activities, it is easy to make quite good friends without a physical meeting. Such was the case with one of our pals from Australia who went by the user name Blind Mullet. He was not universally loved on the site but had spats back and forth with a few other members of our illustrious group. I, though, was one of the ones who appreciated his wit and think I can say confidently, though I never met him, that we were friends. We traded emails, and although we occasionally disagreed, we were in sync on many major issues.
Mullet said he enjoyed interacting with what he called "the mob" on PoopReport. He said it was a blessing that he found a place where he could joke about his colon cancer and find support in sharing humor about a very serious subject. Unfortunately, after having been free of the dread affliction for several years it returned and ended his life at the young age of 53.
Mullet's greatest asset was his sense of humor (or should I spell that humour in case he's reading from the afterlife). He once described a prank he pulled at work which gave me quite a hearty chuckle. He carefully took the label off a can of Stags Chili and replaced it with a dog food label. When he ate the can of chili for his lunch it caused quite a stir among his coworkers.
He posted several recipes back in the forums for items that he listed under the classification of "bloke food." Simply put, these were recipes that didn't require the abilities of a master chef but could be prepared by any bloke with a basic knowledge of cookery techniques and a few simple ingredients. Here is one of my favorite recipes from the genre "bloke food."
Hotrodder's Shepherd's Lasagne
The saying among hotrodders of old was something along the lines of "Too much is just about right".
Well last night I decided to try blending English and Italian cuisine (with a touch of Mexican), and came up with a scorcher!
A pound or so of minced beef (or "ground" beef if overly homophobic),
1 jar of commercial pasta sauce,
A packet of lasagne pasta sheets,
1 sachet of tomato paste,
3 cloves of garlic,
A handful of peas, beans, corn kernels, mushrooms, carrot, and anything else that looks like it might be still OK to eat,
A chunk of tasty cheese,
Herbs and spices as available.
As usual, begin with a bottle of cheap whiskey and a supply of Coke (or Pepsi, in a pinch). Prepare a glass with 2 shots of whiskey and add Coke to taste. Consume quickly and repeat. :D
Start the cooking process by peeling and dicing the onion, peeling and crushing the garlic, and adding them to a hot frying pan containing a few tablespoons worth of chili oil.
As the fumes of the onion and hot chili oil begin to burn your eyes and make you cough, have another scotch'n'Coke, then open the kitchen window.
When the onion is nicely browned, add the meat and stab it repeatedly with a spatula to mix in the onion.
When the meat is nicely browned, add the contents of the jar of pasta sauce and the sachet of tomato paste. Add some water as well, to make a nice Italian-looking mix.
When it starts to boil, add the peas, beans, etc., mix them all in, admire the pretty colours, and reward yourself with another drink.
When you're suitably affected by the alcohol, its time to add the herbs and spices, and this is where the hotrodder's credo comes in. Add salt, pepper, ground chili, dried basil, basically anything you like, and be sure to overdo it. Add water as required and let it simmer while you pre-heat the oven to about 180 and have another drink. Probably go for a wee at this point, too. Remember to wash your hands!
Now, start to prepare a lasagne dish by placing a few sheets of pasta on the bottom. If you can still see OK at this point, grate up the cheese to make a topping, and put it to one side. Scoop enough of your hot creation onto the pasta to form a layer, then add more sheets of pasta, then more meaty stuff.
Add the grated cheese to the top, and put the lot in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes or so.
Hopefully, what you've created is a nutrient-rich, chili-hot blend of shepherd's pie and lasagne. If you got it right, it should be so rich in flavour that you need another drink to dilute it in your mouth (beer is ideal for this).
You are missed, Mullet, and your pals at PoopReport are thinking about chipping in and having a star named in your honor. It would be interesting if sometime in the future, after mankind develops a superluminal drive for space exploration, an intrepid star ship crew was circling a planet that was orbiting the star Blind Mullet and the Vulcan First Mate turned to the captain and said, "Crikey, who came up with this fucking name?"