Uncool

image 1741 from bradism.com

A couple of the things which bring me great joy in life are writing stories in my notebook, and eating a whole bunch of yogurt, cereal and fruit mushed together.
Sometimes - like when Vanessa is doing half marathons in far off places early on Sunday mornings - I do these things together, and those times are some of the most joyous times of all.

image 1742 from bradism.com

Except when it is Feels Like 2°C! I could barely stir my Weet Bix.


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How To Make Freaking Awesome Microwave Porridge

Every year, one morning close to the winter solstice, it takes me thirty minutes to drink an icy smoothie and suddenly I remember that I like porridge. It’s funny, if you asked me in mid-February if I even knew how to make oats I’d probably give you a blank look, but like an old, crinkled-up tissue in a jacket pocket, June brings things back to me. And each year I’m forced to recollect my porridge recipe.

This year I’m writing my recipe down to save myself some time in 2019, and maybe share some tips with you, internet. I’ve called this post “Freaking Awesome Microwave Porridge” because there is already heaps of search results for “Best Microwave Porridge” so I’m trying to market on an angle.

I make my oats in the microwave. You can make them on the stove, but then you have to clean a saucepan. This way you can eat them straight out of the bowl.

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These are my ingredients. You can use steel cut or plain rolled oats. Garnish berries are option, but banana is essential.

The number one secret of Bradism Porridge - banana first. Mush it up like baby food in the base of the bowl.

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Then, add one cup of oats, a tablespoon of cinnamon and mix it all through.

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Then, add a cup of water on the top and stir some more. Microwave this for 90 seconds on high, then add half a cup of milk and microwave another 90 seconds.

The porridge magic will start to happen. Depending on the moisture content of the banana, and the effect of entropy on how densely the oats stacked themselves in your measuring cup, you’ll need to stir and heat a few more times to get the consistency you need. For me that’s usually the following: 60 seconds, 60 seconds, 40 seconds, 40 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds.

image 1738 from bradism.com

Use the brief intervals of molecule vibration to tidy your kitchen and assemble your lunch for the day, or prepare fresh berries for garnish.
Frozen berries also work. You can chuck these in on the second-to-last mix through and they will reach the same temperature and consistency of the oats by the time you eat them.

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Fresh strawberries should not be microwaved. Lay them on the surface where the steaming oats will instantly gel-ify them. Add honey or maple syrup to taste.

I ate the above bowl at 7:30 AM for breakfast today, survived several hailstorms and did not need to eat again until after 3 PM. Freaking Awesome.

Managing Somehow

I was disappointed this morning when my new norm of back to back meetings meant I didn't have a free half hour to mix cereal, fruit and yogurt together and eat it. Repetition, a sensitive tooth, weather so cold that my yogurt warms up after I take it out of the fridge, have not swayed my affections for this pre-lunch ritual.

This afternoon, after I spotted my yogurt tub in the kitchenette fridge, I went to my calendar to see if there would be time Thursday to fit in second breakfast. To my despair every thirty minute block had been allocated to some need or another. Then I noticed one appointment, at 10:30, simply titled “busy”. It had no location or other attendees, and I remembered that last week when I saw my calendar filling up for the morning that I booked out half an hour just in case I wanted to eat cereal and yogurt.

Adulting

When you’re hungry for the whole three hour meeting, not much tastes as good afterwards as fruit and crushed Weet Bix mixed through yogurt. This is what adulthood is like, having to wait until nearly lunchtime before eating some cereal. And spending the last thirty minutes of meetings thinking about how to rinse blueberries.

Time is a more precious resource when you’re an adult. Not only are there more responsibilities and demands for attention, you’ve also got your own mortality constantly hanging over your head. You have to multitask, like drink your after work beer while emptying the dishwasher.

I’ve been trying to use tai chi to meditate and detach, which is good when I can fit it in. The routine takes ten minutes, but if I don’t breathe much I can run through all the poses in less than sixty seconds.

This is where adulthood has left me. Damn children, their lack of responsibilities, and their relaxed, drawn out tai chi sessions. But what else am I going to do? Not get old? Not really an option. Now time for me to drink some chocolate milk and go to bed.


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Everything's Going to be All White

Yet another work day, another moment with the wardrobe to decide which shirt I would wear to the office.

The white one. Only worn once before, still crisp in colour and shape. It matched the pants I was already wearing. I calculated the hazards as I slipped it on. Smoothie for breakfast, curry for lunch. Two coffees. A juicy apple for morning tea. Rain. All might bring a stain of shame. Without care, anything could leave a mark on the cotton-ivory wasteland of my chest. I wouldn't be back in front of the wardrobe for ten hours.

I chose white. I chose risk. If you never take chances in life, are you truly living? I wanted to be my best me. My best me wore bright, white polos and brown slacks. My best me ate healthy breakfasts, and posted good journal entries.

I microwaved the frozen berries a few seconds longer than usual. The weather outside looked gloomy and I was aiming to make a smoothie that wouldn't freeze my fresh optimism for the day. I removed the berries from the microwave and a raspberry fell from the bowl and struck me between the tits, literally one minute and ten seconds since I put on the shirt.

Maybe I should have been upset, frustrated, angry. I laughed. I chortled a good minute before picking out a blue shirt which I wore the rest of the day without a fleck or smudge getting near it.

I thought about it, and I think this is how I'll react to my own death too. Every day I leave the house, presuming she'll be right. All it could take is one slip up, one mistake, and I'll be dying. And I'll laugh, thinking my final thoughts about goddamn journal jinxes and goddamn raspberries.

Crossed Hot Buns

Sometimes, needs must. This was the situation I found myself in last weekend at Marion Bay where I had a stack of bacon rashers, a third-dozen eggs and not enough bread to make toad-in-the-hole sandwiches. What I did have up my sleeve was a hot cross bun desperate to be crossed with something savoury. So I did it. I ate a bacon and egg sandwich between the spiced, sultana-laded hot toasted hot cross bun pieces and it was amazing.

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So amazing that I felt compelled to try it again this weekend. (And no, not just because the shack toaster mauled the top half of the hot cross bun and I therefore couldn't take a photo.)

Today I tried to recreate the original, only to discover while slicing the new buns that Woolworths were selling brioche buns disguised as regular ones. I wondered if brioche would improve the taste. Alas, no. If you are going to try this, stick with the regular buns.

I also recommend a variation with a bit of Tabasco sauce splashed on the egg. I call that one an egg and bacon hot hot cross bun.
You can also add a slice of american cheese on top of the egg, which would make it Cheese(US) on an egg and bacon hot cross bun.

If you've ever stuck something different in the middle of a hot cross bun, let me know in the comments.

Roger Federer Australian Open Burger

500g beef mince, turned into patties with crushed Weet Bix instead of bread crumbs. Rest in fridge for one set.

Cook on medium heat on both sides for 3 minutes.

Layer with Swiss cheese and close the roof due to 150° heat.

Lay on a bun, with many slices (of pickle).

Serve for the match.

I did Zero Chin-Ups Today

This time, a decade ago, I was in the final days of my six week weight-lifting and eating experiment I called BULKTEMBER. The fact that I’m writing this at my standing desk, wearing my sacroiliac belt, and twenty-kilograms below my old goal weight tells me something has gone horribly wrong since then. But, if I’m going to dwell on the events of the past ten years of my life, there’s one thing worth focusing on - breakfast.

On October 3rd, 2007 i documented the preparation of my daily breakfast smoothie. And of all the things the universe has taken from me since that day, fruit smoothies ain’t one of them (you tried, Cyclone Yasi, and Hepatitis A Infected Berry Pickers).

My Bulktember documentation gives me an amazing opportunity to see how I’ve changed as a person over ten years. As least when it comes to my smoothies. Some of the changes are related to my lack of current bulking, many others are the influence of Vanessa, who has bulked my heart since 2008.

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I still make berry and peanut butter smoothies regularly, but today I thought I’d share my current version of the tropical smoothie, which has been tasting better and better in these first warm spring days.


20072017
6 Ice Cubes15 Ice Cubes
50g Frozen Fruit (mixed berries)500g Frozen Fruit (frozen mango, banana, pineapple ring)
3.5 Weet Bix50g Soaked Oats
200ml Skim Milk0ml Skim Milk
150g No Fat, Low Sugar Yogurt300g No Fat, Low Sugar Yogurt
30g WPI Protein SupplementNo protein
1tsp Natural Peanut Butter1tbsp desiccated coconut

First we can see a 250% increase in ice cubes. Ice cubes are calorie negative, and this basically extra breakfast for nothing. Vanessa taught me this one, she has a PHD in Physics.

Next we can see the amount of fruit has gone up… A lot. Like, an incredible amount. Like, having re-read a few of the Bulktember entries, I’m pretty sure I was just guessing some of these measurements, and surely I was using more than 50g of berries. But given how much of a tight-arse I was back then, maybe not. Anyway, fruit is good. Read Men’s Health, I’m sure there’s an advertisement pretending to be an article that talks about it.

Three and a half Weet Bix? I don’t remember this. Obviously I needed to eat more than 50g of berries back then, maybe then I wouldn’t have these memory issues. A bit of reasoning tells me at some point I switched from Weet Bix to ice cubes.
Up until this year I did continue to add a single Bix to my smoothies. That was until I tried being a vegan for a few weeks. Weet Bix are vegan, but wet oats help blending non-dairy smoothies a lot more easily than dry Weet Bix. Will I go back to Weet Bix again? Maybe. Come back in 2027.

Milk. I used to use a bunch of it, now I don’t use any. Why? Because I’m a vegan, who eats yogurt and meat and stuff. Every morning is like a running joke about how amusing I found veganism. Still, I guess there's now 1.4 litres less milk that gets drained from some poor cow between atmosphere-destroying farts, and giving some dairy farmer the false hope that they’re not in an unprofitable, dying industry.

Yogurt. I think I’ve covered this enough before, I really like yogurt. (Note to self, add ‘Yogurt’ as tag to future tags feature).

Protein. I get enough protein from vegetables, legumes, oats. And yogurt. And meat. Plus it’s expensive. Who needs protein powder. Right? Or Up and Go Energise, and Tribulus Terrestris and tight-fitting long-sleeve knits. It’s all just the invisible lead up to vanity above a vanity. Focus on more noble pursuits. I mean, why--

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Coconut makes it taste tropical and gives it a bit of texture to help replicate that old Weet Bix taste. If it was a berry smoothie I’d use peanut butter again. I no longer feel the need to substitute skipped peanut butter with extra protein powder.

There’s no secret to mixing this thing, other than to defrost the frozen mango if possible/it’s winter. Also I stand by my 2009 Blender choice. It can, and often does, handle twice the number of ice cubes. It doesn’t have a “liquefy” button, but it has one that says “Smoothie” which does the job.

I no longer slam my breakfast smoothie down out of the jug. Instead I sip it through a straw. I think straws can make things taste different, maybe it delivers smoothie to different parts of the tongue first. Someone at Men’s Health should write an article about it to sell some brand of straw or something.

I also drink my smoothie’s with the help of my happy every day monkey cup holder, another of Vanessa’s influences on my smoothie process.

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This concludes an eight-hundred word summary of my breakfast smoothie. What a bulky entry.

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