Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Germans make remarkable saucepans

This is Bandit. Son David's one-eyed puppy recently acquired. Bandit lives in Sydney with his cousin Lenny (who reads my blog).

It’s Obama Day. The President Bush Countdown Clock on Jill’s desktop in Sydney will finally run out. Years ago we would watch this in horror at the number of days still remaining and tell each other ‘Be Strong – he will go one day!’.

I took Will and Kris to the Flughafen this morning for their flight back to Washington. They will be back in time for the numerous Inauguration Balls – but as they haven’t been invited to any this is not really important to them.

More important to Kris is getting back to her cats Steve and Sophie.

Will is really looking forward to this too because he loves cats (joke!). But he was good when he was here. On one occasion he actually touched Muffin (briefly) and made what he thought were soothing cat noises but actually sounded like a frog choking on a cricket. Of course he then went and had a good wash.

Sophie is a unique cat. On the occasions that we have stayed with Will and Chris in Vienna (Virginia not Austria) we have only ever seen fleeting glimpses of Sophie in the distance. She is (to say the least) rather shy and I have never actually been able to get closer than about 5 metres. I think when she was very small she saw Dick Cheney on TV and has never been the same since.

Of course we forgive Will for his lack of love for cats as he has many other redeeming features.

One of these is his ability to act as a Museum Divining Rod. Get him within a kilometer of a museum and his nose starts to twitch and he is off like a rabbit out of a burrow. He knows the location of every museum in Europe – he also knows exactly what is in them and – if left unchecked – can describe each article, its provenance, purpose and history.

I carry a club when I go out with him so that I can stun him every now and then to slow him down.

Will is to museums what Cate is to churches.

We went to Melk and drove back through the Wachau Valley to Krems where we dismounted and walked for some time in sub freezing temperatures to admire the many closed shops which adorn the main streets.

We had so much fun we contemplated getting naked and flogging each other with tree branches but decided that on the whole we would rather go indoors and have some lunch.

Will (of course) found a museum – which fortunately was closed – and Cate found two churches – both of which had to be visited – but not by me. I have been into many churches and they all look the same to me.

Billy Benz had his first car wash on Saturday and brushed up nicely – but some toad nudged him in a car park and put white paint on his front side. I was able to get this off with some form of spirit cleaner so he still remains in a pristine state.

We needed some new cushions so went to Lutz in Landstrasse and while we were there I was finally able to convince Cate that I should have the new saucepans that have been promised to me for so long.

These are made by WMF and are remarkable - and a triumph of German engineering. I think it is unlikely that they will improve my cooking dramatically – but they will make me feel better.

On Saturday we went to Cantinetta Antinori – which once again was terrific. On Monday night we went to Plachutta so that Will and Kris could have some authentic Viennese cuisine. They went at it with gusto and ate a number of parts of cows that I try to not even think about. But they gave it the thumbs up.

Anna is complaining that I never answer her questions. Well - here is one answer. Doodles Creek products are available from Norton Street Grocer, Relish in Norton Street, and Fine Food Store Rozelle. If you have problems let me know and I will do some more scouting.

Tomorrow I shall tell you about the great Kitten Acquisition Disaster of 2009.


  1. I can appreciate how you feel about your new saucepans.

    When I turned 40 (just a few years ago!) Jim asked his mother what he should buy me. Her answer = lingerie. He then visited DJs and bought several hundrend dollars' worth, gift-wrapped for my approval. My face fell on opening the gift and I rushed to DJs, received a refund and bought a set of saucepans that we still use every day! Funnily enough, she never forgave me. As, I repeat, it's a few years since my 40th, the lingerie would have been in tatters long since.

  2. I cannot imagine what Jim was thinking of (well yes I can actually) - but it does show a disappointing lack of focus for a man who clearly enjoys a good meal and a the occasional glass of wine.