back to article Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

It could get steamy in here. I have stripped off the layers and am now looking to turn up the heat. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of delightful tenderness with plenty of oohs and aahs. I certainly don’t want things to be chewy. Preparing the Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner is always a challenge. The Dabbs …

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Half a million years of evolution

The A Africanus whose progeny survived was the one who thought "That rock looks like it might make a good axe - I'll add it to my collection". Fast forward half a million years and a characteristic which now has no real selection advantage persists because it has no real disadvantages either.

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Re: Half a million years of evolution

no real disadvantages either

Excepting a threat from the missus that unless you chuck all that junk out, pronto, there's zero chance of you ever becoming a father (or, worse, of getting the pre-fatherhood practice in that evening).

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Re: Half a million years of evolution

..and the day after, she asks you to do something/fix something and the bit you need just went off to the tip. Don't tell her so if you value your life. Just go buy a new whatever you just chucked away. In fact, get two, just in case. And whatever ever else might on offer that looks like it might be useful :-)

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Interference

It's not helped by well-intentioned but inappropriate gifts. I was bought and Amazon Echo Dot at Christmas which I really must put on eBay. I certainly don't intend ever taking it out of the box.

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Big Brother

Re: Interference

I bet it's in there brute-forcing local wifi, listening, and uploading. You can never have too much vital marketing information.

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Re: Interference

And conspiring with eBay (or Amazon store?) to make sure you never can sell it. Blackmail?

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Re: Interference

I pulled my Echo out of the drawer over Xmas to mollify the daughter who gave it to us. After I remoted James Marshall Hendrix Esq. into it a few times it got disconnected.

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Re: Interference

My mum got into the habit of sitting down just after the new year, sorting through all the collected stuff, & either selling it online (Craig's list, Ebay, etc), giving it away to charity (thrift stores, church donation boxes, etc), or outright chucking it in the bin.

Anything she hasn't seen/used since the last sorting automaticly gets added to the "Gotta go" pile; anything used less than a dozen times (1x/month) gets added to the "probably gone" pile; and anything used more than 1x/month is removed from the collection & moved to someplace it'll be more conveniently located.

The upshot of this is that the collection is kept manageable, the hoarding tendancies of my dad (RIP) were kept from driving her to murder him in his sleep, & it's given me the impetus to do likewise.

Now I sit down just after the new year among my own collection & start sorting into the same three catagories.

Everything that gets kicked out the door gets sent to charity rather than sold, meticulously listed for tax purposes, & written off said taxes come time to hand said paperwork over to my local taxman.

I can claim fair market value for everything I donate, which is invariably far more than I could have sold it for otherwise, & get a fat refund cheque back shortly afterwards when the taxmen realize I've just donated a small fortune.

"Did you *really* donate nearly 5K worth- what's this? Ah, the receipt from the charity to whom you made the donation... Itemized. In alphabetical order. Counter signed by the charity. *Sigh* Fine. Approved. Expect your cheque in two to three weeks..."

*Gleeful squeal*

So all that crap I will probably never use ends up making me money rather than occupying what little storeage space I have left down in my cave.

*Does an arms outstretched, tripping the light fantastic, dancing twirl in the middle of the room*

Free! Free! I'm free of all the crap!

*Cough*

Frog pills. Definitely time for my frog pills...

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Re: Interference

I seriously thought about taking it out of the box, but a glass or two of Margaux sorted that out. I now have this recurring nightmare that the bloody thing is actually running on battery power, listening to everything going on in the house and waiting for the day that one of my children finds it and releases it to wreak havoc.

I think that you have to surreptitiously drop it into the unsuspecting pocket of an innocent commuter, á la M.R.James story 'Casting the Runes'.

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Re: Interference

"My mum got into the habit of sitting down just after the new year, sorting through all the collected stuff, & either selling it online (Craig's list, Ebay, etc)"

Selling it online? That would make you, what, four years old, right?

Back in my day, the parents just gave the shite to more distant relatives and hoped that it didn't come around again. Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like. The point of the gift was in the giving, and therefore it didn't matter WHAT you gave. Oh happy days.

OTOH, unwrapping any gift from non-close family was something of a lottery: "Oh, Maurice, we've been given another grenade". "Don't worry dear, we haven't yet given one to Jessie."

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I give up...

Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like.

What's a "car-door kettle"?

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Re: Interference

"I can claim fair market value for everything I donate, which is invariably far more than I could have sold it for otherwise, & get a fat refund cheque back shortly afterwards when the taxmen realize I've just donated a small fortune."

That's the US version. In the UK it's the charity that gets the refund. It was, after all, the purpose of donating it.

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Re: Interference

Evidently one of El Reg's USian followers. In more civilised parts of the world "fair market value" means precisely one "could have sold it for". (This may not be true if you're large enough to be advised by one of the Big Four.)

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Re: I give up...

What's a "car-door kettle"?

A 1970's innovation. A plastic jug with a hook to go over the car door with the window down, and a water heating element that plugged into the car's lighter socket. Would have taken days to boil a trivial amount of water, but was so craply made and obviously dangerous you'd have had to have been mad to even try. I suspect targeted at Austin Maxi driving old codgers who couldn't get a hundred yards without having to stop for a cup of tea.

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I boil sprouts. They taste fine. Yay me.

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Can't imagine them being any good without salt anyway.

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Coat

Boiled Sprouts

Me too.

Preferably boiled what would technically be called "for a little bit too long". I was the only one at christmas that actually likes them, but still the preparer (I wasn't allowed in the kitchen) insisted on trying to cook them so they were still crunchy, and also some stir-fried with various spices. They still didn't like them, and I didn't get to enjoy them they way I like them. Everyone's a loser!!

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Actually, here is an interesting thing to try: Tequila shot then a sprout. Trust me.

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DJO
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Sprouts while being the vegetable from the devils own backside do have one redeeming quality, sprouts and mash make far better bubble & squeak than cabbage and mash.

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The verse followed by canteens and grans across the country:

Sprouts on in March,

Carrots in May.

The veg will be ready

come Christmas Day.

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Nah.

Half your raw sprouts, spread 'em like little bald men packed together in a greased baking dish. Crumble over some very crispy bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil. Bake until caramelized. Your life will never be the same.

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Unhappy

My Gran was always of the opinion that if the veg doesn't need to be wrung out before serving it is underdone.

So Sunday dinner was started around 9am for a sit down around 2pm, the house filled with the scent of cabbage steam for days after.

I still dream of this.

Sometimes I wake screaming.

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Anonymous Coward

Tequila shot then a sprout.

A new twist on projectile vomiting??

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raw sprouts, shredded or finely sliced, make a really nice addition to a salad, with a pleasant peppery flavour.

Seriously, try them.

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Mushroom

The best way to cook sprouts is to fire them into the Sun. All of them. Let no sprout remain!

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With all that other goodness, just leave out those evil little cabbages!

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"Half your raw sprouts, spread 'em like little bald men packed together in a greased baking dish. Crumble over some very crispy bacon. "

Yes, we tried that recipe.

It works perfectly so long as you use plenty of bacon, drizzle the maple syrup over it, and discard the sprouts before serving.

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Boil? Pah!

I curry sprouts, with excellent, if anti-social, results.

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Re: Boil? Pah!

I'm a sprout fan too, but don't ever be tempted to make a sprout omelette.

It tasted fucking awful.

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hj

Try broiling them, they will taste finer.

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Re: Boiled Sprouts

This seems a common phenomenon; preparing food for somebody the way they are supposed to want them, rather than how they do. And it doesn't even need to be cooked. I love grapefruit, always have, but never ate them as a child, because the adults were convinced that the nasty bitter white bits had to be eaten too. So all the lovely vitamin C got wasted.

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Re: Boiled Sprouts

Fry garlic and onions in butter until soft, add some bacon, add sprouts and cook until brown edges. Add chicken stock and black pepper, braise over a high heat until the stock has evaporated and the butter is sizzling again.

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I feed mine into the composting bin - I'm sure they tasted fine as well.

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Boil?

Quarter then stir fry.

I'm Scottish.

I like to fry.

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"sprouts and mash make far better bubble & squeak than cabbage and mash."

Which just goes to prove that can be eaten fried - after boiling.

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"Carrots in May.

The veg will be ready

come Christmas Day."

Surely carrots sown in May and harvested just before Christmas will be big enough and hard enough to club carol singers over the head.

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Nay, Nay

and thrice nay.

Roast them!!!!!!

Gently, with a little bit of butter and seasoning to taste..

Sweet, nutty but still with a little firmness.

Conversely, boil sweet chestnuts, not roast them.

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At VinceH, re: sprouts.

YES! The first acceptable use for the damned things! Enjoy a pint in gratitude, as long as it's not a tequila-sprout shot like that other wierdo suggested. =-)p

*Wanders off to go aim the catapults for sprout removal duty*

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I 'curry' Brussels Sprouts.

Basically, just slowly cook them in your typical spiced onion base. Rather like them as a side dish.

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Pint

Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

"YES! The first acceptable use for the damned things!"

Well, I wasn't thinking of it as a "use" as such, but in hindsight, it is: The Sun is gradually losing mass (and we're getting further away from it) - so feeding it sprouts (and other things we don't like) makes sense.

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Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

Presumably, though, the reaction mass required to get sprouts sunward would be greater than the increase in solar mass. So pushing our orbit further out.

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I had sprouts today .. wifey boils them perfectly and they taste lovely. In fact today's lunchtime meal was Quorn 'steak' pie with boiled potatoes, petit pois, broccoli, sprouts and veggie gravy. Lovely stuff.

And I've just made myself hungry thinking about it.

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Re: At VinceH, re: sprouts.

"...and other things we don't like."

May I suggest May & Trump for starters? With all the shite they contain they should fuel the sun to burn for another billion years.

*Cough*

I'll get my coat, it's the one with the SCUBA gear in the pockets...

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Thumb Up

Re: Boil?

@Whitter: I like to fry in Greek ILIADA virgin olive oil. FTFY. With a bit of hot curry powder. Yummy.

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I lose whole days whenever Tequila is involved. Given that I actually like Brussel Sprouts that combination misses the point of having them in the first place. Which is probably your intent?

For the record, if frozen, boiled Brussel Sprouts is what I do here. Now fresh is another thing. Those get steamed in my Wok which is my Swiss Army Knife kitchen tool of choice.

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Sounds a better idea than

Cinnamon challenge

Tide challenge

Whatever else has been “invented” since I last looked

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"So Sunday dinner was started around 9am for a sit down around 2pm, the house filled with the scent of cabbage steam for days after.

I still dream of this."

It used to give me nightmares. Whole houses smelled of boiled cabbage.

"Sometimes I wake screaming."

Ah, you too.

The canteen cook needs teaching how to not boil sprouts to death.

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MJI
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I like sprouts but everyone is trying to ruin them

Work Christmas meal, a small puddle of slop with cream, bacon, some other shit and a bit of sprout.

Ughh.

Please note

Not everyone hates sprouts.

Not everyone likes bacon.

Not everyone wants cream in their roast.

Oh also insufficient potatos and the turkey was not great.

Food fads drive me mad, there are a lot of foods i do not like and they keep infecting things I do like.

Bacon, thin strips of fatty pork (I can't eat lumps of fat) fills with preservatives turned into hard chewy things.

Ham, a piece of pork ruined. We have freezers, stick pork in there and roast it don't fill it full of chemicals.

Peas with everything, I hate them, if a meal comes with them I ask for an alternative (usually sweetcorn) but why not steak chips and sprouts?

Why does a chicken need to be wrapped in salted smoked very fatty pork strips?

Why do nice juicy butchers sausages need the same?

They don't.

It would be easier to be a veggie than a bacon hater.

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MJI
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"Sprouts today"

Sorry cannot see the point in fake meats.

Cows are not an endangered species and I would rather eat that than formed mould.

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Joke

"It works perfectly so long as you use plenty of bacon, drizzle the maple syrup over it, and discard the sprouts before serving."

You must an American. Only an American would use bacon as a sweet dessert!

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