And in this corner, George’s Grill & Griddle…

During the week I spotted a George Foreman Grill & Griddle (hereafter referred to as GGG) on display in a store that I frequent, and being a bachelor, I thought it looked like the perfect appliance for those quick dinners after a hard day at the office.

However, the store was temporarily out of stock, except for the one on display. The sales lady offered to put in back in the box for me to purchase, but I declined and opted to return on another occasion to check if stock was available. On Saturday, I returned to find two GGG’s in stock in somewhat battered-looking boxes, although the contents appeared untouched in their original wrappings.

I was rather eager to give this appliance a try, so I made the purchase and picked up a fairly big rump steak at a supermarket, on my way home.

After the obligatory reading of the instruction manual and recommended cleaning with a  damp cloth, I got GGG’s grill section set up and ready for cooking.

Fifteen minutes later (including standing time), I tucked into a steak that was disappointingly  tasteless. I had followed all the instructions explicitly. What the hell happened?

My initial thought was that the steak was overdone. But it certainly looked medium-to-well as I normally like it. Then it dawned on me that maybe a steak needs to be cooked in its own fat. This appliance has a fat-free system that allows the fats and oils to drain away. I may be wrong, but the lack of taste pointed to a lack of fat. This afternoon, I did some digging on the Interwebs and found the following hilarious Customer Review by Sam Gregory on Amazon which sort off confirms my suspicion:

A ring at the door abruptly disturbs my sleep. My dream? I don’t remember the exact details but it was something involving two fillet steaks, a tub of goose fat and a scantily clad Britney Spears singing into a newspaper cone filled with chips.
After performing my ‘one-two-three’ side-roll out of bed and onto the floor I dragged myself to the staircase instead of getting straight to my feet, then used my elbows to slide up and into the stair lift.
I had the man from the stair lift company come round and fit an extension to the rail last month meaning that I can get anywhere downstairs without having to flop out of the chair, because walking is just SO outdated.
The doorbell rang a second time and I scrabbled to open it, refusing to drop the half eaten Mars bar in my left hand from last night which was by now, coated in a mixture of carpet fluff and hair. I just hate waste.
A cheery young fellow passed a huge box to me which I rested on my stomach-shelf and asked me to sign his notebook which I did, smudging melted chocolate and caramel across the sheet by accident, much to his dismay.

Hugging my new present and closing the door I put my chair into gear and made my way to the living room to unpack it. Seeing Georges over-enthusiastic, smiling little face filled me with excitement as I removed the outer packaging. I noticed that this thing was indeed a healthy size, possibly big enough to cook half of a breakfast on at any one time.
After sitting it down I plugged it in next to my computer to let it warm up whilst I logged into World of Warcraft, but to my amazement, by the time I had reached the character selection screen I could feel the heat beaming up at me from the fully machine washable griddle plates. Wow, what a machine!

I whipped my chair into warp-speed and flew to the kitchen to grab a couple of sirloins, a handful of pork chops and a dozen sausages just to give my Foreman a little mid-morning test.

That was where I hit my only real problem with this little beauty.
I didn’t take much notice when I first slapped my meat-feast across the grill but the whole machine is actually on a slant. The front kind of dips downward, meaning that all the fat and grease (the good stuff) seeps out of your food and runs onto the floor.
I have found a few solutions to this design flaw and they are as follows:

1. Cut a long French baguette in half and place it beneath the front of the grill allowing it to soak up the wasted fat. This tastes great with a couple of sausages crammed inside.

2. Take two fairly thick books (I use my Linux For Dummies 8th Edition and a couple of computer game walk-through guides, I don’t use them anymore, I am too elite) and stack them underneath the front feet of the George Foreman. This keeps the fat on the grill and allows your meat selection to cook in its own juices wonderfully.

3. Last but by no means least… I noticed whilst unpacking the box there was an extra bit of packaging which at first I thought was a little excessive but now have come to think of as a real godsend. It is almost like a long plastic dish that fits perfectly to the size of the grill!
I place this underneath to catch the fat, then before it cools down to a solid state, quickly pour it into a blender with some ice cream, a tablespoon or two of sugar and a knob of butter then leave mixing whilst I remove my meat from the grill. Pour the frothy delight into a chilled glass and enjoy through a straw.
This is a real treat and highly recommended!

So what more can I say?
A superb invention I would highly recommend to anyone who like me, strives to be nothing but the best.

Thank you George you lovely little man you.

Pros:
Warms up quicker than World of Warcraft
Great picture of George Foreman on the outer packaging I feel, which I have now had framed and put beside my bed

Cons:
Could be bigger really. Say 3 or 4 times bigger?
The slanted grill is a minor issue which can be rectified by following my above instruction

I’m not about to give up though. Perhaps I was doing something wrong after all. Either that, or I have lost my sense of taste. So before I retire my GGG for life, I’m going to try a few other items like vegetables, fish, sausages and bacon, on the grill first. I also still need to try out the griddle section.

Well George, seems like you’re going to get another shot at the title…

Is this the world’s most lethal coctail?

While pursuing the Taliban discussion on-line yesterday, the topic of ancient cultures arose. A question was raised as to why we celebrate ancient cultures from deep in the Amazon and darkest Africa, but find the culture of the Taliban so repulsive. Which got me thinking (yes, that heretical process that gets religionists all riled up :)).

Most ancient cultures that have been kept hidden from the world, are a mystery to us (modern man) and to satisfy our curiosity and the need to learn, we naturally seek them out. These cultures have remained hidden, simply because the adherents, having no beef with the modern world, value their privacy and isolation (and would have remained blissfully isolated had they not been discovered). The striking thing about these cultures is that there is no impetus to force their culture upon the modern world. In effect they pose no threat to modern man, or his civilized values. Therefore, the civilized thing to do would be to “celebrate” these cultures from afar, and leave them the hell, alone. But modern man feels the overwhelming desire to “help” these people, and thus have we destroyed many ancient cultures forever.

However, every once in a while we come across old or ancient cultures that possess certain cultural traits that are in conflict with modern values and morals. One such culture is that of the Taliban; old yes, but loathsome, backward and just plain loopy by modern standards. They are not so mysterious, because we have read and interpreted most of their written ideology; what remains a mystery though is why they themselves have such wide interpretations of their own writings. Such a culture is ripe for manipulation by wily politicians, with self-serving agendas.

Now consider that culture’s evil partner is religion. Nothing stirs the emotions and gets people into a frenzy, like religion. And consider that all you need to marry these evil partners, is a crafty politician. What better politician than a cleric (an  imam in the case of the Taliban); and he has the “god-given” power to consecrate the marriage too. In this combination, we expose probably the world’s most lethal cocktail: politics, religion and culture. When these three elements come together, death and destruction and sorrow, always follow.

Take away the politically deviant cleric, and the morally bankrupt religion, and the Taliban would be just medieval delinquents, with their puss-filled culture slowly rotting away in the stinking desert, and the world would have, not only been none the wiser…but even safer.