The Cook's Toolkit

The Cook's Toolkit
The Cook's Toolkit by Clever Pumpkin.


The romance is over: Edward & Bella twenty years on. My short story Daylight is now available as a free download.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Nomination: Book of the Year

Out now on Smashwords: Men's Guide To Trouble Pussy

The blurb: 'Since the beginning of time, there has been man and woman. All women came with pussy. Its official name is “Vagina” and its purpose range from sexual activity, child birthing, and uterine secretions (that time of the month). Its power is almost limitless. It has shaped world politics, literature, music, and mental illness.'

Yes, well.  Mine's also a Certified Practising Accountant.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cocky In A Glass

Many years past, I had an old cat named Ali-Tut.  "Love" doesn't begin to describe what I felt for that old cat.  The word hasn't been invented to describe what I felt for that old cat.  I raised her from a baby kitten, feeding her and her sister Speedie from an eyedropper.  She was with me from before I was a teenager, and she lived to be almost twenty-one. 

Old Tuts had her own sheepskin on the couch, but being a cat, of course she slept anywhere she pleased, frequently taking up more of my single bed than I did.  More accurate than a heat-seeking missile, she always knew where her best bet was between the sheepskin and my bed.  This she would ascertain by inserting one paw beneath the doona to see if the electric blanket was on.  Thus we passed many happy years, until I awoke early one morning to a tutt tutt tutt tutt tutt tutt sound, when I rolled over to see Ali-Tut contentedly lapping from my glass of water.  Three things immediately filled my mind:
  1. An image of Ali-Tut with a bird in her mouth.
  2. An image of Ali-Tut cleaning herself most fastidiously, paying particular attention to her arse.
  3. The question of just how many years she had been drinking from my glass of water as I slept.
Well I might have loved that old cat more than life itself, but I stil didn't want the tongue that licked her arse lapping from my glass of water. 

It had been many years since I've thought of the incident - that was until yesterday,
when undertaking my usual morning ritual of removing my empty chamomile cup and (usually untouched) overnight glass of water to the kitchen, I discovered this:
A cockroach floating in my glass of water

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Romance is Over: Edward & Bella Twenty Years On

Daylight is now available as a free download.
~Contains gratuitous swearing, violence and one offensively small appendage.  Not suitable for Twilight fans.  Not suitable for children under 40~

Download as a PDF (for PC) or, for a book-type view in the absence of an e-reader, Adobe Digital Editions can be downloaded free.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Clever Pumpkin's Lime Maple Summer Berry Puddings

Recipe here

2012: Lock and Load, Bitch.

Q.        How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A.        Just one – but the light bulb has got to WANT to change.

With that in mind, I have made only one New Year's resolution, and that is to be brutally honest with myself.

This means acknowledging that my deep and abiding love of chocolate will never change; because – hell's bells – I don't want it to. This new honesty compels me to admit that my love of ice-cream verges on the erotic, as does my deep salivating desire for summer berry puddings, beer-battered fish and chips (served with ice-cold beer) deep-fried arancini with fresh lemon, baked stuffed potatoes, snow-white chevre cheese, Italian fennel sausage, sauteed rosemary potatoes, lemon curd and chocolate coconut pudding.

In my heart of hearts I know my love of fresh fruit is owed only to its relationship to cheese and wine, as I know that the best way to serve healthy guacamole is with a side of Mexican banquet dripping in cheese, sour cream, and overflowing with tequila and lime laden margaritas.  Sniff all you want – at least the lime is good for me.

On that subject, I resolve not to fall off the wagon.  This I will achieve by not climbing on the damned thing in the first place.  Truthfully, I'd sell my mother down the river for a pina colada – and on Mother's Day, to boot.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bad Books Blow Up The Brain

A most interesting article penned by Random House CEO Gail Rebuck charts the effect of reading on the brain:

'Psychologists from Washington University used brain scans to see what happens inside our heads when we read stories. They found that "readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative". The brain weaves these situations together with experiences from its own life to create a new mental synthesis. Reading a book leaves us with new neural pathways.
'The discovery that our brains are physically changed by the experience of reading is something many of us will understand instinctively, as we think back to the way an extraordinary book had a transformative effect on the way we view the world. This transformation only takes place when we lose ourselves in a book, abandoning the emotional and mental chatter of the real world. That's why studies have found this kind of deep reading makes us more empathetic, or, as Nicholas Carr puts it in his essay The Dreams of Readers, "more alert to the inner lives of others"

Okay, so what happens to the brain if the book is as badly edited as Twilight or The Da Vinci Code?  Britain's Institute for Bibliophilic Brain Studies found the effect of bad writing and editing on the brain to be equally dramatic:

'Exposed to half an hour of The Da Vinci Code, brains were seen to shrink dramatically.  In an attempt to escape further reading, several brains liquified and exited the skull by way of the ear canal.  One brain pulled a gun it had concealed behind its left frontal lob, blew a hole in the book (via the host's left eye) then put itself out its misery.  In the case of Twilight, all brains followed a uniform pattern: each formed new neural paths which flashed the words Good God, where was your editor, woman? over and over again.  Remarkably, the words show up on the MRI film.'