Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Mysteries Of Engrish, The Bounty Of The Sea

We recently had to locate by hook or by crook a new tap fitting for the kitchen at Shoestring Cottage.  A search for attractive but reasonably priced second hand taps proved fruitless and we finally and reluctantly came to the conclusion that the most frugal option would be to purchase a new tap over the mysterious and mighty Interweb.  You can imagine our excitement when after a short time the tap arrived from Hong Kong, complete with its very own protective sock and some very confusing instructions.  Mr Shoestring duly installed the tap and professes himself to be very pleased with it, but most of al he was pleased to read this information:

The beautiful in time relates the simple yet splendid life it is not just a simple process of application it is a course of appreciation in sightit is a masterpiese.  (Yes that is a true transcription from the box the tap came in.)  What can it mean?  Who knows?  But as Mr Shoestring is an avid collector of Engrish in all its forms he was enchanted by this unexpected bonus, courtesy of the Jingpin Wei You sanitary wares company. 

A lovely tap with an unexpected Engrish bonus
Speaking of taps, I know they can be eye wateringly expensive and we once teased a friend of ours that she got a free kitchen with her tap, so I hope this very cheap option turns out to be durable.  

The first official day of spring turned out to be a pearler, good for gardening and good for a walk around the wetlands where we saw evidence of the recent flooding.  The waxeyes were feasting on the kowhai flowers in the spring sun and we came home a bit sunburnt ourselves.

A bit hard to see the waxeye in the top centre of the picture

We were somewhat nonplussed to see that some swallows had elected to build their nest inside the "hide" where people can look out over the water.  I don't like their chances of successfully raising a family in such a spot, but only time will tell.

The first of the pussy willow catkins were beautifully fluffy and strokeable

On Saturday night we had the honour of judging the third annual scallop competition.  It was the opening day for scallop season and four sets of friends had gone diving, then returned with their catch for the cook up.  At the last minute before we set off to judge I remembered I had a little silver cup (garnered from an op shop) and it polished up beautifully.  So now the competitors will have a cup to inscribe each year to honour the winners.  I must tell you my dears that it was rather a daunting task, as the quality of the entries was so high.  We had scallops cooked in a wine and cheese sauce, scallops "pizza style" with cheese, ham and bacon, and by a weird coincidence two entrants had cooked their scallops using the same very unusual recipe.  Their dish was delicious also, it had coriander, honey and gin in the sauce and we definitely didn't mind having two chances to sample that delicacy.  The competitors must have been trying for a different approach this year, because in former years they have tended more towards seafood chowders and crumbed scallops.  Needless to say we came in from some harsh and cruel remarks from the poor unfortunates who were the "also rans".  They accused us of accepting bribes and all kinds of other scurrilous behaviour but we have clean consciences; the dozen fresh eggs we were given were only donated after the prize was awarded, and didn't come from the eventual winners either.  Apparently the plan now is that the largest shell, which had been saved as a souvenir, will be incorporated with the silver cup to make an even more impressive prize for next time.  The dishes are already being planned for next year and we are already hoping to be asked to be judge again!  Nothing is quite as delicious as seafood so fresh and so lovingly prepared.