Optavia decadent chocolate brownie hack

The best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made!

2023.05.30 17:34 GoldenFlowerPrincess The best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made!

The best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made!
Just wanted to share my recipe for these cookies I made. They’re seriously incredible. Gooey in the center slightly crisp on the outside. The combination of brown butter with the brown sugar makes a slightly caramel flavor but overall it makes a very decadent and moist cookie. Flaky sea salt on the top rounds it out and in my opinion is a must with these! I hope you give it a try!
*sorry if there are formatting issues
Recipe-
2 sticks butter (browned) stir into paste while cooling
3 bars of Baker’s chocolate roughly chopped (around 12oz) I used two bars of German and one semi-sweet
284g all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
297g brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
Flaky sea salt for topping
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk until there are no lumps you could also use a sifter.
Add brown butter and sugar in large bowl and mix until fluffy.
Next add the egg, water and vanilla and mix till combined. Add the flour in batches to the buttesugar. Be carful to not over mix. Once the batter is streaked with a small amount of flour add the chopped chocolate till combined.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for a few hours or over night. Once you’re ready to bake, line your cookie sheet with parchment and scoop your dough to your desired size. I used a 1/4 cup measurement. The cookies will spread so if making a larger size cookie only bake 3-4 at a time to prevent sticking together.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. The cookies will look under baked but trust me once you allow them to cool off and set the cookies will be a perfect consistency! If you want a more rounded bakery style cookie shape them with a round cookie cutter or a cup. Top with flaky sea salt and enjoy!
Makes 15 cookies.
submitted by GoldenFlowerPrincess to Baking [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 16:26 aussie_bob Vegemite Brownies, this takes the cake.

Vegemite Brownies, this takes the cake. submitted by aussie_bob to Asked_Australia [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 15:18 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree (Part 1)

(owing to the reddit character limit, I'm posting this in two parts, but it's one contiguous story)
There are instincts that you develop when you’re a parent. If you don’t have any children it might be a little hard to understand. If you have a toddler, for example, and they’re in the other room and silent for more than a few seconds, there’s a good chance they’re up to no good. I take that back, most of the time they’re doing nothing, but you still have to check. You feel a compulsion to check. I don’t think it’s a learned skill, I think it’s an actual instinct.
Paleolithic parents who didn’t check on their toddlers every few minutes, just to double check that they weren’t being stalked by smilodons were unlikely to have grandchildren and pass on their genes. You just feel you need to check, like getting goosebumps, a compulsion. I suppose it’s the same reason little kids are always demanding you look at them and what they’re doing.
I think that instinct starts to atrophy as your kids grow. They start learning to do things for themselves, and before you know it, they’re after their own privacy, not your attention. I don’t think it ever goes away though. I expect, decades from now, my own grown kids will visit and bring my grandkids with them. And the second I hear a baby crying in the earliest morning hours, I’ll be alert and ready for anything, sure as any old soldier who hears his name whispered in the dark of night.
I felt that alarm just the other day. First time in years. My boy came home from riding bikes with a couple of his friends. I’m pretty sure they worked out a scam where they asked each of their parents for a different new console for Christmas, and now they spend their weekends traveling between the three houses so they can play on all of them.
We all live in a nice neighborhood. A newer development than the one I grew up in, same town though. It’s the kind of place where kids are always playing in the streets, and the cars all routinely do under 20. My wife and I make sure the kids have helmets and pads, and we’re fine with the boy going out biking with his friends, as long as they stay in the neighborhood.
You know, a lot of people in my generation take some weird sort of pride in how irresponsible we used to be when we were young. I never wore a helmet. Rode to places, without telling any adults, that we never should have ridden to. Me and my friends would make impromptu jumps off of makeshift ramps and try to do stupid tricks, based loosely on stunts we’d seen on TV. Other people my age seem to wax nostalgic for that stuff and pretend it makes them somehow better people. I don’t get it. Sometimes I look back and shudder. We were lucky we escaped with only occasional bruises and road burns. It could have gone so much worse.
My son and his buddies came bustling in the front door at about 2 PM on a Saturday. They did the usual thing of raiding the kitchen for juice and his mother’s brownies, and I took that as my cue to abandon the television in the living room for my office. I was hardly noticing the chaos, by this point, it was becoming a regular weekend occurrence. But as I was just leaving, I caught something in the chatter. My boy said something about, “... that guy who was following us.”
He hadn’t said it any louder or more clearly than anything else they’d been talking about, all that stuff I’d been filtering out. Yet some deeper core process in my brain stem heard it, interpreted it, then hit the red alert button. My blood ran cold and every hair on my skin stood at attention.
I turned around and asked “Somebody followed you? What are you talking about?” I wasn’t consciously aware of how strict and stern my voice came out, yet when the jovial smiles dropped off of their faces it was apparent that it had been so.
“Huh?” my son said, his voice high-pitched and talking fast, like when he thinks he’s in trouble and needs to explain. “We thought we saw somebody following us. There wasn’t though. We didn’t really see anybody and we’d just spooked ourselves.”
“What did he look like?” I asked.
“Nothing? We really didn’t see anybody! Honest! I just saw something out of the corner of my eye! But there wasn’t really nobody there!”
“Yeah!,” said one of his buds. “Peripheral! Peripheral vision! I thought maybe I saw something too, but when I looked I didn’t see anything. I don’t have my glasses with me, but when I really looked I got a good look and there was nothing.”
The three boys had that semi-smiling but still concerned look that this was only a bizarre misunderstanding, but they were still being very sincere. “Were they in a car?”
“No, Dad, you don’t get it,” my boy continued, “They were small. We thought it was a kid.”
“Yeah,” said the third boy. “We thought maybe it was Tony Taylor’s stupid kid sister shadowing us. Getting close to throwing water balloons. Just cause she did that before.”
“If you didn’t get a good look how did you know it was a kid?”
“Because it was small!” my kid explained, though that wasn’t helping much. “What I mean is, at first I thought it was behind a little bush. It was way too small a bush to hide a grown-up. That’s why we thought it was probably Tony’s sister.”
“But you didn’t actually see Tony’s sister?” I asked.
“Nah,” said one of his buds. “And now that I think about it, that bush was probably too small for his sister too. It would have been silly. Like when a cartoon character hides behind a tiny object.”
“That’s why we think it was just in our heads,” explained the other boy, “That and the pole.”
“Yeah,” my son said. “The park on 14th and Taylor?” That was just a little community park, a single city block. Had a playground, lawn, a few trees, and some benches. “Anyway, we were riding past that, took a right on Taylor. And we were talking about how weird it would be if somebody really were following us. That’s when Brian thought he saw something. Behind a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t get a good look at it either,” the friend, Brian, “explained. Just thought I did. Know how you get up late at night to use the bathroom or whatever and you look down the hallway and you see a jacket or an office chair or something and because your eyes haven’t adjusted you think you see a ghost or burglar or something? Anyway, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned there wasn’t anything there.”
“Yeah, it was just like sometimes that happens, except this time it happened twice on the same bike ride, is all,” the other friend explained.
“And you’re sure there was nothing there?”
“Sure we’re sure,” my boy said. “We know because that time we checked. We each rode our bikes around the pole and there was nothing. Honest!”
“Hmmm,” I said. The whole thing seemed reasonable and nothing to be concerned about, you’d think.. The boys seemed to relax at my supposed acceptance. “Alright, sounds good. Hey, just let me know before you leave the house again, alright?” They all rushed to seem agreeable as I left the room, then quickly resumed their snacking and preceded to play their games.
I kept my ear out, just in case. My boy, at least this time, dutifully told me his friends were about to leave. He wasn’t very happy with me when I said they wouldn’t be riding home on their bikes, I was going to drive them home. The other boys didn’t complain, but I suppose it wasn’t their place, so my boy did the advocating for them, which I promptly ignored. I hate doing that, ignoring my kid’s talkback. My dad was the same way. It didn’t help that I struggled to get both of their bikes in the trunk, and it was a pain to get them back out again. My boy sulked in the front seat on the short ride back home. Arms folded on chest, eyes staring straight ahead, that lip thing they do. He seemed embarrassed for having what he thought was an over-protective parent. I suppose he was angry at me as well for acting, as far as he knew, irrationally. Maybe he thought he was being punished for some infraction he didn’t understand.
Well, it only got worse when we got home. I told him he wasn’t allowed to go out alone on his bike anymore. I’d only had to do that once before, when he was grounded, and back then he’d known exactly what he’d done wrong and he had it coming. Now? Well, he was confused, furious, maybe betrayed, probably a little brokenhearted? I can’t blame him. He tramped upstairs to his room to await the return of his mother, who was certain to give a sympathetic ear. I can’t imagine how upset he’ll be if he checks the garage tomorrow and finds I’ve removed his tires, just in case.
I wish I could explain it to him. I don’t even know how.
Where should I even begin? The town?
When I was about my son’s age I had just seen that movie, The Goonies. It had just come out in theaters. I really liked that movie, felt a strong connection. A lot of people do, can’t blame them, sort of a timeless classic. Except I wasn’t really into pirate’s treasure or the Fratellis, what really made me connect was a simple single shot, still in the first act. It’s right after they cross the threshold, and leave the house on their adventure. It was a shot of the boys, from above, maybe a crane shot or a helicopter shot, as they’re riding their bikes down a narrow forested lane, great big evergreen trees densely growing on the side of the road, they’re all wearing raincoats and the road is still wet from recent rain.
That was my childhood. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific Northwest. People talk to outsiders about the rain, and they might picture a lot of rainfall, but it’s not the volume, it’s the duration. We don’t get so much rain, it just drizzles slowly, on and on, for maybe eight or nine months out of the year. It doesn’t matter where I am, inside a house, traveling far abroad, anywhere I am I can close my eyes and still smell the air on a chilly afternoon, playing outdoors with my friends.
It’s not petrichor, that sudden intense smell you get when it first starts to rain after a long dry spell. No, this was almost the opposite, a clean smell, almost the opposite of a scent, since the rain seemed to scrub the air clean. The strongest scent and I mean that in the loosest sense possible, must have been the evergreen needles. Not pine needles, those were too strong, and there weren’t that many pines anyway. Douglas fir and red cedar predominated, again the root ‘domination’ seems hyperbole. Yet those scents were there, ephemeral as it is. Also, there was a sort of pleasant dirtiness to the smell, at least when you rode bikes. It wasn’t dirt, or mud, or dust. Dust couldn’t have existed except perhaps for a few fleeting weeks in August. I think, looking back, it was the mud puddles. All the potholes in all the asphalt suburban roads would fill up after rain with water the color of chocolate milk. We’d swerve our BMX bikes, or the knock-off brands, all the way across the street just to splash through those puddles and test our “suspensions.,” meaning our ankles and knees. The smell was always stronger after that. It had an earthiness to it. Perhaps it was petrichor’s lesser-known watery cousin.
There were other sensations too, permanently seared into my brain like grill marks. A constant chilliness that was easy to ignore, until you started working up a good heart rate on your bike, then you noticed your lungs were so cold it felt like burning. The sound of your tires on the wet pavement, particularly when careening downhill at high speed. For some reason, people in the mid-80s used to like to decorate their front porches with cheap, polyester windsocks. They were often vividly colored, usually rainbow, like prototype pride flags. When an occasional wind stirred up enough to gust, the windsocks would flap, and owning to the water-soaked polyester, make a wet slapping sound. It was loud, it was distinct, but you learned to ignore it as part of the background, along with the cawing of crows and distant passing cars.
That was my perception of Farmingham as a kid. The town itself? Just a typical Pacific Northwest town. That might not mean much for younger people or modern visitors, but there was a time when such towns were all the same. They were logging towns. It was the greatest resource of the area from the late 19th century, right up until about the 80s, when the whole thing collapsed. Portland, Seattle, they had a few things going on beyond just the timber industry, but all the hundreds of little towns and small cities revolved around logging, and my town was no exception.
I remember going to the museum. It had free admission, and it was a popular field trip destination for the local school system. It used to be the City Hall, a weird Queen Anne-style construction. Imagine a big Victorian house, but blown up to absurd proportions, and with all sorts of superfluous decorations. Made out of local timber, of course. They had a hall for art, I can’t even remember why, now. Maybe they were local artists. I only remember paintings of sailboats and topless women, which was a rare sight for a kid at the time. There was a hall filled with 19th-century household artifacts. Chamber pots and weird children's toys.
Then there was the logging section, which was the bulk of the museum. It’s strange how different things seemed to be in the early days of the logging industry, despite being only about a hundred years old, from my perspective in the 1980s. If you look back a hundred years from today, in the 1920s, you had automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, jazz music, radio programs, flappers, it doesn’t feel that far removed, does it? No TV, no internet, but it wouldn’t be that strange. 1880s? Different world.
Imagine red cedars, so big you could have a full logging crew, arms stretched out, just barely manage to encircle one for a photographer. Felling a single tree was the work of days. Men could rest and eat their lunches in the shelter of a cut made into a trunk, and not worry for safety or room. They had to cut their own little platforms into the trees many feet off the ground, just so the trunk was a little bit thinner, and thus hours of labor saved. They used those long, flexible two-man saws. And double-bit axes. They worked in the gloom of the shade with old gas lanterns. Once cut down from massive logs thirty feet in diameter, they’d float the logs downhill in sluices, like primitive wooden make-shift water slides. Or they’d haul them down to the nearest river, the logs pulled by donkeys on corduroy roads. They’d lay large amounts of grease on the roads, so the logs would slide easily. You could still smell the grease on the old tools on display in the museum. The bigger towns had streets where the loggers would slide the logs down greased skids all the way down to the sea, where they’d float in big logjams until the mills were ready for processing. They’d call such roads “skid-rows.” Because of all the activity, they’d end up being the worst parts of town. Local citizens wouldn’t want to live there, due to all the stink and noise. They’d be on the other side of the brothels and the opium dens. It would be the sort of place where the destitute and the insane would find themselves when they’d finally lost anything. To this day, “skidrow” remains a euphemism for the part of a city where the homeless encamp.
That was the lore I’d learned as a child. That was my “ancestry” I was supposed to respect and admire, which I did, wholeheartedly. There were things they left out, though. Things that you might have suspected, from a naive perspective, would be perfect for kids, all the folklore that came with the logging industry. The ghost stories, and the tall tales. I would have eaten that up. They do talk about that kind of thing in places far removed from the Pacific Northwest. But I had never heard about any of it. Things like the Hidebehind. No, that I’d have to discover for myself.
There were four of us on those bike adventures. Myself. Ralph, my best friend. A tough guy, the bad boy, the most worldly of us, which is a strange thing to say about an eight-year-old kid. India, an archetypal ‘80s tomboy. She was the coolest person I knew at the time. Looking back, I wonder what her home life was like. I think I remember problematic warning signs that I couldn’t have recognized when I was so young, but now raise flags. Then there was Ben. A goofy kid, a wild mop of hair, coke bottle glasses, type 1 diabetic which seemed to make him both a bit pampered by his mother, who was in charge of all his insulin, diet, and schedule, and conversely a real risk taker when she wasn’t around.
When we first saw it…
No, wait. This was the problem with starting the story. Where does it all begin? I’ll need to talk about my Grandfather as well. I’ve had two different perspectives on my Grandfather, on the man that he was. The first was the healthy able-bodied grandparent I’d known as a young child. Then there was the man, as I learned about him after he had passed.
There was a middle period, from when I was 6 to when I was 16, when I hardly understood him at all, as he was hit with a double whammy of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. His decline into an invalid was both steep and long drawn out. That part didn’t reflect who he was as a person.
What did I know of him when I was little? Well I knew he and my grandmother had a nice big house and some farmland, out in the broad flat valley north of Farmingham. Dairy country. It had been settled by Dutch immigrants back in the homesteading days. His family had been among the first pioneers in the county too. It didn’t register to me then that his surname was Norwegian, not Dutch. I knew he had served in the Navy in World War II, which I was immensely proud of for reasons I didn’t know why. I knew he had a job as a butcher in a nearby rural supermarket. He was a bit of a farmer too, more as a hobby and a side gig. He had a few cattle, but mostly grew and harvested hay to sell to the local dairies. I knew he had turned his garage into a machine shop, and could fix damn near anything. From the flat tires on my bicycle to the old flat-bed truck he’d haul hay with, to an old 1950s riding lawnmower he somehow managed to keep in working order. I knew he could draw a really cool cartoon cowboy, I knew he loved to watch football, and I knew the whiskers on his chin were very pokey, and they’d tickle you when he kissed you on the cheek, and that when you tried to rub the sensation away he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there were the parts of his life that I’d learn much later. Mostly from odd passing comments from relatives, or things I’d find in the public records. Like how he’d been a better grandfather than a father. Or how his life as I knew it had been a second, better life. He’d been born among the Norwegian settler community, way up in the deep, dark, forest-shrouded hills that rimmed the valley. He’d been a logger in his youth. Technologically he was only a generation or two from the ones I’d learned about in the museum. They’d replaced donkeys with diesel engines and corduroy roads with narrow gauge rail. It was still the same job, though. Dirty, dangerous, dark. Way back into those woods, living in little logging camps, civilization was always a several-day hike out. It became a vulgar sort of profession, filled with violent men, reprobates, and thieves. When my grandfather’s father was murdered on his front porch by a lunatic claiming he’d been wronged somehow, my grandfather hiked out of there, got into town, and joined the Navy. He vowed never to go back. The things he’d seen out in those woods were no good. He’d kept that existence away from me. Anyways…
Tommy Barker was the first of us to go missing. I say ‘us’ as if I knew him personally. I didn’t. He went to Farmingham Middle School, other side of town, and several grades above us. From our perspective, he may as well have been an adult living overseas.
Yet it felt like we got to know him. His face was everywhere, on TV, all over telephone poles. Everybody was talking about him. After he didn’t return from a friend’s house, everybody just sort of assumed, or maybe hoped, that he’d just gotten lost, or was trapped somewhere. They searched all the parks. Backyards, junkyards, refrigerators, trunks. Old-fashioned refrigerators, back before suction seals, had a simple handle with a latch that opened when you pulled on it. It wasn’t a problem when the fridges were in use and filled with food. But by the 80s old broke-down refrigerators started filling up backyards and junkyards, and they became deathtraps for kids playing hide-and-seek. The only opened from the outside. I remember thinking Tommy Barker was a little old to have likely been playing hide-and-seek, but people checked everywhere anyway. They never found him.
That was about the first time we saw the Hidebehind. Ben said he thought he saw somebody following us, looked like, maybe, a kid. We’d just slowly huffed our way up a moderately steep hill, Farmingham is full of them, and when we paused for a breather at the top, Ben said he saw it down the hill, closer to the base. Yet when we turned to look there was nothing there. Ben said he’d just seen it duck behind a car. That wasn’t the sort of behavior of a random kid minding his own business. Yet the slope afforded us a view under the car’s carriage, and except for the four tires, there were no signs of any feet hiding behind the body. At first, we thought he was pulling our leg. When he insisted he wasn’t, we started to tease him a little. He must have been seeing things, on account of his poor vision and thick glasses. The fact that those glasses afforded him vision as good as or better than any of us wasn’t something we considered.
The next person to disappear was Amy Brooks. Fifth-grader. Next elementary school over. I remember it feeling like when you’re traveling down the freeway, and there’s a big thunderstorm way down the road, but it keeps getting closer, and closer. I don’t remember what she looked like. Her face wasn’t plastered everywhere like Tommy’s had been. She was mentioned on the regional news, out of Seattle, her and Tommy together. Two missing kids from the same town in a short amount of time. The implication was as obvious as it was depraved. They didn’t think the kids were getting lost anymore. They didn’t do very much searching of backyards. The narratives changed too. Teachers started talking a lot about stranger danger. Local TV channels started recycling old After School Specials and public service announcements about the subject.
I’m not sure who saw it next. I think it was Ben again. We took him seriously this time though. I think. The one I’m sure I remember was soon after, and that time it was India who first saw it. It’s still crystal clear in my memory, almost forty years later, because that was the time I first saw it too. We were riding through a four-way stop, an Idaho Stop before they called it that, when India slammed to a stop, locking up her coaster brakes and leaving a long black streak of rubber on a dry patch of pavement. We stopped quickly after and asked what the problem was. We could tell by her face she’d seen it. She was still looking at it.
“I see it,” she whispered, unnecessarily. We all followed her gaze. We were looking, I don’t know, ten seconds? Twenty? We believed everything she said, we just couldn’t see it.
“Where?” Ralph asked.
“Four blocks down,” she whispered. “On the left. See the red car? Kinda rusty?” There was indeed a big old Lincoln Continental, looking pretty ratty and worn. I focused on that, still seeing nothing. “Past that, just to its right. See the street light pole? It’s just behind that.”
We also saw the pole she was talking about. Metal. Aluminum, I’d have guessed. It had different color patches, like metallic flakeboard. Like it’d had been melted together out of scrap.
I could see that clearly even from that distance. I saw nothing behind it. I could see plenty of other things in the background, cars, houses, bushes, front lawns, beauty bark landscape.. There was no indication of anything behind that pole.
And then it moved. It had been right there where she said it had been, yet it had somehow perfectly blended into the landscape, a trick of perspective. We didn’t see it at all until it moved, and almost as fast it had disappeared behind that light pole. We only got a hint. Brown in color, about our height in size.
We screamed. Short little startled screams, the involuntary sort that just burst out of you. Then we turned and started to pedal like mad, thoroughly spooked. We made it to the intersection of the next block when it was Ralph who screeched to a halt and shouted, “Wait!”
We slowed down and stopped, perhaps not as eagerly as we’d done when India yelled. Ralph was looking back over his shoulder, looking at that metal pole. “Did anybody see it move again?’ he asked. We all shook our heads in the negative. Ralph didn’t notice, but of course, he didn’t really need an answer, of course we hadn’t been watching.
“If it didn’t move, then it’s still there!” Ralph explained the obvious. It took a second to sink in, despite the obvious. “C’mon!” he shouted, and to our surprise, before we could react, he turned and took off, straight down the road, straight to where that thing had been lurking.
We were incredulous, but something about his order made us all follow hot on his heels. He was a sort of natural leader. I thought it was total foolishness, but I wasn’t going to let him go alone. I think I got out, “Are you crazy?!”
The wind was blowing hard past our faces as we raced as fast as we could, it made it hard to hear. Ralph shouted his response. “If it’s hiding that means its afraid!” That seemed reasonable, if not totally accurate. Lions hide from their prey before they attack. Then again, they don’t wait around when the whole herd charges. Really, the pole was coming up so fast there wasn’t a whole lot of time to argue. “Just blast past and look!” Ralph added. “We’re too fast! It won’t catch us.”
Sure, I thought to myself. Except maybe Ben, who always lagged behind the rest of us in a race. The lion would get Ben if any of us.
We rushed past that pole and all turned our heads to look. “See!” Ralph shouted in triumph. There was simply nothing there. A metal streetlight pole and nothing more. We stopped pedaling yet still sped on. “Hang on,” Ralph said, and at the next intersection he took a fast looping curve that threatened to crash us all, but we managed and curved behind him. We all came to the pole again where we stopped to see up close that there was nothing there, despite what we had seen moments before.
“Maybe it bilocated,” Ben offered. We groaned. We were all thinking it, but I think we were dismissive because it wasn’t as cool a word as ‘teleport.”
“Maybe it just moved when we weren’t looking,” I offered. That hadn’t been long, but that didn’t mean anything if it moved fast. The four of us slowly looked up from the base of the pole to our immediate surroundings. There were bushes. A car in a carport covered by a tarpaulin. The carport itself. Garbage cans. Stumps. Of course the ever-present trees. Whatever it was it could have been hiding behind anything. Maybe it was. We looked. Maybe it would make itself seen. None of us wanted that. “OK, let’s get going,” Ralph said, and we did so.
I got home feeling pretty shaken that afternoon. I felt safe at home. Except for the front room, which had a big bay window looking out onto the street, and the people who lived across it. There were plenty of garbage cans and telephone poles and stumps that a small, fast thing might hide behind. No, I felt more comfortable in my bedroom. There was a window, but a great thick conical cypress tree grew right in front of it, reaching way up over the roof of the house. If anything, it offered ME a place to hide, and peer out onto the street to either side of the tree. It was protective, as good as any heavy blanket.
submitted by Guilty_Chemistry9337 to Odd_directions [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 14:16 CreamyDelight688007 Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Blueberry Whipped Cream - A Flavor Explosion! 🍫🧁

https://reddit.com/link/13voov3/video/wztr8ktkny2b1/player
Prepare to have your taste buds dancing with delight! In this short video, we demonstrate the art of decorating chocolate cupcakes with a tantalizing blueberry whipped cream. The combination of rich chocolate and tangy blueberries creates a flavor explosion that you won't be able to resist. Watch and get inspired to create your own mouthwatering desserts! #ChocolateCupcakes #BlueberryWhippedCream #BakingInspiration
submitted by CreamyDelight688007 to CreamyDelight688007 [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 14:09 New_Morning_3955 How do I retrieve deleted messages on someone’s phone

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submitted by New_Morning_3955 to newmorning [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 14:09 New_Morning_3955 How do I spy on my spouse who is far from me

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2023.05.30 14:08 New_Morning_3955 How do I hack my husband phone and view his socials

There is no denying in the fact that over the last decade Facebook has always managed to stand out as an excellent social media platform. It is one of the most favorite platforms of people at all times. It has become an integral part of all social media enthusiasts, and it is sure that Facebook/instagram will never go unmentioned in any discussion about leading social media platforms existing today and nowadays, people are more interested in knowing the secrets of how to hack a facebook messenger with ease.
Even thinking about hacking someone’s account/Messenger without them realizing excites us. Hacking and reading messages from your friends, relatives or spouse can be quite an interesting thing to do. Well, it’s not that easy, but also not impossible to do.
How to hack an account/Messenger is something we’ve all searched over the internet at least once. But ultimately end up getting disappointed. You need the service of [[email protected]] to be able to hack any social media database remotely without any trace.
You can hire [[email protected]] for facebook hacking, instagram hacking, whatsapp hacking, phone cloning, tinder hacking and many hacking service.
submitted by New_Morning_3955 to newmorning [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 12:16 cakesbath cake shop Bristol -DiDiCakesBath

Bristol is full of delicious bakeries, but if you're in the market for the perfect cake, look no further than a cake shop Bristol. With a wide variety of options, you're sure to find the perfect cake for any occasion. Whether you're in the mood for a classic chocolate cake a fruit-filled sponge cake, or a decadent red velvet cake, these bakeries have got you covered. Many cake shops also offer customized cakes, allowing you to truly personalize your sweet treat. These shops often use fresh, local ingredients to create delectable desserts that look as good as they taste.
submitted by cakesbath to u/cakesbath [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 11:50 NewYork-CityAdvisor 🍦 Discover NYC's Finest Ice Cream Parlors: best ice cream nyc🌟

🍦 Discover NYC's Finest Ice Cream Parlors: best ice cream nyc🌟
Newyorkcityadvisor.com
New York City is renowned for its diverse and delicious ice cream scene. Here are some of the best ice cream shops in NYC:
  1. Ample Hills Creamery: Known for its creative flavors and playful atmosphere, Ample Hills Creamery offers unique ice cream concoctions like "Salted Crack Caramel" and "Ooey Gooey Butter Cake." With multiple locations in the city, it's a must-visit for ice cream enthusiasts.
  2. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: Van Leeuwen is famous for its artisanal, made-from-scratch ice cream using high-quality ingredients. They offer classic flavors like "Honeycomb" and "Mint Chip," as well as vegan options like "Vegan Chocolate Cookie Dough."
  3. Big Gay Ice Cream: A popular NYC ice cream shop with a twist, Big Gay Ice Cream serves up soft-serve ice cream with inventive toppings and combinations. Don't miss their signature creations like the "Salty Pimp" and the "Bea Arthur."
  4. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory: This iconic ice cream parlor in Manhattan's Chinatown has been delighting locals and visitors for decades. Known for its Asian-inspired flavors like "Black Sesame" and "Lychee," it's a great place to explore unique taste experiences.
  5. Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream: Morgenstern's is a small-batch ice cream shop that prides itself on its craftsmanship and attention to detail. They offer a range of classic and innovative flavors, including "Burnt Honey Vanilla," "Salted Pretzel Caramel," and "Green Tea Pistachio."
  6. Milk Bar: While primarily known for its inventive desserts, Milk Bar also serves delicious soft-serve ice cream. Their signature flavor, "Cereal Milk," captures the nostalgic taste of the milk left behind after a bowl of cereal, and it's a favorite among visitors.
These are just a few of the many exceptional ice cream shops in New York City. Each one offers its own unique flavors, ambiance, and charm, providing delightful frozen treats for locals and tourists alike.
Follow for more: Explore New York City
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2023.05.30 11:45 milkypolarbear Are these worth getting?

Are these worth getting?
Fairly new to crumbl. Are any of these worth trying/getting? Especially the pumpkin roll because it's the most convenient to get for it's location and days
submitted by milkypolarbear to CrumblCookies [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 10:52 HYSapientia_Mira Decadant Air Fryer Kinder Bueno Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe HYSapientia Air Fryer Oven Recipes


Decadant Air Fryer Kinder Bueno Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
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2023.05.30 08:14 SeanAntonyFitness Reviewing every protein bar ever - Fulfil Chocolate brownie edition

Reviewing every protein bar ever - Fulfil Chocolate brownie edition
FREE training plans on instagram - SantonyLifts
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2023.05.30 08:12 SeanAntonyFitness Reviewing every protein bar ever - Fulfil Chocolate brownie edition

Reviewing every protein bar ever - Fulfil Chocolate brownie edition
FREE training plans on instagram - SantonyLifts
submitted by SeanAntonyFitness to weightgain [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 07:58 lovewithdonut The Six Best Donut Shops in Australia

The Six Best Donut Shops in Australia
Donuts, with their overwhelming flavors and great surfaces, have turned into a darling treat around the world. In Australia, the Best Donuts in Perth scene has prospered, offering a large number of special and delicious choices for donut lovers. From exemplary top choices to inventive manifestations, the nation is home to some genuinely noteworthy donut shops. In this article, we will set out on a sweet excursion and investigate the six best donut shops in Australia, where you can enjoy grand treats that will leave you hankering for more. Prepare to fulfill your sweet tooth and find these magnificent objections!

Donut Time:

Beginning our rundown with a genuine donut symbol, Donut Time has acquired a faction continuing in Australia. With various areas the nation over, this famous donut shop offers a broad scope of innovatively made Donuts. From their mark "Love at First Chomp" with Nutella filling and chocolate frosting to the liberal "OG" finished off with salted caramel and popcorn, every donut is a masterpiece. Donut Time's commitment to flavor, quality, and outwardly dazzling manifestations has made it a must-visit objective for donut sweethearts.

Shortstop Espresso and Donuts:

Consolidating specially prepared espresso with high quality Donuts, Shortstop Espresso and Donuts has procured a merited standing as one of Australia's top donut shops. With areas in Melbourne and Sydney, this foundation centers on delivering remarkable Donuts utilizing the best fixings. Their reach incorporates both work of art and extraordinary flavors, like the heavenly "Maple Pecan and Earthy colored Spread" and the captivating "Duke Dim and Rose." The ideal matching of their masterfully fermented espresso with their tasty Donuts makes Shortstop a safe house for food and espresso epicureans the same.

Bistro Morgan:

Which began as a secondary school project has now bloomed into one of Australia's dearest donut objections. Bistro Morgan, established by a youthful business visionary, Morgan Hipworth, has caught the hearts and taste buds of donut fans. With its lead store in Melbourne, Bistro Morgan offers an amazing exhibit of flavors, including the notorious "Ferrero Uncover" loaded up with Nutella and finished off with squashed Ferrero Rocher. The Donuts at Bistro Morgan grandstand the inventiveness and enthusiasm of its young pioneer, making each visit a noteworthy encounter.

https://preview.redd.it/unj1w613sw2b1.jpg?width=612&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4d4ce4b52a1afdad7376c9c165f7253fa07c9903

Surly Donuts:

Settled in the core of Sydney, Crotchety Donuts has acquired a dependable following for its handmade, little group Donuts. With an accentuation on quality and flavor, this shop offers various awesome manifestations. From the work of art "Vanilla Frosted" to the gutsier "Matcha Pack Kat," Irritable Donuts follows through on both taste and style. The group behind Grouchy Donuts invests heavily in their commitment to utilizing premium fixings and customary procedures, bringing about Donuts that are out and out flawlessness.

Donut Shack:

For those in Brisbane looking for donut rapture, Donut Shack is the spot to be. This family-possessed and worked shop carries a bit of sentimentality to their contributions, suggestive of dated donut shops. The menu includes a variety of delectable flavors, including the consistently famous "Unique Frosted" and the liberal "Caramel Brownie." The Donuts at Donut Shack are carefully assembled with affection, and their obligation to quality and validness radiates through in each chomp.

Donut Papi:

Donut Papi, situated in Redfern, Sydney, is known for its one of a kind and creative way to deal with Donuts. Joining Japanese and Filipino flavors, this shop makes a combination of societies in each luscious treat. From their top rated "Matcha White Chocolate" donut to the tempting "Ube Coconut," Donut Papi offers a different scope of flavors that will ship your taste buds to especially intriguing objections. The Donuts are produced using scratch day to day, guaranteeing newness and quality with each chomp. Donut Papi's obligation to involving credible fixings and their energy for pushing the limits of flavor make it a champion objective for donut fans.
End:
Australia's donut scene is a lively and prospering scene, offering a wide exhibit of tempting treats to fulfill even the most insightful sweet tooth. From the notorious manifestations of Donut Time to the high quality pleasures of Shortstop Espresso and Donuts, every one of the six best donut shops in Australia offers a one of a kind and significant experience. Whether you're looking for exemplary flavors, imaginative mixes, or a combination of social impacts, these foundations take care of you. In this way, leave on a sweet experience and enjoy the heavenly manifestations of these donut shops. Whether you're a neighborhood or a guest, these objections make certain to have you with an enduring effect and a desire for a greater amount of Australia's best Donuts.
Read More: Make Donuts without Yeast
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2023.05.30 07:56 Diamondcreektavern Welcome to the Diamond Creek Tavern Cafe Lounge: Your Go-To Spot for Delicious Coffee

If you're looking for a cosy and comfortable spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, catch up with friends, or simply relax and unwind, look no further than the Diamond Creek Tavern Cafe Lounge. Our cafe lounge is the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy a delicious beverage or snack, whether you're on your own or with company.
At the Diamond Creek Tavern Cafe Lounge, we're passionate about providing our customers with the best possible coffee experience. We use only the freshest and highest quality coffee beans, which are carefully roasted to perfection to bring out their unique flavors and aromas. Our experienced baristas are trained to make each cup of coffee to perfection, ensuring that every sip is a true delight.
In addition to our delicious coffee, we also offer a range of other beverages and snacks to satisfy all tastes. Whether you're in the mood for a refreshing smoothie, a decadent hot chocolate, or a freshly baked pastry, we've got something for everyone.
But the Diamond Creek Tavern Cafe Lounge is more than just a spot for coffee and snacks - it's also a hub for the local community. Our cafe lounge is a welcoming and friendly space where you can meet new people, catch up with old friends, or simply enjoy the atmosphere. We believe that a great cafe lounge should be a place where people can come together and feel at home, and that's exactly what we strive to provide.
If you're looking for a place to work or study, the Diamond Creek Cafe is also a great option. With plenty of comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and a relaxed atmosphere, it's the perfect spot to get things done while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.
Not only do we offer delicious coffee and a range of other beverages and snacks, but we're also committed to providing a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for our customers. We believe that a great cafe lounge should be more than just a place to grab a quick coffee - it should be a place where you feel at home.
If you're in the Diamond Creek area, be sure to stop by the Diamond Creek Hotel and experience our delicious coffee and welcoming atmosphere for yourself. We're confident that you'll love our cafe lounge and become a regular customer in no time.
submitted by Diamondcreektavern to u/Diamondcreektavern [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 07:48 Sheer-imperfection Only 6?!

Only 6?!
Retail price is $5.50 too
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2023.05.30 06:47 Worthy_News Iran supreme leader says he’d ‘welcome’ full diplomatic ties with Egypt; presidency websites hacked

Iran supreme leader says he’d ‘welcome’ full diplomatic ties with Egypt; presidency websites hacked
Iran supreme leader says he’d ‘welcome’ full diplomatic ties with Egypt; presidency websites hacked
Iran‘s supreme leader said Monday he’d “welcome” the restoration of full diplomatic ties between Egypt and the Islamic Republic, raising the prospect of Cairo and Tehran normalizing relations after decades of strain.
https://www.worthynews.com/?p=85672
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2023.05.30 05:38 SufficientLetters The cake does sound good.

The cake does sound good. submitted by SufficientLetters to StupidFood [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 03:17 ScorpioTix Hollywood Bowl 2023-05-24 review and more comments on ticketing

from the ijwthstd blog where you can also find download link

I was going to let this one go but the version up on Dime is missing a song.
It was another date night, and I also had edibles, homemade and much stronger than expected. The wind was bugging again and I could barely keep the mics mounted, more due to the substances coursing through my system than any technical problems. And you only have some other taper to blame for giving me infused treats to capture his avant garde favorites, where a heavy dose of THC is a must for endurance.
This tour was a little controversial in my digital neighborhood from all ends to the people who think just because they are fan they are entitled to be one of the 15,000 inside out of the 25,000 who wish they were at either the lowest price possible or the highest, outbidding everyone else in the process. And the brokers who think feel entitled to grab all the tickets and charge whatever they want for them to Michael Rapino who was a bit inconvenienced but would rather suck it up and play along and maybe give some money back than let AEG book the tour.
Reeves Gabrels might be my favorite guitar player ever, not just his work with David Bowie (and I still maintain "Outside" is my favorite album of his) but his solo album "Ulysses" is particularly spectacular. Though his work with The Cure is a bit more restrained to that particular style, I was very happy for him when he landed this gig. And I wish I had something resembling an adult income when he was doing his regular residency at the Baked Potato where I would see the show, eat a massive spinach potato topped with jalapenos smothered with Tabasco sauce and then walk the 5 miles home to get up in 4 hours and go to work. Was only able to manage that a few times but if it were ten years later I would go to every single one and Lyft it out of there.
Speaking of good gig eats, it wouldn't be a Hollywood Bowl show if it didn't have a fair amount of wrapper crinkling thanks to the Bowl's infamous BYO policy and my love of hot peanuts and addiction to infused edibles. I tried to secure to my mics to a mask under a hoodie because these mics don't like even the slightest breeze but didn't quite work the way it used to especially with me stuffing my fat face all night.
There were T shirt kiosks crammed into corners I had never seen them before and every line like Space Mountain 4th Of July. The price? $25! Only 3 or 4 with simple designs as not to overwhelm the senses, and credit card. I don't think they cost that much since the 1990's. I never buy arena shirts but I still had to get one for my dearly neglected. Already seeing these shirts everywhere now. I doubt KISS sells as many in November as The Cure did on a Wednesday night. Wouldn't be surprised if they can even best regular merch sales record holders Iron Maiden in equivalent venues. I bet The Cure would even be undercutting the bootleg guys outside selling for $20 if the Bowl and LiveNation's hefty fees allowed.
Being date night with a traditional buy your tickets a year in advance and pay for parking patron, and I did what I almost never do anymore and buy advance in the fan to fan exchange so she would have something to look forward to, and crossed my fingers they wouldn't be canceled. I paid $192.40 for the pair, beating my record high of $40 to get into Pasadena Daydream. I got the dreaded U31 error on the first try but switched to another browser and pulled them again, but unfortunately was logged into my (former) business buy account so I was a little nervous because for a while I was spending an amount that seems so unreal to me still, even now. All that was left active were stacks of Matchbox Twenty that were sold or refunded in early 2020 for a tour that just kicked off a few weeks ago.
If anyone knows Michael Rapino, tell him to get his IT guys on that error. Not everyone says fuck it and buys in the lot day of show like I do. He may be rich but it's Never Enough and he can always use more so there is no reason regular fans with money to spend should be denied tickets they took the time to try to purchase. People are missing shows and his $122 million payday could be a little higher if he can take these customer complaints seriously and fix this constant issue.
There is so much I can say about Robert Smith's ticketing policy, especially since I am of the opinion "my ticket, my money, my property" but that opinion has evolved a bit with this tour and I can't really say I am unsatisfied with how it worked out. On it's face it looked fair to everyone and those looking to profit were sufficiently warned. Now those regular fans who had their tickets canceled might think different. It's all algorithmic, it's not like they were using a secret list of known offenders. For example, if you go to a lot of shows and have eclectic tastes you are eventually going to get your tickets canceled for something in addition to never getting the verified fan codes.
Now Eddie Vedder did the same no transfer and fan to fan resale for his YouTube Theater show. When it half sold, he lowered the prices while previously purchased tickets listed for resale were locked into the price floor at the original price, twice what even closer seats were eventually listed for. Or Ed Sheeran, notorious for inconveniencing fans in addition to resellers with his spurious ticket verification checks for secondary purchased tickets outside venues where they would cancel the tickets on the spot and resell them. Now I am getting regular notifications of discount Ed Sheeran tickets from stadiums across the continent. In a kinder, gentler era where the free market reigned it would be the third parties assuming some of the promoter's risk and taking those losses. But this tour sold out 100% instantly and any unwanted tickets had the auto refund built in because tickets resell the second they are listed on the Fan To Fan exchange, unlike Eddie Vedder where that money spent was lit on fire.
I know I get always get a clueless knee-jerks from drooling mouthbreathers when admitting to the cardinal sin of selling a sacred ducat for more than face value, especially on The Cure Reddit where I got multiple accounts banned for harassment for merely explaining how the business works from my perspective. Maybe one of those folks can answer this simple question, if I don't even qualify for housing anymore, why should I care what someone spends on a concert ticket? Or better yet, will anyone in Glendale or Burbank, California who bought their house 2010 or earlier sell it to me for what they paid? The worst is thinking of life without teeth because after three decades of neglect, once I hit the tipping point I was able to go to the dentist I liked and say do what you gotta do then just paid the bill. Still my biggest splurge, spending more than my Ireland and Finland trips combined. So what if you spent $40 more than me for a pair to Dancing With The Stars.
Right now if it's not The Cure, Taylor Swift or K-Pop, pretty much everything is $10 or so day of show. Prices fall so hard, so fast I am legitimately worried brokers will start going bankrupt and stop bulk harvesting inventory leading to the collapse of the secondary market and Ticketmaster might actually become an almost monopoly.
For those of you still looking for tickets, keep in mind there is no guest list and Robert Smith is personally handling sales to friends and family but god forbid any of Bob's friends have to pay a very fair price to see this show, and anything still unsold goes back to Ticketmaster and even the box office day of show where my friends were getting Garden Boxes out the window for all three shows.
Enough about tickets, now that the cat is out of the bag how I funded my all concerts all the time lifestyle for so long, I hope to tell that story someday. The secondary market is not what you think it is. And with the exception of Ebaying my Inland Invasion 2003 ticket for rent money because I couldn't get a ride, I have never sold a single ticket for The Cure. For more on that subject I highly recommend the Bob Lefsetz podcast interviews with both Ticketmaster founder Fred Rosen and current LiveNation chairman, the aforementioned Michael Rapino who talks a bit about this tour.
Nice to see a few classic Reeves style solos on "A Night Like This" (replacing the sax solo on the original) and "From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea" especially with the absense of "Wrong Number" and "Yesterday's Gone" in the set. I know they are keeping a dividing wall between his projects but I sometimes wonder how David Bowie's "The Motel" would sound interpreted by this band.
The music itself was nothing short of divinely inspired and perfectly delivered but the backlighting and inefficient use of screens means you can pretty much get a seat anywhere in any building and it won't really matter. Sit in the back row, eat an infused chocolate and enjoy the sights and sounds even if you don't see much of the actual people onstage. I liked the 2016 visuals better with Reevesvision on the left jumbotron all night. Got to hear at least some of my favorites though I have soft spot for my first ever purchase "Wild Mood Swings" but they do play "Want" some nights, if not this one. Got "Disintegration," "A Night Like This," "From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea" as well as many yet to be released songs that are meant more than sending people to the loo or for more underpriced merchandise. Robert Smith believes in them enough to put them in the set every night and should be given the same attention as the classics you, if not me, grew up with. He still takes his craft seriously in addition to the business.
There are likely better recordings, even of the same night, and as is often the case this serves as more of a vehicle to tell my story than just kicking another show out there for the obsessive compulsives to put on a soon to crash hard drive without ever hearing.
I was planning on going the last night and splurge on a garden box if possible but I did have a free show by Kara Jackson on my calendar and though I had yet to hear a note, I sampled a song and decided to save myself the cash. It was worth it to spend, but the Bowl is just a bit too much to deal with three nights in one week. Foot, car, shuttle, there is just no easy way to get out of there.
And I will leave you with a link to my most played song by The Cure, which would likely blow at least a mind or two if it returns to the set.

https://youtu.be/-yF_PLJfe7Q
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2023.05.30 02:58 AshDenver Rotisserie chicken + grilled fennel & lemon dressing + miso mushrooms + CA Chardonnay + dark chocolate brownies

Rotisserie chicken + grilled fennel & lemon dressing + miso mushrooms + CA Chardonnay + dark chocolate brownies submitted by AshDenver to tonightsdinner [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 01:46 papasoulless Sleepy after drinking energy drink. Anyone else?

So, I sipped some ghost energy — went with red sour patch today. A few minutes later, I got smacked with so much sleepiness. I did have a protein bar too (Kirkland chocolate brownie flavor). Anybody else experience getting sleepy after drinking an energy drink? I never drink any with sugar, and I keep my caffeine intake pretty low throughout the day and rarely go over 400mg.
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2023.05.30 01:22 _Revelator_ Clarkson's Columns: 30 Years at the Sunday Times & The Red Trouser Mob Speaks Nimby

30 years of this Motormouth
On three decades of cars, controversy, and cow dung at the Sunday Times (May 28)
By Jeremy Clarkson
Thirty years. That’s how long I’ve been writing for The Sunday Times. When I joined the paper, back in 1993, John Major was in power, Neil Kinnock was a fan of Ford Sierras, they were still digging coal out of the ground in Yorkshire and other columnists on the paper included AA Gill, Michael Winner and, not long afterwards, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
I’m the only one left now. Still here. Still bashing away at the keyboard. And still feeling like a fraud. I went recently to a party celebrating the newspaper’s 200th birthday and during a film that had been made to commemorate the milestone, I was left reeling at the amount of truly important stories it had broken over the years. And the journalistic colossuses who’d translated these shapeshifting events into readable, punchy prose.
Me? Well, I got a job in journalism — on the Rotherham Advertiser — simply because my grandfather, a doctor, had gone out during an air raid in the Second World War and delivered the editor’s first baby. “I’ve always wanted to pay him back,” he said, “so you start on Monday.”
He sent me on a block release course to learn the tricks of the trade and I was terribly shit at everything. I only managed to pass my 110-word-a-minute shorthand exam by using a two-speed tape recorder and very long hair to cover up the secret earpiece. But while there I did meet a chap from the Harrogate Herald who told me about a great gig. If you could get a motoring column in the newspaper, carmakers would send you a brand-new model every week, fully insured and brimmed with fuel. All you had to do to keep the gravy train running was say how brilliant it was.
So I became a motoring journalist — that’s the profession’s bottom rung, just below being a travel hack. And that was fraudulent too because I had no clue how a car works. Back then my peers and colleagues in the specialist motoring press would talk about gear ratios and steering racks and tread shuffle, and I had literally no clue what they were on about. In my mind you turned the key, witchcraft happened and you moved about. The gearbox? That was pure sorcery.
In some ways this ignorance helped, because if you know how a car works you aren’t all that surprised when it does. With me, I always have a boyish, tinkle-grabbing excitement when I push the throttle pedal and the whole car moves. It excites me. And I don’t think that excitement would be there if I were on some kind of a know-how par with the engineers who’d made it possible.
To get round the problem of not knowing what I was talking about, I wrote mostly about how a car made you look and feel. And that seemed to go down quite well, so pretty soon the gravy train became a foreign junket jus train as carmakers started inviting me to product launches. A lot of product launches. In the mid-Eighties I spent more time in Cannes and Barcelona than I did at home. And all I had to do in exchange for all the private jets and champagne was write a piece saying that the car made me feel and look very nice. And that it would do the same for you too.
At one of these product launches — for the Citroën AX, in case you’re interested — I bumped into a BBC producer who asked me to appear on Top Gear, and pretty soon I was so busy doing that, I didn’t have time to go to Cannes and Barcelona any more. Which meant I had nothing to lose and could say what I liked.
Many of the carmakers didn’t like me saying what I liked, so an association of car industry press officers despatched a chap from Ford called Harry Calton to speak to my bosses. They told him that my directness was bringing more viewers to Top Gear and that this was good for the motor industry. Which in turn was good for Ford. He agreed and pretty soon I was rushing about, refusing to review the Vauxhall Vectra because it was too boring. And likening the new Toyota Corolla to a fridge-freezer. And saying that the Ford Scorpio looked like a slightly melted waxwork model of Marty Feldman.
This brought me to the attention of The Sunday Times, which asked me to do something similar in print. Which is quite an achievement if you think about it. Being asked to write for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, on a subject about which I knew nothing.
I couldn’t even drive very well back then. This was a bit of a hindrance, because to write about how a car behaves “at the limit” you have to be able to take it to the limit, and to find out where that is you have to go beyond it, which meant doing some kind of skid. It was my old colleague Tiff Needell who taught me how to do that, at Kemble airfield, in a Lamborghini Murciélago.
I still don’t do it properly. Instead of using power to break traction at the back, which is what the professionals do, I use too much speed. I arrive at the corner far too quickly, lift off the throttle to pitch the weight of the car forwards and therefore reduce traction at the back, and then turn the wheel while rubbing some rosaries. It’s messy and smoky and scary sometimes, especially when you’re doing it three feet from the back of a camera tracking car. But it looked good on television, and it convinced millions of people that I was some kind of cross between Ayrton Senna and Adrian Newey, all wrapped up in a sandwich filled with idiotic metaphors and similes.
Soon The Sunday Times asked me to start writing about other things as well, which is how I ended up with Adrian Gill, in Baghdad, in 2005, reporting on the Iraq War. I was useless at this as well, choosing to use hyperbole instead of actually finding stuff out. “There were a hundred million soldiers” is so much easier than calling the MoD and finding out how many there really were.
I also had a terrible nose for news. Back in the autumn of 2013 — I did look that up — I was in Kyiv doing some kind of Top Gear live show when I received a call from a different editor of The Sunday Times, asking me to go down to Independence Square to see if the protests were as big as he’d been led to believe.
I was thrilled because this was my big chance to be a proper hack, at the pointy tip of a breaking story. So off I went with a notebook and no pen. No journalist ever has a pen. And having talked to the lone policeman and signed autographs for the six rather bored-looking protesters, I called the editor and said the whole Russia/Ukraine thing was a nonstory.
Incredibly, after 30 years on the paper, I’m still here. But will I still be kicking around after 40 years? With cars I think not. I recently borrowed a 2005 Ford GT and, on a beautiful spring evening, I took it from Chipping Norton to Badminton House, along some of the loveliest and quietest and fastest roads that Britain has to offer, and I truly loved it. But in the not too distant future drives like that will simply not be possible. And cars like that will be gone. It’ll all be 20 mph and giving way to cyclists and pulling over for 60 hours to fill up the batteries. And I want no part of that.
I may not know how proper cars work. But at least they interest me. The new breed? I have even less of a clue what makes them move along and I find them all to be more boring than Jane Austen giving a four-hour talk about Chaucer.
When I began doing this columnism lark you could say that the combustion engine was brilliant and that men can’t have babies. These days, though … you can still say those things. It’s just that now people get very angry with you. And I like that because I’ve always liked throwing rocks in ponds. It’s all I’ve ever done, really. Tried to mess things up. It’s been fun.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Does the red trouser mob speak fluent nimby? You better you bet
By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, May 28)
I have some experience of not getting planning permission, and what I’ve come to understand is this: whether you want to build a conservatory, or a funeral home, or a nuclear power station, you’ve got to get the language right. Sustainable. That’s an important word. Your conservatory may feature window frames made from depleted uranium, but that doesn’t matter if you describe it as sustainable. And mental health. That’s critical. You need a sustainable sun room full of eco-plants because it’s good for your mental health. Plus you will empower the local building trade in a way that will be “transformative” to the low-income “community”.
Sadly, however, no matter how well versed you may be in modern government-speak, you will come up against a neighbour in red trousers who knows the even more powerful language of nimbyism. And he’s going to say that your new conservatory will cause more “pollution”, “traffic” and “noise”. That’s the holy trinity for those who worship at the altar of Laura Ashley. And if that isn’t working, they’ll wheel out the trump card: dark skies. They’ll argue that your new conservatory will cause light pollution, and then, I’m afraid, you’ve had it. Especially if there’s even a suggestion that you might harm a bat.
All of which brings me on to the Duke of Beaufort. He recently applied for permission to stage two summer concerts in the agreeable grounds of Badminton House — the Who and Rod Stewart, in case you’re interested. And I’m sure his representatives used all the right words.
They’ll have glossed over the fact that it’s bloody expensive to run a big house and new income streams are necessary, because that sort of argument doesn’t sit well in a country where anyone with a big house is wrong. That’s the law. So the duke’s advisers will have relegated the business angle to page 12 of the application and concentrated instead on how the sustainable, low-impact, green events will empower the low-income rural community and boost the mental health of the region’s bats.
Sadly, though, the duke’s neighbours are not just well versed in the language of nimbyism. They are fluent — they are past masters — in the art of objecting. So they started by pointing out there’d be increased traffic in the area and that noise would “reverberate” in nearby villages — presumably causing many bat deaths and “mental health issues”.
Naturally, they also said the concertgoers would engage in “rowdy behaviour”, even though it’s the Who and Rod Stewart we’re talking about. Most of the audience will be in their sixties, and when Roger Daltrey sings, “The kids are all right”, they’ll turn to one another and say, “They really are. Henry’s a commodity broker now, and Harriet is doing ever so well at Freuds.” Then, when it’s all over, they’ll go back to Stanton St Quintin in their Teslas, and Keith Moon will not head over to the local hostelries to blow up the lavatories because he died 45 years ago.
Fearing perhaps the council might cotton on to the fact the audience are extremely unlikely to drive their cars into the nearest swimming pool, the red-trouser people decided then to open up with sustained machinegun fire. Crime. Disorder. Public nuisance. Emergency services. Road safety. Pandora’s box. This was the Middle England playbook, and if they’d stuck to it, they might have got somewhere.
But they got high on their own supply and became silly, saying, “With 11 to 12 hours’ drinking licences, drunks will camp overnight . . . increasing the potential for a major fire incident.”
Right. I see. So this 65-year-old reveller overdoes it on the noon balloons and the Whispering Angel, puts up a tent he’s somehow smuggled into the venue and then, using some of the kindling he’s brought from the wicker basket in his snug, gets a fire going, which, despite the constant rain that goes hand in hand with British summertime concerts, somehow turns into a major Australia-style inferno that completely engulfs three neighbouring villages and ruins the dark skies for miles.
It’s the most preposterous argument I’ve ever heard. There was, once, a fire at an outdoor gig. It was caused by a faulty light on the stage and was quickly extinguished using stamping and a blanket. No one was injured and Bruno Mars was back at the mike eight minutes later. So the fire argument doesn’t wash.
And I’m delighted to say the duke’s local authority saw it for the nonsense it was and gave the gigs the go-ahead. And before you write in saying, “How would you like it if your neighbour invited the Who to perform in his garden?”, I’d say: “I’d like it a lot. Especially if they bring some lasers and do 'Baba O’Riley'.”
I fear, however, that this is not the end of the story, because now “sustainable” has been balanced out by “traffic”, and “empowering” by “light pollution”, the red-trouser brigade is going to become increasingly desperate in its constant battle to keep Britain as it was in 1957.
Mr Sunak announced recently that planners will be encouraged to look favourably on rural schemes, but they’re going to be up against a tub-thumping army that will quickly recognise that the fire argument was a bit of an oxbow lake and will start to argue that the new housing estate for the low-income community will cause a plague of luminous locusts that will spoil the dark sky. Or that it will attract immigrants who all have ebola. And that your longed-for barn conversion is actually a Russian missile silo capable of turning all of Chipping Sodbury into a nuclear desert for the next 10,000 years.
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The Driving website of the Sunday Times has also published a freely accessible interview with Clarkson, on his 30 years at the paper. It's part of a larger feature that also reproduces several old columns.
And here's the Sun column: "Three things bother us in the UK..."
Clarkson's columns are regularly collected as books. You can buy them from his boss or your local bookshop.
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