The Corona Cookbook part one – by Duncan Harley

I’m conflicted. Official advice on the evolving global disaster involves self-isolation and much wringing of hands. But - and I am certainly a big fan of handwashing, self-isolation is pretty much what the digital age is all about anyway. Big-Bit-Corp such as Apple and Amazon – Facebook maybe not so much, WhatsApp certainly, feed on separating us from the herd already. Bring on some digital paranoia.
Empty shelves of handwash and big bananas are the thing and the preppy paranoia includes survival gear ranging from assault rifles through to bendy fruit. Even the bananas! What kind of dumb-ass preppy weaponizes bananas?
Suddenly everyone from my friendly local car-dealer to the likes of Cineworld wants to be my internet friend. Their reassurances are flooding my inbox with survival hints and assurances that once this is all over, all will be well in the land of car sales and ‘go to’ cinema. I don’t think so. I mean really? Who in Cineworld can even possibly imagine that even 12 months from now customer satisfaction will focus on getting the nearest seat to some coughing deathly stranger? I mean, no and again no. It’s just not going to happen. Think Netflix here. Think streaming. Think little boxes cause that’s the way its heading here.

Well, and I have sympathy for all the about to be out of work zero-hour contractors, but I am thinking bandwagon here. But that is another story. Big thing now is pineapples.
Picture a glut of pineapples. No-one much likes them. Well maybe that’s not strictly true. No-one likes to peel them because, unless you are a Dexter, its such a pain. Avocados are real easy compared to pineapples and that’s a fact.

Days past, more folk were injured due to pineapples than by avocados. It’s a matter of medical record. Avocado injuries generally feature punctured thumbs and maybe a messed-up kitchen worktop. We’re talking kitchen knives here after all. Bit of blood and a few little stitches. Some paracetamol generally sorts it out.

Pineapples however are a whole different ball game. We’re talking machetes and major body damage and lost limbs. Forget the blood-stained worktops. We're talking deep cleaning here.
Days past, the deadly things were grown in Hawaii and at one time Dole Corp owned an entire island dedicated to the growing and harvesting of maybe as much as seventy per-cent of the entire global demand for tinned pineapple segments. I speak the truth! I’ve actually been there and its not a pretty place. A sort of South Georgian whaling station but without the whales, Lanai is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands and nowadays boasts several golf resorts.

Even Lanai City, despite the grandiose name, only hosts a few restaurants and bars owned by mainly rude New Yorkers who capitalise on the fact that the local golf-hotels are generally unaffordable and out of pocket for the average Joe-tourist.
Not that I was a Hawaiian tourist. I was visiting for work. Honest injuns. Anyway, don’t go. The locals will generally just rip you off and shout at you. And they carry guns. Stick to Big Island since that’s a much better place and there are whales.

Anyway. And what brought rant this on?

Well, the media is full of scary stories. And, I was in Tesco. And someone did the cough thing without the tissue thing.  And, alongside an overpriced tub of handwash – you got be kidding me @ £1-69 for 250ml! Really? But they had pineapples. And I’m talking big pineapples. Not the tinned kind. Real pineapples all the way from Costa Rica. Heavy and juicy and only 69p for the whole pineapple. Yum.

Given the strict Tesco one per customer policy I only bought the one. Maybe tomorrow I might try for another. See what the day brings.

Begs the question. How come we can fly pineapples from Costa Rica to the likes of backwoods Inverurie and sell them for 69p? Not to mention cheap lemons from Morocco, tomatoes from Iceland and those big bargain Florida Oranges. Dylan was maybe right - times are a changing. Bring it on Malthus.

My point. Erm, don’t really have one tbh. Mind you, maybe the likes of Michael O’Leary and that Branson laddie might be on track to take over the world. Everything is now up for grabs after all.

Oh. And I nearly forgot. The recipe of the day is a no fuss one pan omelette:

Take a medium onion – finely chop and fry along with a handful of fresh or even frozen peas. The carnivores amongst us might want to add a few slices of chopped chorizo plus maybe some diced red pepper to the pan. Fry gently for about six minutes then add maybe three whisked eggs and a sprinkling of cheddar. Another two minutes should do it. Yum. Serves two @ a pinch. Best with a pineapple salad and a bit of coriander.


Duncan Harley is author of two books about the North-east of Scotland. Both – The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire and The Little History of Aberdeenshire – are available from Amazon and maybe a bookshop near you.

Words and images (c) Duncan Harley


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