Saturday, March 02, 2013
I’LL PRE-EMPT BEFORE YOU LEAP TO CONCLUSIONS!
My mind often works in mysteriously weird ways! By “often” I mean it probably goes into odd mode every second second. A random thought is triggered without warning or choice; usually by a distinctly obscure event; an inconspicuously indiscriminate event or thought. Something grabs my attention and sets my faculties, senses, consciousness, brain, noddle, grey matter (I’ve lots of that stuff now that my hair has changed colour to match my “organ of thought”) into overdrive. My brain snaffles the fodder tossed its way; and then it scamper off with to sometimes previously unexplored territory. Mindful that not always will a sensible outcome ensue, the potential is ever present - I'm not keeping score or percentages - but, with that probability in mind, curiosity becomes a powerful motivator.
The word “pre-empt” instigated my current train of brain activity. Out of the blue, arriving without an invitation, let alone a knock on the door, the word appropriated my thoughts. I consulted my trusty, ever-present Oxford Dictionary. My Oxford wordsmith has been a trustworthy, ever-present presence in my life since my high school shenanigans. These days it’s well-worn, battered, bruised and slightly torn; showing as much wear and tear as its owner. The description of my admiration for the tome maybe concise, but my adoration has never waned. It shares desk space with my equally-admired and utilised Roget’s Thesaurus. “Thessie” (please excuse my lisp) is of similar age and appearance. Actually, “Thessie” is slightly more tattered and torn, but she still does her job admirably. It's comforting that both volumes resemble me...that speaks volumes for their generosity of spirit!
After my lengthy digressing prattle, the point I’m trying to make is how can one “pre-empt” something or someone (although many do try and frequently succeed, which is unfortunate and very annoying) when there is no such word as “empt”?
Stop! Hold the horses; put the dogs out; shut the gates; lock the doors; bolt the windows; don’t even dare attempt to pre-empt what I’m going to say next!
“Emption” is a word, but - horror upon horror - it doesn’t appear in the Oxford Dictionary; not in my edition, anyway. It is in the Thesaurus, however.
“Emption” means – purchase; buying; purchasing; shopping; procuring; investing etc., etc., et al.
All of which appear to have little to do with “pre-empt”.
It proves, however, that my Oxford Dictionary and my Roget’s Thesaurus are akin to the song written many years ago by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, and made popular by Frank Sinatra; “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage – you can’t have one without the other”.
If I’m being pre-emptive, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it; and only then because it would be impossible to cross before coming to it!
Maybe I’m being presumptuous! It’s possible to have one without the other – love and marriage that is; not my dictionary and “Thessie”! I’m being cheesy…I know!
My above ramblings are probably testament to my suffering from a mild dose of "Cabin Fever". It's still raining here - pouring. I kid you not...I can see the grass growing!
Since around the 24th or 25th January we've had probably two fine days...if that! Two days is a very generous assessment of the situation! I think the hammering, thumping and activity I'm hearing in the background is from all the present-day Noahs building their arks. Remy and Shama, my two furry, four-legged rascals already have their suitcases packed and their boarding tickets at the ready not far from their paws.
Tim Tam Cheesecake: Process 250g Tim Tams to fine crumbs; add 80g melted butter; blend to combine; press into spring-form pan; chill 30mins. Dissolve 3tsp gelatine in 1/4c boiling water; cool. Beat 375g cream cheese, 1/2c caster sugar and 1tsp vanilla until smooth; beat in 1c thickened cream. Stir gelatine and 200g grated white chocolate into cream cheese. Chop 100g Tim Tams; stir into mixture; pour over base; cover; chill to set.
Ricotta Cheesecake: Preheat oven 190C; place rack in centre. Spray 9-inch spring-form pan; sprinkle with flour to lightly coat sides and base. On med-speed, combine 454g ricotta, 1tsp salt, 3tbs sugar, 1tbs plain flour and 3 room-temp egg yolks for 2mins; don’t over-beat. In another bowl, at high speed whisk egg whites, approx 1-1/2mins until stiff peaks form; using spatula, gently fold through cheese mixture until blended; pour into pan; give a good tap on bench to level. Place in centre of oven rack; bake 35-40mins or until just set and doesn’t jiggle; midway into baking, turn pan to browns evenly; remove from oven; cool completely before refrigerating. Top with fresh fruit of choice.
Ginger Cheesecake: Process 250g ginger nuts until fine; add 75g melted butter; mix well; press into 20x30cm slice pan; chill. Beat 500g cream cheese, 1/2c honey and 2tbs caster sugar until fluffy; beat in juice and zest of small lemon; add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating between additions; fold in 1/4c finely-chopped crystallized ginger; fold in 125ml whipped cream. Spread over base; bake in preheated 170C oven, 25mins or until just set; turn off oven; leave cheesecake in oven with door ajar; cool; chill at least 4 hours. Decorate with chopped crystallized ginger and whipped cream if the mood suits