Saturday, March 02, 2013


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


  1. I am carefully ignoring your cheesecakes. A moment on my lips and a lifetime round my hips could have been written about them.

    I am also fascinated by words. And there are some major inconsistencies which have intrigued me for yonks. Disgruntled we know, but I have never heard anyone described as gruntled. And rain can be intermittent, but I have never heard anyone describe ongoing rain as mittent. Perhaps we should start. I will, if you will.

  2. If this wasn't a 30 foot-tall billboard of an invitation (more like a dare, methinks) to leave a comment for Adullamite, I don't know what one would look like.

  3. Hi EC...I hope all is well down your is wet, wet, wet up here. I believe we may never see blue skies again the way things have been since just before the Australia Day weekend!

    I've noticed I'm turning green...I don't know if its moss or I'm turning into a green frog!

    We could go on forever with word inconsistencies, I think.....

  4. Oh...I didn't write this post with that in mind, Jerry. No dare intended or tended!

    Thanks for calling by. :)

  5. Oh those desserts look so delicious. but I need to lose the weight I just gained on vacation courtesy of treats like a chocolate pecan pie a la mode. It looked almost as good as the ones pictured here.

    I've never had much luck with thesauruses (thesauri?). Their synonyms never seem to be specific enough. I think I should do more crossword puzzles if I want to increase my wordpower.

  6. Pencil me in for a ricotta cheesecake.

  7. Hi Dave...I've just this minute finished doing a couple of crosswords...I said a couple of cross words when I couldn't solve one or two words! ;)

  8. Consider yourself penciled in, Cosmo! :)

  9. Happy pre-empting, Lee! I agree it's a fascinating word.

  10. I've been up all night because of this!
    I canny sleep, I am worried that 'empt' is not in existence.
    If someone 'pre-empt's' me, how do I know if I intended to 'empt' him first?

    empt [ɛmpt ɛmt]
    (tr) Dialect to empty
    [from Old English ǣmtian to be without duties; compare empty]

  11. I do apologise for giving you cause for a sleepless night, Adullamite - you'll have to teach yourself how to empt your mind before trying to drift off into dreamland.

    If I had the means and wherefore, I'd do my best to pre-empt it for you so you could rest easy.

    There is not a mention of emptying anything in the meanings of pre-empt shown below:

    pre·empt or pre-empt (pr-mpt)
    v. pre·empt·ed or pre-empt·ed, pre·empt·ing or pre-empt·ing, pre·empts or pre-empts
    1. To appropriate, seize, or take for oneself before others. See Synonyms at appropriate.
    a. To take the place of; displace: A special news program preempted the scheduled shows.
    b. To have precedence or predominance over: Discussion of the water shortage will preempt the other topics on this week's agenda.
    3. To gain possession of by prior right or opportunity, especially to settle on (public land) so as to obtain the right to buy before others.
    v.intr. Games
    To make a preemptive bid in bridge.

    1. (tr) to acquire in advance of or to the exclusion of others; appropriate
    2. (Law) (tr) Chiefly US to occupy (public land) in order to acquire a prior right to purchase
    3. (Group Games / Bridge) (intr) Bridge to make a high opening bid, often on a weak hand, to shut out opposition bidding
    pre-emptor n
    pre-emptory adj

    Rest easy, Adullamite. ;)

  12. Well, I was busy moving house, or I'd have thrown my two ha'porth in earlier.

    Caveat Emptor

    I was about twelve years old when I learned 'empt', I went to a school that regarded a little latin and greek to be a vital foundation for the further understanding of English. Our british court system, and so many of our everyday phrases have their common bases in Latin.

    'Caveat Emptor' is the legal term which is usually translated:"Let the buyer beware"
    Emptionem, buying, from emere, to buy/purchase
    Our first Latin text-book was "Cave Canem", (Beware of the Dog).

  13. G'day Soubriquet...ahh...the joys of moving house!!

    I've not heard of "Caveat Emptor"...I perhaps I should have as I worked in real estate for a couple of years...and also for a couple of legal firms. I must not have been paying attention on those days...or was suffering a hangover! ;)

  14. Caveat Emptor' is the legal term which is usually translated:"Let the buyer beware"
    Emptionem, buying, from emere, to buy/purchase

    I suppose it had to be from the Latin.
    Possibly I would have known but the only foreign language we got was English.


  15. Old English?

    ǽmtian1 [] wv/t2 to empty; to be at leisure, have time for, be vacant

    I am not sure how this could develop into "pre" empting?

  16. Having sold my mother's house.... well, at least, having a quarter share in the deal, IO had a phone call from the agents today, to ask me about the codes for the alarm systems in both the house and garage. Well, I think they might both be ****. Oh. And the alarm panel in the kitchen keeps flashing 'Mains Fault'. Well, mains fault is usually just due to the battery not charging, but, you know, we never used either of those alarms, so I neither know nor much care.
    Caveat Emptor.

  17. Soubriquet...the alarms were preempting the mains' fault!

  18. odd! The only foreign language we were taught at school was English, too!

  19. goatman...I can't see how it morphed into's all double Dutch to me!

  20. "Kitchen Connection" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

  21. Hey! Jerry! Thanks for doing that! It's very generous of you. :)

  22. He will want payment.......

  23. Fishhawk sent me here and I loved it. Hope you check out mine! sandie

  24.'re being pre-emptive!

  25. Welcome Chatty Crone...thanks for dropping by...I hope you won't be a stranger. :)

  26. Red"emption" comes to mind---any connection? And I really didn't need to be hit between the eyeballs with those tempting chocolaty things----having serious cravings---probably because there isn't a crumb of anything chocolaty in the house and it's late and all the shops are closed. Growl.

  27. Hahahaha! Sorry for tempting you, Molly! Is that re-tempting perhaps? ;)

    Maybe I need redemption from posting those evil chocolate pictures and recipe! Oh! Dear!

    re·demp·tion (r-dmpshn)
    1. The act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed.
    2. Recovery of something pawned or mortgaged.
    3. The payment of an obligation, as a government's payment of the value of its bonds.
    4. Deliverance upon payment of ransom; rescue.
    5. (theology) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil

  28. Hi Lee,

    I have had cabin fever myself, after two or so weeks of hellish hay-fever, I'm ready to go outside.


  29. First of all I wish you a fine sunny day soon so your cabin fever can be cured. Only 2 days since end of Jan. I will stop my complaining at KJ after reading this post. I loved the imagine of your fur buddies with their bags packed. LOL. Thanks for sharing. Peace

  30. Hi Janice...hay fever must be a pest of a thing to have...touch wood I've never been affected by it. Thanks for coming by. :)

  31. I can identify your problem because I suffer from it as well. It's called 'brain on scan.' It causes friends to look at each other and silently mouth the words..."where the hell did that come from?"
    The cabin fever from incessant rain can get on ones nerves but it is something we haven't experienced in few years. We're 'dryer than a popcorn fart' here in Nebraska.

  32. Hi Cliff...I never knew popcorn farted! ;)