Salty time again.

I can’t remember the last time I had a headache. I mean a proper one, not just normal morning fuzziness brought on by cheap whisky. The malts don’t have that effect, I notice. Unless you overimbibe. Also the lighter coloured whiskies are far less head-fuzzing then the darker ones.

All to do with secondary metabolites and proper ageing, but more of that another time.

My last real headache must have been years ago. They just don’t seem to happen any more. Maybe these days I just give them to other people.

It was ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ at work today. The idea was that everyone would buy a Christmas jumper, wear it to work and give money to some charity or other. Well, why spend £15-£20 on single-use horrible knitwear and then give a few pennies to charity? Surely it would have been more sensible to say ‘If you bung in a tenner, you don’t have to look like a prat all day’? More for the charity and less spending for the staff.

It didn’t really affect me because the Secret Ninja Cleaning Company is separate from the management of Local Shop. So I didn’t have to do it. Instead I wore my Christmas T-shirt under my shirt (the underjumper) and flashed it at anyone who asked why I wasn’t wearing a daft jumper. Here is a quick and crappy phone-photo of the front.

shirtIt has red in it and a circle of elves so it’s Christmassy. It’s Satan and his elves. That explanation alone caused closed eyes and a deep breath and an intonation of ‘Santa’. Honestly, some people have entirely the wrong idea about Christmas. The dragon isn’t out of focus in real life, my phone just has a crap camera.

Yet there were those who said my underjumper had nothing to do with Christmas! I insisted it had elves on it. “Those are skulls,” they said. “Well,” I said, “They’ve been ill.” Anyway that’s now in the wash so I won’t be wearing a garland of elf-skulls tomorrow. It’ll probably be Chef from South Park. I can pull open a little bit of shirt to let Chef peek out every time I have to chest-eyes someone.

You know, I think I have enough little skulls to make a garland of elf-skulls… but I have already digressed mightily.


These are apparently caused by salt. Which is utter bollocks. If it were even remotely true I would be in permanent head-pain. I put salt on everything, including and especially salads. Celery on its own is disgusting but dip the end in a little pile of salt before each bite and it’s great. I don’t put salt on ready meals without tasting them first because the article is right on that point – there’s already salt. Just… sometimes not quite enough.

Three grams, half a teaspoon… I rarely buy fish and chips because it’s a lovely greasy treat but when I do I want a hell of a lot more than half a teaspoon of salt on it. It’s fish and potato so it’s skirting the dangerous reefs of the health shores already. Even deep-frying can’t totally kill the healthiness. Salt those chips!

Incidentally, I recently saw a pack of vegetable flavoured crisps. Really. They are made of potato and flavoured with um… vegetable. Crisps are ALL suitable for vegetarians. Even smoky bacon flavour. The flavour is artificial,  not a single pig was involved in their production. So they are halal too. And why are smoky bacon ones no longer covered with red dust? I liked the red dust.

We used to call those potato-flavoured crisps ‘ready salted’ or ‘salt and shake’ back in the old days. Now they probably taste of mangos and parsnips.

Remember getting the plain crisps with the little blue twist-bag of salt? Remember the delight on finding two little salt bags instead of just one? In those days you had a choice, salt or no salt. Too simple for today’s bansturbators, of course.

No, you must not have the choice. The salt has to go. Resistance is futile. You will be desalinated. If you refuse we will nag and nag until you have a headache and then say ‘we told you so’.

There is a thing called botulism. Clostridium botulinum. You may have heard of it. It does not grow in you but it grows and produces fifteen different nerve toxins in food. And then you eat it. And then you die.

Its growth is inhibited by salt. That’s why the old sailing ships had barrels of roast meat encased in salt. It stopped those chunks of meat becoming dangerous. It is an effective preservative.

Take it out and you’ll see even more cases of food poisoning than you did when the E-number preservatives were taken out of food.

It’s not in there to make you salty. It’s in there to stop you dying of diseases that can be easily prevented by adding a little salt.  I think everyone involved has forgotten why they added the salt in rhe first place.

Or maybe they just want us all dead.



25 thoughts on “Salty time again.

  1. Strangely enough, dear old Wiki doesn’t even mention the S-word (salt) : “Growth of the bacterium can be prevented by high acidity, high ratio of dissolved sugar, high levels of oxygen, very low levels of moisture or storage at temperatures below 3 °C (38 °F) for type A. “. I’m guessing, not knowing much about science, that ‘low moisture’ is the mechanism that salt uses to prevent the spread?


    • Pretty much. There can be loads of water around but ‘available water’ is water that isn’t tied up dissolving something else. Like salt. If there is so much that the water can’t dissolve it all then there’s no water for bacteria to use.

      It works with sugar too. Hence jam.


  2. Yup. I’m an old-fashioned gal who makes jams and jellies and chutneys and pickles and occasionally dried things: originally out of necessity rather than trying to be a middle class domestic goddess. My bible, when starting out all those decades ago, was MAFF’s “Home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables“, first published 1929. My edition is 1965. I still refer to it.

    The main factor is the proper ratio of the preserving additive to the food being treated. It has to be precise – enough to keep the food from spoiling, but not so much that it ruins the flavour. The additives I use most frequently are sugar, salt, acid (vinegar/lemon juice) and alcohol.

    Anyway, my point is that because of public health pressure against salt and sugar and alcohol (I’m waiting for vinegar or lemon juice to be declared bad for us too) manufacturers have reduced the ratio in their products considerably, to the point where many foods are now required to be kept refrigerated after opening. Like pickled gherkins and whole fruit strawberry jam and Xmas mincemeat. FFS.

    I’ve also had to be careful nowadays when using alcohol in preserves to check it’s 40 proof and not 38 or even 35. Yes, I can still make my fought-over cherries in brandy using a lower proof brandy but that then means I have to add more sugar to maintain the preservation ratio, which makes them too sickly sweet.

    All of which is why last night I didn’t blame Mr L one bit for having put our opened Heinz tomato ketchup in the dry stores instead of the fridge, but also why when I found the oddly browned contents in a slightly bulging plastic bottle it went straight to the bin at arms length. Outside bin, not kitchen bin. “They never used to go off” said Mr L plaintively. “Have I ever discussed with you the Nanny State and unforeseen consequences?” I said cheerfully, pouring two glasses of wine and settling down for a good evening’s conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Apart from the finding TWO bags of salt in the packet which revived memories which I found evocked many entertaining memories, my drone factory said we could wear a festive appalling X-i-mas jumper over our drone tops, but only if – 1) you actually purchased said from your benevolent employers range (20% staff discount), and 2) but also if you paid your line ubermensch a £1 fee to “charirdee”.

    So there was much gnashing of teeth in the staff changing room today when I turned up, fellow drones compaining that we paid our wages back to company for the “fuck your uniform” Friday of wearing one of our shit festive jumpers and the paying a quid for the privilege.

    Needless to say I only seen throughout my10 hour shift today, two gullible arseholes suitably adorned, both of whom have their head up my own managers rectal region.

    Hope the jumpers last till next year folks!


  4. As I remember it the second twist of salt was usually found when eating a handful of crisps in the dark. Smiths wanted to reintroduce the twist rather than the packet but the one machine that made the twists had been scrapped and no one could figure out how it was done. From memory the machine had been made by a firm in Gainsbourough and no one there had kept plans or notes either.


  5. Leggy, have you seen this paradigm-shifting discovery from academia?

    ‘The secret to the “perfect” doughnut has been mathematically proven – and apparently it’s all to do with the size of the hole.’

    As ‘D’Oh! Nuts!’ is a common reaction elicited to the fuckwittery you bring to our attention, I hope you’ll enjoy the ‘Squidgy to Crispy ratio’. Work commissioned by Dominos … I love this gif:


  6. Crisps are ALL suitable for vegetarians. Even smoky bacon flavour

    Actually, that isn’t strictly true. Some of the slightly more “upmarket” crisp varieties are not suitable for vegetarians – and ironically enough, Cheese & Onion flavour are the least likely to be veggie, as they are made with real cheese that was made using calf rennet rather than artificial rennet…


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