My mum asked me to try avocado when I was young. I thought it was revolting at the time. But in my late 20’s I thought I’d give it another shot, and I freakin loved it! And I’ve been eating them ever since.
I’ve had avocado in my sandwhiches every day for the last 4 years.
During the off season they can cost $3.50 each so that tells you how much I can’t do without them.
So I’ve chosen and eaten about 600 avocados in the last 4 years so I know a thing or two about choosing them.
The secret to picking a perfectly ripe avocado:
Ripen it yourself at home on the kitchen bench.
It is the only way.
Sorry, you can’t just grab one from the supermarket or fruit and vege shop. If you do you’ll probably only be able to use half of it because it will be covered in bruises.
So avocados aren’t an impulse purchase. You have to plan ahead.
So buy them when they are bright green. This ensures that no-one has come along and squeezed it!
From that stage they can take 3 to 5 days to ripen.
3 Tests to tell you if your avocado is perfectly ripe and ready-to-eat
What colour is the avocado?
When the green skin darkens to black, you are almost ready
Just a hint of green skin remaining means just one more day on the kitchen bench is required
How easy is it to remove the tiny remaining stalk (left over from the avocado vine) with your thumb?
Very gently, try to remove it by rocking it back and forth with your thumb
If it is difficult to remove, wait another day
If it is easy to remove, it’s another indication of perfect ripeness
How firm is the avocado?
Hold it gently in your hand, and squeeze gently. GENTLY DAMN YOU! Don’t bruise it!
If it is very firm, wait another day
If it gives a little, it is ready
Ok, if your avocado passes those 3 tests, you are ready to cut it open and take a look.
Hopefully, the flesh is bright green, smells fresh, doesn’t have stringy bits, and is free from “avocado tumors”, and the stone removes easily.
Reportedly the most efficient form of heating for a household is with a heat pump. I don’t really understand how they work. I mean, how do they take cold air from outside and extract the heat from it and pump that into your house? And they are spose to be 150% efficient. I just don’t get it.
Anyway, what I do get is how to use a thermostat properly. I’m stunned that so many people have no idea how to use one! And what results is high running costs and a big electricity bill at the end of the month.
The most common reaction is “hey, its cold, lets turn on the heater!” and they crank it to the highest setting to heat the room the fastest. This is a false. The room won’t heat any quicker! The maximum power output does not change, the thermostat controls what temperature at which the element is turned off.
For example, if you set your heater to 10, it may never turn off because that temperature may be 40 degrees. The thing is, you don’t notice anything until you are too hot. At this point you take off a couple of layers and turn the heater off. You have wasted power, it should have been turned off 30 minutes ago!
The trick is to find the precise setting on the heater which heats the room to a comfortable point. For my tiny oil filled column heater that mark is 3/10. I resist the temptation to crank it to 10 when it is cold, I leave it at 3 and a comfortable and energy efficient evening results.
People often ask me “how do you get your car so clean” and I always reply “it comes down to correct car washing technique”. So here are my tips for correct car washing technique.
The only equipment you need is a hose, a soft bristled brush and a good quality car wash detergent (TurtleWax is excellent).
The best time of day is early in the morning and out of direct sunlight. If its too hot, the suds will dry before you rinse them off and you may get marks on the paintwork.
Don’t be tempted to use a high pressure hose. The water can blast thin layers of paint off your car over time.
The correct technique is to scrub and rinse in decending layers. The idea is to keep the water and brush as clean as possible by washing the cleanest areas first and the dirtiest last. Usually, the closer the section of the car is to the ground, the dirtier it will be. Remember also, that rinsing frequently prevents the suds from leaving marks on the paintwork.
Step by step
First, thoroughly wet your car. Hopefully this will remove a bit of the dirt and grime too.
Next, scrub the roof and all the windows. When you are done with that section, rinse thoroughly with the hose.
The next layer to scrub is the top half of the doors, the bonnet and boot (or hood and trunk for the Americans). Stop and rinse thoroughly
Next, the nose and tail and the lower half of the doors
Finally, the skirting around the doors, the mudguards and wheels
It is also a good idea to wax and polish when you’re done. Unfortunately the technique that I have outlined above takes so bloody long I’m sick of cleaning once I’m done so never get around to the waxing.