Do you ever get that feeling, deep in your stomach, that you’re going to do something and get a raft of angry-faced people throwing badly-typed obscenities your way? I feel like my face has just been published in the paper next to something obscene and I’m about to have my windows put through?
Why? Because…I’m posting a recipe that HEAVILY involves tweaking.
I know! Christ. Someone better get me some aftersun because I’m about to get my fingers burnt.
Our official position on tweaking can be found here (it’s a fun read, I assure you) but to put it succinctly, we don’t class blending veg or fruit up as a bad thing, unless you’re eating substantially more than you would normally. Slimming World will tell you that if you mash a banana up on a bowl, it’s five syns, but if you mash it up in your gob, it’s free. The logic being that you derive more ‘satisfaction’ from putting it in your mouth and whilst that is normally the case for me being a cheerfully homosexual young man, I don’t agree with it here. It’s up to you which side of the debate you fall on and either way is fine – but please, I don’t want anyone telling me off. I know the rules, I’m just flexible.
Tonight’s recipe then is apple pie and ice-cream, which was the most American thing I could think of – and it tastes amazing, genuinely. It’s 5 syns if you believe in tweaking and 13 syns if you don’t, but even then – 13 syns for a good quality dessert is fuck all. It’s better than sobbing into your eighty-fifth Freddo and wishing you were dead. And because I love you, I’ve included a way to knock five syns off the entire thing.
BUT before we get to the good bit, here’s one more extract from my American diary. If you’re enjoying it, and seemingly loads of you are, buy it or recommend it and make me a happy, happy bunny! You’ll find the link here.
Day 12 – See, World?
Seaworld! The last time we visited you we were left unimpressed and cold by your displays of penguin entrapment and subpar rides. Would this visit go the way of the Disney parks and win us over for good? There’s only one way to find out! A super-quick breakfast at McDonalds and a trundle on the best I-Ride trolley ever (singing driver announcing all the stops) and we were standing by that lighthouse, posing for pictures. Bit mean of a passing tourist to call me Shamu like. We decided to upgrade our tickets to the Rapid Queue benefit but it wasn’t really needed once you were in.
Can you guess what the first thing these two roller-coaster nuts went on? Of course! Manta. Several times. We drifted through the proper queue area first to see all the theming that has gone into the area, and it really looks something else. It’s worth wandering through even if you weren’t planning to ride. This would be my first time on a ‘lying-down’ rollercoaster and I was nervous, I’ll admit. Paul, having done Alton Towers, knew what it felt like and reassured me that a) it wouldn’t hurt and b) the supports would be able to handle my considerable mass, so I felt good enough to go on.
Oooh and I’m glad we did. It’s possibly one of the best rollercoasters in Orlando – so incredibly smooth, just the right side of scary-fast and a very different experience. I think we rode it about six times in a row, each time trying a different position – the back is probably the best as it is so much faster, but a young lad next to me upchucked his breakfast as we were going round which put a stop to any further journeys around, at least until my own belly settled down. Anyone else like that? I can’t bear seeing people being sick, especially when it looks almost exactly like the breakfast you just bolted down yourself at the McDonalds over the road? He got a really, really dirty look off me (as in angry, I wasn’t given him the flirt-eye, I’m not a emetophile) and we wandered down to the bottom of the park.
We were gutted to see Journey to Atlantis shut down for the entire length of our visit – between this, Dudley Do-Right closed due to fire and Splash Mountain closed for annual repair, we were destined never to have a holiday photo of our heaving busoms showing through our cheap wet t-shirts. Sigh. I wouldn’t care but I LOVE water-rides. My mum has always said I was a water-baby. But I think that’s her way of making herself feel better for leaving me in the bath for several hours with nothing more than an electric toaster to play with. Sorry Ma…
Kraken next, of course. One of my favourite rollercoasters, if only for the first drop where it feels as though your belly is going to rise up out of your mouth. We can’t get enough of rollercoasters and plan to do a tour of American Theme Parks for our next holiday. But in the present, we were thrown round, span round and dropped down several times over, all the while screaming and swearing, until we got close to the people taking pictures as that’s ‘Disappointed Face’ time. I’ve mentioned it before – give it a try – when it comes to the bit where the photo is taken, put on your most deadpan, miserable face. It’s almost as fun as walking past people filming their holiday videos and QUIETLY swearing away to your partner, so when they get home and stick the video on, they’ll hear a sole voice muttering away. Heh. We do it at home too, though I got caught out walking past someone and saying ‘I didn’t know Ronseal did tans’ – but her unintelligent comeback was hardly worth a comeback. Anyway…
A day out wouldn’t be complete without an ice-cream, and it’s yet another thing that you can’t get a ‘small’ version of, not that we were complaining as we had developed reverse diabetes since then – if we didn’t have our body weight in sugar during the day we would get the shakes and you’d find us in the toilet trying to melt a Jolly Rancher on the top of a spoon. We headed to the ice-cream parlour and enjoyed a couple of smooth creamy ones, all the while watching this American family – the parents had massive ice-creams, the kids had what looked like mini-milks. That’s a method of parenting that I can get on board with! We fannied about a bit on the soft toy attractions and Paul won me a delightful…dragon. Very Seaworld. Given the look of some of the ‘attraction workers’ mind, I was half-expecting to come away with crabs. This poor dragon was promptly given away to a passing child (not because I’m mean to Paul, but because it was huge and we couldn’t be bothered to carry it around) and I won him a little octopus. We still have him, of course, sat on top of the computer.
Thank heavens for Southwest Airlines and their air-conditioning Sponsorship of Cruelty! Yep, it was time to look at the penguins. And I don’t like it. They’re cute as a pin, but that room seems so small, and whilst I’m not a lentil-eating-sandal-knitting hippy, I don’t think it’s right. We took a couple of cursory pictures and moved on. Am I the only one who doesn’t like dolphins either? They leave me cold, with their dead eyes. I did fancy feeding them, but as you have to pay extra and the thought of spending money sends us into a cold sweat, we moved on to look at the manatees. Our kind of animal! Perhaps the most terrifying sight of all was, whilst in the underground viewing cave, we spotted two dolphins seemingly in flagrante. Either that or they were fighting…but he very clearly had his little lipstick out! Dirty rascal. We moved swiftly on.
Oooh, the shows! I can’t remember the names but we watched the show all about clever animals (dogs, cats, pigs, birds etc) and the whale show. As ever, the whale show was cheesier than my previous ingrown toenail – if I wanted to see an overgrown beast flap around and spurt in the water, I’d make Paul take a bath with me.
The show is all about the trainers now, instead of the whales, and it seems daft. No-one cares about your special necklace love. Resisting the urge to heckle, we left just before the rest of the teary-eyed imbeciles, and both agreed never again. The other show mind, the almost-live-You’ve-Been-Framed doodah, was great! We are cat-people see and as we were sorely missing our own litter (Luma and Sola) it was nice to see some pussy action. How do they get the cats to open doors anyway? The only trick our three have managed to come up with is pooing in our shoes if they don’t care for the cat-food, then smirking about it afterwards. Mind you, they’ve since learnt that smirking is indeed bad for their health, as a boot to their buttons can offend.
Coming to the end of the day, there were only a couple of things left on the map to do. Clearly, as you can see, we chose the most masculine attraction of them all, and spent a gay twenty minutes paddling our pink swan (Laura Labia) around the tiny paddling area. All the other swans were filled with little children delighted by the splashing water but we don’t really care for recommended age limits. We had to come back to the jetty once our swan started listing perilously when we were trying to get a nice photo of the two of us. It was JUST like the Herald of Free Enterprise. The last thing was the Skyride Tower, and I just couldn’t do it. I have no idea why, heights don’t faze me, but I think I was worried about having a panic attack whilst up there because it moves so slowly. Maybe next time. A couple more rides on Manta just to ram home how good it was, then we set off for the Wyndham.
Seaworld seems to be a divisive place, doesn’t it? I see a lot of people seeing that they will miss the park out of their schedule as there isn’t much to do. I disagree – they’ve now got two of the best coasters in Orlando, plus plenty for people to look at. It’s a nice day out, less pressured than Disney, more organised than Universal. I’m not so keen on the cooped-up animals but there again, Seaworld do a lot of good for the sick and poorly critters, so it’s a bit catch-22. Ah well. Let’s not get too deep. This is my big gay trip report, not Peer bloody Gynt.
We ended the day with a meal in TGI Fridays. They’re so different to their English counterparts. The last time we visited one of these in England we were served by staff more interested in talking to each other than serving the customers and the food was horrible. The American version could not have been more different. Our waiter actually sat outside with us for a while asking about England and brought us a little box to take our free desserts back with. I know he was chasing a tip but still, it’s always good to feel welcome. The food was delicious and we worked our way down the cocktail list – it’s about the only place where I can order a Woowoo and still feel comfortable. We walked home – got offered many a lift from those pedicab things where you can sit in the back and let someone cycle you back to the hotel but I didn’t fancy having to pay his medical bills for thigh strain, so we declined. Throbbing feet though, but Paul sorted me out by giving it a good rub so all was well. As for my feet, I just stuck them in the fridge for a bit. Kaboomtish! Day twelve: DONE.
Seriously though, how good is that? This is what you’ll need:
for the apple pie (to make 1):
- 115g of chopped apple (if you don’t believe in tweaking, this is 3 syns, if you’re tweak, it’s syn-free)
- a tsp of sweetener (gasp)
- a squirt of lemon juice
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 5g of sultanas (25g is 3.5 syns – so this works out at less than a syn, but let’s call it 1 syn for ease)
- 25g of Tesco Lighter puff pastry (4 syns)
to create the apple pie:
- stew the apple by putting the chopped pieces into a pan with a few tablespoons of water, some cinnamon and the sweetener, put the lid on and let it sit on a medium heat until the apple turns mushy
- break it up with a fork but leave some lumps
- put into a pie dish
- take your lump of pastry and roll it nice and thin – then use a pizza wheel or a sharp knife to cut into stripes and lattice across the top of the pie dish. You could decide to cut the pastry into stars or something – but trust me, 25g will go far if you just stretch it!
- rub a drop or two of milk across the pastry, sprinkle with cinnamon and put into the oven for around thirty minutes on 180degrees – keep an eye on it
to drop five syns:
- substitute the pastry (4 syns) for 35g of oats mixed with cinnamon
- miss out the sultanas
for the ice-cream (this serves four reasonably or two greedily):
- chop up four large bananas and freeze the pieces (takes around two hours)
- in a decent blender, blend the frozen bananas until smooth, adding syn-free natural fat-free greek yoghurt to loosen a little
- add a drop or two of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon
- pop it into a freezer-proof dish and allow to settle
I’m off to hide under a flameproof blanket. But look at it above, it’s a thing of beauty.