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Thursday, January 30, 2014

François Hollande is a Slut

The French honour LOVE.

Through the ages, French kings have married for political reasons. They honoured their Queens just so... as protocol dictated they should. They honoured their mistresses like wives. Henri II married Cathérine de Médicis because he needed to build a political alliance with Rome, but he loved his mistress Diane de Poitiers his entire life. He was faithful to her. All the children from their union were legitimised. Diane de Poitiers' (the mistress') descendants count among the later Kings of France and Spain.

The French court and the French people honoured the mistress as the King's one true love, and the Queen as a political contract in the same way organisations honour business contracts. The King stayed loyal to his true love (his mistress, not his Queen) and gave her  (his mistress, not his Queen) every respect due to the Mother of his children, and his chosen partner in life.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that Mme Valerie Trierweiler, whilst not married to the French President François Hollande, had an Élysée office and staff to help her in her official role as the French First Lady. She was his chosen partner and she had work to do by his side. She could not do it alone, because it really was a lot of work.

The French people object not at all to their leaders' mistresses. The institution of marriage and the conduct of true love are quite separate in the minds of the French. The public persona of the King required a Queen. The private persona of the King required a woman to love, and who loved him back. With such a historical background, the French people are tolerant of mistresses. François Mittérand had a wife and a mistress too. He looked after both his families well, and the French approved of this Real Man.

The shocking thing about François Hollande is that he seems to have behaved very irresponsibly. He broke up with Ségolène Royal, the mother of his 4 children... and escaped without a divorce settlement because he wasn't married to her in the first place. In the absence of CONTRACTUAL loyalty, French leaders had always proven themselves EMOTIONALLY loyal to their women. Not so François Hollande who cheated on Ségolène Royal for years... and was recently caught out, cheating on his 2nd "maîtresse en titre", Mme Valerie Trierweiler.

So ummm... who is François Hollande's true love?

The French people are outraged, not because their President has a mistress, but because he should have conducted himself in so disloyal a manner towards Her whom everyone had believed to be his true love.

Mme Trierweiler was unceremoniously dumped with not so much as a By Your Leave. Again, it was done without a divorce settlement. Contrast this with how Rupert Murdoch treated his 3rd wife. He left her a USD 44 million apartment so that his 2 children with her would still get to stay in New York, and go to the same school as they have always been attending. He no longer loved his 3rd wife but he discharged his responsibility as an ex-husband.

One notes also that both Ségolène Royal (an ex-Presidential candidate) and Valérie Trierweiler (a senior Paris Match journalist) were powerful women in their own right. Over the years, François Hollande's relationships with both women would have paid political dividends for him. In short, that François Hollande is today the President of France would have been due in large part to the support of both women.

Then he dumped them? One of them gave him 4 children?

I've always found admirable how a French man doesn't need a wedding ring nor a wedding certificate to stand by his woman. The bonds of love are enough. François Hollande, it appears, breaks the mould. Here is a French man with whom one should have signed a pre-nuptial and made very sure of a marriage certificate in order to compel him to do his duty towards the mother of his children... and his ex-First Lady.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


The Daughter drew my attention to this article about McDonald's burgers. I freaked out! Since then, I have not been able to ingest anything from McDonald's. The burger cravings didn't go away though. I indulged in Fat Boy's and then I decided to make my own burgers.

I discovered how easy it is to make burger patties taste any way I want. I mixed minced beef with egg, diced onions and diced tomatoes.... added some salt. Then I shaped the patty, fried it up, and layered the patty on bread with cheese, egg, pineapple slice and bacon. I would have put on rocket salad if I had had any.

Petunia's Burger

Fat Boy's Burger

Petunia's Brother's Burger
(yeah... I know... his burger is better than mine)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Joyoung Machine

The Whole Machine

The Machine's Blender Blades

Mung Bean Milk

Soya Bean Milk

Soya Bean + Wolfberry Seeds Milk

The Foster Daughter is back from London for the X'mas break. After visiting her parents in China, she came home with a gift for me - the Joyoung machine. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it but after messing about for a while, I am now totally in love with this lovely gadget.

It used to take all night (8 hours) to make mung bean soup in a thermal pot. With the Joyoung, it's gone down to 35 minutes. It doesn't really make soup however. It makes a milky creamy liquid that tastes a whole lot better than green bean soup with its rough bits. There's no need to even soak the beans. Just measure out a correct portion. Throw it into the machine. Add water. The machine grinds the raw beans into a powder and then cooks the lot. What comes out can be better described as a "milk". I'll try it out on red beans soon. Yum... red bean milk.

The buckwheat porridge (with bone broth, beef, carrots, onions and tomatoes) came out the consistency of baby food. On a hot day, when I feel like a light and nutritious meal, it is pleasant and fast. I will make it again but I might add the beef slices afterwards to prevent them from being ground up.

The soya bean + wolfberry seed milk came out a very attractive orange colour full of Vitamin A for the eyes, and smelling of fragrant home-made soya bean. You would have to strain it afterwards though. The machine doesn't strain away the soya bean fibres.

I am looking forwards to making peanut paste and black sesame paste. It used to be so much work that I would never consider making these recipes. Now, I just throw in the raw stuff, add water, add sugar. Wait 35 minutes and voilà! I think I won't tell anyone that I have this machine. This way, when I trundle out my bowls of sesame paste on festive occasions everyone will think that I slaved away in the kitchen all week, when actually, I would have done almost nothing at all!

I know beans and nuts are power packed with nutrition. They're protein powerhouses without the fat nor the cholesterol. They're such a hassle to cook though. It's hard to make a quick meal from those hard little beans and nuts. There's a long soak period and a long cook period. I still soak the beans to get rid of the phytates, but cooking beans and nuts has now become such a breeze. Fast too!