Too many steps, too many hassles

The Examiner

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear readers. The quarter of me that is Irish celebrates the day by trying to find something green to wear, and by chasing snakes out of my garden. I can safely say part two of my plan has worked beautifully over the years – the green clothes, not so much. 

Annie Dear

Now I sincerely hope that this hasn’t offended anyone. I can assure PETA no snakes have ever been harmed at my fair hand. I’m fairly sure St. Patrick never suppressed anyone, so I’m confident that won’t be an issue. Let’s move along to today’s topic.

The middleman. We’d all obviously like to get a deal where we can, and often that comes at the expense of the middleman. If you could buy wholesale, after all, why on earth would you ever buy retail?

Take a bottle of wine (don’t mind if I do). You can get a pretty nice bottle of plonk for $20 at the store (already one middleman, I might add). Go to a restaurant, and you can get the same bottle for $70 to $100. That’s a lot of markup in my book.  

In Australia, there are loads more mom-and-pop restaurants than here. In fact, there are relatively few chain restaurants in Australia – and we certainly don’t count the likes of the burger joint or the Southern fried chicken outfit as “restaurants.” That term is reserved for places where you are waited upon, but not always do they have a liquor license, that piece of paper being very expensive to obtain.

So, the mom-and-pops got around the problem by inviting the diner to BYOG. Bring Your Own Grog. Oh, you might pay a corkage fee per person – usually not much – and this is to cover the fact that you’d quite like to drink your wine from glasses rather than straight out of the bottle, and pass it around. After all, the glasses didn’t materialize out of thin air, and they have to be washed afterward. So, corkage is gladly paid, your $20 bottle of wine happily consumed, the owners’ food thankfully consumed, and everyone walks away satisfied.

I wish I would take the “cut out the middleman” to heart in my kitchen.

In order to do my small part in saving the planet – and get over the fact that Sir and plastic wrap usually end up in a bare-fisted brawl that results in plastic wrap festooning not only Sir, but the entire kitchen – I came upon reusable covers for covering leftovers. A little like shower caps, they worked fine but had to be washed out by hand each time and it all got just a tiny bit dreary.

I therefore fell upon an upmarket version, that being silicone covers. Much sturdier and dishwasher safe. Winner, winner, chicken dinner, thought I.

Yes, well. The cover is to be slightly smaller than the bowl or plate you’re covering. Sir and I have discovered it takes the two of us, quite a few curses and a lot of laughter to wrestle the damned thing in place, and when you remove the cover you run the risk of sling-shotting the food across the room.

Invariably that which has been covered ends up still sitting malevolently in the fridge three days later and gets trashed anyway.

So, I say, cut out the middleman!  Eat it tonight, or trash it!           

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at