Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

New life in Indonesia

Well I’ve been absent on the blog for some time. I’ve just moved to Indonesia, and here are my initial thoughts:

  • Wonderful people
  • Amazingly cheap food – I just bought a delicious lunch for the equivalent of $1.70 Australian!
  • Very green
  • Great place to be


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Coffee giveaway

Here’s the deal: you have to be attending SBL in Atlanta this November to be able to enter, as that’s when you’ll get the prize: any coffee or hot beverage you desire, at my cost! I know, awesome, huh?

So how do you enter? Some time between now and then, you need to be the first to spot the presentation error in my new book, All That the Prophets Have Declared. It was pointed out to me today by a friend. I guess you could call it a formatting error.

Anyway, when you spot it you can catch me in person or leave a comment here or tweet it or call me or telepath me – whatever you think will be most likely to get you the coveted prize by getting in first.

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Coffee lesson

The shot on the right came from much fresher beans. The shot on the left came from stale beans and will taste gross. Also it’s decaf, so it’s doubly offensive. But I will do my duty and drink it. 

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Since being diagnosed as being suddenly and stupidly hypersensitive to caffeine, I’ve had to stay completely off coffee, tea, and coke – and so I’ve been fine since then. But, although it’s raised some eyebrows, I haven’t taken up drinking decaf coffee with gusto. Why not? Well, this picture tells the science of it (it’s not my pic; I can’t remember where I came across it)…


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Just over a month ago, I posted a selfie of myself in an ambulance. Since then, I’ve been to the Emergency Department at hospital a couple more times, to my local doctor several times, and to a cardiologist. I’ve worn heart monitors and had numerous blood and heart tests. The symptoms included anxiety attack type scenarios, dizziness, faintness, heart palpitations, and other such things, but all of my tests have come out good. I haven’t had major stress recently, and the doctors have been unable to point to anything in particular.

But today, after having no caffeine for three weeks, I decided to try a weak green tea – and the dizziness and heart pounding returned. Apparently green tea has about a third of the caffeine as coffee. And then I realised that each of my three hospitalisations followed from having coffee.

I told my wife about my self-diagnosis, and she has found a bunch of other people describing exactly the same scenario online – a sudden intolerance to caffeine, resulting in dizziness, faintness, and apparent anxiety attacks.

So I’m relieved to have realised what’s going on. My next appointment with the cardio is in 2 weeks, so I guess I’ll pay him my $300 and then tell him the diagnosis he should have told me! But this is a sad day – just think of all the poignant coffee moments I’ve shared on this blog — they will be no more…

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It’s a Saturday at home

And that means coffee…


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Would you drink a Pharisee?

Roland Deines’ article is now available in English here. Check out this teaser:

Nearly everybody seems to know enough about the Pharisees to label someone else’s behaviour as “pharisaic,” but nobody ever claims to be a Pharisee himself. Pharisees are, almost always, the “bad guys.” They are hypocrites whose outside appearance does not match their true inner nature. If you order a “Pharisäer” in a coffee shop in northern Germany, you will get a strong black coffee topped with whipped cream and a lot of sugar. Nothing special at first glance. But after the first sip you know why it is called a “Pharisäer”: Hidden under the cream and mixed into the coffee is a generous serving of very strong rum. Legend has it that this recipe was conjured up on the small northern Frisian island of Nordstrand to hide alcohol consumption at weddings from the local pastor who strongly opposed it. On one occasion he was offered the wrong cup of coffee and, detecting the cover-up, commented simply, “You Pharisees!”

And now the recipe:

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 portion strong coffee (2 – 4 oz.)
  • Sugar cubes
  • 1 jigger dark, Jamaican rum (about 40 ml, 1 1/2 oz.)
  • Whipped cream


This coffee drink is traditionally served in a large glass tumbler with a saucer made for this drink. If you can’t find this cup, use a coffee cup as in the photo.

Fill the cup with coffee, sweeten to taste with the sugar cubes, then add the rum. Place whipped cream on top and serve immediately.

Traditionally, you are not supposed to stir this drink, but sip it through the whipped cream.

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