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Christmas road trip - Page 4

post #91 of 273
Yaaaaaaaaawwn, stretttttttttcch! Oh, hi, everyone. Are we there yet?What a nap. I dreamed we were flying over the ocean. Mr. Cat, what is that? Lob-what? I fear I'm not a gourmet like you.
post #92 of 273
Thread Starter 
That was a nice nap, wasn't it? Where's the coffee? I'm not the best person to be around without my morning coffee.

Mr. Cat, something smells good, but what is it? Since you were so into Haggis and Spam the last time, I am a little skeptical about your food choices. Good thing I brought some Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. Dig in everyone!
post #93 of 273
Mr. Cat, that sounds like a combination of lobster and mouse! I'm sure that the cats will love it but, how about some people food?

Perhaps, I can get Bill into one of his cookie-baking moods.
post #94 of 273

“Scouse,“ or to give it its real name “lobscouse,†is a type of food eaten by Liverpudlians while living in poverty prior to the 1900s. As you can see below, the food is a type of stew which as a recipe has been a hot topic of debate over the years. Arguments over which meat or vegetables should rightfully grace the stew are common in the Merseyside region and will probably always be. But the truth is, the stew was made with whatever meat and vegetables were available at the time of making. Hence, its popularity in poverty-stricken times.


1 lb. of Lamb or Beef
2 OXO Cubes
1 lb. Mince
An Onion
A Cabbage
5 lbs. of Potatoes
1 lb. Carrots
1 lb. Tomatoes


Dice the meat into 1 inch pieces, place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Drain water, rinse meat under running tap, replace into large pan, cover with water again and bring to the boil.

Finely chop the onion and stir into the pan with the meat and mince.

Shred and dice the cabbage, throw into the pot.

Peal the spuds and dice about half of them, throw into the pot.

Dice the carrots and other veggies and put them into the pot with the OXO cubes, give a good stir and cover the lot with water.

Bring to the boil and turn down heat to simmer, cover with a pan lid and leave to simmer for about 5 hours, stirring the lot every now and then.

Dice the remainder of the potatoes, put into pot and leave to simmer for another 2 hours.

Can be served with red cabbage, beetroot and brown sauce.


post #95 of 273
I make some salads and biscuits to go with the stew stuff, and figgy pudding for dessert. (sp?) Anyone for sparkling cider?
post #96 of 273
that sounds good to me. I am VERY hungry now, after all that travelling. Yum yum!
post #97 of 273
**frantically searches for gum she was chewing BEFORE dozing off**

Ummmm, Jeanie, this dog needs some air. I have no idea what's going on. My lap is not the perfect place to be playing dog chases tail at 100 miles per hour. Ouch!

Ooooops.....**notices the dog chewing something and realizes what happened to her gum**.

(stomach growls) Now for the decision, Lobscouse or cookies????.....hmmmmm.
post #98 of 273
Ghys, We can't let the dog run loose in the plane! He's chewing your what? He'd be better off eating that Lobscouse. Actually, it doesn't sound bad at all. I think my dad called it tramp's stew. He was from Devonshire, though. I'll have some. Thanks, Mr. Cat! And figgy pudding? Now, bring me me some figgy pudding, now bring me some figgy pudding! (I've sung about it, but have no idea what I'm getting into. I hope it's not plum pudding!)
post #99 of 273
I think I'm missing a great adventure here! That stew sounds rather yummy, although i'm not sure what OXO cubes are!
post #100 of 273
Thread Starter 
Hmm, Debby makes a good point--what are OXO cubes? Are they another way to feed us vegemite and spam?
post #101 of 273
Oxo cubes

The Oxo cube has been around for over 150 years. Oxo has helped people to overcome starvation and poor nourishment. Oxo is a familiar sight in British kitchens, providing taste for all kinds of meals. Almost 2 million Oxo cubes are used a day in Britain.

Originally called Liebig's Extract, in 1899 the extract underwent a name change. The name of the product was changed to Oxo. But a question remains, why was the extract called Oxo?

This is not really an easy question to answer. In reality nobody has a clear idea of how the name Oxo was created. One story tells it that while a shipment was waiting at a dock, a docker scrawled in chalk the letters O-X-O on crates to distinguish the product from other cargo.

Although no real proof is available, what is known is that Oxo was trade marked in 1899 in Europe and 1900 in Britain. The famous name of Oxo was an inspirational change; it has provided a quick and easy to remember name that could be placed in the minds of the public. Obviously this was a good move as Oxo has been, and still is, a successful product that has spread throughout the world.

From the highest mountains to remote, barren snow covered areas, the Oxo cube has travelled far and wide. Did you ever think the Oxo cube was so widely used across so many countries and so widely consumed? Join the journey to discover more about the humble Oxo cube.

During the 1800's, when many people were starving and poorly nourished, a brilliant German chemist, Baron Justus von Liebig, brought hope to hundreds of thousands of people. Baron Justus von Liebig devised a method of extracting and concentrating the goodness of beef.

In 1847 this beef extract cost a lot of money. Only the rich could afford the dark coloured liquid sold in stone jars. Baron von Liebig wanted to help the sick and hungry. He decided to reveal his formula to a suitably competent person who would follow his high standards.

While George Giebert was in Munich he met Baron von Liebig and learnt more about the extracting process. After producing a satisfactory sample of extract, Baron von Liebig was satisfied enough to let George Giebert produce the extract.

George Giebert returned to South America and purchased land in Fray Bentos (Uruguay). A factory was built and 6000 cattle were purchased to start the extracting process. The finished extract was then shipped back to Antwerp (Holland). Due to the cheap cost of the beef extract, it sold extremely well. In 1865 it became possible for George Giebert to raise enough money to form the Liebig's Extract of Meat Company. In the beginning stages of production George Giebert would send out buyers with saddlebags crammed with gold sovereigns to purchase cattle. As the business grew, George Giebert was able to purchase his own ranches on which to raise cattle rather than buy them from other people.

In Europe the beef extract sold well and was used in hospitals to make reviving drinks for patients. Florence Nightingale described it as "perfectly invaluable" when she was nursing sick and wounded soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850's. The Duke of Wellington and Henry Stanley, the explorer who found Dr Livingston, also described the beef extract as invaluable.

After the death of the business pioneers, a Mr. C.E Gunter became the chairman of the company when he was only 32 years old. In 1899 the Liebig Extract changed names and became known as Oxo. Mr Gunter worked hard to fight off other competitors trying to sell rival products. He used advertising and poster campaigns to encourage people to use the Oxo product.

But Mr Gunter wanted to boost sales even more; he wanted to sell Oxo cheaper than the current 2oz jars, which a majority of people could not afford to buy. Mr Gunter's aim was to sell Oxo for a penny. Different ideas were tried and tested:

Fluid Oxo was packed in gelatine capsules - this cost too much money to produce.

Oxo was made into tablets - these did not keep very well.

Eventually the Oxo cube was developed and made its debut in 1910. The Oxo cubes were wrapped by hand and packed into small red cartons that cost a penny each. The Oxo cubes were an immediate success even though production was extremely slow.

Half the households in the UK use Oxo cubes.

Over two million Oxo cubes are used every day in Britain.

In Britain one in every six hot meals people consumed at home contain an Oxo cube.

In 1908 runners in the marathon at the London Olympics were supplied with drinks of Oxo.

Oxo cubes first appeared in shops in 1910. They were hand wrapped and cost one penny each.

The Oxo cube has travelled to Mount Everest, the Antarctic and across most of the world.

Florence Nightingale described Liebig's Extract (later Oxo) as "perfectly invaluable" when she was nursing during the Crimean War.

Around 100 million Oxo cubes were used in World War I.

If all the Oxo cubes consumed in a year were piled one on top of another, they would be 1,500 times higher than Mount Everest.

[Note from Mr. Cat: The United States Food and Drug Administration has long since banned the import of Oxo beef cubes into the U.S.A., but not Oxo chicken cubes. Can you spell “beef lobby�]

post #102 of 273
Okay, adventurers, take one last look at the Arctic through the periscope. We’re off to Christmas Island!

Remember, folks, we’re not on an aircraft: We’re on the nuclear submarine USS Pargo. The food is excellent, the accommodations quite nice if not spacious; and it’ll be a nice quiet cruise.

Where, you may ask, is Christmas Island exactly? Well, it’s in the Indian Ocean. Here’s a map showing its location. Christmas Island is directly up from the “d†in “Indian Ocean.â€

And here, in the map below, you can see Christmas Island in relation to the nearest land mass.

Here below is a map of Christmas Island itself.

Below is a photograph made from the space shuttle. Note the implications in the accompanying text.

More recently, both the United States and Great Britain have maintained bases on the island for nuclear testing, and a more extensive airfield can be seen on the northeast end of the island. The atoll also supports a government-owned copra plantation. (See vegetation in top right of frame.) Notice the pale blue of the northern lagoon contrasted with the deep blue of the surrounding ocean. The southeastern peninsula, jutting into the Pacific, is generating a cloud tail.

Yes indeed, that’s a nice view of the island itself. And here’s what the weather was like there several hours ago:

Current Weather Conditions:
Christmas Island Aerodrome, Christmas Island (YPXM) 10-26S 105-41E 262M
Conditions at Dec 21, 2002 - 11:00 PM EST Dec 21, 2002 - 10:00 PM CST Dec 21, 2002 - 09:00 PM MST Dec 21, 2002 - 08:00 PM PST Dec 21, 2002 - 07:00 PM AST Dec 21, 2002 - 06:00 PM HST
2002.12.22 0400 UTC
Wind from the SSE (160 degrees) at 9 MPH (8 KT)
Visibility greater than 7 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly cloudy
Temperature 82 F (28 C)
Dew Point 73 F (23 C)
Relative Humidity 74%
Pressure (altimeter) 29.85 in. Hg (1011 hPa)
ob YPXM 220400Z 16008KT 9999 SCT015 BKN330 28/23 Q1011

post #103 of 273
Here are some photographs showing various scenes of Christmas Island:

post #104 of 273
This is the flag designed by the people of Christmas Island:

The government of Australia disregards that flag, so here’s the flag which flies over government buildings on Christmas Island:

Finally — and then I’ll shut up and let you enjoy the cruise — here are some facts about Christmas Island. You’ll notice there are a number of glaring omissions, as “NA†stands for “not applicable,†so something tells me there are very-secret happenings on the island. We shall see!

Christmas Island

Background: Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement was begun by the UK in 1888. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.

Location: Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates: 10 30 S, 105 40 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 135 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 135 sq km
Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 80 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 12 NM
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds
Terrain: steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Murray Hill 361 m
Natural resources: phosphate, beaches
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100%
note: mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean

Population: 474 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: NA%
15-64 years: NA%
65 years and over: NA%
Population growth rate: -9% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population
Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio: NA
Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: NA years
female: NA years
male: NA years
Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Christmas Islander(s)
adjective: Christmas Island
Ethnic groups: Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%
note: no indigenous population (2001)
Religions: Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Languages: English (official), Chinese, Malay
Literacy: NA

Country name: conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
conventional short form: Christmas Island
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services
Government type: NA
Capital: The Settlement
Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)
Independence: none (territory of Australia)
National holiday: NA
Constitution: NA
Legal system: under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general
head of government: Administrator William Leonard TAYLOR (since 4 February 1999)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
Legislative branch: unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve one-year terms)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 9
elections: last held NA December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2002)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: none
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of Australia)
Flag description: the flag of Australia is used; note - in early 1986, the Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag, however, the winning design has never been formally adopted as the official flag of the territory

Economy - overview: Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened. With the support of the government, a $34 million casino opened in 1993. The casino closed in 1998. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, slated to begin operation in 2003.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: tourism 400 people, mining 100 people (1995)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries: tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: NA kWh
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: NA%
hydro: NA%
other: NA%
nuclear: NA%
Electricity - consumption: NA kWh
Agriculture - products: NA
Exports: $NA
Exports - commodities: phosphate
Exports - partners: Australia, NZ
Imports: $NA
Imports - commodities: consumer goods
Imports - partners: principally Australia
Debt - external: $NA
Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code: AUD
Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Telephones - main lines in use: NA
Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: service provided by the Australian network
domestic: only analog mobile telephone service is available
international: satellite earth stations - one Intelsat earth station provides telephone and telex service (2000)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 1,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: NA
Televisions: 600 (1997)
Internet country code: .cx
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: NA

Railways: 24 km to serve phosphate mines
Highways: total: 140 km (not including 100 km that is maintained by private industry)
paved: 30 km
unpaved: 110 km (1999)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Flying Fish Cove
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 1 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: none

post #105 of 273
Excuse me, Mr. Cat, but did you say nuclear testing? Ummmm, are there lifeboats on this sub? I really don't want to glow in the dark! Ghys, did you see those creepy crawlies crabs? If you glow, they'll find you more quickly. So, who's with me? Not to hurt your feelings, Mr. Cat, but what kind of suit is that you're putting on? And a gas mask? Perhaps this sub has a scheduled stop in Australia??
post #106 of 273
Hmmm. Maybe, Easter Island would be the better destination - those great stone heads don't glow.

Maybe, a stop in Bethlehem (PA, not Israel) would be in order.
post #107 of 273
Oh look, Jeanie's dog has found some of those icky little crabs and he's herding them this way!!!!!!
post #108 of 273
Quick, break out the cream cheese and wontons: Kona crab puffs, coming up!
post #109 of 273
Mr Cat, if we are off to Christmas Island or Easter Island, is there any way we can stop off at New Zealand and pick up some good ole kiwi fish n' chips?
post #110 of 273
Go ask the galley chief what's for supper. I've got to talk to the captain about our stopping at Australia, Easter Island and New Zealand. (We may have to arrange other transportation for Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.) I'll let you know about those other ports of call a bit later.

post #111 of 273
When do we get the sleigh ride? Are we going to be able to get our gifts? We send our gifts to family members, that live out of town,by Santa sleigh as he is much more reliable than the mail. I hope the family remembers to put them out so Santa doesn't have to search for them.
post #112 of 273
You're quite right: We've got to figure out a way to hook up with Santa Claus. I'll discuss the matter with the captain when I go see him. Now that Santa has installed a global positioning system in his sleigh, we should be able to coordinate a rendezvous.


post #113 of 273
Teresa, Mr. Cat whisked us away from the North Pole to the Indian Ocean, assuring us that Santa is well, and that everyone's gifts will be delivered by the dear old man as usual. Of course, Santa is magic,so I'm sure he's fine, but I too wish I could have joined him in the sleigh Christmas Eve. (To be honest, I think, despite our good intentions, we might have been breaking the confidentiality rules of the North Pole, and that Santa might have sent Mr. Cat to prevent hurting our feelings. These magical things are very mysterious, as you know!)
post #114 of 273
Oh look, he's here!!!! Santa didn't forget about us!!!!!
post #115 of 273
DragonLady, jump in quick we're leaving!!! Oops I almost forgot, where should Santa drop us off???? Are we going to Bethlehem PA?????

post #116 of 273
Not to worry! Take along DragonLady and whomever else wants to ride with Santa Claus: There's lots of room in his sleigh, as it's rather like Doctor Who's TARDIS insofar as it's bigger once you climb aboard.

Those who wish to remain with me on the submarine can do so; and we'll all meet up at Easter Island, which is our first stop after Christmas Island. Santa has all the necessary information for a later rendezvous, so go have fun!


post #117 of 273
I don't believe you saw my life raft out here in the sea. I've been hanging onto the periscope now for about 14 hours. I would really appreciate if someone would let me in. Oh, by the way, I managed to have some fresh cat litter flown in. The Krispy Kreme boxes were starting to reek! Can we send postcards from this sub? I need to let my employers know that I won't be in to work Monday.....
post #118 of 273
Welcome aboard, Lisa! Thanks for the cat litter, but I'm sorry you've been exposed to the elements for so many hours. We'll get you some dry things to wear and the chief will fix you something to eat down in the galley. After that, the corpsman will give you some medicinal whiskey so you can take a nice nap. Some of the gals have gone with Santa Claus whilst he makes his rounds, but we're all meeting up later — at Easter Island (I think).

And don't worry about your boss: We're having the admiral back at Pearl Harbor smooth everything over. "It's a matter of national security" and all that, you know!

post #119 of 273
We're meeting up at Easter Island?????? No problem, we'll see you there!!!!!!!
post #120 of 273
Thank you for finally bringing me aboard. Luckily, I was able to use SPF 30 while out in the life raft. Always helps to be prepared. I was a Girl Scout after all.... I am very surprised at how much room is on this sub. I tend to be a little claustrophobic but I havn't noticed any symptoms. When did you all get the big sreen t.v.? Are we on sattelite hook-up? This place is bigger than my apartment! I believe I will now change and take my medicinal drink and I will catch you all later after my nap....Wow, you even have waterbeds on this sub, I'm impressed!
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