To be fair to the manufacturer, they have stated in their manual that with an air cooled machine, as mine is, the ambient temperature will make a difference. It gets damn hot here. 'Bugger' I thought, I should have bought a water cooled machine but, at the time I ordered my air cooled machine, I did not know I had enough water only a few metres beneath my feet to create ice bergs.
Couple my inept handling of the machine as I got to know all its foibles with a desire to experiment with the mix and you can imagine I ended up pouring a lot of my profit down the drain. Get the mix wrong and the freezing barrels will freeze and jam the stirrers. The machine will then start to scream and make all sorts of other horrible noises until a safety device (well over used in my case) operates and switches the machine off. All you can do is leave it switched off and let it thaw out, then dump the contents and start again. I may not know how to make a perfect mix but I have become a bloody expert at dismantling, repairing and cleaning the machine before I fuck it up again.
It is like anything though. VW make the best people carriers in the world but stick a novice in one and they are going to stuff it into a shop window. Hardly the fault of VW but pretty damn frustrating for the owners of both car and shop. I bought an imported ice cream machine in Africa. What the hell do I know about making ice cream? I just thought it would be nice to make ice cream. I like ice cream. But that's like some kid suddenly deciding he wants to be a taxi driver, going out and buying a car and letting himself loose on the Queen's highway with a screaming passenger.
As a result, my spread sheet is pretty bloody useless. I know what I am paying for the ingredients but I am either pouring the product down the drain or, if it actually squirts out the nozzles into a cone, giving it away free to any passing kid so delighted am I that the bloody machine did what it said on its very expensive tin.
I have this gut feeling a dollar a cone is about right. At the moment, as far as I can tell, I get back what I am putting in and Excel confirms this, I am giving ice cream away for nothing. Well, at least I am not losing money and the local kids are very, very happy. Let them laugh, one day I will work the damn machine out and start to make a profit on a dollar a cone.
For the first time in over six months, we have had rain. Rain is good on so many levels. Obviously it waters the parched soil, heralds the start of the planting season and freshens the air. But it also improves the fishing.
|A few fish suppers. They're bigger than the kid.
Sadly I didn't catch these, I can't walk so haven't been out on the water in a while, but it is good to know the fish are out there and willing to be caught again.
There are six fish there and they weigh around 14-16 kilos apiece so the lot amount to about a hundred kilos. I paid ten thousand Kwanzas, one hundred US bucks; a dollar or 100 kwanzas a kilo. Gutted and properly frozen, I can move them on for 600 Kwanzas a kilo. Dressed and filleted, they're worth 1,800 Kwanzas a kilo. I will only get about 50-60 kilos out of dressed fish but a lot of good meat and bone to make fish stock.
Guess what I will spend the rest of the night doing? Absolutely correct, I shall put a bit of effort into turning one hundred bucks into around a thousand bucks.
I'm doing the nightshift but at least Marcia will let me hook up the speakers to play my music and I can drink myself to death while I do it.
At least my effort will help pay for the ice cream machine which is, according to Excel, an indulgence. Mind you, I did not see anyone complain last night when I served them, as a dessert, tinned peaches poached in their own syrup reduced with real vanilla pods, mixed spice and cloves gently ladled over my ice cream.