What is Bodging?

We all should know what Building means, but “Bodging”? There are a large number of definitions of bodging which you can look up in online dictionaries. Leaving out the more prurient among them, there is some agreement that bodging is solving a problem with a “quick fix” that may not be perfect for the long term but will, hopefully, last long enough.

I am taking a broader view to include clever, unofficial fixes, updates, changes, or implementations that get the job done. I have often found that advice given by so-called experts or professionals lack imagination and have undesirable secondary costs.

Let’s take, for example, the problem of supporting a double-bowl stainless steel kitchen sink attached to the underside of a granite countertop. The initial professional installation involved some clamps that were mounted into slots cut into the underside of the granite. The clamps failed and the sink dropped within weeks of installation. This was probably due to the large in-sink disposal unit mounted under one side of the sink. Very heavy. Vibrates a lot. But it was also part of the initial installation.

The professional recommendation for a fix was to use pine 2x3s to build a frame under the sink that could support the weight. That it would. But the result would be that the cabinet under the sink would be largely unusable for any kind of storage.

My solution was to install 1×3 boards horizontally under the front and back lips of the sink, supported at the ends by small boards attached to the cabinet sides. This solution took no space away from the cabinet and was invisible unless you crawled in and looked up. Fifteen years later, the sink has not budged.

So, is that “bodging”? I think so but a very successful bodge indeed.

Mandarin Orange Cake

What do you do with the cans of mandarin orange purchased early in the pandemic and still hanging out in the pantry?

Well, I like baking cakes so the answer is easy. The only problem is coming up with a recipe.

My friend Mr Google hooked me up with a lot of recipes for Mandarin Orange Cake. 90% of them had the first ingredient as “yellow cake mix” or “white cake mix”. Well, that’s not happening.

But there were a few “from scratch” recipes. Because I wanted a simple recipe, I narrowed it down to two that are very similar and this is a slight variant on those. This worked out surprisingly well and was very quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1.5 cups white sugar

2 large eggs

22 oz canned mandarin orange pieces, drained

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease a 9×13″ pan or line with parchment paper and lightly grease that.

Sift flour with baking soda and salt.

Put all ingredients in a large mixer bowl and beat well for 3 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

The cake is done when a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.

When cold, ice with a cream cheese icing to which several drops of orange oil have been added.

Notes and Variations:

The original recipes called for a syrupy topping. I have changed to a cream cheese icing because the original is too sweet for my taste.

The original recipes listed two 11 oz cans of mandarin orange. My cans were 15 oz, so I went with 1.5 cans, more or less.

You can replace the 2 tsp vanilla with almond essence.

You can add a few drops of orange oil to the batter to kick up the flavor.

I haven’t tried this yet, but I think it would make a good layer cake if baked in two 8″ square pans or two 9″ round pans. I would use the same cream cheese icing between the layers.

You could add raisins or coconut or nuts (chopped almonds?) to the batter.