24 April, 2007

Fun little game

I should have finished the edit of the story of the 5 course pastie, but, no, I'm taking some kooky Japanese intelligence game. Good luck!

I found this game on Arcade Templethanks to Channel 4 games site

Shit. I should have explained this game is all about domestic violence and disturbed parenthood
  • Father can't be left alone with the girls
  • Mother can't be left alone with the boys
  • The criminal (probably a murdering paedophile with a penchance for jaywalking) can't be left with anyone except the policeman

20 April, 2007

Gapminder - A new Google Tool?

I don't really know what this is.

I found it whilst looking at the Webby awards noiminations for internet 'things of the year'.

It appears to be a organisation that promotes accessible world statistics, which has been bought and taken over by Google (ah, Google. I am I'm afraid, signed up to just about everyhting google there ism from Maps and Groups to Personalised homepage with applications on and Google Sketchup 3D models).

A Gapminder presentation

You can select about 3 variables about national statistics and ontop of that highlight the country's stats, plot lines and refine your data in other ways. It's all very interactive, the kind of thing you'd see in a science museum, and I'm fairly impressed.

These Webby awards, on the other hand ... I hadn't heard of half the stuff that was being voted for and couldn't be bothered to trawl through it all looking for things I had an opinion on. They're a load of marketing rubbish really, aren't they?
Well Jackson.

16 April, 2007

The 5 course pastie PART III

The five course pastie.

All I did to finish this off, was cut a corner from the cheese so it wouldn't break through the pastry. This didn't work and it was impossible to transfer to the pan for baking.
Although as you can see I did a lovely crimped crust before I attempted to lift it.

OK. This wasn't as fantastic as it could have been. I made a few crucial and critical errors, such as forgetting the salt (properly seasoning is probably lesson #1 in chef's school)
Could have done with veg stock or something for more body. The bacon went soggy and I managed to mess up my fine pastie look as I was attempting to transporting raw pastie to pan and then from there to plate was a nightmare. My thoughts are I could either pre-cook the bacon and the crust or make the pastie in-tray? Hmmm.
Need a better cheese than cheddar something that will keep it's shape yet taste interesting and complementary, perhaps a goats cheese veg pastie to keep my friend Matt Borg happy.
The only other criticism I have of this is that I forgot to sweeten the coffee to taste first. I take sugar, and it would be a good idea to ask how people like their coffee before baking it all up.

I will post again with the new improved pastie when it's made.

The 5 course pastie PART II

I have realised the dream and it was ... well, it needs a little work, but it's getting there.

Surprisingly the espresso jelly worked out well and it was the main filling that let me down.

Anyway, to tide you over until I write up all the details and paste up some photos from photobucket (my photos are here, but there's a lot of other rubbish there, too...) Here's the diagram I based it all on ...

Pasties: PLAN A

It's not very clear, I was originally considering an additional hard-baked handle for carrying it, but talked myself into thinking it was a friend's mistake and that all it needed was some good crimping.

    Plan Reads (left to right:
  • asparagus tips (wrapped in the word bacon)
  • Pork, fennel, coriander, white wine, coriander, sweetcorn and barley
  • Apple puree and cardamom
  • cheese and a grape (which I bought but forgot to put in)
  • digestive border
  • espresso jelly

Mmmm, still sounds good.

11 April, 2007

London Marathon

My friend Tom is running the London Marathon for charity. I certainly couldn't run for 26 consecutive miles, so to do my bit I've given him a wee little bit of cash (hardly anything compared to all his other generous friends) and thought I'd pop this bar here:

Why not sponsor him?

He's raising money for The Deaf Studies Trust because he, like, cares about people and shit.

Edit: silly technology went and broke so there may not be an automatic bar showing you how close he is to his target now, just this picture.

Pimp my 5 course pastie mother-fudger

Seriously. There is a mother who makes fudge somewhere, to whom I address the following:

STAGE 1: Planning

Plan for a 5 course meal in one pastie:
Each course must be able to seep into the previous without ruining the flavour.

bacon wrapped asparagus
fruit-based pudding
Cheese and a green grape
espresso (probably in a jelly)

Notes to self: will the jelly melt when baked? What will happen when it does? Is the use of sugar paper (thanks, Alex) a good idea?


We are in the eighth month of pregnancy, the hardcore nest-building stage. It reminds me of a couple of things, which it probably shouldn't. The first is when our cat gave birth when I was a teenager and she spent ages going all over her territory looking around and sitting in new and interesting places trying to find somewhere comfortable to birth. I wasn't quite sure how aware of being pregnant our cat was, but clearly, she got the hang of it and managed to deliver her litter behind the curtains in the lounge.
We tried out the birthing pool on Sunday, which was great fun. It's like an enormous paddling pool, so whilst everyone was outside in the park reading the papers in the sunshine, we lounged about in our front room in a big old paddling pool with extra high and wide sides (and some handles you can hang onto whilst in labour). I can see that it was a brilliant investment. Pool in a Box are the company if anyone's interested.
The second thing I was reminded of is the story of when Rosa was a wee one, how she made a "white castle". Legend has it that her parents came home to find talcum powder everywhere and toilet rolls slung up all over her bedroom and a happy, busy Princess in the middle of it all, making her white castle. Awwwww!

Our flat is about as fully equipped as it could be now, and except for my responsibilities of making the mix tape (well, mp3s and CDs) of music to birth to, it's just a question of waiting for the Big Day to arrive. Waiting and waiting and waiting.
ETA May 10th.

08 April, 2007

Batter mix

I am incensed by this stuff. Usually it says on the packet, just add milk and egg, but occasionally it's water and egg.
I wonder whether people know that they are basically buying flour, or flour and milk powder.
I hate people sometimes.
Then I consider custard powder, and absolutely everyone I know uses custard powder to make custard. This is normal, and yet the same applies somehow.
To make custard from powder:
Put powder into a receptacle
Add hot water
heat and stir
To make custard from scratch:
Put milk into a receptacle
add an egg yolk and some sugar; stir.

I mean, whichever way you make it you have to get the proportions right, and most people have egg and milk in the house, so why does anyone even bother with custard powder?

And another thing ...

No. Actually I've run out of outrage. All this talk of custard has made me sleepy.