Archive for January, 2010

Cooking Issues blog

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

My not-so-new but favourite blog is Cooking Issues, which is the French Culinary Institute‘s tech blog.

Some interesting articles to start with:

Curry with paratha

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Paratha is a type of fried bread which I discovered and decided (wrongly) was naan. Anyway, here we’re eating it with a mouth-watering slow-cooked lamb curry made with shanks from the local butcher and sweet potatoes from the local shop. Oishii!

Sorry about the terrible photo. Notice in the background the JML pedometer which registered 3000 steps an hour on my treadmill before it overloaded and died. Bloody JML!!

My new desk

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Wikipedia: Treadmill desk

Bento box

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

We were given some rather pretty bento boxes by a relative:

But wait, there’s more!

For pudding, stinky cheese from France:

Making soap

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Monty Don’s guide to making soap

  1. Soap is simpler to make than you might have thought. You’ll need olive oil, organic palm or coconut oil, and beeswax pellets.
  2. Heat the ingredients together on the stove to about 54 degrees centigrade stirring regularly.
  3. Now for the tricky bit. Soap is produced when the oils which are acidic are mixed with lye.
  4. Lye is sodium hydroxide or caustic soda, a powerful alkali. When powdered lye is added to water it heats up, add the hot lye water to the melted oils, taking great care to avoid splashes as these will burn, and stir until the mixture thickens.
  5. After this is done, you can add any colourings, fragrance and softening oils – for example, honey and sweet almond oil.
  6. Pour the raw soap into a mould for setting and curing which is a maturing process needed before the soap is ready and safe to use.
  7. Finally turn the soap out of the mould and cut to the desired shape.

Bubble and squeak

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

This is ridiculously easy to make, and very tasty. It’s a kind of English okonomiyaki. Just mash up yesterday’s roast potatoes and veg and mix with lots of eggs.

Here is the Wikipedia page on bubble and squeak.

Where did Oriental City go?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Oriental City was a large South-East Asian mall and community centre in North London, reasonably close to Colindale Station. It closed for redevelopment on 1 June 2008, though as of early 2010 the redevelopment appears unlikely to actually happen, and the new Pacific Plaza in Wembley looks much more promising. THIS LINK is a partial list of where the Oriental City traders have moved to. (Was it worth destroying a few acres of land and an entire cross-London community for this?)

Possibly Pacific Plaza might replace it. They have the Japanese crockery shop, but not yet the huge supermarket.

View Larger Map

Sausages from the local butchers

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Pheasant pie and tarte tatin

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

A brace of pheasants in a pheasant pie:

Tarte tatin, named after a French hotel:

A very tasty Sunday dinner!

The recipe for pheasant pie is very easy, although somewhat time-consuming. It is adapted from this one. First I simmered the pheasants, onions, carrots (etc) in water and some white wine for a few hours:

Then I separated the meat into some pie dishes and covered it with streaky bacon:

I returned the bones to the stock and boiled it further, then removed all the bones and vegetables from the stock and boiled it hard to reduce the stock and intensify the flavour:

I also added sage, thyme and pepper at this point to get the seasoning right.

Finally pour a little of the stock over the meat (not too much — you can save any stock you don’t use), cover with puff pastry, and cook in the oven 200C for about 20 minutes.


Friday, January 8th, 2010

Image from NASA’s Terra satellite, huge version here.

Cooking with power tools

Monday, January 4th, 2010

I finally got a log to plant my shiitake mushroom plugs in.

Japanese stollen recipe

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Apparently a better stollen recipe (English translation).

Snow in Chip

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

I took this photo last week during the cold snap. It’s of a large field next to the house, covered in snow.

Click for the big version!

Here’s another — the enchanted forest:

Click for the big version!

Kakizome for 2010

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Here is my kakizome for 2010:

2008’s kakizome (水/”water”) worked out. We got plenty of water, of the wrong sort.

2009’s kakizome (金/”money”) worked well too … Now I have no money.

In 2010, either I’ll grow lots of these, or I’ll become a vegetable. Tune in during 2010 to find out …

By the way, thanks for everyone who wished me a happy birthday. However it’s not actually my birthday. It’s just that I put 1/1 in Facebook because of their privacy-sucking policies.


N-sama making a gift for 書き初めの神: