Archive for January, 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!
We were given some rather pretty bento boxes by a relative:
But wait, there’s more!
For pudding, stinky cheese from France:
- Soap is simpler to make than you might have thought. You’ll need olive oil, organic palm or coconut oil, and beeswax pellets.
- Heat the ingredients together on the stove to about 54 degrees centigrade stirring regularly.
- Now for the tricky bit. Soap is produced when the oils which are acidic are mixed with lye.
- 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.
- After this is done, you can add any colourings, fragrance and softening oils – for example, honey and sweet almond oil.
- 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.
- Finally turn the soap out of the mould and cut to the desired shape.
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?)
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.
I finally got a log to plant my shiitake mushroom plugs in.
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!
Here is my kakizome for 2010:
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: