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Today I tried something truly ambitious, and with moderate success

Pork & Leek Burger / Potato and Kale Croquette Hybrid
1. Boil some potatoes chopped up small for 25 minutes
2. 15 minutes in, steam some kale over the potatoes
3. Also 15 minutes in, fry 500g of pork mince with half a large leek
4. After the potatoes are done, drain out the water, and mash together with the kale
5. Add the mixture together, stir around for a bit
6. At this stage you should add some seasoning, preferably Tobasco sauce. When I say should, I mean that I'm not allowed, which made this dish taste far more like potatoes and far less like Tobasco sauce than was to my liking. Anyway, in the absence of Tobasco sauce, add salt and pepper, this won't improve the flavour of the potatoes much, but it's something.  I also added the last of the Venison paté as I was desperate for some flavour.
7. Remove the mixture from the pan.
8. Shape into patties with your hands
9. Fry until golden brown on the outside (about 4 minutes each side)
10. Consume

In this dish, I actually managed to make something slightly tastier than the raw ingredients that it was made of. It was quite nice, and not that bland. I must admit to being dubious about the whole spice restriction thing.

I'd kill for a can of Coca Cola right now.

Only two more days...
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I think it can be fairly accepted that I eat oatcakes with Venison Paté for lunch, as I've discovered that I actually like them, so I won't go into to much detail except to say that I fear the day I run out of Venison Paté.

For my evening meal, I decided make a change from my normal meals and actually attempt cookery...

Gammon Steaks (dry fried)

1. Put Gammon steaks into a hot, and very non-stick frying pan
2. Fry for a bit, until the meat has changed to a kinda whitish shade
3. Smear on some Rowan Jelly as an attempt at flavour
3. Consume

These were very salty, but the rowan offset it somewhat. All in all pretty nice.

Plain Vegetable Soup

1. Cut up the following: Carrots, Swede, Potatoes, Turnips
2. Bring to the boil
3. Simmer for a further 25 minutes
4. Add some ripped up cabbage and spinach
5. Add salt and pepper
6. Simmer (lower the heat so that it's nearly, but not quite, boiling) for another 10 minutes
6. Mash up with one of those big metal spoons with holes in
7. Consume

On my first try of this soup, it was pretty much my nightmare of vegetarian fayre, it had some flavour, but not much, and I longed for some meat, herbs or sauces. However, after leaving half of it in a sealed pan overnight then re-heating it, the carrots and swede had added considerably more of their flavour, and the soup tasted much better.

As such, I'm amending the recipe to:

7. Leave overnight
8. Reheat, and consume in the morning, whilst under the effect of a mild hangover.
The mild hangover, or Cairn o' Mohr Bramble wine

My friend Suzi invited me over to the pub that evening to do a pub quiz. Now, as you may be aware, we're only allowed to drink two types of alcoholic drink, Fraoch, and Cairn o' Mohr fruit wine. So far I'd found it completely impossible to source the wine, despite many outings to local beer and wine stores. I'd heard that the Auld Hoose did both drinks, but I decided to actually do some research so that I didn't end up on water all night.

The pub confirmed that they did have the wine, but not the beer, so I got out £10 and headed for the pub.

What can I say about the wine? My decidedly novice wine tasting skills told me that it had a very rich fruity flavour with distinct hints of blackberries, and a slightly overstrong bitter edge to it. I quite liked it, although I must admit that I prefer normal red wine.

I've always found that fruit wine has the strange tendency to make you think you're drinking fruit juice, so you drink it too fast. As a result of this, halfway through the pub quiz I was already swaying slightly, and I came up with "Jakarta" and "Jamaica" as countries with the vowel 'a' and no other vowels in their name. I had a mild hangover this morning.

Ah, how I long for Carlsberg.
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It's actually a bit of a strain to remember what I ate that evening, which suggests that it wasn't great.

Ah yes...

Baked Potatoes with expensive Fife cheese

1. Bake 3 small potatoes for about 55 minutes
2. Grate some expensive Fife chees
3. Put cheese on top of potatoes
4. Consume

In the last dish, I discovered that the cheese worked quite well as a topping. Sadly, it just doesn't work in baked potatoes. This one didn't really work.
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Day 2
I managed to avoid any culinary adventures by eating only venison oatcakes (which appear to be becoming a staple of mine) and eating a simple stew made by Hugh.

The stew was pretty nice, with the high quality ingredients really adding flavour.

Also that day, the "stolen egg" situation apparently resolved, Paul brought us chesse, which though expensive as hell, was greatly appreciated.

Day 3 (so far)

So far today, I have eaten bacon and scrambled eggs, with cheese grated on top, and some Kale.

Bacon and Scrambled Eggs:

1. Fry the bacon (I prefer not to bother to chop it up, as that just takes time) in a dry (no-oil), non-stick frying pan, and leave over the hob on a low heat, in the hope that some oil to fry the eggs will be produced.
2. Upon realising that dry cure bacon doesn't produce much fat, vaguely go at the eggs in a bowl, with a fork, then very slowly fry the eggs in the dry pan with the bacon.
3. Consume
With this one, the lack of butter, oil or any other fat really showed, however it seems dry frying actually works if your pan's non-stick. Tasted pretty much like bacon and scrambled eggs. Pleasant enough

Kale (Steamed)

1. Get a small saucepan and a bloody huge collander
2. Place some water in the in the saucepan
3. Place the collander on top of the saucepan (water should not reach the collander)
4. Put the kale in the collander
5. Put apparatus over the hob and heat until boiling
6. Leave for a bit (I think about 15 minutes)
7. Remove kale and consume

I've discovered that I quite like steamed Kale, some butter with it would improve things

Kale (Raw)

1. Get Kale
2. Consume

I've also discovered that raw Kale is probably the tastiest thing I've got for a random snack. Not sure if my digestive system will agree, but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.


Mar. 31st, 2008 03:24 pm
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I must admit to being fairly satisfied with my rather half-arsed attempts at cooking on Day 1, and thought that this would probably be pretty easy from then on. However, I hadn't counted on the party that night.

As it would happen, neither the mini-quiches, nor the pizza slices, nor the copius quantities of free alcohol were sourced from Fife, so I spent the entire night, carefully rationing my 5 bottles of astronomically priced Fraoch, whilst the rest of the assembled guests made merry.

Partying on the Fife diet is no fun at all (except for others, who will find your self imposed misery greatly amusing).
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Well, here I am in Grantham, in a very nice, if somewhat dark room.

Turns out I'm, like, totally okay with the whole living away from home thing. In fact it's a welcome break from my previous unemployed non-schedule. I can sit, read, watch the truly abysmal Torchwood, and get a bit of perspective on my life.

Job still sucks, but soon I'll make enough that I can study, then I can generally sort myself out.
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Well, job's going okay, they're all pretty friendly, and it's nice and chilled. I could do without the 12 hour working days (including commute) though.
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Well... not totally sure yet...

But I may just have another job.
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Right! Livejournal entry.

What to say?

Well, I ain't as straight as before, I've learned a bit about new ways of thinking, and I'm still in the same damn stupid situation as before.

April was a great month, I'll remember April 2007 as the month I actually raised my hand to change anything. And I did.

Learning's good. Much to be done.

Like new flatmate, she's seen a lot, good person to talk to.

I am unusual, and I like it. I want to be it properly so that people can't deny it.
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Well, it's that time again,

I've just found out that the owner is selling my flat, so I'm on the lookout for new ones, if there's anyone out there who would be interested in a flatmate, or knows of anything going, feel free to e-mail me.
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I feel like when I was asleep, someone accidentally cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war in my head.

They're currently in the living room of my mind, one of them has urinated on the carpet and the other one's worrying at the sofa.
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Genius! The Labour party are consulting on a bill to give all workers at least 28 days entitlement to annual leave. (24 from October 2007, 28 from October 2008)

Currently they're in a consultation phase, finishing in April. I should imagine they're going to try to pass the bill, ooh... I don't know... maybe... after the next general election?

Of course, at this point they'll have taken into account everything that the private sector companies (who they're consulting with) opinions into account. It might not be too surprising if they discover that they'll have to soften it a bit. Or perhaps, that, well, it just isn't practical, the economic losses would be a bit too large.

Very nice move though. Hits almost everyone, just about everyone wants it, and only they're offering it. Would be good if it triggered an pre-election annual leave bidding war though.


Dec. 24th, 2006 03:18 am
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Well, I've been in Perth, Australia for the last two weeks, it's midsummer here and blazing hot.

I'm staying with my immediate family in quite a nice house in the inner suburbs. I've been to the beach a lot, sailing, seen a lot of parrots, drunk a lot of wine and beer and generally had a pretty good time.

Australia's a lot like Britain really, only hotter, friendlier, less crowded, yellow rather than green, and with a much more limited selection of trees (I've counted about 4 naturally Australian types of tree, and just about everything is Eucalyptus).

The animal life is very much in your face. By day, there are the ever present horrid little flies which try to get into your mouth and eyes, and by night there are mosquitos. Everything's hungry, parrots will take bread* from your hands when offered, and kookaburras and crows will grab meat from you in mid flight. Even wild kangaroos will come close if there's food to be had.

Perth itself is strange, it's not really a city in the european sense, but more a tightly packed collection of little towns, with a slightly bigger town with skyscrapers in the middle. This can be confusing, as every time you change "City" (which is what each of the little towns is referred to as) the street numbers reset. The result is that next door to 1124 Hay Street, Perth is 1 Hay Street, City West, Perth (not to be confused with 1 Hay Street, Perth)

The food and drink is brilliant. All their meat is great quality and cheap, their beer is also pretty good. The people are friendly, often randomly greeting strangers in the street, and it's hard to sit in a pub without getting into some sort of conversation.

All in all it's pretty decent here. I'm missing friends (though it's good to see family) but it's been relaxing and interesting, there's a whole lot more I could mention, but this entry's pretty long already.

So anyway, hope all of you are having good times wherever you are, and I wish you all a happy Christmas

*or chips, parrots seem to love chips beyond all else
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Ok, acting upon the advice of [profile] fire_sermon I thought I'd do a reminder for the thing on Friday

28th Birthday, party/go-to-the-pub thing!

Yeah, people turning up for food should arrive at 6:30, otherwise turn up any time. Currently I'm reckoning about 9 people are eating.

It'll be at the Old Dock Bar in Leith, I can give directions if anyone wants.

Hope to see people there.
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LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

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Well, unbelievably I've just been to a barbeque party back in Leeds (yes, the weather here's as bad as it is there). It was wonderful, lots of good, old friends who were delighted to see me, and drunken conversations with my sister's pleasant mates. While we were setting up, the rain was looking to wash everything away, then during the party itself, the wind was looking to blow the awnings away, it was great!

Towards the end, I sat drunkenly chatting to my sister, it's good to see her again. Catherine thinks that I should join the voluntary sector, on a salary similar to the one I have now. I think I'd like that.

Also, people saying again that they like to hear me talk, I hear that again and again, I should probably do something with that.
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Hurray! Mobile phone has returned!
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Hello people, I'm afraid to say I've lost my phone, so... is anyone doing anything interesting tomorrow? Or going to the pub perhaps, 'cos currently I've no other way of finding out.
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Here are two free games, both of which I thought outstanding: Within a Deep Forest - an irritating but somehow very playable bouncing ball game and Doukutsu* - An incredible piece of work for a free game, good SNES shooter standard, at least. I played it until completion. Discovered that there was another ending, played the damn thing the whole way through again, then wished that there was a third ending, which sadly, there isn't** . Brilliant! *This isn't the developer's site but the developer's are really kina Japanese, so this site will explain what's going on. **Well, there's the crap one, but who wants the crap ending? PS Many thanks to Jay, of JayisGames for finding so many entertaining ways to waste time.
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Oh, and Yay Finland! I'm really glad they won.
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