Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taking A Break

I'll be taking a break from blogging. I'm finding it harder and harder to come up with things to write about.
I may return with the occasional recipe or movie review. So keep an eye out around the end of March when The Hunger Games movie comes out. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say about that one.
And if you haven't already, read The Hunger Games trilogy. They are really good books.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shuffle Your Feet So We Know You're Not Dead

We've all been there. Going into a public toilet, the next stall is occupied, and there is no sound at all. Not that we're listening for it, but the complete absence of noise is noticable, and kind of eerie.

We know it's just someone who is so bladder shy, that not only can't they pee while the surrounding stalls are occupied, they're holding themselves completely still, trying to not even breathe, because they hate people knowing they're in the toilet. Of course we know that's what it is.

But...once upon a time, a long, long time ago - or 15 years back - Scully told Mulder that people die on the toilet all the time. Regular people! Not just fat, drugged up, jumpsuit wearing rock stars. So I always kind of wonder if maybe, just maybe, the person in the next stall is actually dead.

Dilemma. Knocking on the wall and asking if they're okay is out of the question. If they're dead, they won't answer. If they're alive, but excruciatingly shy, they also won't answer. So then management gets called, because there may be an issue in the toilets. They knock and get no answer. Security gets brought in to break down the door....revealing some poor woman, pants down, completely mortified by the whole thing. Lawsuits follow, because they're now so traumatised they can't leave the house in case they need to pee while they're out, and they can never use a public toilet again. It's a terrible thing. *<-- As far as I know this scenario has never actually happened. Really though, it's only a matter of time. I can't be the only person wondering if people in other stalls are dead. *

So, if you're one of those people, hunched in a stall, waiting desperately for everyone to leave so you can pee in peace, shuffle your feet a little. Or jiggle the toilet paper holder. Something to let us know you're actually okay in there.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cooking With No-One: Tomato Sauce

So I made my tomato sauce and it worked out really well. Here's how I did it:
Cut up around 2.5kg of tomatoes.

And 2 large sliced onions. (Also what is with the onions and tomatoes in Australian stores. I had the hardest time finding decent ones.)

Mix together in a large bowl, cover and leave overnight.

...The next day
Peel and cut up three large granny smith apples. Crush one head of garlic. Add 1 tsp of ground ginger.

Put tomato/onion mix and apple mix in a large pot. Cook on a low-medium heat for around 2 and half hours, stiring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

In a bowl, combine 2 cups of sugar with 1 tbsp of salt.
I just realised that photo looks kind of like a face.

Make a basic roux. I used 4tbsp of butter and 4tbsp of plain flour.

Stir over a low heat until it resembles icing.

Add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar. (This whole bit with the roux and vinegar was my departure from the original recipe, which said to use something called 'Ezy Sauce'. I decided to make my own.

Pour in sugar mix, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add to cooking tomatoes.

Cook over low-medium heat for further 30-40 minutes. The vinegary smell will blend into the tomato smell.
Use hand mixer or food processor to blend until smooth.

Dip bread into sauce to sample taste. Yum.

Let sauce cool, then transfer into storage container. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Weekend Project

I know it's only Wednesday, but projects take planning. And buying stuff. And talking myself into actually doing the projects, on the basis that now that I've bought the stuff, I damn well shouldn't waste my money by not using it.

Tomato Sauce.

My younger brother thinks he has developed an allergy to store bought tomato sauce. He's okay with tomato based pasta sauce, and fresh tomato isn't a problem, but if he has regular tomato sauce from a bottle, he gets a headache. It's really very sad, because as Australians it's practically unpatriotic to not be able to have sauce.

So I have decided to try making my own, where I know what all the ingredients are, to see if The Boy is still affected, or if it is, as I suspect, actually an allergy to one of the preservatives or colourants in the bottled stuff.

I've found an okay looking recipe, and while I usually follow recipes exactly the first time I make them, and then tweak on future endevours, this time I'm making a few changes before I even start.

I'll be making the tomato sauce on Saturday, and if it all goes well, it will be documented here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cooking With No-One: Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I got my Ice Cream Maker! Yay!

I'm not really a fan of the colour pink, but Myer was having a sale on these. They were going out for $104, and by the time I got to the store they only had 6 left. 5 in pink, and 1 in a shade of yellow I disliked even more. So I got the pink one.

As the butter-pecan ice cream was the reason I first wanted to make my own ice cream, I made that first.

I am following the suggestion of a friend who already has an ice cream maker, and just storing the freezer bowl part in the freezer so it's always ready for use.

Prepare the pecans.

Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan.

Add a pinch of salt, and chopped pecans. I could only find either whole pecans, or pecan halves, and they were all tucked away, practically hidden by the seventeen thousand different types of almonds the store stocked. Poor pecans. I chopped them myself.

Cook over a low heat for around 8 minutes. Drain butter. Taste one of the pecan pieces. It tasted a little like buttered popcorn.
Start preparing ice cream mix.

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine a pinch of salt, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup of milk.

Whisk until sugar is disolved. It will look kind of like the milk that's left over after a bowl of cocoa pops.
Add two cups of thickened cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Whisk until smooth. It will look like a milkshake.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make the ice cream in the ice cream maker.
Assemble the machine.
Turn machine on, then pour ice cream mix through the hole in the top of the lid.
Let it mix for around 15-20 minutes. It will look like this:
Add pecans through the hole in the lid.
Mix for a further 5 minutes.
When done, put ice cream in freezer proof container. Yum.
Or eat it right away, whatever works for you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reading With No-One: Santa Olivia

They say don't judge a book by the cover, but I really like this cover. Before I get to my mini-review, I will give you the blurb from the back of the book:

'There is no pity in Santa Olivia. And no escape. In this isolated military buffer zone between Mexico and the U.S., the citizens of Santa Olivia are virtually powerless. Then an unlikely herione is born. She is the daughter of a man genetically manipulated by the government to be a weapon. A "Wolf-Man," he was engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, stamina and senses, as well as a total lack of fear. Named for her vanished father, Loup Garron has inherited his gifts.

Frustrated by the injustices visited upon her friends and neighbours by the military occupiers, Loup is determined to avenge her community. Aided by a handful of her fellow orphans, Loup takes on the guise of their patron saint, Santa Olivia, and sets out to deliver vigilante justice - aware that if she is caught, she could lose her freedom...and her possibly her life.'

*******For anyone not familiar with the word, Loup is pronounced Lou. 'Le Loup-Garou' is french for 'The Wolf-Man'*********

Santa Olivia was recommended to me by a friend. I haven't quite finished it yet, I've got probably around another 45 minutes of reading time to go, but I thought if I did the review before I finished, I'd be less likely to over-explain and ruin the book for people who hate being spoiled as to endings and important plot points. (I'm not one of those people, so I sometimes accidently give to much away, when around people who are.)

I'm really enjoying Santa Olivia. It's engaging, interesting, and has a lead character who seems worth knowing. And I love a kick-ass female, who can take care of herself while protecting the people around her.

The story takes place in a world, set sometime in the future where plagues of illness have killed scores of people across the United States and Mexico (and presumably the rest of the world). Santa Olivia is a small town on the US-Mexican border, and has been walled off on both sides. It is technically no longer a part of either country, and as far as the world outside knows, the only people in the town are the soldiers who live there to protect the border. The civilians no longer exist in any official way.

The US army has told the town residents they are being kept safe from El Segundo a rebel Mexican general, who would use Santa Olivia as a gateway to attack the US, but they have reason to believe they are being lied to. That there is no El Segundo and the area is being kept walled off for other reasons.

The leading Army General holds out hope to locals in the form of boxing matches, promising if anyone can beat one of his men in a fight, they will get free passage out of Santa Olivia, for themselves and one other person. The locals cling to this promise, but the one time it seems like one of them may win, the fight is fixed. So we see that nobody is ever leaving.

Up until the boxing match, Loup, who at this point is still a teenager,  had been doing a few small acts as the saint, Santa Olivia. The outcome is what makes her decide to really fight against the army, and for freedom.

I'm sure I'll enjoy the rest of this book as much as I've liked what I've already read.

And I have, waiting, the sequel, Saints Astray, which I will start later this evening.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Breakfast Cafe

As a time saver, and so I can sleep as late as possible, I grab breakfast on the way to work and eat it when I get there.

A few months back some of the bus routes changed and this meant I got to work about 15 minutes earlier (but couldn't catch a later bus, because that would be too late), so I started getting off the bus two stops earlier and walking the rest of the way.

Back at the start of November I noticed, right near the bus stop I was now using, a tiny little cafe, with a few tables out the front. Apparently it's been there for years, I'd just never noticed it. It's run by a couple of men, brothers I think, originally from Nepal. One of them does most of the counter work, the other one is mostly out the back. They serve breakfast and lunch, curries being their main lunch attraction. I don't have time to get up there for lunch, so I'm yet to try them.

The first day I went in, I got a tall latte, with two sugars, and a maple syrup-pecan danish. It tasted like real maple syrup, and had actual pecans on it. By the middle of the week, the counter guy was just confirming that it was two sugars in the latte, and a danish to go. By the second week he didn't have to ask. I walk in and he starts my making my coffee and bagging up the danish while we say good morning, and if it's quiet in there, chat about the weather, the christmas decorations showing up on the street and other shops, how was the weekend, stuff like that.

It's not just me, there are a bunch of regulars who come in and get the same remarkable service. Some of them stay in and chat, some of them wander in, put some money on the counter with a quick "morning, I'll be out at the tables", and he knows what to bring them. The only people I've seen tell him what they're after are people making a change to their regular breakfast, and they do that before he's had a chance to start getting their usual, (through the door "I'll have a muffin, instead of some toast today mate), or newbies, (well, probably newbies, why else would they need to ask the coffee sizes, or what kind of bread they use for the toast).

While I still love my Hudson's coffee, the lattes here are excellent and the customer service is amazing (which is what really keeps me coming back every morning). One day I'll make it there for lunch and try the Nepalese Curry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quote Of The Week

From Terry Pratchett's new novel 'Snuff':
"...good people have no business being so bad. Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm Over It

The love affair the world seems to be having with vampires and werewolves.

Full disclosure, I watched Buffy & Angel back in the day. I own the DVDs and still watch them on occasion. I currently watch The Vampire Diaries in spite of the fact that the two male leads are playing vampires, because they have some fantastic writing and acting, and of course, Ian Somerhalder's abs are very nice.

However, I was in Dymocks today, to use a gift card I got for my birthday. (Sidenote, I know some people who don't like to give gift cards because they're not 'personal'. I beg to differ. Gift cards says "I personally know that you'd rather choose your own book, instead of maybe ending with one you already own, or will hate." Yay giftcards!)

So, I'm wandering through the sci-fi/fantasy and horror sections, and it seems like every third book (or series) is about a human in love with a vampire or werewolf. Or a werewolf or vampire in love with a human. And it's all soppy and "I must control my bloodlust for the sake of love." eeerrrggghhhh. The market is just oversaturated, and I object to these genres being overrun with supernatural romances. I miss the days when vampires and werewolves were bloodthirsty killing machines to be hunted down and slayed, rather than fallen in love with and bedded. Back then, at least when one of these creatures fell for a human, they'd turn them and continue on with their natural bloodlusty killing sprees.

I want my genres back to the way they were.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gingerbread House

A friend made me this gingerbread house.
Sides: (only one pic, because they look the same)

 And these maimed and murdered gingerbread men. Or 'gingerdead' men, as we're calling them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marriage Equality

If you've been here before I'm sure you know I support marriage equality. People should be allowed to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. This weekend there will be a vote on this issue, so I am posting a link to a page where people can send an email to the Labor Party in favour of equality for anyone who may want to send one and/or pass it on.

And a pie-chart (because everyone loves a pie chart), on what will happen if gay people are allowed to get married.

I think I got the pie chart from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal but in case I actually ganked it off some random tumblr, credit to whomever made it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another 30 Years And I Can Retire!

It's my birthday on Wednesday. I'm not having a party because I hate parties. (At parties I'm the person who's either huddled near the few people I find bearable in crushing social situations, or scanning the bookshelf, wondering if anyone will notice me stealing a book, then hiding in a quietish spot to read).
I'll be going to the movies with a friend, then having dinner with friend and brother. Friend says she's making me an amazing chocolate cake. Yay.

I will be 35. And somehow, I don't yet live on a private island, in a medieval castle*, surrounded by a moat that's patrolled by a fire-breathing guard-dragon. I'm a little disappointed about that.

*Castle is, of course, upgraded to have proper plumbing, electricity, hot water and internet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not The Holidays I Had Planned

I'm on holidays from work for the next two weeks. I always take holidays near the end of November, because I don't believe anyone should have to work on their birthday. Luckily it's easy to get time off because everyone else is trying to get time over Christmas. As I'm full-time Monday to Friday, I get all the public holidays off anyway, so it's not an issue for me.
This week my landlord is doing repairs in my bathroom and kitchen. Which they need, since we've all been putting it off, but he's here at 8.30 in the morning, so no holiday morning sleep-ins. Plus the awkwardness of having someone else in the house when I just want to laze around, read my books and have a Farscape marathon. (Which I'm still doing, it just feels weird when there's someone working in the next room). Plus having to watch what websites I'm visiting, in case he sees the screen as walks past to go to his truck for supplies. It may be ridiculous on my part, but I don't want my 73-year-old Orthodox Catholic landlord knowing that I sometimes hang out at Fuck Yeah Pervy Fangirls, and other such Tumblrs.
And I can't leave my house to go anywhere, because I don't like people being in my house if one of the full time residents isn't also around.

I also feel bad whinging, because the work is needed, lots of people don't even have jobs to take holidays from, and there's masses of people with problems way worse than 'can't fully relax while reading and watching TV'. But still, it's not the holiday I had planned.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Kinda Creepy If You Think About It That Way

Christmas. The one time of year we think it's okay for the fat old man who's been spying on us all year to sneak into our house while we sleep and give us presents for being 'nice'.

Monday, November 7, 2011

TV Tips

We all know I watch a lot of TV. A lot.
And because I'm a total spoiler-whore I spend a fair amount of time hanging around internet forums so I know what to expect from my shows.

Lately I notice more and more people seem to be coming to these forums for no other reason than to bitch about the show. How they hate it now, how all of the characters are horrible, how the writing isn't as good as it was in the early seasons/episodes. Complaining that the characters they ship* aren't hooking up, because both characters are involved with someone else, etc.

Here's how to deal with this:

1: Understand that the show is not being written specifically for your enjoyment. There are millions of other people watching, and while the show also isn't being written specifically for them, they may be enjoying what happens. And of course the writers are also, at least somewhat, writing to please themselves. I watch Vampire Diaries. I would love to see Caroline and Katherine become best friends and go off on some awesome vampire road trip. I'd also happily see Stefan fall into an active volcano. I know these things are not likely to happen, because it's not all about me.

2: Understand that the couple you ship may not be the couple the show ships. Or other viewers. I will admit here I don't understand the Pete & Myka shippers over on some of the Warehouse 13 forums. Everyone involved with the show has spent the last three seasons telling us they have a brother-sister relationship, so I find the idea of them together kinda gross, but I respect that other viewers have a right to want that, even if it squicks me entirely. Personally, I ship Myka & HG, and I know there are plently of people who don't like the idea of them together. I watch Criminal Minds. I know a lot of viewers want to see Hotch and Prentiss hook up. I don't. They are my anti-ship. I would happily see either of them with any of the other characters, but not together. However, I don't go online and bash all the H&P shippers. If you really want two characters together, go read some fanfic specific to your ship, but know that it may not happen on the show, because it's not all about you.

3. This is the most important tip: If you are not enjoying the show anymore, if you hate all the characters, and find yourself incandescent with rage by the end of the episodes, STOP WATCHING!
Find a new show, buy the seasons that you did enjoy and watch those, write some fanfic or start a Tumblr made up of stuff from when you did like it, but don't waste an hour of your time with something you hate and then even more time bitching about it later. Just stop.

TV is supposed to be an escape. A way to relax, and disconnect. Like in so many situations, if you're not enjoying it, you need to stop, and find something that pleases you more.  

*for anyone unfamiliar with term: 'ship' is short for relationship. You want to see two characters together? You ship them. You're a shipper.
And while most contractions have an apostrophe to demonstrate that it is a shortened form of something, in my experience ship usually doesn't.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things I Wonder About

If a call to 000 or 911 brings up the caller's address within seconds, why, in ransom situations do people need to keep the caller on phone for over 3 minutes so the cops can trace the call?

The waiting period to report a healthy, non-challenged adult missing is 24 hours, so the police aren't swamped with missing persons reports for people who are just running late, or have gone out without leaving a note, which I understand. But we're also told that in any crime the first few hours are the most crucial for gathering evidence. If you can't report the disappearance for over 24 hours isn't the most crucial evidence gone by then?

Cars, boats, jets etc. are considered to be phallic objects, so why are they normally given female names? Most men don't name their actual phallic object something like 'Mary'.

When Superman changes in a phone booth, where do his clothes go? They're not under his Superman costume, and you never see a pile of clothing left on the floor of the booth. If he was changing in the TARDIS I could chalk it up to the science magic of time and space manipulation, but he's not so I can't.

If I had to choose my own name, what would I choose? I love the name Alex, for either gender, but I don't feel like an Alex. I don't often feel like a Kathryn either though.

Does the body & brain know exactly when it's going to die and plan its midlife crisis accordingly. Like it has no way of letting the conscious mind know, so it gives you all the midlife crisis signs and if you can double your time from exactly when you started having the crisis, is that when you're due to go.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Melbourne Cup Post

I don't live in Melbourne, but my work does a Melbourne Cup thing anyway. Everyone brings in nibbles (I bought choc-chip mars bar cookies), and we do sweeps and whatnot. I didn't win. Nor did I win on the actual bet I made at the TAB. I'm not a gambling person, so my system consists of putting $5 on the horse with the biggest odds, because I figure if it loses, I've only lost five dollars, but if it wins, I've made a bunch of money. So far this has failed me, but one day it may work.

As I was looking at the names of horses, I started wondering how people come up with the name for their horse. When I name pets, I name them after TV characters from shows I watch. To me this makes sense, but it does lead to me being asked questions like "Hey, why do you have a fish named Tami Taylor?".

Speaking of, I'm probably getting more goldfish soon, and I can't decide whether to name them Fauxlivia and Lincoln Lee, or Pete and Myka.

Back to the horses, some of the names seem really non-horselike to me. Lost In The Moment & At First Sight both sound like they could be crappy over the top romantic comedies. Probably starring Kate Hudson.
As for the winner, Dunaden, I wouldn't want to name my horse something that could be shortened to Dunny.

Although now that I think about it, if I were raising a horse specifically to be in horse races, I probably would deliberately give it a name that would be really embarrassing for an announcer to call. Just because it would make me laugh.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Cemeteries Confuse Me

I'm trying very hard not offend anyone with this post.

I fully understand the need to have a way to say goodbye to someone who has died. Personally I like the idea of a gathering that celebrates my life, rather than a maudlin affair that mourns my death. And funeral-wise I have always been completely in love with the idea of a Viking funeral. Ever since I saw one in a movie when I was a kid, I thought being loaded onto a boat with all your possessions, set out to sea, and then having people shoot flaming arrows at the boat until it catches fire and burns to nothing, was the most awesome funeral idea. I still think that, but given that I live in Australia, where I'm pretty sure that's not allowed, I will probably never have one.

I don't understand the burying people in the ground and then visiting them. I don't mean to offend anyone who does that, it's just that most people I know who visit the graves of people they have known, also believe that once a person dies the soul goes elsewhere.

Out of 10 people who I know who visit graves, 6 of them believe the soul goes to heaven, 3 say rebirth, and 1 says she doesn't know for sure, she just thinks they're out there somewhere. Which brings me to the bit I have trouble with. If you believe the soul isn't in the body anymore, why are you visiting the body? Would it not make more sense to plant a tree in honour of the person (unless they hated trees in life), or go to an area you know they loved, where you can just sit and think about them, and if their soul is out there somewhere, they'd know about it.

If you do visit graves, feel free to explain to me why, and please don't think for a moment that I'm trying to cause trouble, or invalidate your choice. I just don't get it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Halloween Question

Halloween is almost upon us. I've heard a lot of grumbling about Halloween being an American thing, and we shouldn't be copying them and blah blah blah wingecakes, but I have Celtic and European blood, and they were celebrating All Hallow's Eve long before the Americans had anything to do with it, so I don't have a problem with it, and any doorknockers go away with mini milky ways or chupa chups. (sidenote: I babelfished Chupa Chup the other day, translating in a variety of languages, to see if it actually meant anything. In both Spanish and Portugese it translates to 'absorber of chup' which seems really odd.)

I've seen, in a fair amount of TV shows, and read in a bunch of books, children on Halloween being warned not to accept apples in case they have razor blades hidden in them. Sometimes these warnings are accompanied by a story about how a friend of a friend knows someone whose cousin's kid got an apple, bit into it, and had their mouth cut open by the razor blade.

This has always confused me.

Question: How exactly does one get a razor blade into an apple without it looking like the apple has been tampered with?

I'm not planning on doing it of course, but really, I wonder. Get an apple, get a razor blade. Shove the blade into the apple. I'm pretty sure there'll be a big visible cut in the surface of the apple where the blade got pushed in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why I Hate American Idol

Just to be clear I'm not a fan of reality shows in general. I like my tv scripted, my actors paid, and when situations are being staged I like knowing it's because that's how a writer and director chose to have it done, not how a producer wants us to believe it happened naturally.

I also have nothing against the winners. I'm a fan of Kelly Clarkson. I think she has an amazingly powerful voice, and in interviews she still seems really normal, not all famey. I also like Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry. I never actually saw any of these people perform on Idol because I don't watch the show, I came to their stuff afterwards, but I don't begrudge them their beginnings. (And wikipedia tells me Chris didn't win his season. I don't know who did.)

This is why I hate Idol, specifically the American version, but that's because I don't know how the audition process works over here. If it's the same, then my hate extends.
We spend so much time talking about bullying lately. How damaging it can be, what it can do to people, and all of that is valid. Then we have shows like Idol.

Before any of those people get to see the three judges in the televised audition process, they audtion for some producers. The producers decide who gets to go on TV and be seen by the judges. Some of the people who audition are clearly delusional. They honestly think they can sing, despite sounding like a cat being skinned, and they are completely crushed when the judges tell them they're hopeless and say a whole bunch of other mean stuff.

We all know while some people at home are cringing in embarrassment for these people, some people are outright laughing at them.

These contestants, who should never go past the producer audition stage, are given false hope and told they have a chance. They are being deliberately set up by the show to be laughed at, made fun of, and openly mocked.

It is cruel. It is heartless. It is bullying.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Want... Ice Cream Maker (and also masses of other things, but this thing in particular is within my financial grasp.) I've thought about it on and off, mostly when realising that by the time I get my store bought ice cream home on the bus it will be all melty, and it always goes kinda weird when it's re-frozen.

Then I thought about it even more when I heard a mention of butter-pecan ice cream, thought it sounded really nice, and couldn't actually find it here in Australia. I looked up the recipe and it seemed fairly easy to make. That, of course, got me thinking about all the other flavours I could experiment with. And I'd definitely use it, at least until March, now that we're coming into summer.

Does anyone out there already own an ice-cream maker? I'm looking for suggestions of what's a good brand to buy. Decently priced, easy to use, not prone to break-downs and whatnot.
And if you have any interesting and innovative flavours you'd like to share, do so in the comments. As long as they don't involve pineapple, passionfruit or coconut, all of which I hate with the fiery passion of a thousand burning nuns.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weird Dreams Are Weird

I had a dream. Not a noble dream about fixing the world, although that would be nice, just a normal (normal? for me maybe) weird dream.

I was in a barn with Olivia Wilde, filling crates with styrofoam packing peanuts. There was nothing else in the crates, just the packing material. After we'd finished filling the crates and nailing them shut, we went back to my house for a cup of tea. (My normal dream house that I live in every time I dream about a house.)

We'd just settled down in front of the television with our tea when we heard a noise from upstairs. I headed up to check it out, and found a couple I'd never seen before, having sex in the second-floor bedroom. I stand in the doorway and shout "What the hell?"
The woman responds with "It's alright, I'm the real estate agent."
I point out that her being a realtor doesn't actually make it okay, and she says "Well, from an ethical standpoint I can't sell the house unless I've tried out all the rooms."

As I was telling her the house wasn't for sale I woke up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Fashion Look I Hate

Store bought cut-off shorts with the pockets hanging out.

I don't have a problem with people wearing really short shorts. If you've got the legs for it, good for you, and feel free to show 'em off all over the place.

It's the pocket thing that bugs me. It looks stupid, the bottom of the pockets, poking out from the leg of the shorts just resting on the thigh like that.
I know they're meant to emulate cut-offs that were made at home from an old pair of jeans. But they're not. They were made in a damn factory, so get rid of the stupid looking pockets.

And if you're one of those people that can wear short shorts, get the kind that don't have the pockets. Your legs will look better without them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cooking With No One: Vegetable Curry.

This is a picture heavy post.

A few weeks ago I was watching a movie called Nina's Heavenly Delights and it inspired me to try making my own curry, without using any store bought curry pastes, or curry powders. It turned out really well, so I made it again, and this time I took pictures.

First I pre-cut a mountain of vegetables. I used potato, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower and green beans. Of course, these can be swapped out for other veggies depending on personal taste. (I've heard there's some degenerates out there that actually like to have peas in their curry. Horrifying, I know.)

 Cut up 2 onions. Then go and sit somewhere else for a while, cursing the fact that scientists keep developing new treatments for erectile dysfunction, but haven't yet genetically engineered an onion that won't make my eyeballs feel raw. Damn onions.

Once the onion-induced tears stopped streaming, I started making my home-made curry paste.  I began with an entire small jar of minced garlic. Woolworths brand, nothing fancy.

Add a big dollop of minced chili.

A smaller dollop of minced ginger.

A bunch of chili powder.

Some ground cumin.

Garam Masala.

And finally a bunch of tumeric, (Apologies for not having actual amounts here. When I cook with spices, I generally just keep adding until stuff smells the way I think it should. It's worked for me so far.)

Mix thoroughly until you get a fairly unappetizing looking paste, that smells great.

Heat oil in a large pot. Add paste to hot oil and stir around for a little while releasing all the flavours.

Throw in the onion. Mix through paste, and saute for a few minutes, stirring all the while.

 Add the mountain of vegetables.

 Mix them around until they are completely coated in curry paste.

 Add two cans of diced tomatoes. I like the diced Italian with basil, garlic and onion. I use it every time I have something that requires diced tomatoes. (Unless I'm using fresh ones.)

 Mix well. It was at this point I remembered that last time I used my much larger stockpot, and had to swap everything from the pot I was using to the stockpot, as I was having trouble stirring and there wasn't going to be room for the yoghurt.

 Add a large container of natural yoghurt. If you want to go vegan, or know someone who's vegan, you can use some kind of soy yoghurt or whatever vegans might use as a yoghurt substitute. I'm a firm believer in the magical powers of bacon, so I'm not sure what that substitute may be.

 More mixing. I also added coriander, but I forgot to take a photo. Oops.

 Simmer over a low heat for several hours, stirring occasionally so you don't end up with gross burned bits on the bottom of the pot. They're a bitch to clean off later.

Served with Roti bread. Yum.