Sunday, September 25, 2011

Magic Quilt

When I was a baby my mother made me a little patchwork quilt. She made it out of material from dresses that used to belong to her and my older sister. The quilt started out in my cot, then when I was three I got  a baby doll for christmas and the patchwork quilt was what I wrapped her in when I carted her around.

The quilt has been through countless household moves, was used/played with both inside and outside, and around 11 years ago it was in my flat when I had a fire that covered almost everything in soot. It has been around me, one of lifes natural spillers and stainers, for 34 years.

I took this photo of the quilt 2 hours ago:
It is spotless. Not a single stain. It came out of my fire soot free. The white bits are still white and the colours are still bright. It hasn't faded with age or worn through from handling.
My brother and I have agreed that it must be a magic quilt. It's really the only explanation for an almost 35 year old quilt to look like it was only just made.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A post with a bunch of little video clips

Anyone who's been here before probably knows I watch a lot of movies and television shows.

Every now and then, a line or scene from a movie or show will randomly pop into my head, and won't go away until I watch whatever it's from. Today I thought I'd share these moments.

Movies first.

The opening cheer from Bring It On:
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Bring It On is a completely ridiculous movie, but so much fun to watch.

Imagine Me & You:

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This line is used twice in the movie. Once in the scene above, where Luce is teaching Rachel how to shout properly, and once when Rachel is trying to get Luce's attention in a noisy traffic jam. I've included that one below.
video
Poor number 9. I always find myself pausing this movie half way through to make a cup of tea. It must be the Britishness of it.

Labyrinth:

video
I love Labyrinth. When I was a kid, I could recite the whole movie from start to finish.

Tomb Raider:

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I don't know what it is about Lara Croft saying "Absolutely" that I enjoy so much, but enjoy it I do, and it does randomly lodge itself in my brain.

TV Shows

Chuck: Chuck vs. the Crown Vic (Season 1, Episode 11)

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Ahh, first season UST Chuck and Sarah bickering. I love her tone there.

Eureka: Purple Haze (Season 1, Episode 10)

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Jo saying "ice-skating!" was one of those things that I thought probably amused me way more than it should. We all have moments like that, where we find something hilarious, and our friends are looking at us like we're idiots, all 'it's not that funny'. Then I found the podcast commentary for the episode and discovered that the cast find it just as funny as I do, so at least I'm not alone in that.

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

video

I  know this could have gone in the movies section, as it's from the movie that wrapped up the series, but if I'm gonna watch the Peacekeeper Wars, I have to watch the whole series leading up to it.

Fringe: Ability (Season 1, Episode 14)

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Such a cute little teasing moment in an episode that's actually fairly tense for Olivia.

Law & Order: SVU - Guilt (Season 3, Episode 18)

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Poor Alex, she really needed a hug pretty much throughout the whole episode. Also remember when this show was still awesome and Benson was a kick ass detective, instead of the whiny cry baby she is now. It all went so far downhill I honestly don't know how it gets an automatic renewel every year.

The X-Files: Bad Blood (Season 5, Episode 12)

video

No matter what kind of bad mood I might happen to be in, this moment always makes me laugh. And the whole episode is pretty much the funniest episode of The X-Files ever.

Lastly I'll just mention a line from an episode of Law & Order that I can't post, because I don't have it on DVD. For some reason even though the network has released all the seasons of SVU & Criminal Intent, they have only released up to season 8 of their original, longest running drama. Damn them, I want my Abbie Carmichael seasons!

From Cherished (L&O Season 9, Episode 1) while trying to decide who should be punished the most for the death of a baby girl:
Abbie Carmichael: "No deals for anybody. Let's hang 'em all."
I love Abbie.







Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cooking With No One: Spicy Pork Ribs

Ingredients

'American-style' pork ribs

Dry Spice Rub

Large container of sweet paprika (this is the base)
2 pkts mustard powder (all packets are the ones that hang near the jars in the spice aisle)
2 pkts five spice powder
2 pkts black pepper
3 pkts chili powder
3 pkts chili flakes
1 pkt cinnamon
1 jar onion salt

Mix all spices together thoroughly. This will clear your sinuses. This actually makes way more than you need for the ribs, but when stored in an airtight jar it lasts for ages. We also use it to marinate other meats and add it to taco mix, and anything else we want spicy.


Glaze

500ml honey
500ml smokey bbq sauce
1 cup apple cidar vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together until completely combined. Again, this makes way more than you need for the ribs, but lasts for ages in the fridge. It can also be used on other meats, as a stir-fry sauce, and the other day my brother told me he was using it as a dipping sauce.


Method

Cut ribs into good sized pieces and place in baking tray.
Spoon on some spice rub, to rub into the ribs. I use more than is shown in the picture, but I wanted to make sure it all photographed well.


Put on gloves!!! This is very important. I didn't do that the first time I made these, and as I was rubbing in the spice mix, my hands started to burn. After repeated frantic handwashings, and holding a bag of frozen vegetables between my hands, the worst of the burning feeling went away, but my hands stung for two days afterwards. So, gloves.
Rub spice mix into ribs, both sides, until they are well covered.

Cover with foil, and put in fridge overnight, so the spice rub has several hours to tenderise the meat.
---------do whatever it is you do during the evening, sleep, do whatever it is you do during the morning and early afternoon----------

Put ribs in oven and bake (still foil covered), at 180 C. Length of time varies depending on thickness of ribs and how moody your oven may be. Anywere between 75 - 90 minutes usually does it.

If you're making a whole bunch of ribs, they can be cooked early, take them out of the oven, put the next batch in, and when the just removed batch has cooled a little bit, put them back in the fridge until the glazing stage.

Glazing! This can be done on a barbeque. I don't like cooking outside because of the cats, and the flies, and the sunlight and fresh air, so I do this under the griller.

Place ribs on foil-lined grill plate, and brush with glaze.


Put under heat (on high), for a few minutes, re-glaze put back under heat until slightly darkened, but not burned. Glaze may be bubbling a little bit. That's fine.
Turn over and do the other side.

These ribs are messy, sticky and so spicy hot that they burn the inside of your mouth and leave your lips tingly-numb. They are awesome.

Tender meat sliced from bone and put on breadroll:


Normally I serve the ribs with potato salad (dressing: mayonnaise, sour cream & lemon juice). This time they were served with a side of cheesy rice.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bookmarks

I read a lot. I've always got at least one book on me, and if I'm near the end, I'll have an emergency back up book. Just in case. I read at the bus stop, on the bus, in really long lines at the post office, on my break at work. Basically, as far as I'm concerned, any time I have to do just about anything, it's something that's getting in the way of my reading time.

Like most people, I often don't get to finish a book in one sitting because of all those other things that need doing (although on my recent holidays I had the chance), so I use bookmarks.

I hate, hate, hate dog-eared pages. Whenever I let someone borrow a book from me, I make very sure to tell them if they turn down the pages they will not be borrowing from me again.

My bookmarks are specially made just for me. My mother (River - you all know her) makes them for me. Sometimes she makes them from pictures I email (did you get the one I just sent?), sometimes they are pictures she knows I'll like, and I get some surprise bookmarks I wasn't expecting. I keep them all together in a drawer, and I'll use one for a little while, then put it back in the drawer and use another one.

You might be wondering now why I don't make them myself. There are a lot of things I can do very well. There are some things I'm useless at. One of those things is using clear plastic contact. I always get bubbles. Weirdly shaped ones that don't smooth away. They stretch and break and look funny.

So mum makes them for me, and I really appreciate having bookmarks that are different from anything anyone else has.

While we're on the subject of books, I was reading one from the library today, the first book in a trilogy. I was really enjoying it and found I could buy the entire trilogy at Amazon in a box set for under $15. Yay, affordable books! For anyone who's interested the trilogy is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.