Month: August 2009

Special Topics in Calamity Physics Video by Calamitous Physicist – MySpace Video

This is a very weird book.  One of those ones that seem to lead you on a path and then switch back and you aren’t where you thought you’d be.  Anyway here is the book trailer, love these things.  There are heaps of them out there that I have discovered recently.  But this one kinda really shows the book in all it’s interestingness.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics Video by Calamitous Physicist – MySpace Video

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Ispahan – my new rose

Lisa has given me a rose for my birthday.  She is so beautiful, and Lisa is quite nice too!  And in case anybody is wondering it is not actually my birthday, this is last years present, so a bonus present.  Lisa is my gardening buddy so she knows about my obsession with old roses, so this is perfect.  Now to get her planted.

Ispahan’, also known as ‘Pompon des Princes’, is a clear pink, half-open kind of Damask rose (an early type, introduced from the Middle east in European breeding during the crusading XIIIth century).

David Austin still recommends it highly as free flowering, among the first Old Roses to start blooming and the last to continue, and for its fine Damask fragrance. The name Ispahan is from the name of city of Isfahan in Iran.  (This information is from Wikipedia)

Holiday Hot Cake with Eggnog Cream (not as disgusting as it sounds)

Thank you Nigella!  This is from Nigella Express.

mmmmm Nigella

mmmmm Nigella

This is a self-saucing pudding.  We are having it tonight because I am cooking a roast and it will go nicely into the oven when I take the roast out – at about 10pm tonight (timing not being my forte)

150g flour, 100g light brown sugar, and 200g extra, 1tsp baking powder, 2tsp of ground ginger, 2 tsp of mixed spice.  – Put everything except half of the ginger and half of the mixed spice and the extra measure of sugar in a bowl and mix.  It should be the bowl you are going to cook it in.  Add 125ml of full fat milk, 60ml of oil, 1 egg.  Mix all together.

Sprinkle over the top put the extra measure of sugar, the extra spices all mixed together.  Put 6 tsp of butter in dots all over the top and pour over 500ml of water.  Bake at 220 degrees.  Stand 10 min before serving (yeah right!)  Serve with cream wisked up with advocaat.  (or not)

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

51J6F99E8RL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_This is soo good.  Mind you nearly all of her books are.  Especially the Jane Rizolli ones.  It is a high drama, human trafficing, kidnapping, having a baby thriller.

It’s been ages since I read one and have read ones further down the series, but golly this one got knocked off in about two days.  After a long time of reading more literary novels I needed something short sharp and gritty.  This did the trick perfectly.

I recommend Tess Gerritson to anybody who likes Val McDermid or Harlan Coben.

The Potato Soup – as promised to Kevin

This belongs to Lois Daish – my fav NZ cook – and Judith Cullen, and Digby Law.  And I have lost the actual recipe so this is kinda how it goes.  It will work whatever you do.  No garlic necessary if you don’t want.

Put garlic on to roast – as much as you like.  she wants you to use two whole heads but – I mean – if you have to be with people this might be a little much.  Slice them across the top to expose the inside of each clove so that you can squeeze out the innards easily later.  Put them on a double thickness of foil, pull up the edges of the foil and sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and waer.  Seal them up and bung them in the oven fo about 30min when the smell is driving you wild with excitement.

Get out some spuds.  Peel them.  I don’t know how many spuds, figure this out for yourself.  Of course Agria are going to be fantastic, but whatever is lurking in the bottom of the cupboard will be fine.  More is better if you ask me cos then you can freeze some leftovers.  Cut them smallish bits, throw them in a pot with some bay leaves, you can never put in too many, grind some pepper over them and chuck in some salt – I’m Nigella’s kitchen bitch so I only use Malden but whatever. (Don’t I sound so posh).  Add some butter or olive oil and give them a wee sizzle around, do not brown them.  I do them till they are kinda getting mushy on the outside.  Stirring.

Cover the spuds with water, or chicken stock, or white wine and water or vegetarian stock or whatever, but water is fine.  Cook till tender.

When they are all slushy, cool them down and chuck in blender, (take out the bay leaves) or mash in the pot till they are soupy, throw in the garlic you squeeze from the cloves you roasted.  And you have soup.  Thin with a liquid from the list below.

Now:  add according to what you have available.  Some greens – I love watercress, baby spinach, leftover salad leaves – soft ones obviously.  You can chuck in some chunks of feta, some cream cheese, sour cream, cream, milk, because I am obsessed with pepper I put lots in, or just whatever you think.

This is truly the soup of my dreams.  I don’t know why it tastes so good but if you want to feel good about winter this is the soup to do it for you.

Miriam’s amazing make it in a roasting dish chocolate cake!

This is a great recipe.  Makes a very big cake.  With the anointing of icing thick and chocolatey this is a good one for a crowd and takes (honestly) about 10 minutes to get into the oven.  There are of course the dishes to fob off to someone else to do after that though.

Mix together in a big bowl:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix together in a litle bowl:
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1 cup boiling water and mix again. Don’t be freaked out when it looks like a sloppy mess, it’ll come right.

Bake at about 160c until it’s done. You’ll know when, poke it with something to check (I know you have knitting needles!!!)


Assignment 1 is in

Yes folks, finally, the overread, overwritten, undercorrected assignment has hit the server at the Open Polytechnic.  Thank God!  Now I can get onto the next one.

What’s next I hear you cry in eager anticipation – why it’s the cataloguing one.  I K N O W!  So much excitement to be had there.

The celebratory Magnum is about to be consumed.

Mrs Dalloway

images-2 Just finished Mrs Dalloway, more of a mission than I thought, mostly because I got distracted by Broken, see below, and study.  But it’s a great book, the detail is so, well, detailed.  It’s got that lovely Bloomsbury feel about it, the slightly distracted feel of the women and the intense blokes and everyone overthinking everything, or being ultra aware.   So pleased I read it.

Broken by Daniel Clay

Broken by Daniel Clay

Broken by Daniel Clay

What a great book, not quite finished yet but won’t be long.  This book has lots, and I mean lots of sexual activity.  It is the story of Skunk Cunningham who lives in a square in a suburb where half of the houses are state housing.  Her brother is seduced by one of the skanky girls who live over the road, Skunk is in love with a gypsy boy (she is 11!), the father of the skanks is a drunken drugged out bully and the neighbourhood live in fear of him, especially the boy in the house across the street, who was beaten to a pulp and has never recovered.  He is the Broken of the title.  Fantastic stuff, it’ll make you laugh, cry and hold your mouth open in disbelief.  Great reading.

Lesley’s fabulous fruity breakfast puffs

Lesley made these for me this morning.  They are totally delicious, bad for you and yummy!

Cut up finely an apple.

Oven on 180, pastry out of freezer (see below)

Add apple to a saucepan with a bit of butter, couple tsp of cinnamon, one tsp of nutmeg, big slosh of orange juice and some chopped dried apricots, some brown sugar – play it by ear.  Boil the crap out it it till it goes all sticky and smelly yummy and the apple is soft.  Adjust the measurements to suit.

Get out a couple of sheets of puff pastry, which you have thawed or this won’t work.  Spread the apple mixture all over the sheets of pastry and roll up like a cinnamon roll or chelsea bun.  Brush rolls with a bit of melted butter.  Cut each of the rolls in half, put on baking dish and bake till gorgeous on 180 degrees.

Tomato and Potato Bake

Thanks to Jill Dupleix for this one.  I’ve changed it a bit.  That’s how I roll!

200g bacon  500g tomatoes

1kg old potatoes  1tblsp butter

2tblsp fresh thyme

bayleaf crumbled

salt and freshly ground pepper

dice bacon, fry till crisp and set aside.  Slice tomatoes into rings.  Slice thinly (don’t bother to take the skin off)  Oven at 220C butter baking dish.  Cover dish with layers and sprinkle bacon, bayleaf and thyme in between.  Pour over some liquid, like stock or water.  Bake inthe oven a long time till bottom soft and top crispy.  Although Jill wants you to half fill the container, cook on stove till boiling then bake in oven for an hour, this is not what I did.