Month: March 2010

The cure for the annoyingly cheerful!

Listening to Dylan Horricks (of Hicksville fame) today on National Radio (be still my beating girlish heart) he played a section of this fantastically funny clip.  I giggled like a young girl!  It comes from  The Onion that wonderful American News Institution.  Prepare to be entertained.

Golden Sausages

Oh the pain!  This is not my fave!  I never make this anymore, but when the cherubs were little and cute and fluffy wee things I used to make this all the time.  It came from my Mum originally and I probably also liked it when I was a kid, but I’m blanking that.  It is easy and one of those really good, feed many for nearly no money recipes!  I guess my tastes have changed over the years.  Anyway, I have had a request from one of the cherubs, and, given that this blog was supposed to be for sharing the family recipes I better put it on.

500g sausages, 1 onion – chopped, 2tblsp of Boss or L&P’s sauce (or other black sauce), 2tblsp flour, 1tblsp of brown sugar, 1 tblsp of tomato sauce (Watties) 1 tblsp of vinegar, 2 cups of boiling water.

Boil the sausages, cool and skin.  Place in a casserole dish with the sliced onion.  Mix dry ingredients and mix with boiling water and the sauces.  Pour the liquid over the sausages and bake in a slow oven for an hour.  Serve with mashed potato and other traditional style veges.

Evensong at Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral

The link above will take you to an audio from the BBC where you can hear the lovely – and soon to be back in Dunedin for a visit – Karl Read,  singing in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel in England. Karl sings there every day.  This was recorded on 23 March.  I think he posted it on his page as proof of life!  Anyway it is totally beautiful.  Have yourself a wee religious music moment.

First Aid Kit singing Tangerine

I have my little YouTube widget set up now to send me videos that ‘it thinks I will like’ it is kind of a mixed blessing, I get a lot of dross.  There are also some lovely gems that come through so I am staying with it.  This one was there today and I think it is lovely.  As a fan of the ‘semi country style’ this one is just my cuppa tea.  Have a wee listen/watch and see what you think.  It makes me want to get a guitar and strum along like I did when I was 14 and all I wanted was to be like Shona Laing!

Tyre Potatoes!

The tyres back in January

Pictured on the left are two stacked tyres.  These ones are not my faves.  These are the rubbish ones and we will quickly move on from the fact that these have produced one lousy radicchio plant, and three slightly stumpy zucchini.  They have been rubbish!

Moving quickly along, let us discuss the successful experiment to grow potatoes in tyres.  I head all sorts of opinions on this but in the NZ Gardner magazine they assured me that it would be fine.  And it was.  Yesterday I harvested an enormous sack of potatoes from a three tier of tyres.  I grew Red Rascal and Agria potatoes in them and although some of the spuddies are a little funny shaped – kinda flatish rather than roundish – it was majorly successful.  I still have a whole heap of spudies in the ground waiting to be harvested but they can just wait until some of this crop have been cooked up.  Note to self, find some new potato recipes.  Or I could revisit some like this one from a previous post

As for the dismal lot in the photo, those tyres are going to be moved and shifted and I might try a different root crop like yams or kumura.  I think the problem is that the tyres get too warm for leafy crops.  Ideas welcome.

Dahlia Time

Kelvin Floodlight (maybe)

I have been totally neglectful of my garden for about 2 months.  The lawns are long, the weeds are long and the clematis is so long it is choking the roses.  I have a spectacular pumpkin completely overtaking the potato patch and climbing up the roses along the fenceline.  This is not good, but I do have spectacular dahalias at the moment.  Here are some of them.  The huge yellow one is Kelvin Floodlight.  Well I think it is, Dad has grown this dahlia for years and the flowers are as big as a large dinnerplate  but my lovely sister is convinced that this is an interloper and that Kelvin Floodlight looks different.  Well I dunno but in the meantime it is pretty spectacular.  I think the orange one came from the very same lovely sister but we don’t know what it is called.  Anyone out there know?  Both of these have really strong stems which for really large dahlias is great often they need their flowers held up with support so that they don’t flop all over the place. 

The large maroon one here, it isn’t that great a photo to be honest, is called Midnight.  The first blooms are quite big but they shrink in size ad the season goes along.  I really like it, it looks great picked and in a vase with some white roses – Margaret Merril for preference if you ask me, mostly because she just smells so good but my Margaret hasn’t been great this year so I have been picking Elina to put with this one.

People have commented a lot that it has been a really bad season for Daliah’s here but for me it has been one of the best, even some of the ones that hadn’t been great and were being threatened with the fork have done well.

This is courtesy of boingboing

“Yelp is Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg’s new short film that provides a glimpse at their work-in-progress, a feature documentary called Connected  about “what it means to be human in the 21st century.”

This is really interesting, and made me wonder if I could actually spend 24 hours without Facebook, email, and so on.  And actually I did this weekend.  But I was pretty keen to go online when I got home.  It is my first reaction these days to turn on my computer and check my facebook page when I get home, which is very sad as often nobody has commented anything on there and I am frankly not much interested in many of the things that flow through on my feeds, and as for Twitter, I am only using it for professional stuff anyway and can certainly have a break from that for any amount of time and although there will be dozens of links posted in there I will probably only look at about 20% of them.

The time taken up with my online life is certainly meaning that other things drop off.  This is bad, my house is grimy, my reading life is suffering and I need to get control.  So, I am going to back on track and get my reading the classics programme up and running again.  A quick squiz through my bookshelf this afternoon, and I have discovered a huge number of unread tomes to get started on.  – After I check my facebook page hahahaha!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These are one of our classics.  Nick loves these.  We had a lovely German student who made a gazillion of them for his mates at school.  It is one of those chuck everything in a pot recipes.  “You could sell these biscuits Bridget” was the comment from someone at work.  I made them to take to a SLANZA meeting, Carole made her amazing chuck everything in a bowl brownie – recipe here soon – but these were not quite so beautiful as the photo shows.  Here is why.  I was so proud of these biscuits, showing them off all over the show at school like a wally and offered one to Iain the cooking teacher, at that very moment my friend Jo waltzed into my office and asked where her one was and lunged for the bowl.  Iain swiped them from reach with a swinging motion and Jo bumped into the bowl, biscuits went flying all over the floor!  I had a small amount of seepage instantly and applied the 10 second rule.  Biscuits retrievable but not so pretty as they once were and several damaged, so of course they had to be consumed instantly.  Waste is a crime in a hungry world after all!  So icing sugar all over the carpet, nicely stirred during the day with general library grime, and the cleaner, who hates my guts, totally unimpressed – again!  Lots of stories there folks.  Anyhoo some of the biscuits made it to the meeting and were enjoyed (sic!) by all.  Moral of this story, stop showing off Bridget.  Now make the cookies/biscuits!  Double the recipe if you want to – I always want to.

Take about 10 minutes to prepare, and 10ish minutes to bake.  Oven to 180 degrees C before you start. Makes 36 tiny ones – which is not enough, hence the doubling to make lots more big ones!

1 tblsp butter, 1/3 cup of cocoa, 1/4 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla, 1 cup flour, 1tsp baking powder, pinch of salt and lashings of icing sugar.

So pretty and so easy!

Gently melt the butter and cocoa, stir in the oil and sugar.  Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate for several hours, until you can easily make spoonfuls that stay on the tray without going all mushy, roll in icing sugar (yes really), put balls on baking paper on oven tray and bake at 180 till they appear to be cooked.  Leave to harden a bit on the tray, then transfer onto a rack.  They will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Rose Thom who gave me this recipe rolls them in chocolate chippies but that is a tad too much for me, but whatever!  She also leaves off the icing sugar and dips half in chocolate, which sounds good, but I like the icing sugar myself.  Again whatever!  They are pretty damn spectacular an can instantly turn you into a baking legend.

How to make a movie trailer!

I have just sent this little treat from Miss Cellania to our Media Studies teacher.  With our students getting all geared up for movie making I thought they might find it helpful.  Frankly, I just found it hilarious!   I probably should have put it on the The Movies page, but then some of you – the 12 of you who read this blog – might have missed it!  Having just posted the trailer to the new Twilight movie, Eclipse on the King’s blog it totally fits the cliche that this little clip is drawing attention to.  Watch it till the end.

Toilet paper origami and other delights

The blog, Judge a book by it’s cover has this wonderful post today.  Not happy with just indicating the delights of origami to keep oneself amused in the loo, our attention has been drawn to the towel as an object de art!

Judge a book by it's cover presents

Here is one of the photos but do head on over to the blog to enjoy the fabulous delights that the towel can bring.  Check it out.  I have been falling over laughing since I looked and can barely type for my fingers wanting to insert lots of LOLs!

You can find many other very earthly delights on that blog and it is, frankly, amazing that some of these covers manage to slip into the system.  There are however, simply staggering numbers of books published, and indeed purchased in a year and I suppose not all can be thoroughly checked.  Can they?  If the editing standards of many of our NZ books, some of which are being nominated for awards despite the editors being asleep, and I could mention two prolific authors in our local market who seem to have editor avoidance, and despite that are nominated in the NZ post awards this year.  I am refusing to buy these books for my library, my boys deserve to read English that has been edited properly.  (They aren’t allowed to read my blog haha.)  This is the do as I say rather than as I do blog.  Rant over now.  Carry on.

Apricot Marmalade

This recipe is one of those good old Central Otago ones that has been around for years.  The copy I have of it is from the Central Otago News (otherwise known as The Two Minutes Silence – I actually thought that was the name of the paper when I was a kid!)  it came from someone called Peg Mullen but my Mum tells me it has been around for a long long time.  It is lovely, the pineapple and citrus flavours go beautifully with the apricot, and best of all you don’t need a mountain of apricots to make it.

1.350 kg of apriots, 1 large tin of crushed pineapple, 2 oranges, 2 lemons, 2.250 kg sugar

Cut up the apricots and put in saucepan with pineapple.  Cut up rind and flesh of oranges and lemons.  If you have a kitchen whizz you may like to whizz all the fruit.  Bring all the frui to the boil and boil for four minutes.  Add the sugar and boil for a further 0 minutes.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars.

See – simple as.  Looks gorgeous.  I am preempting myself because I made apricot sauce with the glut of apricots I had the other weekend instead of this, but I have just been told of the best place to acquire cheap apricots so will go and get some to make this next week. Mmmmm.