July 9th, 2007

My favorite vegetable

The use of breathing apparatus in the kitchen

paka might get a giggle out of this short, "Tom and His Pals" that mycroftb found, on one guy and his D&D group. Not entirely worksafe. =:D

Here's an insight from a culinary perspective on what makes Ratatouille such a good movie. (One not-quite-spoiler within) "Last weekend Chef Pardus called me to say if I didn’t take my kids that very weekend to Ratatouille, I was a loser. This from the same guy who called me a wuss because I didn’t want to drive 30 miles through a blizzard to make a bechamel sauce."

Peter Davison's apparently set to take over the role of King Arthur in the West End production of Spamalot. ^_^ "It was written by former Python Eric Idle, who recently unveiled his next project - Not The Messiah (He's A Very Naughty Boy) at Toronto's Luminato festival."

Via metaquotes, Ten Quintessentially British Things the Rest of the World Will Never Understand. "You're allowed to drink legally in the UK at the age of 18 which means that most people are seasoned drinkers by the time they hit 16. However, due to immature taste buds and the need for near-constant sugary input, beer is rarely the beverage of choice. So it usually goes one of two ways - Lambrini for girls, White Lightning for boys. They're pretty interchangeable really, with both just tasting like a combination of Capri Sun and gasoline, but teenage boys can't be seen to drink something as feminine as Lambrini (which I believe is Italian for 'teen pregnancy ahoy'), so they stick with the cider."

Fearsomely pointless invention for the day: sliced bread. Not into slices, but to remove the crusts. It was inevitable, though, given the Anglophone world's obsession with fresh, crunchy breads, leading to over 700 dental accidents in 2005 alone.

Ghibli's latest, Tales from Earthsea, isn't one to hurry out for - but I'll note I'm not one for medieval fantasy. After forty minutes, I gave up on it, to resume some other day - as beautiful as any Ghibli production, very good score, but a wretchedly trite story with all the usual generic elements. Whether this is the fault of the original, or a poor adaptation, I can't say, not knowing the originals; I'd be disappointed either way, frankly. Anime News Network has a lengthier review here, which I'd essentially agree with.

A rather different film was Ga-ga Chwala Bohaterom ("Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes"), a Polish tale of a future in which everyone's too contented to bother with aspiring to be astronauts, so prisoners are sent off to distant planets instead. Our hero arrives, but finds things are.. a little odd. Squalid, certainly, but it's the welcoming gifts the enthusiastic official gives him, including a garotte, automatic machine gun, and a bomb. ("Leave it on a bus, during rush hour. Always very popular!") Think of Mad Max and the dregs of Robocop, crafted with the sharp and bleak humor of Brazil.

Baccano! looks like it could be fun - action/adventure in a Prohibition-style gangland setting. With vampires. ^_^ Looks like it might make up for the loss of Darker than Black from the fansub scene.

Here's quite a neat thread on opening the iPhone, noting the progress that's being made. One easter egg of sorts: dial *3001#12345#* and call. It'll launch the FieldTest application, displaying all the cell towers it's seeing, and whose network they're affiliated to.

Time for some Thai, I thought. Not in the least authentic, but you get the drift. Boiling water, four finely sliced bird's eye peppers, a good dose of garlic granules, some basil, a sachet of chicken & mushroom instant soup, about eight thickly sliced mushrooms, three ground up anchovies, some smoked hot paprika, and two cubed pork chops with the fat trimmed off, all left to simmer gently for an hour or two. Then, once everything seemed to have made its peace with each other, the vegetables - plenty of baby corn, some mangetout, and some green beans, plus a small packet of large prawns, left to steam away at itself until the vegetables remained crunchy but the prawns didn't.

Most satisfactory. Not "burns twice", but more "heated seating option".

Tonight, though, I went in a simpler direction, with two parts to it all - vegetables, and meat. First, some baby corn, mangetout, and sweet pepper into the microwave to get steamed up, then into the wok with three teaspoons of a very pleasant sauce from the supermarket: cranberry, Seville orange, and port, tossed around with a little water to form something of a glaze. Out onto the plate, to make way for the teaspoon of chili oil, sprinking of garlic granules, and a bird's eye pepper, sliced finely. After that had had a chance to cook through, in with a nice pile of left-over chicken & stuffing, cubed up. Tosstosstosstosssoysaucetosstosswatertosstosstoss (and again). And then out to join the vegetables on the other side of the plate.

Definitely worthwhile. I could've maybe used two or three peppers, given they've been in the fridge for a fortnight, so they're not as potent as when fresh, but that well-rounded heat played very well with the stuffing, which in turn went along with the delicately sweetened corn and mangetout.

And as a bonus, the fumes ensured I was left alone in the kitchen. =:D

According to a quick wc LJ*, I've written about 115,600 words in this journal. Still some way to go until I top a million.. well, no time like the present. =:)