Agent A continues! The story's next installment (a little confusingly called the third chapter, as the first part's since been split into two chapters) is now available! Apparently, they're aiming for a total of five chapters. Remarkably, it's a free update - hopefully with some means of offering some kind of payment, given this reflects months more work by the team, but I haven't yet had a good chance to try it out.
The Bunnykick: a double (50ml) of Sipsmith VJOP, topped up with plenty of ice, and then Fever Tree ginger ale to a half pint. You'll remember it. ^_^ (VJOP is their "navy strength" version, at 57.7%, fortified with further botanicals)
Was it nou who showed off their spice selection a while back? Here's my current selection. Not shown: several more within the core. =:) Those are the less frequently used ones, like ras el hanout, and long pepper, plus a couple bags of ginger and cumin at the end, just peeking through. The little unmarked tub is black cardamom, which needs to be restocked before long. (I tend to use it mostly in Bolognese sauce - adds just that bit of robustness to the tomato)
Show me yours? ^_^
Radio Garden loads up a globe, and overlays all the radio stations it knows about. Zoom in and explore, and listen to any of them. It's really quite magical.
Here's a series of tweets noting the rather extensive ties the Trump team has with Putin.
Last Saturday, I set about creating a random beef dish. ^_^ I was nosing around one of my preferred supermarkets, and noticed the butcher counter had ox cheek, and for very little money too. Of course, I had to pick up a hefty chunk, aware it's both beautifully flavorsome, and in need of plenty of cooking. I was a little worried that maybe I could've done with a slightly larger cut, so I picked up some thickly sliced chorizo as well, both for the texture and its own flavor. What I actually wound up doing was slicing several portabellini mushrooms thickly into the crockpot, along with a can of good French onion soup. I then sautéed a red onion in a little olive oil, to help reinforce the base of the sauce, and added that as well, then sat the cheek on top. Then, some initial herbings: some rosemary, basil, sweet smoked paprika, Tellicherry pepper, and some ginger & garlic paste, plus a bit of olive oil, to ensure the meat didn't wind up going dry through what would, after all, be a long braising, this being 3am, with the intent of serving in the evening. ^_^
I turned out not to really need tweaking the seasoning - it was quite nomworthy around lunchtime as was, but I did add a bit of the red wine the roomie had picked up, to help add further body to the sauce, and turned the (same) cheek over again. I perhaps should've remembered to thicken the sauce toward the end, but, no matter. ^_^ I served it with boiled brussels and roasted carrots that had been soaking for a couple hours in very sweet water, along with gnocchi. Suffice to say - I'm happy with how it turned out. It doesn't really look all that amazing (TBH, not much of my cooking does =:), but the cheek was as tender as anyone could have wished for, needing but a nudge with a knife to cut it, and a hearty, zingy gravy, backed up by some balanced vegetables and their textures & flavors, and that nicely potatoey base.
Behold: perhaps the most perfect canid eyeroll ever. ^_^
Here's rather an interesting DSLR macro lens (available in just about every mount): Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2.0, offering 4-4.5x magnification. Manual focus only, unsurprisingly, but the sample photos indeed look promising, and it's very reasonably priced at a recommended $199.
Of some nerdy interest, maybe? We've all seen YouTube videos where, once you've posted them, you get to realise the uploader's chosen to block them in some arbitrary set of countries. But lo! There is a site that can advise. ^_^ eg The Daily Show's Year in Review is apparently blocked in Australia and Canada; now you can see just where YouTube's geoblocking is being applied. And likewise, if you're affected, there appears to be an easy alternative.
We were watching Mystery Diners last night - it's somewhat trashy TV, but I confess, it holds a certain appeal - and they visited an apparently prominent club in LA, and wound up with something of a train wreck where there's not much sympathy to be had for anybody involved. We start with the owners, who charge a mere $5000 per bed (they mostly have just beds and tables) per night; then the manager, who's found to be buying vodka from a local discount warehouse and sending his own "staff" around selling it for a mere $200/bottle (a mid-range rum was said to be $550, by comparison), the proceeds of course going straight into the manager's pocket, in cash; and the wait staff leader, seeing her sales swiped away, proceeds to tell customers that the kitchen's closed, but they can offer "gourmet sausages" from the bar menu, for only $15 each, which she promptly buys from the street vendor just outside. =:D