Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

World Takeover fast approaching

The world takeover is two days away (possibly three) and I have little brain space for other things.  There are a few things that I could hash together to see if it makes a full post. Here goes.

1. Sitting at the computer is giving me a bit of a bad back. It’s making me feel old. I’m wondering how soon this would have happened if I’d gone down the office-job route.

2. My NaNoWriMo is behind by about three days. It doesn’t sound much but it translates to about 5000 words. Which I need to do today. So then it does sound like a lot.

3. I’m having trouble working out how to get photos I’ve taken on my phone to all come out the same size on the website. Some come out big and some come out teeny tiny and some are just right. How/why does this happen? Why don’t they all look the same size?

4. Last night, during Masterchef, the contestants had to make something with a random selection of ingredients. Last time I asked Danda what he would have made, this was his answer. This time, they had a mango, some ricotta, a coconut, brown crab, an aubergine and some other stuff I’ve forgotten. I think I’d make something desserty, I said to Danda, what would you make? Danda’s answer – I’d eat the mango and throw the coconut at Monica’s head. Ever the professional chef.

5. I want a cup of tea.

And now, here’s a photo. To try and rescue this non-post. It’s a tiny snail.
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Frost and food

Yesterday was a day of frost and food, both of which make for pretty pictures. Check it out.

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Pics from the walk to work
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Cherry and apple cake
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Chopping chives in the kitchen garden for the day’s food
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Making chutney with the garden produce

World Takeover Countdown

The world takeover will begin in less than a week. It is occupying most of my brain space, especially the space that would usually be reserved for blogging. So instead I am going to list the things that still need doing.

1. Arrival of second set of business cards and get fancy business card holder.

2. Website bits and peices tweaked and mobile version of website sorted.

3. First month of social media plan finalised.

4. Design for launch invitations.

5. Make sure one invite super fancy and edged in gold leaf (that one is for the queen).

6. Make sure I have queen’s address in phone book.

7. Work out good people to associate with on social media (@thequeen and @michelroux obviously, but who after that?)

8. Tell all friends that I will no longer be associating with them as they ‘are not famous enough for me’.

9. Buy shares in William Curley’s chocolatiers.

10. Refuse to have elevenses from anywhere else.
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OMG, it’s more Chat chat

Remember how I said on Tuesday that there’d be more Chat chat for you? Well, here it is. And there’s some good stuff in here. I’m going to start on the letters page because the first letter is work of genius. It says something along the lines of, ‘My sister uses text-speak and I don’t understand it so I sent her this poem.’

And here is the poem, in all its glory:
FYI and OMG
Mean nothing to me
If you can spell, I can’t tell,
So please write properly.

Yehhhhhh, what to say about that? There’s nothing to say, really, is there?

Another letter says, “There was a photo of a girl on one of your previous covers.  Even though they used to be a boy, I was totes jealous.” (I have paraphrased but that was the essence of the letter.) I mean, that’s not even worth the stamp, is it? And, of all the letters Chat receives, was that really the most worthy of being on the letters page?

Anyway, moving on. We’ve got a recipe for cheesy cod. I kid you not.
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Cod, cheese, roast it. Gourmet.

On the Spooky pages, we’ve got a bit of key feedback. If any of you don’t already know about the key, have a quick read of this and you’ll understand the general concept behind it.

The best feedback has got to be this one.
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Now, I don’t how the scratchcard game goes down in Penzance but a fiver is a pretty rubbish win. The card costs £3 to start with! Even a tenner would be a bit disappointing. A £20 win is your main aim, I feel. Mind you, maybe they only cost 20p there, making the £5 win look better. It just kind of seems like people are rubbing the key and then connecting any other thing that happens in their day to it.

Maybe I’ll do it. Ok, are you ready for mine?

“After touching the lucky key, the groceries I had ordered online arrived on my doorstep, just like they do every week when I order them and then pay for them!”

That lucky key, hey?! Un-bloody-believable!

The story on the spooky page is hardly worth mentioning because of it’s lack of actual content. I will, however, leave you with the best quote from the story.
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Brilliant.

The Chestnut Challenge

Yesterday seemed like a fairly regular day. I went to work, did a little bit of this, a little bit of that, played around with some food and eventually decided that it was time to approach…

The Chestnuts….!

The chestnuts have been sitting there all innocently since the gardeners gathered them all up and delivered them to us to make use of. One of the other chefs sat and scored a load of them and roasted them and then I scooped them out, mushed them up a bit and used them in some chestnut, orange and nutmeg biscuits.

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It all sounds fabulous and earthy and organic, doesn’t it?

Yesterday I decided I would complete the Chestnut Challenge because the little chestnuts had been sitting in bowls on the side, waiting to be dealt with and it seemed like the time for it.

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That’s a lot of chestnuts. I was determined to complete the challenge by the end of the day. I picked up a chestnut, I scored it, I put it into a roasting tray.

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Holding the little chestnut down whike chopping it made me finger rub on the chopping board so an hour in, I had my first chestnut injury, a blister. I started holding my fingers up when I chopped then, prompting my second injury, a knife slice on the same finger as it was now in the way of the knife.

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See? I bet you thought I was being a right baby, moaning cause I had to stand around and play with chestnut. Well, shit just got serious here. I HAVE INJURIES.

Selflessly, I soldiered on. I recruited some extra hands to make the whole thing move faster.

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And the pile of chestnuts in one of the bowls got smaller.

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Then one of my Chestnut Helpers came up with a brilkiant idea (mainly because we had roasted some of the chestnuts and it had not gone well, far too hard). She decided that we would be better peeling the chestnuts and chopping them finely to add straight into cakes, etc. She did have a point. We experimented by making one chestnut and raisin cake and it went fabulously well.

This, then, became the new plan of action. Little did I realise how much more labour intensive this method is.

And so we began.

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The four chestnuts up at the top took ne about ten minutes. If you portion tgat out to five million billion chestnuts, you will see that it would take me 18 years to peel all of the chestnuts.

I started to dislike chestnuts. Hated them, quite possibly. The day ahead seemed endless and hopeless. My life felt empty and chestnut coloured. The rate at which the pile in the bowl went down almost stopped. I probably battled with depression.

A few hours later, sad and with aching fingers, I pushed the mostly full bowls of chestnuts to the side, unable to look at them anymore, and left work.

I failed. I failed myself. And I failed the chestnuts. And I failed my fingers.

I understand if you feel differently about me now, readers.

Things I have learned about myself in the kitchen

1. Sometimes, I can spend all day doing things but somehow, when I get to the end of the day, I feel like I haven’t done anything.

2. Every so often, I spend a whole day burning things.

3. When I feel something might not turn out well, I need to trust that feeling, rather than going “I’m sure it’s going to be fine.” Often, it is not going to be fine and I curse myself for not listening to my instincts.

4. I can be grumpy in the kitchen. Boy, can I be grumpy! I’m sure you were all under the impression that I am quite lovely and bright as a daisy and Mother Earth-y. Weren’t you?… Weren’t you? Well, it appears, I’m not. I’m as shocked as you are, readers. I’m as shocked as you are.

5. I can spend hours washing leaves and drying them. Sorrel is probably my least favourite thing to wash because it doesn’t respond well to being spun. If you separate each leaf out and lay them on some paper towel to air dry, they are happier but it takes f o r e v e r.

6. I didn’t know that eggs are classed as ‘raw meat’ in the kitchen. That’s not really something I’ve learned about myself but it’s still an interesting kitchen-related fact.

7. I do not drink enough when I work in a kitchen. I think it’s because I’m spending less time by the coffee machine. Usually, making drinks for other people will prompt me to think of making myself a cup of tea or getting some water. But in the kitchen, I’ve got out of that habit. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of my working and realise I’ve drunk nothing all day.

8. I don’t like a cake to go out untasted. Because that would just be careless. What kind of cake baker would give the public something they hadn’t tasted? And so I eat a lot of cake. Some people might say it’s just greed because, really, if the same batch of cake mix made 6 carrot cakes, does each individual cake need to be tasted? A lot of people would say no. I would say that you can never be sure so it’s best to taste them anyway.

9. If it is quiet, my Fast Mode doesn’t quite kick in. I can hear a voice in the back of my head telling me to start cleaning and get a head start on it all so I don’t have as much to do at closing time. So I look around and see bits of lemon icing splatted on the surfaces and scone mix all over the Hobart mixer and scraps of stuff on the floor and I’ll be like, “Hmm, what needs doing? Nope, nothing. It looks fine in here.” Then I get to the end of the day and I’m like “Omygoodness there’s sooooo much to do.”

10. The little paper hats you have to wear in the kitchen always make me feel a little sailorish. Or Thunderbirdsish. Let’s go with Thunderbirds. And it is a known fact of life that everything is more exciting if you pretend you are in Thunderbirds.

Thoughts

I have my first ghost tour today. It is for a group of volunteers so not the paying public as such but if anyone is likely to know if I’m getting stuff wrong it’s them. So I’m nervous for that.

Where is my shopping delivery? It’s Thursday morning and I want my milk and eggs, goddammit!

I may have sold my soul to moo.com. I can’t get enough of it! Business cards, postcards, business card holders, mini business cards, greeting cards, calendars…. the list goes on and I want five of each!

There is a mug on the table next to me which says Allens Taxis. I don’t know who Allens Taxis are.

The cake is starting to take over my world! I am getting sugar headaches.  That’s not good, is it?

I think the washing machine has eaten my two favourite aprons. That’s right, people! I have favourite aprons. I’m that type of girl.

My vegetables still haven’t arrived.

I’m still nervous.

Here is a photo of some biscuits I made yesterday to liven up this rather empty meaningless drivel.

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