Dawn to Dusk


Second time lucky

Posted in Baking by acuthbert on September 9, 2006

Well the first loaf didn’t turn out so good. It certainley looked the part but John Holmes summed up the overall bread production rating with a single up turn of the nose. It was the smell that did it – smelt like a yeast bed sit. Still if at first you don’t succeed try try again. With a new recipe and past experience under the belt the second loaf was a big improvement. Still needs some more salt and less yeast, and apparently plain flour isn’t the best. Hot bread making tip: keep trying.

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The smell of fresh baking…

Posted in Baking by acuthbert on September 4, 2006

Okay – I admit it, I’m a man of fads. My latest is baking but it is sooo rewarding. It’s pretty easy too. The first time baking some scones I managed to smash the weighing scales, but it turns out they aren’t really all that necesary anyway – it’s much more fun to wing it.

Right now I’m waiting for a freshly baked loaf to cool before enjoying it with some jam and a cup of tea. It smells a bit yeasty – but I’m sure it’ll taste good.

Makes you think though – they mightn’t of had TV, fancy crisps etc. 150 years ago but they would sure have enjoyed the smell of fresh baked bread and scones a lot more often.

The wonderful smell of scones.

Posted in Uncategorized by acuthbert on August 30, 2006

We baked some scones this weekend….. mmmmmmmmm the smell of fresh scones. I then tried to make some scones all by myself. It meant the untimely sacrifice of our weighing scales and the ceremonial scattering of the flour over every visible surface, but by Jove it was worth it.

Scone making tip of the week: If your scones taste doughy add some more sugar to the mix (in the next batch obviously).
Runner up scone making tip of the week: You can preview the final taste of the scones by tasting the mixture. Careful though… you might not have much mixture left if you do this….

Fairly traded…. or not?

Posted in Living Ethically by acuthbert on August 30, 2006

I heard someone once claim that Fair Trade coffee is bad as it encourages farmers to stay in an industry which is already massively over supplied. However that block might have had his own agenda. Makes you think I suppose. All the same I reckon if we’ve the choice Fair Trade is the way to go (incidently Tesco sell great Fair Trade biscuits). Not to buy fair trade for the reason above is a bit like saying “I could give you a fair wage, but that would just encourage you to continue making coffee which gives you a crap wage. Much better for you if I pay you peanuts to force you out of your livelihood so that farmers like you can have a better wage…”.

How supermarkets defy probability

Posted in Uncategorized by acuthbert on August 26, 2006

My wife got lost again today. I went to find some raison toast (which sadly Tesco do not seem to stock. Shame on you Tesco) whereupon my wife disappeared into the mysts of aisle 11. According to her it was I who got lost, however the general point is – How can we get lost in Tesco!? Well it seems it’s all down to probability and the supermarkets strange effect on it. You would think that when trying to find someone in a supermarket the best thing to do would be to walk past the end of each aisle and look down them one by one. The odds are that given the much greater length of floor space down the length of the aisles as compared to the length across them the person you seek will be present down one of the aisles. But no, not in supermarkets. In supermarkets probability is cast asunder. I’ve tested this on numerous occassions. You can scan past every aisle as many times as you like – it won’t help. The person is always at the end of an aisle somewhere hidden from view of the aisle scanners. Perhaps it’s because the other person has had the same bright idea you did and is also scanning aisles from the other side of the store. But more likely is the unnatural power supermarkets have over us…. discuss.

The fruit flies move in

Posted in Composting by acuthbert on August 26, 2006

It’s not too often that an infestation is a cause for celebration, however the arrival of fruit flies to our humble compost bin is a good sign we’re doing something right. What is a fruit fly I hear you ask. They’re tiny little flies that hop and jump all over the place like fleas (although they are large than fleas and have wings as any fly worth it’s salt does). They’re pretty harmless but do give visitors something to worry about when they see them crawling over and around your pride and joy (and yes I do mean the compost bin). How to get rid of them? Apparently a simple layer of soil over the compost and it’ll send them on their way.

Carrot culling calms (this report includes pictures some viewers may find disturbing)

Posted in Veggie Tales by acuthbert on August 26, 2006

The plot that could have been...Their only defence.Well, it seems like the carrot eating seems to dwindelling off. While there doesn’t appear to be any more carrots disappearing, I’ve taken a photo so that I can checkup on a week by week basis. Strangely the larger carrots are untouched. Perhaps they intimidate the beast – or maybe the beast is small and can’t reach them. Or perhaps it only likes young tender shoots. All of this points to a smallish creature. Whatever it is, this savage beast must be stopped from it’s unrelenting prey over defensless flora….

Beheaded carrots

The wonderful ‘2 things at once’ duo

Posted in Technology by acuthbert on August 21, 2006

Has anyone seen the latest PC World advert for the Intel duo chip? At last they are finally admitting their sales people don’t know squat about computers. Turns out their marketing and research department don’t either… (more…)

Video editing – a new way to loose the plot

Posted in Technology by acuthbert on August 21, 2006

Taking video is great fun. Planning angles, getting lighting just right, getting those crucial shots just right – these are the things that make shooting video a pleasure. Unfortunately to make up for this evidently unreasonably entertaining hobby we were blessed with the ‘wonders’ of digital editing on our home computers. If I sound like a man on the edge you must forgive me. (more…)

Cheap compost bins

Posted in Composting by acuthbert on August 20, 2006

Just when you go out and spend £20 on a big shiny compost bin the council start giving them away! Well almost. For £5 you can get a compost bin and a kitchen caddy. We make do with an old ice cream tub beside the kettle. They’ll even deliver it free of charge! Come on now – no excuse, get composting.

More information at:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/RubbishWasteRecycling/index.asp?menuitem=what

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