gothwalk: (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2007 02:24 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

We’ve some server down time in work, so I’m clearing off tabs I’ve had open for a while, meaning to record them someplace.

I have Design Melt Down on my sidebar, but I’d like to draw your attention to it now as well - it’s a site that looks for trends in web design. There’s some fascinating stuff there; I’m particularly enamoured of the Ornate Backgrounds.

Serious Eats is a well-designed, well-written food blog, focussed on New York. Quite apart from its content, I really like the design and layout - the multi-column, content-filled footer fascinates me, and makes me want to rip apart several of my sites and redesign them. In fact, I might just do that…

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

I’m pleased to point you all at Nina’s site, Rocking Grass, now returned to action with a new design. I may be posting a bit there as well in the future, when food-related topics strike me.

gothwalk: (Default)
( Nov. 11th, 2006 02:19 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

Nina has posted an account of the Samhain dinner she cooked on Rocking Grass. Reading it is almost as good as having the meal again, and the sauce really was absolutely excellent.

gothwalk: (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2006 10:45 am)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

And indeed, where in this part of the city is good for lunch? There isn’t the same selection of sandwich and coffee shops as Dun Laoghire (or if there is, they’re cunningly concealed). The ideal is a baguette and coffee for five euros or under. A sandwich will do instead of a baguette, and other options will be considered. Somewhere I could sit down for an hour would also be useful, as eating in the office means eating at my desk; we don’t have the nice kitchen table from the old place.

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

Operation Move completed successfully while I was away, and the new office seems to be entirely bearable. We’re in Harmony Court, on Harmony Row, which is about three blocks east of Pearse Street Station. Therefore, if any of you fine people are available for purposes of lunching (I believe I can meet employees of the Great AI somewhere halfway) in the area, do let me know. Within sane parameters, I can decide myself when lunch should occur, although appointments later than 13:30 are likely to include me staring silently and hungrily at you until food arrives. Usual contact methods apply - or since I have a very fine window seat, you could just stand outside and wave.

gothwalk: (Default)
( Sep. 11th, 2006 08:06 am)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

On a gloomy Monday morning, it is a very good thing to have had a good weekend. And I had an excellent (birthday) weekend. HIghlights follow.
Very shortly after I woke up, Nina had placed two parcels and a card on the bed. One of the parcels was huge. Very careful unwrapping revealed Jimmy Doherty’s A Taste of the Country, a cookery book I’ve been eyeing for quite some time now, and… a lightbox. A lightbox is a timber frame with an opaque plastic pane on top, through which light from two bulbs underneath shines. It’s for tracing on thick paper. I have wanted one for ever for my mapmaking, and now I have one. It is the best thing ever, and I’ve already discovered a number of insanely clever things you can do when you can trace from one level to the next of a map. I intend to discover many, many more.
Then breakfast. Breakfast was the biggest fry in the world, cooked by Nina - bacon, egg, sausages, white & black pudding, mushrooms, beans, potato waffles, hash browns, toast, tomatoes - with apple juice and coffee. It was nothing short of superb.
Then, when I could contemplate food again, chocolate fudge cake and coffee.
I played MMOs pretty much non-stop all day, and then we went out to the pub with Dave, Glen and Bríd, for a very good evening out. Thence to Glen’s house, and eventually left there at after two in the morning, after intake of both whiskey and rum.
And then yesterday had the added bonus of the fish-and-chip dinner I wasn’t able to get in the pub the night before, and Niall dropping over to lend me his new copy of Ptolus.
It was an absolutely excellent birthday, and Nina is very much thanked for it. :)

gothwalk: (Default)
( Jul. 14th, 2006 10:58 am)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

Might I draw your attention to Nina’s new blog, Rocking Grass? Opening with two posts about medieval food - which, I can assure you, was every bit as good as it sounds.

gothwalk: (Default)
( Jun. 30th, 2006 03:04 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been knocked out for the last week by what the doctor identified as a flu. I seem to be more or less back on my feet now, albeit a bit wobbly, and can do some of this thinking thing I’ve been hearing is useful. I’ve pointed some of it at writing down a sort of first draft attempt at a guide to running a successful barbecue, some of the principles of which can be applied to any party or event. Your thoughts and comments will be very welcome.

gothwalk: (Default)
( May. 23rd, 2006 09:48 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

There’s a pile of food things I wanted to post about, and I keep forgetting. So here’s a burst of them.

First, Fallon & Byrne is open in Exchequer Street. It’s pretty damn good - not quite the range of foods I was hoping for, but not as expensive as I feared, either. They have some excellent spice mixes - the gyros one is very, very good, and a competent and conversational French butcher. I’m not sure how seasonal their cheeses are, but they probably still have an Epoisses Bert AOC, which I advise you to go and get. You almost need to eat it with a spoon. We had it on lemon-and-almond biscuits with quince jelly, but I’d recommend it even on its own.

Second, there was a wine fair, sponsored by O’Briens, in the RDS last Saturday, and since they sent us free tickets, we wandered along for a look. I tried fifteen different wines, and by tried, I mean drank. My estimates of their worthiness were rising by the end, but I do recall a few of them as being great. Two actual honest-to-Gods champagnes, a Bauchet NV, which was nice and light, and a Bauchet Vintage 1998, which was the most solid, manly sort of champagne I’ve ever had. And they were the first I tried, so I was sober then. A Domain de Saint-Lannes Blanc tasted of nettles, and I will be acquiring some of it for the barbecue, to have with cheese. If you bribe me with more cheese, you can have some too. And then there’s a Rust en Vrede (don’t ask me to pronounce that; it’s Afrikaans or something, and I keep heading for French) Shiraz, which was absolutely excellent for my tastes, and the same vineyard’s Estate Wine, which Nina really liked, though it was too liquorice-y for me. And finally, a Chilean one, Chocálan Carmenère 2004, which I am going to consume with dark chocolate next time the mood hits me. I had better actually buy some to have in stock, I think.

A guy involved in the Fairways chain in the US has a most excellent food blog, which you should go read. It’ll make you hungry, though.

And finally, I have fresh pineapple chunks here, and you probably don’t. They’re very good.

gothwalk: (Default)
( May. 16th, 2006 10:20 am)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

The dates for the Hollybank Midsummer Barbecue Extravaganza have been announced. If you haven’t let us know yet if you’re coming, go do so there.

gothwalk: (Default)
( May. 4th, 2006 08:36 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

After the success of the jambalaya and flatbread at the weekend, I’ve been doing a good bit of reading up on cookery, recipes, techniques, and so on. I just found this: Ten Steps to Better Wok Cookery - and I cannot wait to try it. I don’t know how well the wok we have will do, though - it’s non-stick. Perhaps I should go hunting in some of the oriental shops.

From the same author, there’s also a guide to Cooking Chicken in a Wok - same technique, specifically for chicken.

Indeed, the whole site there is going on my blogroll: Tigers & Strawberries.

gothwalk: (Default)
( May. 1st, 2006 07:55 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

I just discovered (more precisely, confirmed, as I’d read it elsewhere) that you can make excellent flatbread with flour, water, some oil, and a good frying pan. I can see what I’ll be having for breakfast fairly often from now on…

gothwalk: (Default)
( May. 1st, 2006 04:27 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

It has been a very satisfying long weekend. Saturday involved some grocery shopping, and a visit to the (closing, sadly) Taney Books in Dundrum, where I acquired a couple of interesting bits and pieces, including a book of British boys’ public school stories from about 1919. Those things fascinate me - not least because they were the school stories I was familiar with as a kid (Irish schooling in the 90s was therefore a bit of a surprise), but also because of the very different set of preoccupations they portray.

The grocery shopping included the various components of a jambalaya (chicken, bacon, shrimps, peppers and onions), a dish I’ve never cooked before, but certainly will again - it came out very very well indeed, and for little enough effort. I’m going to be delving through the collection of cookery books for other such one-pot stove-top dishes, as they seem to be what I cook best.

We tried barbecuing on Sunday, although we got rained on. It worked out pretty well anyway, and we had a good evening inside, concluding in breaking out Carcassonne for a few games. I’m almost - but not quite - able to keep up to Mac. Actually using the rules for farmers is something I’ll have to adjust to; they make or break the game, and it can be hard to see exactly what they’re going to do, and how you can break up the other players’ while leaving your own a wide range.

And thus far today we have had breakfast outside, dropped some bottles to the bottlebank, and walked along the Dodder a bit. Plans for the rest of the day include little more than reading, spodding, and generally taking it easy.

gothwalk: (Default)
( Apr. 23rd, 2006 05:50 pm)

Originally published at Now Is A Long Time Too. You can comment here or there.

Last night was an excellent night out - some of the guys in one of the World of Warcraft guilds we play with came over from the UK, and we pubbed and ate in a fantastic Chinese in Little Mary Street, and went on to Fibbers.

Today we broke out the barbecue, because it was nice and sunny, and cooked outside. It got chilly afterward, but the food worked well. I don’t know why gammon steaks are not more popular - they’re like giant rashers, and they’re really good when grilled. And being able to cook with herbs that I picked and dried last year was also excellent - rosemary, in this case.

I’ve planted some more herbs this year - last year’s vegetables sort-of worked, but weren’t really suitable. I now have rocket coming up rather quickly, and also parsely, dill, and thyme (at least I think it was thyme - I’m not 100% sure now). There’ll be more rocket going in soon, as I don’t expect the current crop to survive long - it’s one of the few leaf vegetables I can’t get enough of.

I’d like to try basil as well, and I have the seeds for it, but it’s a more difficult beast to grow than the rest - needs planting indoors, and then putting out, which I’m not really all that well set up for. I have a vague notion of hanging seed trays in the kitchen window, where they’d get a bit of light and still be out of feline reach. I’m not sure it’s very practical, though.

Autumn brings out the pyromaniac in me. Even more, I mean, I'm already fascinated enough by fire. But I really feel I should be geting together large piles of wood which will burn at this time of year. [ profile] olethros' mother kindly brought in some bags of timber for us a couple of weeks ago, and I lit a fire on Thursday evening last with some of that, only to be baffled. I'm not sure what the wood is; on initial examination, it looks to be a softwood of some kind, but it's hard as the hob of hell, utterly resistant to a hatchet, and only burns when completely surrounded by other burning material. Then, though, it goes for hours. Eventually, surrounded by flaming turf briquettes, it got going. I shall experiment with kindling and other burny things.

We've had roast beef two weekends now - first an ordinary supermarket-bought beef roast, and then, this weekend, a good rib roast from a butcher in Dun Laoghaire. The difference was incredible; last week's was good, certainly, but this week's was fantastic.

We picked blackberries on Saturday at [ profile] caturah's house (and got well fed, while we were at it, which was very much appreciated). The picking involved crossing a river, scrambling up a small cliff, and proceeding around a reservoir. It was pretty successful; we ended up with about 2kg of berries, and the season clearly isn't fully in yet, so we'll go back in about two weeks time. We picked some rosehips as well, for experimental purposes, and I note that it'd be a good place to look for elderflowers, for anyone so inclined.

I made jam from the blackberries yesterday, and [ profile] inannajones made blackberry crumble. The crumble is absolutely excellent, although I'm not entirely happy with the jam - it set so hard it's almost chewy, which is not a problem I've had with blackberry jam before. I'm going to reduce the sugar content for the next batch, I think, or use a mix of jam sugar and ordinary sugar.

The first batch of pickled cucumbers that [ profile] inannajones put down a while ago were deemed ready for eating, and they're great. I like pickles, and since they do nothing in terms of adding weight, I can eat them until I turn blue if I want. I'll be pickling more cucumber, and also some peppers, onions, and more experimental goods later this week.

And some of the rosemary I dried during the summer has now been deleafed and put into a jar, and a fresh bunch brought in. I'll be making some rosemary oil, and anyone who wants some dried rosemary should let me know; I'll have more than we can use in about a month's time, and we tend to use fresh anyway.
gothwalk: (magic is all around you)
( Jul. 3rd, 2005 01:56 pm)
[Cross-posted to [ profile] irishfoodies]

In between watching Live 8 yesterday, I made a rather good chowder, one I'm pleased enough with to record.

400g fresh salmon fillet
400g fresh hake fillet
2 fish stock cubes
1 shrimp stock cube
1.5 litres water
1 litre skimmed milk
6 medium new potatoes
1 small turnip
2 carrots
3 medium onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Dill and other seasoning to taste

Peel and chop the onion and garlic, and fry in the olive oil in the bottom of a large pan. For the quantity I made, it needs to a large one - more 5 litre capacity.

Dice the turnip into pieces about 1cm a side, and add to the pan. Add salt and pepper as you like.

Make the stock up at proportion of 1 cube to half a litre of hot water, and add it to the pan. I had to do some considerable searching to find fish stock - eventually I got it and the shrimp stock as "broth cubes" from a Phillipino shop in Middle Abbey Street. Bring this to a simmer while you add the other vegetables.

Dice the potatoes, and in with them. Peel and chop the carrots, and in they go.

Let that lot simmering for about 15-20 minutes, then add the fish, chopped into bite-size pieces. The hake will probably have a go at disintegrating even as you cut it; that's fine.

Another 10 minutes of simmering, and then you add the milk. Stir it in well, and then let it heat back up, but not quite boil. Pull it off the heat just as you see the surface stirring, and you're done.

You could probably serve ten people with this recipe; we intend to eat it for several days.
gothwalk: (Default)
( Mar. 7th, 2000 11:56 am)
Hair. Bastard stuff. My hair is curly - tangly might be a better word it, and just beyond shoulder length when wet. When I haven't combed/conditioned it for a bit, it forms a dense, impenetrable mass. I spent half an hour last night hacking through the worst tangles with a hairbrush, and trying not to scream as my scalp went at leaving with the tangles. Ugh. And already, I can feel another knot developing back there, and that's after I brushed it this morning.

Anyway. Still out. Coughing, just, and still unwell feeling. Should be good to go back tomorrow, for what it's worth. Have played more Civ. Not sure why I bother - it's evident that I'm going to be crushed, bug fashion, in the late game, but I'm taking a vindictive pleasure in stomping on the Chinese.

Speaking of Chinese, I've been reading, in off moments, a Chinese cookery book. I like cookery books, although they make me want to have a real kitchen. I'm not quite sure what a real kitchen is, although it may involved the twin miracles of having every possible foostuff within arm's reach and never having to wash up. However, with some judicious shopping, the kitchen here can be made semi-real. It's a pity I can never quite harness these urges properly.

Not just one, but two copies of Dragonhave arrived, and I fully intend to sit down and read them cover to cover. I spent a lot of yesterday evening, while Nina translated Latin, in reading stuff on There's good, discursive stuff there.

I'm approaching a zen state of contentment at the minute. I have no money, but I have money coming in soon, and this means we won't starve. I spent a while starving in college, and have no intention of repeating the experience. So for the minute I can do nothing, but am content to just be.

I'm also planning stuff for Other Dublin. I plan to have it much less intensive, and much less work needed than on Angwels. The main channel of output will be the mailing list rather than the website, I think, the website serving more as a nice interface to an archive than anything else. This cuts down on the need to put everything in HTML - all I need to do is look down through incoming stories, and forward them to the list. This is good. If I get really lazy and really clever, I might even hook up a mail-to-web program that will take in a story by mail, and store it on the website. That'd be nice.

I'm eating instant Pasta Napolitana from a black bowl. It looks good. It tastes pretty good, too. The smell reminds me exactly, though, of the smell of oxtail soup from National School. My school had a kettle, which would be ritually boiled every day at lunchtime from October through March, and tea or instant soup or Bovril made. Nobody drank coffee back then. I usually had chicken or vegetable soup, usually, to go with the egg sandwiches that I ate every school day for eight years. I still like egg sandwiches, although I've gone off oxtail soup.

We really need some more non-stick pans. The saucepans we have are stainless steel, and while they're good, stuff does stick to them. I'd prefer good old cast-iron pots from a cooking point of view, but they're bastardsto clean, even if they're enamelled.

And we do need a new frying pan. That one is falling apart now. There's an old cast iron one at homehome, which gets sandblasted or something every few months, and has lasted for centuries, it seems. Certainly, the same pan - different handle - is the one my mother taight me to fry eggs in. Eggs in enough grease that you could flip it up onto the topside, so the yolk became this pink blister. I must look up her recipe for fish pie, too.

After I finish eating, I'm going to make myself some coffee - unusual enough at home, cos it requires more thinking than tea - and read those magazines. Comfort. Good.


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