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Gotta Love A Long Weekend!

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Gotta Love A Long Weekend!

I had a big weekend this weekend just passed. You can tell that because I’m 90% sure the sentence I wrote before this one doesn’t quite make sense. My dear Pop turned 70, I hung out with my family, and I tried really hard to both get something done on my essay and not think about it.

So, instead of writing too many more of these terrible terrible sentences, I present for your enjoyment a selections of links to things I’ve liked recently and pictures of Venice. Click a picture to go someplace!

I've always wanted to learn to code, and with this write-up, I think I'm gonna give it a go!

The first time I ever met a churro was at a Crusty Demons show. The number of guilty pleasures that day is almost incalculable.

Sometimes I like reading good news stories. And it's not too often when politics comes anywhere near stories like that.

Sometimes bad stuff happens. And sometimes people try to do something about it. Sometimes I think they do a good job.

I plan to try a batch of these (under the guise of making them for J) very soon.

Gwyneth Paltrow said stuff I agreed with. Honestly, I haven't read the replies. I just enjoyed the sentiment and cruised on.

A pretty picture and an intriguing idea.

Sad as it is, this is very true.

Something cute to go with something cute.


A Whimsy List

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So this is a list – a list of all the things I can think of right now, all the food-related things I can think of right now, that I’d like to do, or to do more often. This is a whimsy list, a list of the things that occur to me on sunny autumn afternoons, or when I really should be thinking about more serious things.

Happy thoughts.

The road goes ever on and on..

I plan to update this list periodically, with any luck adding success stories to flights of fancy, because I think it’s really important to have a whimsical idea or ten to think about when you need a bit of a break from the present.

Here are some of mine:

  • Can my own produce. I’ve had two (very small) forays into the world of home canning so far – a very small batch of apple/black tea jam (I believe the Americans call it ‘jelly’) that was alright enough, and a jar of pickled onions that haven’t yet waited long enough to be taste-tested. But I think the ultimate thing for me would be to can something made from the things I grow myself. It’s a bit of a double desire actually, since it would also involve my little veggie patch getting a whole lot more productive as well. It just feels like such an achievement, to have something that I’ve supervised and guided all the way from seed to plate. Responsibility I think, and adulthood, and skill.
  • Keep recipe cards. Not just any recipe cards either – pretty, detailed, organised, durable ones. I like this idea for so many reasons. I love the idea of having something of myself that might last beyond me, that might stir fond memories of me. I like the idea of being organised, almost all the people I admire are quite organised, and in my (in all likelihood physically impossible) daydream house where everything is just right there is a special place for my beautiful box of perfect recipe cards.
  • Post someone baked goods. I’ve always found the idea of posting someone biscuits to be really romantic. Well, not quite romantic, but I guess neither ‘cute’ nor ‘sweet’ cuts it either. It’s the kind of thing the good girl would do in an Enid Blyton novel. Is there a word for that?
Anyway, there’s my list so far. Do you have any projects that you daydream about?

Top Six Reasons Not To Eat Something

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I’ve given you all plenty of reasons to eat, be it for comfortrelaxationangerprocrastination, or sexiness. And I intend to continue to do so. But now, I’ll give you a few reasons not to.
1. It’s not actually food. Whether it’s cement, a boat, a pot plant or KFC, if it’s not actually made out of food stuffs, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

2. You suspect that it could be poisoned. Please don’t eat food containing poison. Poison kills people, and dead people can’t read my blog.

3. It’s less than two hours before an important meal. I know that it’s tempting to make a sandwich, just to tide yourself over. I know you think that maybe it won’t spoil your appetite, and you’ll be just as hungry when you get there. I know that there’s a chance that this might end up being a restaurant that only serves alfalfa sprouts and bird’s nest soup. But I think you know that eating before a big important meal never works out well.

4. You’re considering it just because you don’t want Other Person In The Household to eat it. If Other Person is an adult, then as much as you might disagree with them, they can make their own decisions about what they eat. And if they’re a child, just put it on the highest shelf.

5. Your brother/sister/housemate gave it to you, you don’t know what it is, and they have a particularly mischievous look about them. Trust me, it’s not a good idea. See reason #2.

6. You really don’t feel like it. We’ve all been there. You see something that, under normal circumstances, you would jump at in a heartbeat. But for some reason or another, this day you are just not feeling in the mood for it. You think maybe I won’t get another chance to eat this. Maybe it’ll be so good that I’ll want it once I’ve tasted it. Maybe I think it’s cold, but this ice cream will actually make me warmer. It never works. You know that. I know that. We all know that. So let’s just try not to go there, okay everyone?

Sexy Food

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Cooking for a new gentleman, lady, or non-gendered entity? Cooking for an existing gentleman, lady or non-gendered entity? Just feel like slipping into some silky satin and being a little bit luxurious?

If any of the above situations describes you, then listen in!

I’ve talked about using food to set a mood before, but I thought today that I would have a little bit more of an in depth look at those foods that make you feel like someone’s speaking to your insides with an irish accent. When you think about them, as different as the many foods are that fall into this category, they have a few things in common.

Orchids - famed for their sexiness.

1 – They all have some sort of link in your mind to sexy or luxurious things. It can either be a society-wide link, or one that is more individual. Who hasn’t heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac, or of the rich person’s treats that are French pastries? As for things that are more personal, my first date with J has left me with a particularly fond feeling towards dukkah with bread and oil. Since this is such a subjective thing it’s interesting to think about what things were sexy in the past – carrots apparently were once considered quite the coup, since their shape resembles so much a wooden light-pole.

2 – They’re just a little bit awkward to eat. Sexy foods always benefit from the feeling of excess that comes from having something dribble down your chin. They say watermelon actually contains a chemical that functions in a way similar to viagra, but I have a feeling that it’s got more to do with leaning off of the verandah with watermelon juice all over your face.

3 – They’re unusual. Think about it. Why would something be super sexy and exciting if you ate that same thing every day? Even something a little different from the norm, say having cinnamon on your sweet potato, or stroganoff on pasta instead of rice, can go a long way to making a meal sexy.

And so I urge you, one and all, to remember it’s the little things, the differences, the fun, that make life sexy. Slip on a skirt you haven’t worn in ages, have dinner outside, heck, have dinner in a different room inside, use the fancy plates and cutlery, take a walk at nighttime, and make your life a little bit sexier.

5 features of Great Party Food

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Whether you’re planning a little soirée or a run-of-the-mill party, there will usually come a time when your thoughts turn to what you will serve your guests. To help with your decision making, I’ve listed the five things I find most important in my party food.

Having a party but don't know what to serve? Read on!

1. No-one is allergic/intolerant/morally opposed to it.
There are two ways to deal with a guest with special dietary requirements. You can either cook some food they can eat and some for everyone else, or you can make all of your food free of the problem item. I prefer the latter option because that way you don’t have to worry about the person feeling left out or about any cross contamination. Plus, sometimes it can be interesting to cook a variety of foods without a usually common thing, like gluten or meat.

2. It can be pre-made beforehand
When you have all of your friends round and everyone’s happy and talking, you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen. That’s why it’s important to stick, in the main, to food that you can do the majority of the work for before everyone arrives. That way, if you time it right all you’ll have to do is pop things in and out of the oven or fridge, and you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the wonderful company.

3. It can be eaten with your fingers
Cleaning up after a party is a real drag. I think most people will agree that the less washing up you have to do the better. While paper plates and plastic cutlery is one way to avoid a mountain of dishes higher than Everest, the best and simplest way is simply to make food that doesn’t need knives or forks or plates.

4. It suits the season
Some foods just work better at certain times of the year. In the middle of summer you don’t want to be eating piping hot roast potatoes, just like in the middle of winter ice-cream isn’t really at the top of the priorities list. Plus, if you can get some nice, fresh seasonal produce your food is probably going to taste all the better. So your menu should be very dependant on the time of year you’re having your gathering.

5. There’s lots of it!
Do I really need to elaborate on this one?