January 19th, 2003



I finally got round to trying something a tad more difficult on the food front.

Which is complete bollocks, because pretty much all food is a piece of piss once you know how. I mean, learning how to roast stuff took about 15 minutes of actual work, tops.

Anyway, I decided to experiment with sauces, so I wandered to recipesource.com and checked out some of the different recipes. None of them were quite what I wanted, but I got a general idea of what they had in common. A couple of them started with a soup base, so I went and looked at some different soups, which gave me the impression that most of the sauces I was seeing were basically soups with cream or milk or something similar in them to lighten them slightly and thicken them up.

So I wandered to Sainsburies, picked up some parsnips, carrots and celery, sliced them into strips/chunks and made soup with them (and onions and butter and water, plus some bay leaf and parsley, I seem to recall. Oh, and some sweetcorn, because I came across it in the freezer). I then slow-fried 2 chicken breasts (very slow, I put the heat right down and took about 25 minutes over it, to leave them as tender on the outside as possible). I also put the basmati rice in cold water to soak.

When Erin got back from work (sub-editors assistant at the Scotland on Sunday for 5 hours every Saturday, helping put together the news section), I put the rice on to boil, added some onion strips and pepper strips in with the chicken, added some water and cream to the soup base and basically left it alone for ten minutes. The sauce wasnt' quite thick enough, but a teeny bit of flour sorted that out. Simultaneously, the steamer was busy getting some broccoli and green beans to a reasonable level of cookedness.

Place rice on plate, chicken breast on top, brocolli/beans on one side, peppers/onions on the other, sauce over the top of the rice. Sorted!

(Then realise you completely forgot to do anything with the box of mushrooms you picked up. Aah well, there's always things to improve).

Having a ripping time

In my quest to bring the global economy to its knees, I'm currently ripping a load of my CDs that I didn't already have in MP3 format.

To give you an idea of how much you hate my record collection, today I've gone through:
Batman - Danny Elfman's sountrack to the original film
Requiem for a Dream - Kronos Quartet and Clint Mansell's glorious soundtrack (a teeny bit of which was used in a TT trailer)
REM - Automatic for the People and Monster. I'd have New Adventures in Hi-Fi too, if the CD was in the box.
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms. Needs neither introduction nor justification. Not as good as Love Over Gold tho.
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime. Because I haven't listened to it in 5 years and I'm wondering if I can even listen to it any more.
Cranberries - Everybody else is doing it, why can't we? Whatever happened to them?
Verve - Urban Hymns. Even though it wasn't the soundtrack to my life, it was the soundtrack to a friend's. Seems to have been contagious too.
Front 242 - Tyrrany For You. One of the first albums I ever borrowed. Saint lent it to me saying "If you like PWEI, you'll like this." Odd, but in this case true.
Apoptygma Berzerk - Welcome to Earth. Because it's a classic of beepy depressiveness.
U2 - Melon (remixes for Propaganda). Because I can't live without Massive Attack remixing U2. or Paul Oakenfeld, for that matter.
Robbie Williams - I've been expecting you and Sing when you're Winning. Because they were £3 each on special in Sainsburies.
Primal Scream - Screamadelica - ditto.

This gives me 219 artists (less a few for duplicated names), 331 albums and 2152 songs. Should keep me going for a bit...

Categorisation - 1500 words of theory

"'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'"

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Dammit, I demand feedback!

I know my writing is imperfect.

I know that sometimes I'm unclear.

I know that sometimes I'm wrong.

I know that most of you are damn smart.

Dammit, I demand more feedback on the long-winded articles I write!

Nick - cheers muchly for all the feedback. You're da man.