Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Rachel!

It's my good friend Rachel's birthday today, and seeing as she LOVES Harry Potter, I thought I would share this for her:

The Very Last Harry Potter Deleted Scenes You Will Ever See at Io9

Harry Potter Shrine and Etsy Treasury at Geek Crafts

Sorting Hat at Mr X Stitch

And something to keep her busy over her holiday:  Butterbeer Cupcakes at Easy Baked

Big hugs Rachel!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Hi all, just a short note to draw your attention to the fact that I've indexed the recipes; book and dvd reviews; and craft posts I've put up on this little blog.  I didn't realise how many recipes I've stored here, both of my own and just links to recipes I wanted to come back to.  I also didn't realise how light I've been on posting about the crafts I do (or did...  before I started my job), so I'll have to rectify that, methinks.  One day when I have more than one day off a week (I had Friday off and it was the first day that the library had been open in a month that I hadn't been there!).  So, if you know I posted about something and want to read it again, just click on the links above, easy peasy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lemon Honey Chicken

While you wait on the edge of your seat for my review of To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (that you didn't even know you would be getting), here's a link to the Women in Science Fiction book club's discussion of Farthing (that you may remember from this post).  And also, this is what we had for dinner tonight:

Juice and zest of half a lemon
2 heaped t honey (or a good squeeze of liquid honey)
Pinch white pepper
1t dried thyme
1t rubbed rosemary
Pinch of turmeric
2 spring onions
1-2t unsalted butter

Put everything into a small pot on low heat to melt the honey and soften the spring onion.  Meanwhile, brown some chicken, then pour the warm sauce over the top, pop in the butter, and cover with a lid or a sheet of tin foil.

Serve on rice.

I've been told by my doctor that I have high blood pressure for my age, so I should cut out all salt until it's normal again.  This is bizarre to me as we don't add salt to our food or eat many obviously salty things.  We also steer away from processed food, instead making our own sauces (as you may notice from what I write about food on here).

However, apparently a good portion of your daily salt intake can come from bread, so I'm going to try making bread without salt tomorrow.  I've done a little research and it seems that the salt in bread is only for flavour, with one person saying that one would find that salt-free bread would taste like cardboard.  But apparently it is also a yeast inhibitor (unlike sugar, which is just as yummy to yeast as it is to us), meaning that a salt free bread may need less yeast.  Interesting right?

Other places one can find sneaky salt is in cereal (Mum looked in the supermarket today and couldn't find anything other than porridge that had no salt in it, but ew); dried fruit; tinned fruit, vegetables, and fish; and shop-bought baking.  As you can imagine, I've not had much other than fruit to eat today!  Wish me luck for the next week, I'm going to need it!

PS:  Sorry for the lack of photo, I'm only a wee while away from getting my camera.  I'd have it by now, but noone around here seems to know about the specials they publish in their mailers...  So be patient, I'll pop a photo in next time we make it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog (and Fire Watch)

It's official, I love Connie Willis.  Yes, I know, I'm only three books into her repertoire, but until I find evidence against it, I stick by my statement.  This is the second novel in the Time Traveling Oxfordians universe (I don't think the series has a title...), and is almost the polar opposite of Doomsday Book in tone, setting, and characterisation.

Ned is busy in the past trying to find out what happened to the monstrosity that is the Bishop's Bird Stump, last seen in Coventry Cathedral before its bombing in 1940.  This almost impossible task has been set him by Lady Shrapnell, who has basically taken over the history department (with her 'generous donations') to aid her in recreating the Cathedral exactly as it was moments before the bombing.

Because of the number of drops (ie time traveling trips) Ned has done in a short amount of time, he becomes ill with time-lag, causing "Maudlin sentimentality, difficulty in distinguishing sounds, fatigue... tendency to become distracted by irrelevancies.  Slowness in answering.  Blurred vision" and his almost being hit by a steam locomotive.  The only cure for this is rest, but because of Lady Shrapnell, that just wont happen in (Ned's present) 2057, so Mr Dunworthy (yes, the very same from Doomsday Book and Fire Watch) sends him to 1888.  Where else could be more relaxing - punting on the Thames, playing croquet, and drinking tea.  Except that Mr Dunworthy has set Ned a task, something that Ned has since forgotten due to the time-lag. And here's where the spoilers start!  Click the picture below for a much shorter than usual review...

I think it takes a really skilled author to be both entertaining and thought-provoking, especially in both a lighthearted story and a serious story.  If you found Doomsday Book too heavy to finish, do try To Say Nothing of the Dog.  Also, give her short stories a try.  I dug Fire Watch out of the library's stack (it was published in 1984) to read the Hugo and Nebula award-winning titular story, set in the same universe as Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Blackout/All Clear (which I'll definitely be reading soon*), and read on through the rest of the stories.  I found A Letter from the Clearys (Nebula award winner), And Come from Miles Around, and Service for the Burial of the Dead the most enjoyable, though the imagery of Daisy in the Sun (Hugo award nominee) has stayed with me.

*Because this has been sitting in my draft-posts for so long, I'm now actually on to reading Blackout.  I'm only three or four chapters in and I'm already hooked.  I don't think it's a spoiler to say Colin (from Doomsday Book) makes an appearance!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...