hmpf: (Default)
Is there anyone here who’s ever used tinned chestnuts? I just opened a tin of chestnuts - this is the first time I’m using them in this form - and instead of the water that according to the text on the tin should be in there (around the chestnuts, that is), there was a firm to jelly-like, opaque, whitish mass around the chestnuts. It was actually somewhat hard to get the chestnuts out of the tin because the entire tin was filled with this mass (and chestnuts, obviously).

The tin isn’t very old - I bought it in December - and according to the use-before date should still be useable until October 2014. So I’m wondering if it’s supposed to be like this. But pictures of opened tins of chestnuts that I found on the net show the chestnuts immersed in water, and not this strange jelly-stuff.

Basically, they’re too expensive to chuck away, but I also don’t really want to poison myself. So if anyone’s encountered this phenomenon and can tell me what it is, and/or if it’s harmful, that would be very good.

Oh, yeah, and my kitchen is *very* cold - so could this be a result of the low temperature at which the tin was stored?
hmpf: (Default)
I have created the cream cheese, freshly ground pepper and sugar sandwich, and it is... glorious, actually. o.O

Thinking about replacing the sugar with something more legit, like, I dunno, maple syrup maybe? Or honey? Though that may end up too sweet. The trick of the Cream cheese, ground pepper and sugar sandwich is to use only the tiniest amount of sugar you can possibly administer. The idea isn't a sweet sandwich but a very slightly-less-tart one. I suspect it isn't possible to do that with a liquid form of sugar.

The other trick of the sandwich is using a *lot* of pepper. Cover the entire surface of your slice of bread with it!

Oh, and it goes really well with walnuts and tomatoes.
hmpf: (weirdface)
Couldn't find my camera, fortunately. Or this would have turned into a food blog, here and now.

May still happen, of course.

How can parsnip soup in a cheap Woolworth bowl be so pretty?

Maybe I just was extraordinarily hungry. Food always looks prettier when you're hungry...
hmpf: (cop porn)
Strangely, I find it easiest to launch quickly into a day of effective activity when I start that day with warmed-up soup from the evening before (or the evening before that; the point being merely that it has to be 'there' already, rather than having to be prepared.) Soup is easy and *fast* to warm up, and it's nearly effortless to eat. Also, it's kind of comforting, acting as an internal hot-water bottle once it's in your stomach.

Maybe I should just give up on that German custom of having a couple of slices of bread-with-stuff-on-it for breakfast? That's what I usually eat for breakfast, but I feel it really slows down my start into the day, and I usually don't enjoy it much. A breakfast of bread seems to take me about an hour to prepare and consume. Soup is fifteen minutes, *and* I feel kind of more... energized after it, too.

Hm.

Got a job.

Mar. 16th, 2010 08:42 pm
hmpf: (Default)
No, not a 'real' one yet - let's not get ahead of ourselves here. ;-) Just a weird little part-time job, doing unspecified office help stuff that, oddly, for the most part seems to consist of putting women's fitness equipment up on ebay, for now. :D

Also, it's in the back of beyond, more than an hour away from where I live.

With no lunch opportunities whatsoever anywhere near. I am ridiculously worried about how to feed myself there. I know it's ridiculous, I'll probably survive just fine on sandwiches. I can still cook occasionally in the evenings, I suppose, if I really want to have something more than sandwiches on a given day.

For the next week and a half, before my internship starts, it'll be more or less full-time - though I've begged off one day this week to do some urgent stuff that needs to be taken care of before the internship, and another to work at the other job, the "Mini-English" one (which I'm probably going to have to quit when the internship starts, because there's just no way I can combine two part-time jobs *and* an internship - none of these are on the weekend. I hope I'll get paid for the Mini-English job despite this rather short duration of my work relationship with those people... I'm kind of worried, though, because I'm not sure I even have a proper work contract with them - there was some confusion there.)

Strangely, the thing that worries me most, next to "how am I going to get food???" and "dammit, there goes my attempt at catching up with friends before the internship starts", is "frell, and I was *just* beginning to get back into making jewellery!"

I'm weird.
hmpf: (angsty)
On a whim (vaguely inspired by a thread on boingboing) I made butter today out of some cream that had gone off. I've tasted it and it tastes fine, but I'm still wondering if there could be any kind of health hazard, because the cream really was rather old. The cream was about three weeks past its use-by date; it was organic cream without stabilisers or other additives, unopened and refrigerated all the time. It had separated into heavy sour cream and, well, a thinner, less fatty component that wasn't quite whey yet. I beat the whole contents of the packet until it turned into butter, poured off the whey, and washed the butter in a sieve.

So... think it's safe to eat? As I said, it *tasted* fine - but I've only tried a tiny little dab, so far.

Also,

Oct. 28th, 2008 12:11 am
hmpf: (Default)
chopped walnuts toasted with honey complement wild garlic cream cheese perfectly.

Toasted bread with blue veined cheese goes well with a salad of beluga lentils and apples.

The only reason I'm not totally panicking over my thesis is that I've reached a comfortable 'kiss my ass, m.a. thesis' attitude.

I have no time for much livejournaling in the next few days. Sorry.
hmpf: (Default)
(Yes, still with the one-way communication. Sorry.)


Something fun to do with the leftover vanilla ice cream:

Mix 100 g sugar, 10 ml water in a small pot; cook until sugar caramelizes. Add some cream and a pinch of salt. (The result should be a simple form of caramel sauce.)

In another pot, melt some dark chocolate.

Scoop vanilla ice into a bowl, sprinkle with caramel sauce and melted chocolate.

(It's unhealthy food week at casa Hmpf.)


The problem with music

The problem with music is this: once you start looking a bit deeper into any band you like, you're bound to discover they've produced a dozen albums, all of which, of course, you immediately want to buy. Only you can't, because you have neither the money to buy, nor the space to keep so many CDs.

(Yes, I know there are non-material (and cheap) ways of getting music nowadays. But I *like* being able to put a CD on my shelf; I get the same kind of pleasure from looking at my CD shelf as I get from looking at my bookshelves; I haven't reached the point in my life yet where looking at the material record of the evolution of my present taste/mental landscape feels like a burden. I know I usually preach antimaterialism - and I'm pretty serious about that. But books and music, well, they are the only two exceptions to that philosophy for me. I can't live without a fairly regular supply of books, and my tastes are too strange to make borrowing or the local public library an option anyway; nor can I live entirely without the occasional new CD - though my buying urges are much more under control there than they are with books. To be fair, though, I buy my CDs used whenever possible. Books too, frequently.)

Anyway: I've just resigned myself to the fact that I will probably end up buying every, or nearly every single album Phideaux has/have ever produced. If www.justforkicks.de gets them back in stock. (Yes, I'm buying those new. Both because I'd like to support the band, and because I rather doubt I could get their CDs used from amazon.de. Too exotic/unknown.)

I also think I need to buy at least one album by these guys. No idea which one, though.

Update

Apr. 17th, 2008 01:24 am
hmpf: (Default)
Actually working all day now, i.e. upwards of eight hours per day. Literally the only time I'm not working is when I'm trying to sleep, which takes inordinately long to accomplish. It takes between four and six hours for me to manage to fall asleep. Since I can't function without sufficient sleep for more than a couple of days that means that most days I spend insane amounts of time in bed - twelve hours in bed gets me six hours of sleep. Going to sleep can be hard work if your brain is constantly nattering away at you. I tend to try to calm the inevitable panic with mindfic, which sometimes does the trick - except when it works *too* well and becomes inimical to sleep in its own right.

My research is making progress now, which is good. The online version of Science Fiction Studies and Neil Barron's impressive bibliography of the science fiction field, "The Anatomy of Wonder", are proving useful in determining what books might be good to get on interlibrary loan. I've also started reading through the archives of When Fangirls Attack, although that's of limited usefulness so far.

I miss real food. Deep-freeze pizza and sandwiches just aren't very good for the soul... (And it's only been a few weeks... arrgh.)

On the plus side: researching indie fantasy comics of the nineties led me to Artesia, which rocks rather a lot more than I expected. Heroic fantasy - despite my love of Tolkien - is usually not quite my thing. But then, "Artesia" is not exactly cookie-cutter heroic fantasy... This just may be the first comic I'm aware of (outside the unique and disturbing universe(s) of Donna Barr, that is) which actually equals Finder in terms of depth and breadth and *believability* of the world it creates.

Speaking of Finder... Do I love Roy or do I love Roy? Heh.

Right. Going to bed now, to wrestle with sleep and 'write' some sickeningly domestic/bizarrely disturbing mindfic...
hmpf: (fluffy)
So, yesterday I was making croutons (to go with a tomato and zucchini stew) when my friend/roommate came into the kitchen. The following conversation developed:

Friend: What are you cooking?
Hmpf: Croutons.
Friend: Ah. *Improvised* croutons.
Hmpf: Why 'improvised'?
Friend: Well, shouldn't they be spicy?
Hmpf: ... I could put some spices in, but that's not really how croutons are supposed to be. They're just white bread, diced and fried/roasted in a pan.
Friend: But they're usually store-bought.
Hmpf: ...

So, apparently, food that is freshly prepared is 'improvised'. Proper food is store-bought.

*cries*

*remembers other roommate bringing home pancake-mix-in-a-bottle; cries some more*
hmpf: (Default)
Food geeks on my flist! I'm sure you have some wonderful lentil recipes you'd like to share with me?
hmpf: (indescribable)
We've recently discovered that we have mice again (we had some some four years ago, but got rid of them - but we live right beneath the attic, and occasionally mice from the attic will find a way into our flat). So we've been busy mice-proofing our supplies, i.e. putting everything in jars and boxes, and that drove the point home for me of how much edible stuff I regularly keep in supply. Am I weird? Or is this normal?

Here's what I usually have at least one packet of at home:

- rice (arborio & basmati)
- noodles (spaghetti, lasagna, ramen and 'soup noodles')
- semolina
- brown lentils
- red lentils
- beans for chili (I don't know what they're called) - in a tin
- soy beans
- chopped tomatos
- pureed tomatos
- dried tomatos in oil
- asparagus (in a glass)
- ground almonds or nuts
- whole almonds or nuts
- pureed peanuts/peanut butter

Plus the obvious - flour, sugar, salt, spices and sauces, onions, garlic, and the various perishables.

What about you?
hmpf: (ears of love)
You know, I have only the vaguest idea what the show Life is about (it sounds interesting, but I have enough TV in my life ATM), but I'm enormously amused whenever I see the words "Fandom: Life" pop up on my flist. I'm a fan of life, too. It sure beats death.

*

I ramble a bit about my difficult relationship with Life on Mars fandom here. It's kind of the exact opposite of my relationship with Highlander fandom, where I've always loved the fandom more unreservedly than the source (with the exception of the Really Old Guy). I kept my distance, to some degree, in HL fandom, too - because close interaction with fen of something you feel only lukewarm about can be a bit awkward. Being able to join in with the squee is essential to really joining a fandom actively, IMO. But I always really loved the fandom and what it was doing.

In Life on Mars fandom, I still love the source (except for the last episode) to bits, but the fandom now makes me deeply uneasy. Which, yeah, I am aware is unfair of me, but it's the irrational part of me that's in charge of this emotion.

(Farscape fandom is the only fandom I ever had where I could simply love the show and the people who loved it, really.)

*

Rapunzel almond spread. Food of the gods.

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