deird1: fantasy!Buffy pouring cereal, with text "making breakfast sexy" (Buffy breakfast)
I am learning how to make bread and it is AWESOME.


For many years now, I have bought supermarket bread, occasionally been indulgent and bought bakery bread, and every few weeks made a loaf in my bread maker. The bread maker is awesome, mainly because I hate kneading.

However, last year, I got sick of the bread maker taking up space on my kitchen bench, and sick of wistfully glancing at my KitchenAid dough hook, and decided to find out how to make bread in the KitchenAid. A year in, and I can produce a fairly reliable white loaf. (And, once again, awesome, because the Kitchen Aid did the kneading, which I hate.)

Then came my birthday (two weeks ago, for those of you playing at home). For which I was given the book Flour Water Salt Yeast (Google is your friend) and the requisite supplies.

I am now MAKING BREAD BY HAND. Huzzah!

...and I am still not kneading. Because kneading sucks, and because my new book doesn't want me to knead anything. I am very thrilled about this.


My first loaf was made last Saturday, while my husband was available for kid watching. My current loaf is being made during the day, while he's at work, because I am a crazy person and enjoy making my life chaotic.

In a few hours, I will have either newly baked whole-wheat loaves baked to perfection in a dutch oven, or some hilarious photos.

Wish me luck!
deird1: Faith and Wesley, with text "rogue demon hunters" (Faith Wesley rogue demon hunters)
Being slightly homesick, have spent half an hour on YouTube watching Americans eating vegemite.

GUYS. IT'S NO WONDER YOU HATE IT. YOU'RE EATING IT WRONG.


Everyone keeps grabbing a spoon, scooping up a big glob of vegemite, and sticking it straight in their mouth. Then gagging and saying they hate it. I'm not surprised. I'd hate it too.

Vegemite is extremely potent stuff. It's supposed to be used to add a hint of flavour to your food, not be eaten as an OVERWHELMING FORCE the way all the YouTube people are doing it. Honestly, you're basically putting a full heaped tablespoon of salt in your mouth, and then complaining about everything tasting salty!

...which is a pretty good analogy, because vegemite is quite salty, and works in a similar way to salt.


To properly eat vegemite:
1) Make a piece of toast.
2) Add copious amounts of butter to the toast.
3) Get a very very small amount of vegemite, scrape it over the toast, and then scrape any and all excess off. You should be left with a light-brownish layer of vegemite, through which you can still see the butter.
4) Now eat it.

Quite simple, really.
deird1: Dawn glaring at Buffy, with text "Dawn Summers demands an explanation for this bullshit" (Dawn bullshit)
Seriously, Northern Hemispherites, you guys are missing out on all the good fast food. And the sad thing is, you don't even realise it.

KFC, for example. Their chips here are the same as the Maccas chips - ie, thin and kinda dry. Real KFC chips should be fat, moist, and yummily salty. They're awesome.

And Subway! How is it that none of the European Subways have grated carrot? Or chicken fillet? Or sweet chilli sauce?


You people are DEPRIVED.
deird1: the Trio as Greek gods, with text "we are as gods!!!" (Trio as gods)
Taking a short break from my very fascinating life to educate you all about a great Aussie food: the Hamburger With The Lot.


First up (and just aimed at Americans) - it's not a "sandwich". This is a language issue I've always found weird – Americans seem to classify every single instance of sliced food between bread as a sandwich, and hence end up calling all sorts of things sandwiches even when they're clearly subs or hamburgers.

brief explanation with visual aids )

So. On to specifics.

To have a proper Aussie hamburger, one should go to a fish and chip shop, where they will have a fine selection of fillings available to you. So, you could look at the filling options and ask for a hamburger "with cheese and tomato", or "with bacon", or simply decide that everything on the menu looks incredibly appetising, so you'll get one "with the lot".

Generally, a hamburger with the lot will include:
- the bread roll
- the meat patty
- lettuce
- tomato
- onion
- cheese
- bacon*
- a fried egg
- beetroot
- tomato sauce

It may also come with pineapple.

The egg is essential. So is the beetroot (although I am a philistine, and tend to decline that bit). They are what makes it a truly Aussie burger. They also make it delicious.

A demonstration:


It should barely fit between your jaws. Otherwise it's just not trying hard enough.




* Please note: there is a significant difference between Aussie bacon and American bacon.
deird1: Chiana, head on one side (Chiana)
I've been reading through Etiquette Hell recently, and came across this entry in the "Guests from Hell" section:
I have recently moved to California and was invited to a barbecue by some people who I considered to be well-mannered and good friends. The invitation, which arrived by mail stated that one should bring whatever one wished to put on the grill to eat. I was confused and called to ask exactly what that meant. I was advised that they would supply all side dishes, salads, bread, condiments and drinks. I, however, should bring my own hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or whatever I wished to eat - raw- and I would be allowed to cook it on the grill for my meal. Still confused, I asked, "So I should just bring a piece of raw meat with me?" "If that's what you want to eat," they replied. They then expressed their own surprise that I was confused as that was the way barbecues are "done" in California. My friends in the South find this particularly ridiculous.


Now... I find this confusing. Is there some other way of doing barbecues that I've somehow been missing all these years?

I've been to an average of eight barbecues a year (at least) for my entire life, and at EVERY one, people have brought their own meat. Why would it be bad manners? And what were these people expecting to happen instead?
deird1: Sokka looking upset, with text "you're making me tearbend" (Sokka tearbend)
So, the question is, having bought a new kind of tea that I despise, do I:

1) Throw it out, and laugh off the expense?
2) Stoically drink my way through the whole disgusting lot of it, and let it be a lesson to me?
3) Keep it hidden in a drawer in the hopes of one day finding someone who wants to take it off my hands?


It's black tea with extra caramel - and turns out to taste just like a weird form of coffee. Given that I drink tea to avoid all things coffee...
deird1: Dawn drinking a milkshake (Dawn milkshake)
[personal profile] aerintine asked, which was very sensible, because seriously folks, you HAVE NOT LIVED until you have tasted this caramel slice. It is my very favourite thing.

Recipe For Caramel Slice
under here )
deird1: Dawn glaring at Buffy, with text "Dawn Summers demands an explanation for this bullshit" (Dawn bullshit)
You guys don't have fairy bread?!

YOU DON'T HAVE FAIRY BREAD?!!

How do you survive?!!!


*~*~*Behold.*~*~*



This bready, sprinkly goodness is the most wonderful party food in the whole world, and you guys are missing out. Go make yourselves some immediately.
deird1: Dawn, with text "troublemaker" (Dawn troublemaker)
Went to the Grand Shop Of Tea Snobbery (not its real name) today to buy tea for my sister.


I usually love going there - a whole shop devoted to cool tea supplies! what's not to love? - but in this case, I was on a mission for... stuff I wouldn't usually buy. Stuff that would be better bought at a shop that wasn't so snobby about tea.

Because the simple fact of the matter is, when you go up to the counter carrying the stuff I was carrying, the shop assistants look at you with dubious disbelief and ask in an undertone "...you realise those are teabags, right?"


Woe unto me, for I have purchased teabags. I have fallen from the heights of the true looseleaf drinker, to a lowly purchaser of these plebby little containers. I must truly be ashamed.






Oddly, Firefox wants to correct my spelling of "realise", but is fine with "plebby"...

stuff

Feb. 11th, 2011 12:38 pm
deird1: the gaang hugging (Gaang hug)
1) Meat pies are wonderful, but sometimes hard to eat without dripping meat all over your desk.

2) Just a few weeks ago, my knowledge of Egypt could be summed up as: pyramids, Cleopatra, sand. Now, I can talk for ages about the current government, the past governments, possible future presidents...

3) Melbourne was apparently at 95% humidity this morning. And believe me - you could TELL. Am glad my work has air conditioning.

4) Today has three options, as follows: I get a call telling me I have the job and am awesome; I get a call telling me I don't have the job because I lack sufficient awesome; I don't get a call at all, and have to spend the ENTIRE weekend in nail-biting nervousness. Really really hoping it's not the third of those.

5) Tomorrow I'm going to Miss Marple's with my family. They have yummy food that is remarkably filling. I should probably stop eating now, in preparation.

6) If we must change our national anthem due to Jeff Kennett's dislike of the word "girt", I fully support Adam Hills' idea of using the same lyrics set to Working Class Man. (Actually, this would safely preserve the "girt" bit - which is useful. It's always good to have a running joke the whole country can share.)

7) No idea what to take a photo of today. Any suggestions? If not, you might have to put up with a photo of my pillow when I wake up at midnight and realise I still haven't taken one...
deird1: puppet!Angel brooding, with text "brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood" (PuppetAngel brood)
My thoughts exactly.


In other news, I've decided that the recipes I'm going to make this year have to include:
- trifle
- pie floaters
- custard
- self-saucing chocolate pudding
- apple pie

Pie floaters will be fun - if somewhat random. They're meat pies in bowls of mushy pea soup. Actually yummier than it sounds.
deird1: Dawn raising an eyebrow, with text "srsly?" (Dawn srsly)
I am not a tea addict.


I do, however, have certain opinions. And supplies.

Disregarding my kitchen at home, which is an entirely separate issue, let's ponder my work tea for a moment.

A year ago I started bringing my own tea in, instead of putting up with the disgusting work tea bags. At the time, my supplies consisted of:
1) a mug
2) tea bags provided by work and not kept at my desk

I now have a drawer containing:
1) a mug
2) a canister of looseleaf New Zealand breakfast tea, with bits of kiwi fruit
3) a canister of looseleaf tropical black tea, with bits of berries
4) a canister of looseleaf chai tea
5) a scoopy thing
6) a mug-sized strainer, to put the tea in
7) a plunger-tea container, for when I'm sick of the strainer
8) my own personal supply of honey, because sugar just isn't good enough

...yes, I'm a little obsessed. When I start bringing in my own porcelain teacups, you might think about staging an intervention.



Sidenote: I was looking for the entry linked above, and discovered just how many times I've talked about tea on this blog. Notable excerpts include:
tea thoughts through the ages )
deird1: Dawn looking at Spike, with text "badder than you" (Dawn badder than you)
I don't do New Year's Resolutions. So the fact that these look suspiciously like NYRs is completely coincidental.


Every day for a year, I will take a photo.
Every week for a year, I will cook one new recipe.

cake fail

Dec. 30th, 2010 09:49 pm
deird1: puppet!Angel headdesking, with text "*headdesk*" (PuppetAngel headdesk)
This is why I should never be allowed to cook things:




Note how half the cake is out of the tin, and the other half is still inside...

Last time this happened I had to dig out the remaining chunks, stack them on top of each other, and call it "tumbled butter cake" to fool people into thinking it had been intentional.

Not sure what I'll do this time.


*sighs*



___________

ETA: How the heck do you get photobucket photos to not take up way too much room on the screen? I resized it and everything...
deird1: Anya hugging Giles! (Anya hug)
- The locust plague is out in full force, happily suiciding into car windscreens all the way along the freeway. The latest trend in conversations among people who own cars: "How many did you hit? I hit at least three hundred this morning..."

- Spent several days in Mildura meeting the boyfriend's rellies. I have now met 6 aunts and uncles, 7 cousins, 4 significant others of cousins, and 3 kids of cousins. *is exhausted*

- Remembered to take my camera, but forgot to take any photos. I'm thinking of doing Project 365 next year, so I get back into the swing of photoing.

- One of the aforementioned cousins has a cook book (Womens' Weekly) that I really wanted to steal and smuggle home with me. Her mother has a cook book (home made) that I almost did steal and smuggle home with me. It's awesome! She gave me the "custard" page to try out...

- I'm sure I remember (and my family can back me up on this) being very outspoken about foods I simply could not eat because they were gross. Somewhere along the line I seem to have turned into someone who will eat everything that's put on her plate without complaining, will decide to at least seem to enjoy it, and then will actually enjoy it. Even the beetroot! Not quite sure how this transformation happened.

- Am very sunburnt from riding on the back of a ute. Still enjoyed the ute ride.

- Also enjoyed getting to ride on a humungous piece of machinery as it harvested lots of wheat. Hurrah!

- Melbourne has hills. I don't ever remember how many until I go to somewhere flat (like Mildura) and miss all my lovely hills.

- I also missed my cat! He's so wonderful! I came back and patted him, rang Mum, patted him, treated sunburn, patted him...


How was everyone's Christmas?

TEA

Nov. 26th, 2010 08:54 am
deird1: the gaang hugging (Gaang hug)
Tea might just be the greatest thing mankind has ever invented.

I mean, really, it's hard enough making the inital cooking leap of "these leaves are kinda boring; let's soak them in water for a while to make them tasty", but then throwing out the leaves and drinking the cooking water? What on earth?

But it works. It works so well. And whoever invented this magnificent drink, you have my heartfelt thanks - because I benefit from your wisdom every single day.


(Right now, I am halfway through a cup of chai tea with milk and honey. It is GLORIOUS.)


Hmm. I clearly need an Uncle Iroh icon.
deird1: Mai and Zuko cuddling, with text "you're so beautiful when you hate the world" (Mai Zuko hate the world)
Just been having a big forum discussion about what "sauce" is.

sauce, ketchup, and too many tomatoes )


(Also, just to stir the pot: America, I don't know where you get your weird naming conventions from, but "marinara" means it comes from the sea. It should have fish in it. The stuff you're mistakenly calling marinara is "napolitana".)
deird1: a penguin, with text "is everyone here very stoned?" (penguins)
Does anyone else have extremely weird habits for eating M&Ms?

I always eat the other colours first, and save the blue ones til last. The blue ones are special, you see.


Occasionally I go into full-on ridiculous eating-one-colour-at-a-time and delightedly watch the colour scheme change as each individual colour slowly fades out of the spectrum, until there's nothing left but blue (because I always finish with blue)... but that's only when I'm extremely bored.


Anyone else? Or is it just me?
deird1: Sikozu looking interested (Sikozu)
I'm experimenting with tea.


I ran out, last week. So I dutifully headed down to the tea shop to stock up.

Usually, I'll buy one black tea I've had before (and know I like) and one that I've never tried. This time, I decided to be different, and buy a non-black tea I've never tried: Roses.

Yep. Roses. It smelled like pot-pourri; it tastes like... well, kind of like what you'd expect mushy petals in hot water to taste like. (Not good, in fact.)


I could always throw out my drinkable pot-pourri and return to familiar old black tea... but instead, I decided to experiment.

I am now drinking black tea (flavoured with a slight hint of vanilla) combined with a lot of roses. And with milk in it.


It's actually pretty nice...

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