Archive | December, 2010

2011 is just another year

31 Dec

Do you have tasks that you have set to get done for the new year? I got none of the things on my list completed for 2010 so I’m just going to drag them across for the new year. A simple list, a small list. This is it:

1. Cook duck – not sure in what recipe. Would love to roast a whole duck, but might wuss out and make a curry. Or both.

2. Get a massage/Give a massage (preferably while wearing a superhero costume!)

3. Read The Count of Monte Cristo – I love the storyline of this novel. So full of intrigue and wonderful plotted revenge. I confess I started the book years ago, but have never got all the way through it.
Have you seen the French mini-series from 1998  with Gerard Depardieu? Its wonderful. Go and watch it!

Advertisements

That’s a big noggin!

31 Dec

Love So I Married An Axe Murderer and this scene is gold. How’s the last day of 2010 going for you? I’m working, thanks for asking.

Henry Lee

23 Dec

 

I love this! So passionate. Interesting to note that PJ Harvey and Nick Cave were together for a time.

A Nice Cup Of Tea

22 Dec

By George Orwell
Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

If you look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

* First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.

* Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.

* Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.

* Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.

* Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.

* Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.

* Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.

* Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

* Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.

* Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

* Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tealeaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one’s ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

So what is your take on tea drinking, and preparation for that matter? Are you pedantic about it?

I love this list. I agree with it wholeheartedly. The most controversial point I have come across in my time is whether the milk should be poured into the cup before the tea or vica versa. I prefer tea first, then milk. In fact I have argued with people for hours about the issue that’s how strongly I feel about it.
I love strong tea, I never drink tea bag tea if I can help it. Even though I like it strong I still like lots of milk. And I prefer full-cream milk. Barambah organic is bestest.
I like a large mug of tea, the bigger the better. I prefer not to have to refill too often.

My every day tea tends to be Blue label Bushells tea. I also love vanilla with milk.
My latest craze is T2 Ginger Spice which is perfect for after-dinner.  Mmmm…
One of my friends personal blends is half blue label, half Earl Grey – for a perfect smooth every-day tea! It is very good.

What’s your favourite?  And what are you’re little tips?

 

 

I’m so excited—I think today I’m going to brush all my teeth. – Woody Allen

22 Dec


I’ve had my eye on this Woody Allen brooch for some time now. If you like it too, it can be found here.

It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To

19 Dec

I seem to be brimming with party and general evening ideas. I’ve hosted a daggy music party with contributions from all who came. From the outset I asked everyone to bring along their top five daggiest tunes from their CD collection/Ipod/Iphone. Some people were more prolific than others in contributions! There was some really interesting submissions and the night ended with a dag off between two friends. G ended it beautifully with his final selection being the intro to long running TV soap Home and Away.

I don’t think anyone anticipated that! I really want to have a Part II to that night. I think we can go daggier! Or can we?

We recently hosted the Lash and Stash party, the beginnings of which started back in May 2009 in Sydney instigated by my brother. The Stash idea came first but of course we had to have something for the girls to get into. We had a range of real mo’s, fake mo’s, and outstanding lashes. I think what the party idea showed was that everyone loves a mo – fake or otherwise to laugh at. And fake eyelashes can be fantastic and as dramatic as you like! 

  
So what next? I have thoughts on a Trivia night (please check all phones at the door). Or I have another idea for a Movie night where everyone invited brings along their favourite movie/s and plays their favourite scene.

There are others – what about a John Hughes themed party? I could come dressed as Molly Ringwald’s character in The Breakfast Club?

Or that hideous prom dress in Pretty in Pink?

(What is it with redheads and pink?)

Or else the ultimate party – Seinfeld inspired!!


“No soup for YOU!”

What are your favourite party ideas?

Current Obsessions II

19 Dec

Vietnamese Food:

This obsession has hung around for quite some time. S and I were out for dinner last Monday night at a local restaurant in West End, Quan Thahn which we love and decided we could happily eat Vietnamese every single day for the rest of our lives. And under the banner of Vietnamese food the favourite off the menu at the moment is the Crispy Skin Chicken Noodle Soup with extra wontons. I can never finish it, but its so tasty plus healthy! Coupled with a young coconut juice its a perfect Sunday afternoon meal.

Rowan Atkinson:

S has been rediscovering the comedy of this great man in the form of Mr Bean and the ever fantastical Blackadder.

It’s impossible to see his face and not smile isn’t it?

The Finkler Question:

I picked up this book by Howard Jacobson which received the Man Booker prize this week and even though I have only read a few chapters so far I am loving it. The language and the way it is written is just brilliant.

Did you know its virtually impossible to skip and not smile at the same time?