firstfallenpanda: (Default)
So, that was Xmas, was it? It certainly didn't feel like Xmas. I don't know if it was the fact that everyone's po' at the moment, or the fact that I'm not taking any holiday time over Xmas, but I just didn't have that same feeling this year that I usually have. Ah, well, we all grow up sometime I suppose.

Panda and I went for Xmas-eve sushi (our local was closed, so we went to Sake House* in Claremont), then came home and opened his gift to me (us): the collector's edition Star Trek: The Next Generation (all 7 seasons on 49 dvds with loads of extras). It is made of win. We've watched the first 3 dvds so far. I have reached the height of geekdom: admiring knitted sweaters in a cheesy sf show** :P. I do love the Trek, though. Mmm, Picard. And Data (he's fully functional, you know).

The day itself was ok, had a big lunch at my aunt's place with a total of 16 family members. There were no fights (for a change!), I didn't overeat too badly (although I did make too much trifle, which was a bit heavy on the sherry or so I'm told), and I got to see everyone. It was pleasant, except for pretty much every single person asking me when P and I are getting married and having kids. Argh. The Xmas is the coolest (weather-wise) that I can remember, it's raining at the moment. Damn climate change, interfering with my laundry schedule.

My yarn from everymoment arrived (via red-headed glamazonian courier in lime-green and turquoise sequinned high heels). It's so lovely, but I'm struggling to find a pattern that will suit it.

Here are some adorable pictures of Puff (warning: the high levels of cute may cause eyeballs to bleed).


Also, here is a recipe for rice salad. I am posting it here as I have received lots of compliments from people who might like to make it themselves. I haven't given quantities, use as much of each ingredient as you like. The end ratio of rice to veg should be 1:1.

Rice rice baby

- cooked brown rice
- mushrooms
- red peppers
- green peppers
- onion (red or brown)
- can of whole kernel corn
- garlic
- soya sauce

Chop your veges. Fry onion and garlic until tender, then add peppers and fry until tender. Add mushrooms and fry until tender. When all the veges are done to your liking, add the rice and fry it all together. Then add soya sauce and mix well. Ta da! You can also add cashews to this, or lentils to make it a complete meal.


* quite pricey compared to our local, not as tasty but a much greater variety. Almost too much variety. It was ok for a treat, but probably won't go there again unless for a special occasion.

** it's a good thing I'm not in Starfleet:

*alarms ringing, lights flashing*
Redshirt: Captain, the Borg are attacking, there's a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking off the port bow and the holodeck has malfunctioned causing fictional characters to swarm the lower decks!
Me: Is that a C4F or a Cr4L I see on your sweater?
Enterprise: *asplode*


Edit: a good reason to get your pets microchipped.

firstfallenpanda: (Default)

So, it was Phleep's birthday on Monday. Shame on all those who did not wish him. Shaaaaame. He got lots of booze, lots of music and some shoes. I made yummy vegetarian chilli (lentils and beans) with tortillas and guacamole and salsa and nachos and cheese and sour cream. It was good, the VtES players said. I will put the recipe up soon. I plan to try out a new recipe on the VtES players every second Monday and put the recipe up if it's a success. How many recipes can I put up before I'm sued for copyright infringement, I wonder?

It was Mauk's birthday yesterday. I got him a donation to the Carthorse Protection Association, as the Home for Aging Metrosexuals doesn't do donations :P.

Today is Khoi_wife's birthday. Happy birthday! I'll organise the stripper for Saturday, don't worry.


I bought some lovely crushed embroidered taffeta in dark blue. I have no idea what I'll do with it. Maybe I'll make a skirt. Open to suggestions at Sewing Circle on Sunday. My sewing room is coming along nicely, hopefully I can get lots done (in between manic choir practices and Unisa assignments).

Last Sunday Phleep, Mauk and I went to Mouille Point for lunch and putt-putt. On seeing how full the putt-putt was, we detoured to the maze just next door. It's awesome! Quite big (World's Third Largest Maze, boasts the sign). At only R22, it's a fun hour's diversion and quite different. The Mazekeeper is quite a character, like someone from an early 20th Century magical realism novel. When we entered the maze, I said "if we're not out in three hours, send a search party", to which he replied "I usually give people three weeks, then I come in with a wheel-barrow and body bags". I must admit, I did get lost a few times. You're supposed to throw an original thought into the universe when you get to the middle. I couldn't think of anything except "be excellent to each other", which is not that original but still a valid wish for humanity. I hope more people go to the maze, he's been growing it since 1991. Although, given the attitude to public property shown by the amounts of litter and defacing around, I hope more people don't go to the maze. I can foresee people just breaking through the foliage if they can't find the right way.

The horrible alien poisonous tree (no, not a Triffid, I wish) is finally gone from the front yard! They had to dig it out of the ground, the roots were as think as Phleep's thigh and the reason the wall is cracked. So, now to spend my Starke Ayres vouchers on a nice indigenous tree. Any suggestions? I'd like one that gives shade and grows quickly, but it must be sparing with the water and not try to demolish any walls with its roots.

Also, I'm finally going to get a new mashing machine this weekend. Water- and energy- saving, yay! I wish we owned the house, though, so I could put a grey water system in. Grey water for the win! I forget to water my garden when I should, an automated system would definitely help.

And now, off to warm the last of the lentils. Mmm, lentils.

Edit: hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot cross buns!


Jan. 21st, 2008 10:52 pm
firstfallenpanda: (Default)
Herewith, some recipes from my new cookbook Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. It is full of win. Recipes reproduced at the request of extemp and Jo (of JoStv).

Spicy Eggplant Stew with Potatoes, Mushrooms and Chickpeas (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

1/4 cup peanut ir canola oil
1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida (couldn't find; didn't use)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
3 whole dried hot red chillies (I used 3-ish teaspoons crushed chillies)
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound eggplants, cut crosswise into 1- to 1 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 pound large white mushrooms, halved or quartered to match other vegetable pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup tomato puree
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 well-packed cup very finely minced fresh cilantro/coriander/dhanya (I left this out)
2 1/4 cups drained cooked chickpeas (a 20-ounce can)

Put the oil in a large, wide pot and set over high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and cumin. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Put in the red chillies. As soon as they swell and darken, a matter of seconds, put in the garlic and potatoes. Stir and fry for a minute. Put in the eggplant, stir and fry for 2 minutes. Put in the mushrooms, stir and fry for another 2 minutes. Now put in the turmeric and ground coriander. Stir once and put in the tomato puree, 4 cups of water, salt, cilantro and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook gently for 35 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

I served this stew with:

Yoghurt with Walnut and Raisins (India)

(Serves 4 to 6)

You can add a few tablespoons of diced green apple to this if you like. I didn't.

1 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (I used more, I like mint)
1/4 chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil (I used marg)
1/4 cup golden raisins (I used golden sultanas, couldn't find golden raisins)

Put the yoghurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk or fork until it is smooth and creamy. Add the salt, sugar, pepper to taste, mint and walnuts and combine.
Put the ghee in a small frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the raisins. Stir them briefly just until they plump up. Quickly pour the ghee and raisins into the bowl with the yoghurt. Stir to mix.


Fresh Ginger and Green Chilli Relish

(Makes 1/2 cup)

1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger
7 to 10 fresh hot green chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Peel the ginger and then cut it crosswise into the thinnest slices possible. Cut the green chillies crosswise into fine slices. In a small, clean glass jar, combine the ginger, chillies, salt and sugar.
Put the lemon juice into a small stainless steel or enameled pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the juice to become lukewarm. Pour the juice over the ginger and cover the jar with a noncorrosive lid. Shake to mix. This relish may be eaten after an hour. Store in the fridge, will keep for 1 week.


In other news, I have joined the Cape Philharmonic Choir. First practice was tonight. In at the deep end with Handel's Messiah. It's hard. A's are not my friend when I'm so out of practice :(. There was a blind lady there and her guide dog whined a little when the sopranos squeaked on the high notes.

Also, reading Sunshine at the moment. I'm not sure if I like it, it's a bit angsty. It reads a bit like Ursula Vernon's blog at times, similar sense of humour. Also also, went to see The Merchant of Venice at Maynardville. I'm not sure I appreciated the new "take" (ie, raping). Obviously, the common-sense department was on holiday when the director said "I know! Nazis! Let's put Nazis in!". And, as we all know, as soon as someone introduces Nazis we all lose. And they didn't even salute the Bard's statue at the end! Shylocke's butler was fabulous, I wonder around saying "weeeeeeeeelll, my conscience, he says.." and "the deveeeel (hands up)". Sigh, good times.


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