Friday, 30 January 2009

Joe Browns appears to be mocking me...

... by announcing the new summer collection is out.

Look at all these things it's far too cold for!

Pretty, aren't they?

Look at them.

Aren't they nice?
Aren't they?!

Why, once you're tired from a hard day's surfing, these lovely things'll be just perfect for hanging out on the beach!

Or hey, if you're too tired for the beach, why not just have the volleyball team come round to your pad and have a barbeque instead!

You could always chill in the jacuzzi - nothing like a quick dip to take your mind off the scorching heat!...

Hey, what's wrong?

What's the matter? Why are you crying?

I don't even think those sandles are that nice. It's the principle.

salmon'd: almost an anagram of the infamous archaic fishery past tense

almonds today.

Almond praline, to be precise. My original intention was to make almond praline cake, which of course begins with making the praline. I ended up making so much almond praline, and so much almond praline buttercream icing, that I had to make two more cakes on top of the original almond praline cake just to use it all up: obivously not literally on top as that would be, though delicious, structually unsound.

The closest I can manage to a pun on the word "praline" is this extract from the Dead Parrot Sketch.

Praline: I understand that this is Bolton.
Shopkeeper: Yes.
Praline: Well, you told me it was Ipswich.
Shopkeeper: It was a pun.
Praline: A pun?
Shopkeeper: No, no, not a pun, no. What's the other thing which reads the same backwards as forwards?

Praline: A palindrome?
Shopkeeper: Yes, yes.
Praline: It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton wo
uld be Notlob. It don't work.

The customer's name sure is a good bit of pub quiz trivia. We've had a picture of John Cleese's Praline, so let's have some pictures of my praline. I want to see how many times I can type "praline" before it no longer resembles a real word. Current status: uneasy.

I took a picture at the beginning because I wanted to remember the sheer amount of sugar that went into this. Taken near the start of the caramelisation process or, as I like to think of it, SUGAR TURNING BLACK AND ALIVE.

Next the praline after only a couple of minutes in the fridge. It was at this point I realised there isn't actually a rolling pin in the flat, so instead I had to crush it to pieces using the a screwdriver, which fortunately had a handle that was made of metal so it was bigger and in all probability heavier than a rolling pin would have been.

Finally, here is the almond praline post- being put in a plastic bag and pounded for ages.

It tastes pretty good on its own. And now I have mastered praline I feel I would be fairly confident attempting brittle! Maybe even nougat someday! Hurray!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Going noirwhere.

Took me a while to decide the best way to ice a cake for a Film Noir themed birthday party. My humble blueberry-jam filled victoria sponge had to contend with grandma's heavy duty fruit cake, and both desserts were up against the huge bowl of candy sticks I had bought for guests to smoke.

I am reminded of the noiresque monologue I saw Greg Fleet doing in Edinburgh. The best joke went something like this: "I walked up to the airport desk with a dead vulture under my arm. The air hostess said, you wanna put that in the baggage handler? I said, 'No.... it's carrion.' "

Bonus shot of film noir twenty-first birthday party in action. Note expert candy stick deployment:

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Containing neither pepper nor cheese.

chocolate chip banana bread pudding.

is there a single bad word in that name?

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Ignore geography for this to work.

So, Hamlet's got a job as a bus driver, and he's taking a coach party to the other end of the kingdom. A puncture rips a tyre and the bus stops. Hamlet looks out, and sees sharp objects and potholes and speedbumps all the way down the road. Hamlet says, "this rotten interstate of Denmark!"

Happy 09.