I ate'nt dead.

  • Feb. 1st, 2012 at 3:18 PM
pepper: A red chilli pepper (Chilli pepper)
Hello world. Well, hasn't it been a long time? I have many things to update you on, but I keep starting posts and then running out of steam before I finish them. Someday I may go into all these things in detail, but for the moment, to sum up:

  • Christmas was great.

  • Work continues to suck.

  • I saw a fabulous version of the Robin Hood legend at the RSC this January - and it was all about Marion. Robin had the "steal from the rich" bit down, but the "and give to the poor" was all Marion. Plus the staging was amazing. The whole stage, from about halfway back, was one giant, grassy slide, right up into the rafters! People slid onto stage - ouch - and had to climb back up with ropes! It's the most athletic play I've ever seen.

  • Castle! I have burned through all the seasons currently available, and now impatiently await more of season 4. I have no patience for open canon shows. I want it ALL, NOW. Will they/won't they? (Oh, they totally will.)

  • I finally read all the Tiffany Aching / Wee Free Men books, by Pterry. *happy sigh*. In possibly related news, I've not gone to sleep before 2am for most of the nights this week. I. am. so. tired.

  • I'm thinking of trying to run a 10k this year.

  • Kat continues to be adorable, although I do wish she'd stop eating her toys.

ION, I'm finally conceding that I don't like some taste combinations that are generally considered delicious. Coffee and chocolate, for example. I like coffee, I love chocolate, but together? Yuck. Ditto fruit and chocolate - I just don't really like them combined. I feel that togetherness makes them less than the sum of their parts - it takes away from the freshness of the fruit, and the richness of the chocolate. And yet it always seems to be, "What could be better than fresh strawberries? How about STRAWBERRIES DIPPED IN MELTED CHOCOLATE!" Give me my strawberries unadulterated, and my melted chocolate with a big spoon, pls. Also, baked potato and baked beans is just wrong, I don't care what people say.

ETA: The Heart of Robin Hood. )

Jan. 25th, 2011

  • 12:25 PM
pepper: Cup of tea (Tea)
It's Burns Night, apparently the time for Americans to smuggle their haggises across borders, as one of the traditional ingredients, sheep's lung, has been ruled as unfit for human consumption by US authorities. I'm not particularly squeamish about meat, although admittedly I am veggie - I used to love liver, yum yum - but I think even my enthusiasm for authenticity would be tempered by a) possible prison time, and b) sheep's lung. Just me?

Thinking of disgusting, I'm trying to think of some local delicacies to feed my visitors. Perhaps some lovely Lardy Cake? This is a sweet, spiced cake which, well, to be absolutely honest, is soaked in lard. The clue is in the name. It's probably the reason why a lot of older Oxfordshire residents look somewhat Hobbitesque. It's delicious, honestly! Alas, again, I cannot eat it, being veggie. I'm genuinely sad about that.

The other Oxford delicacy seems to be beer. Oh well. :)


  • Dec. 14th, 2010 at 3:59 PM
pepper: The cake is a lie! (Cake is a lie)
Blergh. Doughnuts made with artificial sweetener: why would you do that to me, Greggs? If I wanted diet food, I wouldn't be buying doughnuts. And why was there no warning? "This will taste disgusting, don't buy it, it won't satisfy your doughnut craving at all, and the flavour will hang around all day."

Peh, peh, peh, peh, peh.


I am not the only one, I'm sure, whose criteria for buying a new fleece top goes something like this:

- Not the same colour as the one I've got
- Not too expensive, it's only to wear on the journey to work or around the house
- Pockets
- ...Ooh, that one will make me look like a Muppet!

It's purple, and it's FLUFFY!


Nom, nom, nom.

  • Nov. 2nd, 2010 at 11:00 AM
pepper: Pepperpot (Pepperpot)
Note to self: go to Milan, buy chocolate panettone someday.

In somewhat related news, one of my colleagues brought some chocolate panettone in today, that their stepmother brought back from holiday. It is so good. I can't figure out how they got the gooey chocolate into it without it becoming simply part of the dough - gooey seems to be its natural state at room temperature. Maybe it was injected afterwards?

Speaking of things culinary, I ordered some ginger recently, when I did some online shopping. I thought I ordered one piece - I didn't really mind what size, I only needed a little bit - but I ended up with a big bag of the stuff. Perhaps I ordered it by weight, and ordered 1lb, not 1 piece. I dunno. Anyway, this resulted in me looking up how to preserve ginger. I tried this recipe, because... well, because I have a NaNo to write and I needed something to procrastinate with concentrate on while I thought about the story. It was actually pretty easy, it just took a long time, and I ended up with a couple of lovely by-products - namely a water, ginger and lemonade mix that was nice with a bit more lemonade added, and ginger syrup. Ginger syrup, omg.

I'm thinking up lots of things I could now do with the ginger syrup. Mixed into ice cream! Added to mulled wine! Taken when I have a cough! Spread on pancakes! Eaten straight from the jar with a spoon!

I also, this weekend and yesterday - I was off yesterday - made pepper and poppyseed bread*, potato cakes**, céleri rémoulade** (similar to coleslaw, except with celeriac), naan bread, dahl, and raita. We had a little homemade Indian meal yesterday. It's amazing how motivated I get when I'm supposed to be writing something. But I did hit my word target, so that's okay.

They're repeating Colditz, the 1970s TV series, at the moment (on Yesterday, for UK peeps). Gosh, David McCallum was adorable. Well, okay, he's still adorable - but, er, not quite as devastatingly attractive, IMO.

I have more intelligent - well, more lengthy - things to say about the series, but not right now.

p.s. Scrivener is awesome.

* While very drunk! And it was delicious! I get to a certain state where I want to prove I'm still capable, so I do things like vacuuming, making bread, cleaning the bathroom...

** While hungover. Not so much fun. I kept having to stop and sit down for a bit. Also, the bloody Madagascar Penguins had an entire cartoon about trying to make one of them throw up, which really didn't help.


Aug. 9th, 2010

  • 12:01 PM
pepper: Swan on green river (Swan)
Things I have done recently:

- Discovered a meadow - with cows! - right in the middle of Oxford. Okay, yes, I'm sure everyone else already knew about Christ Church Meadow, and I had in fact seen one of the entrances to it, but I'd never investigated it. Cows! In the city!

- Went to see The A-Team. Da-da-duh-duuuuh, duh-duh-DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH... I practically bounced all the way home, feeling like I was seven again. EXPLOSIONS! Plans coming together! MORE EXPLOSIONS! Overkill is underrated! YET MORE EXPLOSIONS TIMES ELEVENTY! It was exactly like my memory of the A-Team, and not at all like actually rewatching the A-Team, IYSWIM. If you go see it, stick around until the end of the credits (unlike everyone else in the cinema with me - what is their hurry?).

Spoilers. )

- Watched two more Mac S6 episodes, of which more later.

- Seriously underestimated RDA's capacity for incomprehensible text-speak. Zoiks.

- Also watched the last ep of Sherlock – only three eps? Boo. Also, bastards, for that ending. Loved the umpty-billion references to the original stories. V. fond of John.

- I'm sure there was something else...

- ...Nope, it's not coming back to me.

ETA: Oh, I remembered! My local shop is now selling kulfi lollies, in pistachio (my favourite!) and it makes me very haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Jun. 9th, 2010

  • 12:10 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Default)
Tried to make fairy cakes yesterday - a very simple thing to do, one of the first things I learned to bake as a child. Something went wrong, though, because they came out as... cakesplosions. Caketastrophes, even. I think the mixture was too liquidy, possibly because the butter was too warm, so instead of rising up, they splurged out. Boy did they splurge. If it weren't for the paper cases, they'd basically be a single sponge entity, a negative of the cake tray.

Still, they taste lovely. Maybe I'll use them in a trifle.


Twilight continues to be unbelievably moronic. I'm reading it slowly because, frankly, I have better things to do with my time than spend it with a self-absorbed brat and her 108-year-old idiot boyfriend who, in all that time, hasn't come up with anything more interesting to talk about than "Uh, so, like, what's your, um, favourite colour?". It comes to something when I'm missing the Anne Rice vampires. Or Lestat, anyway - he knew how to spend an eternity.


Between now and next Wednesday I have 9 meetings. Send help.


Captain Sensible is surprisingly tall in person.


Apr. 12th, 2010

  • 12:04 PM
pepper: Cup of tea (Tea)
OMFG, these are good cookies. I froze half the cookie dough, but I don't think it'll stay in the freezer for long - I'm pretty much going to need another batch, oh, as soon as I finish the first one. It's not like the ingredients are anything unusual, but somehow, the finished product is just... otherworldly. From some darker, more sinful world, where everything is draped in red velvet or black leather.

Yeah, sorry, can't stay, the cookies are calling.


pepper: Jack and Daniel, "I bringed you a cookie, but I eated it." (Cookie)
I accidentally made an almond version of langue de chat biscuits today. As is the sort of thing that happens with my baking. Although usually my unexpected disasters are a little less delightful.

The recipe I used just called them 'almond biscuits', and claimed they could be rolled, but this was a liiiiiiiiiie. They were very nearly batter. I'd made them once before, but added a ton of flour, and they were nice, like almond shortbread.

This time, I decided to make them more liquidy, adapt the recipe a little to make them more almondy (I love almonds), and adapt the method completely. They tasted fabulous. Had I realised how much they'd spread in the oven, I'd have put them further apart, and they'd also look fabulous. As it is, I ended up with a puddle of biscuit, which had to be cut apart with a pizza wheel.

Still. Delicious!

Almond Langue de Chat )


Plants. Oh, and RDA.

  • Mar. 31st, 2009 at 2:13 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Raspberry)
So, I'm taking over [livejournal.com profile] rda_daily for April - eep! Well, it's a friendly place, and... I still feel like I should offer my credentials. I am a co-mod for [livejournal.com profile] redial_the_gate (The Light today, woohoo!), and [livejournal.com profile] jacksamfriends (deadline 6 April, OMG!), and... oh, you all know me. *g*

Let's see if I can remember to do this every day for a month. I'm currently managing to keep alive a windowsill-full of strawberry plants (too early for fruit as yet, but they're growing like anything), so I'm fairly confident. Fortunately, if I start talking aloud to the comm, or playing Beethoven to see if it'll encourage growth, no one will actually hear me.

Except A, but he already knows I'm crazy.


On the subject of plants, I'm also growing some basil, and a pot of rosemary, but the rosemary is dead, dead, dead, and in fairness I think it was pretty much already gone when I bought it. Despite having killed a fair few plants in my time, I'm actually putting my mind to it at the moment, and am pretty sure I'm doing all the right stuff re. not over/under watering, some but not too much sunlight, big enough pot, etc etc.

I had a huge and beautiful rosemary plant when I was in college, but stupidly I didn't take it with me when I left. It has such a lovely smell. I have a nice recipe for rosemary and cheese mini muffins that taste like they're doing good stuff to your brain, somehow. They only really work with the very fresh stuff, because the dried is so godawful tough.


Jan. 12th, 2009

  • 10:00 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Pepperpot)
I managed to make The Bread That Ate Manhattan this evening. I followed the recipe and everything. I think maybe I left it to rise too long. Still, it'll be lighter that way, which is probably a good thing for wholemeal walnut bread.

Is it a walrus? Is it a scale model of the Moon? No - Pepper's been baking! )

ETA: In case anyone's interested, the recipe. Is v. nice, but they're not kidding when they say "Makes 1 large loaf".


Anti-Monday devices.

  • Oct. 20th, 2008 at 1:20 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Headdesk)
Mondays. Ugh. And LJ keeps screwing with this post. And, oh CRAP, I have just realised I've forgotten to fax my timesheet. *headdesk, deep sigh* So, things for which I am grateful:

- The sandwich my beloved made me, with just the right amount of (English) mustard on it. The sandwiches he makes are not the sandwiches I would make for myself, but I love the quirks he gives them, and the opportunity it gives me to acclimatise my tastebuds to hot stuff.

- [livejournal.com profile] moonshaydewrote me a ficlet! *sporfles at it*

- Everyone who recommended Lois McMasters Bujold to me. And the librarian I started chatting to on Saturday who was determined I should read The Warrior's Apprentice, to the extent that she searched through the so-recently-returned-they're-still-behind-the-counter shelves for me. And found it. (Although, the fact that I was up reading this book until late late late last night may be one reason I'm finding this Monday morning so very difficult.)

- I drew this xkcd strip on our whiteboard on Friday, and have seen people reading it, notably the person who made me think of it in the first place. Hopefully learning will percolate.

- I have the latest Lucinda Williams album and a DVD set of Sapphire and Steel on order. My love for Sapphire and Steel, I will show you it soon, no doubt. "Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available..."

- [livejournal.com profile] mrspollifaxwrote funny Sam/Jack fic!

- Getting up early on Saturday and meeting up with a friend at the local shops for tea and toast, and wandering round the shops, and stopping for more tea. And then going to the library with A, and then coming home and having a nap. And then waking up, having dinner, pottering around for a while, and napping again. Until 5am. And then waking up, looking at the moon and what I think was Orion (three bright stars, his belt), and... going back to sleep.

- Feeling very refreshed on Sunday.

- A postcard from [livejournal.com profile] annerbhp. :)

- Stephen Fry's expression after the flyover at the unbe-freaking-lievable local ball game between two American colleges (a game which, in the UK, would have consisted of maybe fifty people watching two teams and a referee on a muddy pitch, too damn early on a Saturday morning. Your country is huge, Americans. HUGE.)

- A picture of a baby owl. SO CUTE.

- Pistachio ice cream. My favourite flavour since a school trip to Bolougne, where I ordered it from a street stall, thinking it was mint. It wasn't mint, and it was a million times nicer. Other than that, I remember that Bolougne was steep and sunny, with old stone city walls, and a beautiful cathedral with stained glass windows and a carved and polished wooden hand, smooth as glass.

Odd foodstuffs

  • Oct. 17th, 2008 at 2:01 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Red pepper)
Things which ought not to be confused:

Leskol - "Leskol Half Fat looks, tastes, slices and cooks the same as any Mature Cheddar - but it's packed full of all the good things, and has much less of the bad..."

Leksol - "Leksol is a high-performance precision cleaning solvent used in vapour degreasing, ultrasonic cleaning and cold cleaning with high solvency power..."

(No, before you ask, I've not been drinking cleaning solvent. The cheese substitute was listed as an ingredient in a sandwich I bought today, and I wondered what the heck it was, so Googled it, and got the name slightly wrong. Also, the bit about tasting the same as any Mature Cheddar is a liiiiiiiiiiiiie.)


I have recently tried Marmite with added champagne (something they did as a Valentine's promotion this year, and we've only just got around to opening due to the plethora of Marmite we already had in the cupboard). Didn't taste any different, to be honest - Marmite is way more overpowering a flavour. I've also tried Guinness Marmite - ditto. Guinness is kind of the alcoholic equivalent of Marmite, come to think of it. If you like that, I think there's a good chance you could come to like Marmite. Even if it's culturally not your thing.

Also, it's good added to vegetarian French onion soup, to give it the body it lacks without beef stock.


I'm eating a lot of apples, lately. My favourite types are always the tiny ones that appear around this time of year - Russets, Cox's Orange Pippin (of which we had a tree, when I was a kid), all those. Mmm. They're very literary apples - they remind me of Lord of the Rings, and Little Women. Jo and her bag of apples, in the attic.

My local supermarket once tried to sell giant, mutant Russets, the same size as normal apples. I get the impression that they weren't successful - I didn't buy them, and next year they were back to the proper, tiny ones. Hah. Consumer power ftw.


Aug. 16th, 2007

  • 9:23 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (I'm goin' in)
Well, whilst I deal with the disappointment of it being too late to cook bread and butter pudding, and consoling myself with ice-cream and hot fudge sauce, I'll pass on the good news. [profile] vickyocean  has created something positive to counter some of the negative feelings about Sam in Atlantis out there, floating around in the psychic ether:

[info]sam_carter_sga, for discussion, fanfic and fan art.

And [profile] carter_sheppard, for those interested in potential shippage between Sam and John Sheppard.

Vicky was also asking for suggestions, questions and ideas for the comms, as they're works in progress. Go! Play! Glee about Sam! I'm going to miss out, as I won't get to see Atlantis for ages (bah, humbug).

ETA: Meep! Thank you to whoever nominated Out Go The Lights and Peanut M&Ms for the Stargate Fan Awards!

*faintz ded*

Jul. 13th, 2007

  • 11:30 AM
pepper: Pepperpot (Strawberry)
This is probably going to make no sense to most of you, but: I want to write Kerr Avon/Vala Mal Doran fic! It's all [personal profile] paian's fault, with her porn battle prompts. I don't think I can do the porn thing – but oh, wow, a universe with those two in it... The economy of the multiverse would never be the same, for a start. Also, there would probably be an apocalypse.

 Okay, someone tell me to shut up, now.

Jun. 25th, 2007

  • 1:20 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Blossom)
I have nothing fannish to say. *g* Oh, except that I've made a post that will stay on the top of the page, with links to all my fic. I've seen this done on several journals, and it seemed like a good idea. I think I've got all the links correct...

edit: Just remembered! I've put links in the above-mentioned post to the Christmas party reel comment fic by [personal profile] crazedturkey, [personal profile] holdouttrout, [profile] sjfan, [profile] linnet_101, and [profile] niamaea - I hope that's okay with you guys? If it's a problem, let me know ([personal profile] crazedturkey in particular, 'cause I linked to the fic you posted in your journal).

Jun. 8th, 2007

  • 4:13 PM
pepper: There are only two ways a child can go with a name like Pippin Galadriel Moonchild, and Pepper had chosen the other one. (Good Omens Pepper)
I haven't actually blathered on my lj much this week. I think I unnerved myself by tagging all the posts I felt were blather (i.e. the random thoughts in my head about green tea ice cream, the doors at work, my ankle itching, kitchen cupboard picnics...), and that tag being so damn huge in the little cloud to the left. But, heck, I do blather, and it doesn't seem to have put y'all off me yet, so...
This weekend I is mostly going to be going to Hen Night pt. 2: Revenge Of The Southern Comfort & Cranberry. I need to bring a dish, and I'm trying to think what. I don't really do savouries so much, but I do a mean line in sweet pastries. I might do Eccles cakes, Welsh cakes, something like that - all carefully nut-free, 'cause I don't want the bride-to-be to stop being able to breathe. And, ohh, maybe some Cheesy Marmite Twists (puff pastry, rolled out thin, cut into two equal-size pieces, spread with Marmite, sprinkled with grated cheese, sandwiched together, cut into strips, twisted like twisty things, and baked). They're quite partyish.
I have made myself a Good Omens icon. That book was the reason I chose this username, after all, so I thought I should. It's a bit of a boring icon, but it was a ten-minute job: I may play around with Photoshop some more this evening, I'm quite in the mood for sticking silly captions on photos.
Oh, have now seen Firehouse, and would mostly like to say... WTF? Whoa there a second, back that firetruck up a little and show me what HAPPENED TO MICHAEL, DAMMIT! Also, I totally thought that woman's policeman husband would turn out to be the sniper – all the stuff about wanting her barefoot and pregnant had me convinced he was a psycho. Eesh.
I have been trying to choose a fic (well, it's about time!) for my [profile] gateverse_remix, but it's not easy. Too much good stuff to choose from. On the other hand, reading through lots of lovely fic isn't exactly a hardship. Oh, and [profile] abyssinia4077  tells me I'm allowed to write Jack's lost year (post Stargate film, pre-COTG), as a reward for finishing my remix. *g* I haven't done angst in yonks. Funny, that used to be what I usually wrote, but when I came to Stargate, I gravitated towards the fluffier end of the spectrum.
I may have an Indian takeaway this evening. There's a lovely place near me that does a most excellent vegetable korma.
Okay, I'm done.  

May. 29th, 2007

  • 1:15 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Snax)

There's a fun shop in the UK called Cybercandy. It has candy, chocolate, and other sweets and snacks from around the world. It's a good place to go to buy Milk Duds, Twinkies, Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, Cadbury's Cherry Ripe, the very-much-an-aquired-taste salty liquorice, Swedish Fish (hooray, no gelatine!), or - should you wish - Double Choco Collons (disturbing on many levels). Or ant chocolate, scorpion lollipops - all that novelty crap that gets bought for gifts and that no one ever actually eats (surely?). 

I've drawn a few conclusions from this place: 
- Australian chocolate manufacturers come up with some great novelty ideas that actually taste nice (Pods! How great are they?). 
- Japanese sweets seem to consist entirely of Pockys and Hello Kitty. 
- American candy and fizzy drinks are great, but their chocolate sucks.
- Squirrel Nut Zippers are mysterious and wonderful, but unfortunately never in stock.
- No one in their right mind wants to drink coffee that's been previously digested by weasels. However, tea that's been hand-picked by trained monkeys... yes.

I went there this weekend, and was thrilled to find the Lava Bar: the world's first liquid chocolate bar. Ooh! Bought one immediately. Sat down to enjoy. And realised that a) it's chocolate sauce in a packet, b) it's therefore hugely overpriced (£1.99 for 75g), and c) to add insult to injury, it's not even all that nice. I have eaten better chocolate sauce. Hell, I have made better - and could again, right now, with ingredients in my kitchen at this very moment (good chocolate, cream, sugar). D'oh.

Still - liquid chocolate bar. I'm still slightly excited by the idea.

(I'm off sick today, so please forgive me if I'm talking nonsense.)



  • Apr. 2nd, 2007 at 12:23 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (I ate all your bees!)
I thought I'd do a recipe today. Because... I wanted to. So nyer.

This is sort of my recipe, in that it's a combination of a few other recipes I vaguely remembered from books and TV, from which I evolved my own version. It's very, very easy, can be adapted to whatever flavour you like best, and is much nicer for breakfast than most of the bars you can buy in shops. They keep okay for a week or more in a decent container (I've got a biscuit tin for mine, but then I'm like that. An Anzac tin, in fact, for you Aussies).


Feb. 28th, 2007

  • 2:20 PM
pepper: Pepperpot (Default)
Okay, yeah, I may have gone overboard on this interview meme. This is the last I'm doing. I think. But it's been mad fun, and very revealing. And much, much better than working.

[personal profile] caladriaasked me...
[personal profile] geneeste asked me...

Okay, I swear this is the last one. I don't think I asked anyone else to interview me. And I've completely talked myself out, anyhow.

[profile] vickyoceanasked me...


Okay, so that's me. God I love lj.

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