Impulses

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Went into a little store earlier, like a seven-eleven. Walked up to the checkout and said there was a package to be collected. Girl behind the checkout smiles a sweet Swedish smile and says “Ok!” and wanders off behind the scenes to find package.

Meanwhile, I generally look at things near me and there is a display box at perfect impulse buy height full of small bars of chocolate all in bright shiny wrappers looking as impulse buy tempting as they can. Think to myself briefly “perfect impulse selling display, wonder if people are falling for it?”.

Swedish smile girl comes back and hands over package, I leave the store.

Stop outside the store. Go back into the store and up to the checkout. Pick up three of the little brightly coloured chocolate bars, pay for them and leave the store again.

Simple Carrot And Ginger Soup

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This works well and is quite simple, healthy and tastes good.

Makes enough for two, obviously scale it up or down as required.

Ingredients:
A little olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
2-3 cms fresh chilli
3-4 cms of fresh ginger
6 medium carrots
1 medium potato

How:

Roughly chop the garlic, onion, chilli and onion into small pieces,
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the above chopped ingredients.
Heat gently, stirring occasionally,  until they soften.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the peeled carrots and the potato into small pieces and add to the pan.
Stir a few times, and then add water to cover.
Cover the pan and leave to simmer until the carrots are soft, add water if necessary to keep the ingredients slightly covered.
Add a vegetable stock cube if you have one, and a little pepper.

Use an electric hand blender to make into a creamy soup.

Serve with bread and butter.

That’s it, done. Eat and enjoy!

Good, Simple, Bread

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wheat and rye breadHere’s how to make a good, simple loaf of bread. It tastes much better than store-bought bread and is quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

700g Plain white flour.
100g Rye flour.
200g Wholewheat flour.
1 sachet of dried yeast/12g
Pinch of salt.
700ml like-warm water.

How:

Add all of the dry ingredients together in a fairly big bowl (this mixture will grow to twice it’s size).
Mix together well.
Make a hollow in the centre of the mixture and pour in about half of the water.
Mix well with your hands.
Add the rest of the water a little at a time and continue mixing together.
Once all the water is added you will end up with a bread dough.

Take the dough and knead well on a lightly floured board for about ten minutes until you have a ball of smooth elastic dough.

Cover and leave for around one and a half hours. The dough will roughly double in size.

After the dough has risen, take it and knead a little more to push out air bubbles. Just thirty seconds will do. Make into a loaf shape and put into a greased baking tin. Cover and leave for a further thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 225C. Once it has reached that temperature put in the bread dough. Cook for fifteen minutes and then reduced the heat to 175C and cook for a further 25 minutes.

Once finished, remove the bread from the oven and leave to cool.

That’s it. Done. Enjoy!

Telegram Instant Messenger App

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Just a quick note to say that I have been using this Telegram instant messaging app on my phone for the past week or so and it works very well.

This is not an automatic post, I’m just personally passing on the fact that it works, it’s open source, it’s encrypted if that matters to you, it’s free and best of all it has no ads. Recommended.

Link: http://telegram.org/dl

Tractors And Spaceships

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I have just seen what I vaguely assume to be a hybrid electricity/gas powered tractor. Unusual. The two most noticeable things about it were that, firstly, it was quite a lot smaller than a normal tractor, which possibly makes it less useful than a normal tractor, and, secondly, that it sounded just like a spaceship from an old 1950′s movie,, which probably makes it the best thing ever invented.

Hemmingway’s Burger Recipe

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Wild West Hamburger.

1 pound lean beef, ground/soya mince
1 heaping teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon mixed-herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon monosodium
glutamate
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
2 spring onions or shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping teaspoon India relish
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon minced parsley or
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg, whipped in a cup
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons oil for frying

How:

instructions are wordy, so here’s my abridged version: You mix the dry ingredients with the meat, then you mix in all the wet ingredients. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour.

Shape the mixture into four patties. Heat oil in a pan. For each patty, drop in the patty, then turn the heat down.

Cook for 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Turn heat on high. Flip the hamburger patty and return pan to heat for 1 minute. Lower heat and cook an additional 3 minutes. This method makes burgers that are crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside.

Makes 2 Hemingway-sized burgers.

Via http://imissyoupenguin.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/ernest-hemingways-favorite-burger/

Recipe: Vegetarian Pad Thai

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Ingredients:

250 g of rice noodles
1 large yellow onion
300 g soya mince
4 tbsp oil
3 cloves of garlic
½ tsp black pepper
150ml water
½ teaspoon salt
2 carrots
3 cm fresh chili
10mm fresh ginger
3 small cabbage
2 ½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chilil sauce
2 tbsp coriander
1 squeezed lime
1 egg

To Serve:

Lime cut into wedges
Handful of peanuts

How:

Boil water and a little salt in a wok/pan.
Put the noodles in a plastic bag and smash them . This is because they will be easier to eat.
Put the noodles into the boiling water. Pull the pan from the heat and soak the noodles for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water .
Chop the onion , chilli, garlic and ginger.
Grate the carrots and cabbage coarsely .
Stir fry the mince in the oil. adding black pepper, salt and the soy sauce. Pour in the water.
Stir in the onions and let sizzle for a while. Then add the carrots and cabbage. Fry briefly.
Add the noodles, Thai sweet chilli, coriander and lime juice. Mix well.
Season to taste and let the mixture become hot. Crack the egg into the pan and stir it into the mixture.
Top with chopped peanuts and a lime wedge or two.

Done.

Source: Vegetarisk måndag  (Swedish language).

Good Photography Is…

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Good photography is not about RAW files or JPEG, nor post processing or effects, nor how expensive or inexpensive your camera is. It’s just about seeing. You either see, or you don’t see. The rest is academic.

Photography is simply a function of
timing and seeing things – seeing light, colours, shapes, patterns and shadows. It’s nothing more, and nothing less.

Take photos for yourself, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. If you are happy with the photograph, some others will be and some others won’t be. It makes no difference. 

Liking And Disliking…

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I remember something His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse once told me.

I used to be very wild, and sometimes people would report my actions to him in hope that he would talk with me. But instead, he would tell me who it was who told on me and would make a game of it.

He used to say, “Don’t worry. You must remember that whenever there is one person out there who doesn’t like you or who thinks you are crazy, there will be a hundred people who are going to like you. And similarly, whenever there is one person who likes you, you shouldn’t get too excited about it, because there will be a hundred people who can’t stand you.”

So liking and disliking are completely irrelevant.

- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.

Make Good Art…

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I could not agree with this anymore than I do…

“When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art.”

- Neil Gaiman on the creative life.

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