Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sometimes where I live really saps my cynicism.

It does. Really and truly.
You get these days sometimes when it seems like Edinburgh goes out of its way to be gorgeous at me. I find it difficult to keep up my cynical, devil-may-care attitude on these days.

These tufted ducks were all paired off. Except for one - the dorky, fat little male one at the front of this picture. He's utterly adorable, and we couldn't work out why he wouldn't have a lady-duck-friend. We named him George. I hope he's found someone to love.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Religious or Secular Celebration Weekend, Everybody!

Hello, you.

Right, well. First off, the depression obviously hasn't lifted 100%, but I am feeling somewhat better, thanks in no small part to my wonderful friends who make me laugh and take my mind off the bleakness (I feel so gothy right now, typing that). You know who you are. So thank you.

I'm not going to dwell on that-d-word-that-must-not-be-named, because it's not going to do anyone any good. It doesn't help me, and it's very, very boring for you guys to read about.

On to other things!

Matt is trying to explain the basic concepts of D&D to me, as a precursor to getting me to play it. I've got the elf/human/dwarf/halfling thing down, and the cleric/magic user/fighter/thief thing. I sort of understand the sub-categories. I think. (I remember the sub categories of magic user, by the way, by thinking of Derren Brown and Getafix the Gaul.)
We were discussing it last night, and I came to the conclusion that a cleric is pretty much like an admin assistant - no specialities, necessarily, but can do a bit of this, a bit of that, acts as backup, cleans up after the others...
Matt says that I could be a monk. He says that it would be a good character for me, as they can fall off cliffs and things and sustain less damage. He got pummelled for that. He then pointed out that it seems I'm reasonable at unarmed combat, too. I hit him with a cookbook.

Today I am baking stuff. It's the clan gathering tomorrow, even though we are definitely not a religious family, and I can't afford to buy anyone Easter eggs, so I thought some home baking would be appreciated (plus, it's cheap, which is always good).
And because I love you, and because I can, I thought I'd give you a recipe.
We already made what were supposed to be cookies, but they came out with a slightly cake-like texture. Because of this discrepancy, I will hereafter refer to them as 'tray bakes'. They're fucking delicious, though.

White and Dark Chocolate Tray Bakes
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125g self-raising flour
2 tsp vanilla
100g chopped white chocolate
100g chopped plain chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease baking tray.
Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Sift in the flour and mix well. Then add the chocolate.
Dollop on to greased baking tray and cook for about 15 minutes.
Allow to cool before removing from the tray.
Try to stop Matt from eating them all, as they are supposed to be for sharing.

We're also going to make chocolate chip buns, and Mars bar cake. Oh, and I'm meant to be making chocolate brownie with ganache sauce tomorrow.
Everyone will die of fatness and happiness.

And now some pictures of My Kitchen: Tray Bake Aftermath.

Tea is very important in activities such as these.

As is Coke Zero. It's the caffeine, you understand.

As you can see, we used packets of chocolate chips/chunks instead of cutting up blocks of chocolate.

Oh yeah. The chocolate tends to sink to the bottom, and become a little gloopy, so we turned out the bakes upside down. Matt has already eaten half of this one. We chose to do them as two big bakes, but I'd imagine they would work as normal cookie-sized ones just as well.

So... yeah. Happy Easter, everyone!

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