Observations from the weekend.

  • I made up an awesome pasta sauce based on “what we had around”:
    Put in a saucepan and mix:

    1. 1 can of tinned tomato and onion mix
    2. Two smoked chicken breasts cut into slices
    3. 1 can of tomato mix (Basically tomato and onion mix without the onion)
    4. One piquant pepper (thinly sliced)
    5. Handfull of chopped parsley
    6. Half a teaspoon of crushed garlic (More if you like)
    7. Half a teaspoon of chopped ginger
    8. A big handfull (or two) of a good quality grated mozzarella or gouda
    9. 25ml (table spoon) of Nandos Wild Herb Peri Peri (Double this if you like hot stuff)
    10. Salt and pepper to taste

    Serve with whichever pasta floats your boat and beer.

  • It is amazing how long you can forgo the need to eat when you are busy hacking electronics in a cold garage.
  • I saw two girls (12ish) in a bookshop, one was reading a book on Mayan Mythology and the other was reading an entire book about Zak Effron. This reminded me of a conversation I had with someone else about the hot girls from school who ended up nowhere in life.
  • I distinctly despise being told to do something by someone who can not give me a rational reason for the intstruction. A Cape Union Mart manager dude told me to leave the shop because they had previously had a power cut. The power was back on, but apparently the policy was to close the shop anyway. “But the power is back on” I said… “Yes, but it’s procedure” he replied,  “Why?” I asked. “Because it’s procedure”. His procedure hadn’t been relayed to the rest of his staff because as we walked out they were happily standing by the door as more people walked in.
  • Never watch a movie at Cape Gate. While the “common” people might be entertaining to watch as you walk around the mall, it is particularly NOT entertaining when you have to sit next to a kid who is loudly chewing on bubble gum with his mouth open the entire way through the movie, WITH his father sitting next to him doing absolutely nothing. Trailer trash.
  • I met a girl I’ve heard about for about 4 years but never met. She is every bit as wonderful as I had heard. It’s awesome to see someone in a relationship with someone they were enfatuated with 4 years ago.
  • It is very unawesome when one of your good friends starts to fall into the same stupid trap they’ve been in for the last 3 years… all over again. YES YOU! STOP IT!
  • We had home made bread and tinned soup for supper last night. I guess weekend cuisine can be in the shape of a tin after all.

Baking Bread

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been adventuring into the wonderfully rewarding world of baking bread. There is something quite zen about baking bread. The effort that goes into kneading the dough until it is just right and then the magical chemistry that takes place while the yeast has a party eating up all the sugars and farting all that C02 making the dough rise.

The secret to getting inspired by bread making is simple… You need a simple fool-proof recipe to get yourself going and inspire you to try crazier and crazier things. Don’t be foolish and dive straight into something fancy because if it flops you might just lose interest.

Ok, foolproof recipe. I know it off by heart… (funny saying that… seems quite apt)

Jonathan’s No-Bread-Tin-Required White:

Ingredients:

  • 3 and a half cups of regular cake flour (basically flour)
  • 1 and a quarter cups of warm water.  (body temperature)
  • 1 table spoon of salt
  • 1 table spoon of sugar
  • 1 sachet (10grams) of yeast

Directions:

  1. Put the warm water in a small bowl.
  2. Add the yeast to the bowl, stir it up a bit.
  3. Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bigger mixing bowl. (you could use a pot if you wanted to)
  4. Add the yeast water to the flour, salt and sugar and mix it up as best you can with a fork in a minute. (This is to try and keep your hands relatively clean)
  5. Once it’s kinda mixed up start using your hands and mix it up some more until you have one big clump of dough.
  6. Next, sprinkle some flour on a counter top and start kneading the dough on the flour. The flour is to try and stop it from sticking.
  7. You’re looking for something about the same consistency as play-dough. It mustn’t be gooey or sticky.
  8. Depending on the flour and a whole myriad of weirdnesses, you might need to add some more flour or water to the dough to get it the right consistency BUT don’t be lazy. It might look too dry initially but once you knead the dough for a while it might end up seeming too wet.
  9. You should probably spend about 15 minutes in total kneading the dough. The best technique is to repeatedly fold the dough over on top of itself.
  10. Once you’ve got a nice big ball of dough, put some oil in a clean pot at least twice as big as the ball of dough you currently have and then put your piece of dough in the pot, making sure to cover the ball with a thin layer of oil.  You want the sides of the pot/bowl to have a thin layer of oil too so that the dough won’t stick to the sides of the pot when it rises.
  11. Cover it with a dish towel (if possible some cling-film too) and stick it in a warm place. On top of or near a hot water cylinder is awesome.  The dish towel is too keep out the light and keep in the heat.
  12. 60 minutes later it will have risen to almost it’s complete size. Without punching it around too much flip your ball over onto a slightly oiled baking tray. I like to put the tray on top of the bowl and flip them over together to try and minimise how much I beat up the dough. It will disappointingly collapse as a lot of the air escapes. Never fear.
  13. Leave the pot on top of the dough for another 20 minutes to give the dough a second chance at rising and then put the tray with your huge lump of dough in the oven on 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. You’ll want it to be golden brown but not dark.
  14. Take it out, give it 2 minutes to cool and cut yourself a slice…
  15. Bread and butter is an awesome thing.