Monday, June 09, 2014

This gooey mess is what you are working towards

(in no particular order) 

1 tin condensed milk of your choice
1 packet cookies
 2 tsp butter (optional, read recipe)
4-5 bananas
A cow, or a packet of milk
A couple of utensils
Some cling film
A pack of something, such as peas or dal 
A fridge with a working freezer
The Hulk/food processor/mixer
Non-diabetic and hungry friends and/or family

  • Put a can of condensed milk into a bath of water, set on a heat source, and let it boil for four hours. You may do anything that takes your fancy during this time, including but not limited to cleaning, cooking, candle-making, finalizing plans of world dominion... Just make sure the water level stays high.
  • In the meantime, take a packet of cream cookies and give it to the Hulk. If the Hulk is busy smashing other things, it is ok to blitz said cookies in a mixer. If you are a wuss who’s afraid of cream cookies, use crackers, but add butter to bind the pulverised mess. 
  • Now, take a deepish dish and spoon the cookie mess into a layer. Press down to pack it properly, and make sure you bring it up to the sides of the dish. This will be your “pie” base. Cover the base layer with cling film, with give to weight it down. Dump a couple of packets of frozen peas or a cup of any uncooked dal onto the cling film, and put in freezer until toffee is ready. The weight will give the base definition, and pack it hard. It is NOT ok to use dumbbells as weights here.
  • When your condensed milk is thoroughly boiled, dunk it into a cold bath to allow it to let off some steam. Then, take it out carefully if you don’t want to get burnt. Give it some space and time to cool on its own. Do not rush this process.
  • Rather than twiddling your thumbs, you may spend the intervening time to chop up some bananas and arrange them on the base (after removing the cling film). Replace the cling film (straight across the top of the dish this time) and put back in freezer.
  • Once the can has cooled, gently prise open the lid. You will find that your condensed milk has magically turned into toffee.  
  • Take the banoffee base out of the freezer and remove the cling film.
  • Gently spread the toffee onto your layer of bananas.
  • This part is usually hard and requires plenty of skill, since bananas are squishy and toffee isn’t. However, this is a cheater’s recipe. So simply scoop out about half the toffee and blitz in the mixer. This gives it a more pliable consistency. If you are still having trouble spreading the toffee, add milk to the mix, one teaspoon at a time, until you get an easy-to-work-with consistency.
  • Continue to layer the bananas and toffee till you reach the top of the dish. Cover the whole thing with cling foil and stick in fridge until you are ready to eat it. 
  • Theoretically, this pie CAN last for a few days when refrigerated. However, this cheater’s fridge is regularly raided by very hungry people with major sweet-tooth issues, meaning practical testing has not been possible.
 Serving info: will depend on the size of your dish, the number of banana/toffee layers, and how hungry you/your guests are.

Alternatively, put cookies, toffee and bananas into a processor with some milk for a yummy banoffee pie smoothie

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The End

I didn’t think it’d end like this. I mean, not all relationships last forever, but I thought we had something special. He knew everything about me, I knew all his secrets. He was always there for me, when I was happy, sad or mad, I reached for him first. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. He even woke me up in the morning… And now he’s gone, on to someone else. I guess he couldn’t take being taken for granted any more. Couldn’t take being forgotten in odd places, left to starve till he passed out, of being used and abused… Maybe he got bored of my uninteresting life… of hearing the same boring stories, over and over, and over again. I don’t know why he left, but he couldn’t have picked a worse time… maybe he did this on purpose. He knew I can’t do without him, knew I can’t afford to replace him… Oh, but I will! I’ll show him! I’ll move on… maybe with one JUST like him. Older phones do cost less, after all….

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mowgli: Hair and Back Again

or Snarky Little Bastard 

Written for the Dove and Indiblogger 'My beautiful hair story' contest.

Little Mowgli, a rambunctious fellow,
Once made friends with a hairy sow;
Rolling in the muck, they’d cause a furor
And the animals all laughed at the human boar

Then came the time for his weekly bath
And Baloo the bear didn’t know where to start!
Mowgli, now, was a child close to his heart,
But he’d turned “dirty” into an art

Baloo decided to first tackle his head
And then the rest of the boy, ’ere he fled
Baloo lathered the shampoo and then he said,

“I’ll scrub you clean and give you some bread.”

But Mowgli, that wily little fellow,
At the top of his voice, he began to bellow
“NO!!!  I’d rather stay grimy, dirty and yellow!”
Till an idea struck him and he started to mellow

Then came the sow who was a telapath,
She helped Mowgli escape from Baloo’s wrath
They ran helter-skelter off the path,
And soon were in another mud bath.

Baloo, now really mad at the little airhead,
Decided to wash his own hair instead.
Now he’s got hair like silken thread,
Silky and strong, and not just on his head!

Mowgli returned, saw Baloo’s hair glow,
Turned impish and said, “Look like a marshmallow!”
Baloo trembled in rage, turned quite into jello,
And dragged the boy to their bungalow

There he dunked him into a hot bubble bath
(it was either that, or make up line with ‘math’)
Then it came, like David versus Goliath,
And Baloo scrubbed, like a psychopath

Finally, forward, the sparkling towhead was led,
Super shiny and clean; quite the figurehead
And the telepathic sow in snarky his mind read—
“I hope to God this poem was proofread!”

Later that day, the sow heard a thought, the legends say,
“... and that’s the end of my hair problems! Now, can we please go play?”

(with apologies to Mr Kipling)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Part II (revisited)

Part II (revisited)

The curtains are drawn across the stage
Lights fade out slowly
Till total darkness prevails

ZAP! strobe lights and kettle-drums:
Actors riot across the stage!
Radiant–even through the darkened screen

Drama unfolds before unblinking eyes
Shielded by the pouring rain

The sky–a chameleon:
Red, Orange, Black,
Interspersed by violent white.

The darkness looms, occasionally,
Lights soon return, and zigzagging paths
Mark the stairway to heaven.

Lights go off, come on again...
The darkness has not a chance.

I turn off my night light
Staring through a shut window
At Ma Nature's spectacular display

Act one is over, the curtain reopens
The stars come out, their time for hiding has past.
It's the clouds, this time-

The wind appears - a major player,
The earth heaves a sigh of dry relief

Black turns to grey, and grey to white
But not for long, the show must go on
So the curtains will be drawn,

The spotlight will come on,
Act Two will follow, And three...
And four... And five...

Friday, May 25, 2012

I hate not getting my way. Even if "my way" changes every few days.
I wait all week for the one hour of jazz that drips out of the radio, and end up spending just that one hour getting the blues... bleh!

Green-Red Dubiousness with toasted walnuts

Red spinach  (conveniently called Amaranthus Dubius)
Green Papaya
Cumin, aka jeera, powder
Jalapeno sauce
Oil (1/2 teaspoon)
juice of half a lemon*

1. Peel and chop the papaya. Keep aside.
2. Wash and chop the spinach. Dump in food processor/mixie.
3. Peel garlic (I personally like using enough to keep your garden variety vampires away) and roast on skillet on a low flame.
4. Once the kitchen starts smelling inhospitable to vampires, dump garlic into food processor/mixie.
5. Add the papaya into said food processor/mixie. Grind the mix to a pulp.
6. Toss a few walnuts onto the skillet, roast, put on a plate to cool and forget about them till I mention them again.
7. Drizzle the oil onto the skillet and wait till it warms up. Do not put finger in to test if the oil is hot.
8. Add the pulpy mess to the skillet and push it around like a toddler who doesn't like food.
9. Add salt, pepper, jalapeno sauce and jeera/cumin powder to taste.
10. Continue toddleresque pushing around and wait till it looks cooked. Then transfer to serving dish (my plate in my case)
11. Remember where you put the walnuts. Now crumble them, and get rid of the skin.
12. Scatter the walnuts onto the veggie mess thingy and enjoy.

* Add as an afterthought if the Green-Red Dubiousness doesn't work for you. Lemon makes everything more palatable.**

** Unless you put too much of it, of course.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why you've got to love Sir Terry

Nanny sat down in the corner of the cell.
'I heard this story once,' she said, 'where this bloke got locked up for years and years and he learned amazin' stuff about the universe and everythin' from another prisoner who was incredibly clever, and then he escaped and got his revenge.'
'What incredibly clever stuff do you know about the universe, Gytha Ogg?' said Granny.
'Bugger all,' said Nanny cheerfully.
'Then we'd better bloody well escape right now.'

— from Witches Abroad

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vlad from Carpe Jugulum is a young(ish) vampire who falls in love with a girl because she's different—he can't read her mind. Ok, Agnes Nitt is a witch who's always in two minds about everything, but why does this storyline sound familiar? Maybe Twilight started out as Terry Pratchett fanfiction? Or, maybe the Magpyrs caught Ms Meyer's subconscious fancy at some point, and sat there till they became the Cullens?

Of course, I could maybe be over-reacting just a little to an innocent coincidence... but I don't think so.

What makes a man

Iron enough to make a nail
Lime enough to paint a wall
Water enough to drown a dog
Sulphur enough to stop the fleas
Potash enough to wash a shirt
Gold enough to buy a bean
Silver enough to coat a pin
Lead enough to blast a bird
Phosphor enough to light the town
Strength enough to build a home
Time enough to hold a child
Love enough to break a heart

From Terry Pratchett's Wintersmith

Note: I do not own this. But I do enjoy it.

PS: If you need more reasons to read Wintersmith, they're here.