23072016 The Slightly Soggy, Very Hot and Almost Burnt Stovie

Making Stovies can't be that difficult.

Yeah, right, especially when you're NOT doing Laundry and NOT scolding your kid over the phone.

This is my second attempt with making stovies. I jut can't enough of this simple Scottish dish. The recipe is very simple (To me, that is):

1. Cook/stew the goddamn potatoes.
Here, I'm slicing them thin and put them in a steaming pot of dun.. er, water, along with half a cube of chicken stock (I know, its supposed to be beef but don't have a cow, man)
Separate the colour from the whites and make sure you add in the softener

2. Fry the onions and the meat
Simple, right? But no, I have to make it 'better'. So, in goes the smoked garlic, then the onions, followed by the chilies. I should have stopped here but for some incomprehensible insane reasons, I added TWO kinds of chilies. One of them is normal hot and the other is, 'OhmyGodMytongueisf*ckingburning' hot.
Dial the HOME number and not you're Wife's, then wait for your kid to pick up

3. Add the fried garlic/onion/meat to the pot of boiling potatoes
But before you do that, if you think there's too much liquid, you need to drain some off beforehand and not listen to what your kid said about last night. This is where I totally forgot about the liquid and so, dumped in the whole onions/meat.
Make sure the tap is on or the machine's going to go nuts with your clothes.

4. Lower the flame and keep the pot simmering
I plan to do this in the hopes of the extra liquid boiling off and no, it's not good to argue with Mom, Okay? Just make sure the clothes are balanced every now and then or the machine's going to beep like crazy

5. Let the pot simmer for about 30 minutes or so.
And now would also be a very bad time to read your  emails too.
Because after 40 minutes, the goddamn stovies developed a smoky flavour. And yeah, go say sorry to Mommy now. Yes, I mean now or else...

Once again, I have no beef with any meat and so, this poor can of corny beef became my object of hey, I told you to say sorry, right? Now go do your homework after Dinner, K?

For a quick cook, I sliced the potatoes as thin as I can while there's only enough soap for one more wash. Thank goodness I bought a refill pack.

This time, I did not put in the whole can of corned beef but rather, about a quarter The sequence is garlic, then onions, then chilies and then the corned beef.

Forgot to drain off the liquid while the 2 week old kiwis tasted quite sweet. And yeah, I'll need to stock up on the pasta too. But I think I can make this last for a few days as long as I keep it in the fridge and don't take a bite every now and then.

Don't mind the pot which I am soaking it to get rid  f the burnt parts. I was just in time before the whole stovie turned to blackie as you need to stir the pot every now and then. Darn. I forgot to add in some pepper. Salt's OK since the salty corned beef took care of that. Yes, go tell your sister to stop bothering Mommy. Now. Yes, now.

Simple guide to adding the right chilies.

20072016 Star Wars Rebels

During the years that the Star Wars Clone Wars Animation was on, it was quite a nice departure from the nightmares that was Episodes 1 to 3. It was also something which I would look forward to, during the lapse of Star Trek episodes. But there was something missing. I can't put my finger on it but all I could remember were Clones dying and the boring Darth Maul story arc which, to me, felt like I was watching some kind of Extended Universe Fan Production. I don't mean the quality but somehow, it was the story which just went off-tangent away for no reason. In a much cruder sense, it's like as if someone wanted to sell more Darth Maul toys. But hey, like the title says, Clone Wars. Clones. In a War. Get it? Its not Star Wars Half Maul.

But things got better with Ahsoka story arc which I liked a lot. Right up to the cancellation. Yeah, its to pave way for Episodes VII to IX and Star Wars Rebels.

Speaking of which, Rebels was 'nicer' for me since its timeline was about 5 years before the REAL Star Wars timeline starts, which is Episode IV. Again, I was late into this due to a lot of things, namely securing work but thanks to friends, I was able to watch the first two Seasons of Rebels recently. Right from the start, the first few episodes got me hooked. And with some subtle jokes on Stormtroopers, it was quite fun to watch. Except I hate Sato.

The very first moment I laid my eyes on Hera's Ghost it was just basic shape which reminded me very much of the escape pod from Alien. What I did not like was the mini shuttle, imaginatively called the Phantom. Having a shuttle looked like a very good idea and all, plus it was used extensively in most of the episodes. The Phantom's simple yet clunkly design is a sure tell tale sign that a toy is coming out. Where else would you have foldable wings, extruded weapon barrels and simple engine stuck to its rear? I still hate Sato.

Revealing Kanen as an "Order 66" survivor, Ezra's 'I never thought of that' unconventional Lightsaber design and with the war-torn AT-TE being used by the surviving clones was a hit for me. And the slow introduction of a few original characters was well done too. Oh, you have to watch the final episode of the second season, which helped clear off some irritating minions uisng lightsabers as helicopter blades or blenders. Unfortunately, Sato is still around.

Still, there is something which bothered me. It's not about the helmet collector Ezra's bluish hair nor how he lives off the streets and yet stays in a high tower a fair distance from the city. There is something else. It's not even about the off-screen censored killing nor being injured for 'real'. It's not even about the colourful Mandalorian who loves loud explosions nor the Lasat hulk who can speak English without any problems. It's not even about Agent Kallus who is starting to doubt his allegiance to the Empire nor the fact that Sato is still being a dick.

I can't put my finger on it but.. oh yeah, now I remember. There are not enough Episodes.

12072016 The ARB 2011 Diary

When I was working in the bespoke Diary industry, it was a very tough struggle for me. I wanted to challenge myself in Sales, something which is terrifying for a technical person like me. But If I kept on believing the fact that it is very difficult for technicals to shift into the sales, I would not have done it. I just want to test myself to see how it feels like, to work in a job that has no manuals or a definite answers. But darn it, it was like walking in the goddam Park from Hell, with every step full of thorns and shifting landmines. So much for braving into the unknown. But I did learn a lot of things, some which is still puzzling me until today. And some that scarred me into buffoonism. In summary, I just can't tell a good lie or make stuff up that the customer wants to hear.

One of the best things I got out from these traumatic experiences, apart from customer praises were the Diaries or Notebooks. These Diaries are beautiful works of Art and I have never seen books in this light before. From the design of the PU to the embossing to the paper to the page design, holding it in my hands was bliss. The journey of the Diary was long but what I loved was the fact that I am involved in most stages of the design process. From the selection of the cover to it's design, to it's colourful front pages till to the actual diary itself, I really enjoyed it. That is, if the customer signed the dotted line in the first place.

Anyway, it's part of my f*cked experience now, which I shall lock it up as "Do not enter and Salesmen are still scum". Throw away the key? The darn thing sholdn't even exist in the first place. So, with me not having a care anymore, its time that I start to use one instead of letting it rot (really). This is the Amanah Raya Bhd's 2011 Diary which coincides with their 90th Anniversary. It took me too many trips to see the decision maker who is always not in but once I got them interested with the cover material, the process was much easier.

I remember going there many times with the material swatch file to get her to agree on the specific Bluish hue, fighting internally with another colleague to get them reserved once the customer signed it. Plus, the correct stamping logo which had to right before going off to be made.

This was also one of the times I had to learn how to make sure the Artwork looks good since it was printed on a yellow background.

I had to convince her the yellow paper looks warmer and welcoming within the folds of the blue covers instead of the clinical white. As for the page design, I just left it with simple grey thin lines and nothing more because sometimes, if you put too much sugar on a dessert, it would taste like crap. So, no Mondays, Tuesdays, etc. tick-offs, no fancy quotes or wavy lines. Just, simple, lines, and that is all you'll need without any distractions.

The yellowish/brown Calendar cum Bookmark was inserted into a special glued-on envelope. I loved this design because although we only used one colour, the combination made the simple calendar a joy to hold and look at. Maybe because it reminds me of vanilla and cookies....

When I looked back, it was the creative process which drove me on while coming to terms that working in Sales is like holding a ball full of holes with firecrackers burning inside; you just won't know which hole it will come out and burn you.

02072016 Salad gone bad

Ok, so my method of preserving freshly cut ingredients for salad has its limits. I mean, they can be stored up to a max of 10 days or so before every piece decided to become sociable and go bad. Yeah, I could have put them in the freezer but I plain forgot about this fact

Making salad from defrosted ingredients might taste a little weird. And it's no difference from putting salad sauce/mayo into a packed of frozen mixed vegetables. It tastes of... laziness.

But in my case, it tastes of stupidity.

Next time, I'll need to buy the correct amount of ingredients, make the salad on the day itself and consume them within three days. There should be no leftovers unless there's some left and you don't mind coming over for them....

So, its the turnip and the red peppers which got the salad party called off.

01072016 Corned Beef

I can't stand it any longer and so, I bought and opened a can of corned beef.

It's been decades since I have any ever since I replaced some some meat with corned beef in one of those recipes and it was a disaster. I have never seen a can of corned beef do so much culinary damage before.

But tonight, oh, man, it was heaven! A spoonful of that salty, melting, oily stuff in my mouth was bliss. OK, maybe not so bliss since it was salty but it was perfect for crackers. Man, maybe I need to make a dip out of them!

And so, I mixed the newly bought Worchester Sauce with some thinly sliced and chopped onions, it was so good on the crackers to the point, I realised I had eaten more than a third of the crackers....
But I have plans for the rest of the corned beef....