Saturday, 28 May 2016

sometimes you need more than sausages

Well yes they were good, but after eating sausages for 4 days straight the dog got 2 days of heaven.

Overall the experiment was a great success, I can make them, I do need to work on the seasoning and fat content though, and need to find a nice easy local supplier of skins. Once done I'll try making them with pork I can freeze and do batches. No more crap sausages for me, There's a sausage making company in NL who supply sausages by mail in cool boxes, who also sell season mixes, so I've ordered the mixes and a few samples to see which I like best then I'll try to replicate the seasoning myself.

The next experiment is something even more dear to my heart. Pork Pies :D. Need to find some gelatine but pretty sure I can get both skins and gelatine from the local Hanos, an upmarket food wholesaler here. I bought a nice wooden  pie shaper on ebay, so will make my 1st attempts on large pastry and spiced pork filling soon.

Also I did treat myself to a VoiceLive 3 from Thomman..who normally  deliver next day but for some reason this time they waited 3 days to ship so not expecting it till add insult to injury, the price dropped 30euros the day after I made the order...even though I waited till pay day :(

oh well.. Cant wait to try it out, I just hope it fits on the board ok in place of the VoicePlay and volume pedal, which I'll try to use as an add on.

But I was sensible, that and a few small things like new cables a new more rugged mic  stand to replace a broken one, and a couple of amp mics, are the limit of my bonus wage spends, the rest has gone to reduce the credit card, on the basis that if I still need it it's there, but reducing the balance on the credit card is important as its my only real debt.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Proper Sausages

It was a bit of a pain, and it did take me a good hour to do. There was some mistakes with the way the blade turned on the worm, but finally, I made my own bacon and leek sausages.

Also I can't freeze these as the pork from Macro, has already been frozen, so I'll be eating these the next 3 days :D But I had to try.. I don't know where I can get more pork that is freezable...probably just the supermarket.

The main thing I learned was the blade on the grinder..if its on the wrong way, and there's no way to tell it just mashes the meat and it just gets clogged up.

Also the skins, I clearly bought too much I could have done 4 times as many so there are skin left in the water that will only be usable for another couple of days, I'll try to get some lamb tomorrow to make some lamb sausages, and maybe some beef, but I don't know what kind of beef to use, otherwise I need to buy must smaller skins.

Actually twisting is also a bit of a knack I've not quite got and you can see the sizes are all over the place but  I'm happy.
The pic shows a lot of trapped air, but I've used a clean needle and pricked them to

Of course the proof will be in the eating... hope they taste good, or this is a 15quid experiment that needs refinement.

And the proof, well, great texture, flavour is close, needed more garlic I feel and strangely a bit more fat, perhaps a little olive oil when the fat content is not so high. Also the ends popped so I need to work on making the twists have more turns to lock them in place. I didn't quite get the flavour of the paprika and cayenne I was expecting, so will stick with sage and thyme next time..

But a great 1st try...will experiment with more meats and seasonings


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Curse of the summer bonus

I promised myself I'd be good this year, since I am not planning any formal summer holidays, my annual double wage in May can go knock the credit card down to size, also there's some advances on royalties I need to I'm going to be a bit flush this summer.

And then there's the voices in my head, saying buy me, buy me.

A VoiceLive3 in particular is screaming at me to buy buy buy.

I'll resist a few more days.. It will be nice to kick the credit card into touch, and if I buy toys, it'll distract me from working on the book.. I think...if I am  sensible the right thing to do is to buy the toys when the book sells.

Sadly I'm not sensible.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Long weekend, sun, wine and not much sun really.

We had glorious weather all week while at work, and then the weekend comes and boom its a bit gloomy, but still quite a nice early summers day..

Sadly though I must continue with work, Project Foundations is now in full flow I have a few students to help me with proof reading and testing and preparing the projects for readers, the cartoons from a very talented illustrator are feeding in, and I have to now keep up with them as well as focus on my deadline.

Today though I am doing Colecovision stuff, as I must clear it out. I finished all the code last week when we had a holiday, but a few annoying bugs that only show in hardware are preventing delivery...the fact its only in hardware suggests an un-initialized value somewhere...something I also had yesterday in a book project, but this is much harder to track down on primitive hardware with no debugger...but I am determined to get it out the way and delivered to my very patient client.

I also seem to have lost my OdroidC2, it went back to Korea to get replaced or repaired due to a fault HDMI connection but it never arrived...I had to buy a new one (no freebies) maybe if/when the other gets there they will refund me...shame as its one of my faster units with no fan I really want to use it as a games console on my TV downstairs...that project will have to wait.

Book content is growing, the 2D stuff is almost all complete now, the projects are a little untidy, but thats what the students are helping me with, so I can focus on getting them working and they can clean them up and provide comments and review the difficulty.

Also I will be starting workshops at uni on programming the Raspberry Pi/Nano Pi, which will be my test bed for all the content....this should push me along and also give me a test bed for deciding if the concepts work well enough..Oh and it resolves some nagging doubts I have with 1st year coding students not understanding the basics well enough, so I'll be covering all that in the classes.

Better get on, going over to Maria and Davids for dinner later, there may be wine.....I might not get much done after ;)


Friday, 6 May 2016

freebies, if only I'd known

I am getting some free boards from a particular maker,I won't say who. They contacted me to check on delivery addresses which started a chat where I revealed why I was buying so many little boards.

They were very pleased that I was going to mention their boards in the book, and I am though only as an alternate option, and offered to cancel my payment and send me some free boards.

I have to say that is incredibly nice, I probably could have wangled a few other free boards from other makers too, but I don't want to be accused of any kind of favouritism. Most of the boards I've bought so far are perfectly suitable target system, but nearly all,  have some issue when it comes to being used a general computers. this makers units also have a few flaws but I do think they have the best value for money, its a shame they don't have the user base Raspberry has...which is mind-numbingly  massive

Anyway...quite pleased, but I think in future I won't mention my book in any correspondence with makers, I like the idea of the free boards, very much, but don't want to be compromised in my neutrality.

free boards though.....hmmm


Monday, 2 May 2016

Dating eh!

Well that was a bit pointless.....went on date at the weekend, very nice lady, ticked all the right boxes, funny, smart, independent...not to mention fit!

sadly not interested in me....starting to be a habit!

I'll climb back under my rock for another year and lick my wounds.