Saturday 18 September 2010

Weeknote, 18/9

I cannot legitimately claim to have knitted anything this week - not one stitch. Fail.

Going to:
Work, for many hours, of many days. This week has passed in a blink thanks to an extraordinarily busy start of the week and a number of extra bits and pieces requiring my attention at the end. My new PGCE student started, and this is my first time with this uni so that took some familiarisation.

Tom and Rhi's new flat in Bath, for a UNSC dinner and celebration of Cara's birthday. We drank many bottles of wine and ate some good risotto and played some cards. Then almost everybody left and I stayed up with Tom chatting and finishing wine and playing Wii until nearly 5am. I cannot remember the last time I did that, but I have concluded: I am too old to do it again for a while.

Not quite ready for eating yet, but I made some of Sally Sow & Sew's apple chutney. I hope she won't mind, but I am putting the recipe in here for easy finding next year.

8oz onions, chopped
2lb apples, cored and chopped
4oz sultanas, raisins or chopped dates
½oz coriander seeds, pulsed in the blender
½oz paprika
½oz mixed spice
½oz salt
12oz granulated sugar
¾ pints malt vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a preserving pan. Slowly bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney sticking to the pan. When it is very thick and you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid, the chutney is ready.
Turn into sterilised jars, seal and cool. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two to three months before eating.

The kitchen smelled amazing for the duration of the cooking and Mr Z even made me a chutney funnel out of a normal funnel, for easy jar-filling. Now the waiting begins.
Aliboo has even more apples to be used up so I am now on the lookout for new chutney recipes - and I found an unattended crab apple tree in the grounds of a local college so I may copy Sally one further and try my hand at crab apple jelly this week.

A new category to replace "Fed up with".
This week, I have learned...
  • how to use a Posterous blog with my tutor group
  • to tie an angler's knot: I am making a nautical headpiece to wear to Parpy Jo's wedding on the SS Great Britain next month
  • that Tweetdeck may be the best application for following a Twitter chat, even though I find it irritating because I cannot learn how to make it update certain columns more regularly than once a minute
  • that there are apps available to do stop motion animation
  • that it is really important to eat a banana before personal training rather than having yet another cup of too-strong coffee.
Obsessed with:
How many more re-marks are going to turn up in my pile before the end of the remarking period.

Entertained by:
The aforementioned stop motion animation. We bought this cushion in Ikea; we've named him Bigot the cat, because I think it would be funny to have a cat named Bigot: imagine calling him in the back garden. Perhaps I have a weird sense of humour. Here he is, playing with Dru.

Bigot has a look.

Bigot drags Mr Z around while the mitten watches from the background, looking bemused.

The industrious spiders, building webs absolutely everywhere. I came down one morning to see a web illuminated in a shaft of morning sunlight. It was attached to the ceiling, the floor, and the dining table. The spider was busy creating the centre of it and I just didn't have the heart to destroy it. I have a feeling Mr Z may have inadvertantly done this, as it was gone by the time I got home.

Like I am caught up in an avalanche. For all last year went quick, I can well see that this year is going to follow it.

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