Friday 8 October 2010

Weeknote, 9/10

As you see from my triumphant Monday post, I have knitted a chunky cowl. It has been less useful than I'd hoped this week, as we've seen an imprvoement in the weather, but I was still glad of it.

I believe I may have finished the sparkly hat, too. Although I wanted something slouchy, I don't think the yarn will lend itself to such a plan, and in any case the crown is very stretchy so the slouchy bit would be very pointy and night-cap like in comparison to the rest. So, it may be cast off this weekend.

And it's not knitting, but I finished my head piece for Parpy Jo's wedding, which is today. Pics to follow.

Going to:
Brown's, with Jen, for cocktails. This was a good night. We cut it short but stood in the street making rude comments about other people's outfits until Dru picked us up, for old time's sake.

A careers evening. I had an idea for one last year and told the administrators for the Federation about it and they loved it and POOF! It happened. No effort on my part, which was nice. It was very well-attended by our target pupil group and there were lots of very interesting employers there, plus a couple of useful contacts I might find to help me wedge some more tech into my classroom.

The sponsored walk. It finally took place on Friday, and my legs still feel like they've been had at with a crow bar. Nine miles of hilly off-roading. I was the first teacher out of the gates, other than the pace setters, and only the 4th back, so I didn't do badly, and I didn't really stop, except for water, which was good and an improvement on the last time I did the walk (admittedly, 2004). I didn't even cheat this time; I usually do, but the sixth form marshalls were well-armed with barbecues and tins of sweets this time which I found very motivational.

I made a beef biryani this week, using stewing beef. Traditionally I mess up any kind of beef cookery unless it involves mine or a slow cooker, but I seem to be on a roll (she types, cautiously) and this recipe adapted from Delia Smith's forums was delicious, easy, and made dinner for two plus two lunches.

2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped
1 fresh green chilli, chopped
Large handful of fresh coriander
1 tbsp groundnut oil
3 tbsp veg oil
2 tbsp sultanas
500g braising/stewing steak cubed
1 tsp ground coriander
1tbsp g turmeric
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
pinch of ground cinnamon
175ml natural yoghurt
275g basmati rice
1.2litres chicken stock or water

Roughly chop one onion, and put in food processor, add the garlic and ginger and chilli, fresh coriander and half the almonds, pour in the water and process until you have a smooth paste.

Finely slice the other onion into rings or half rings. Heat half the groundnut oil in a good large pan, and fry the onion for 10-15 mins until deep golden colour; remove from pan. Fry the sultanas until plump, remove from pan.

Heat the remaining ground nut oil with a further 1tbsp of veg oil, and brown the meat in batches until nice and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan.

Wipe the pan, then add the remaining oil and add the paste you made earlier, cook for 2-3 mins to cook out the flavours, stirring all the time. Stir in the additional spices season and cook for 1 min.

Lower the heat stir in the yoghurt, a little at a time. Return the meat to the pan, stir to coat in the paste and spice mix, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 45 mins until the meat is tender. Meanwhile soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 20 mins.

Preheat the oven to 160c. Drain the rice, place in a pan and add the hot chicken stock or boiled water with a touch of salt, bring back to the boil, cover and cook for 5 mins.

Drain the rice and pile it ontop of the meat mixture, in a casserole. Using the other end of a spoon, make a hole through the rice into the meat mixture. Put the reserved onions and sultanas on top of the rice, then cover the casserole dish with a double layer of tin foil and put the lid on top of that. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 mins.

I'm certain I must have learned something this week, but tbh it passed so quickly I can't really remember what it might be.

Obsessed with:
What my phone can now do after its update to FroYo. I am impressed that I can now turn it any way up and the screen changes, as opposed to just one option each for portrait and landscape; it is altogether a lot smoother and easier to use. The battery drained right out on Tuesday, though; it seems the Facebook app has a bug in the code so I forced stop on at and it's been better ever since.

Entertained by:
I am naturally still loving all the dance shows that are back, along with My Family's Crazy Gap Yah.

Like I'm finally getting on top of things, but not looking forward to next week at all. On Tuesday, I take assembly, then I teach 6 lessons, one of which is an observation by my HoD and a bod from county, followed by teaching a 3 hour knitting workshop, followed by making a presentation to governors. It exhausts me just thinking about it.
At least half term is in sight!

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