Thursday, 1 January 2015

Arbitrary self-pressures as selected by Facebook friends for 2015

Now fully updated - Dec 31, 2015 10.22am

Andy Smith: Come to Summerjam in July FAILED due to moving house at the start of August. 

Claire H. Doloriet: Achieve an epiphany - I've become repoliticised this year :) I was like loads of my mates feeling totally disinterested, disengaged and disenfranchised by the New Labour/Red Tory bollocks. But Corbyn has woken us all up again. He gets accused of pie in the sky, dream-world, hippy drippy 'unelectable' posturing. But why the fuck can't we change the debate from hate and fear to love and idealism? Who says it's not going to work? I've had enough of feeling like I've not got a voice. Now I feel I do again. This has been the best part of the year but things have a long way to go to change properly. I try and engage with people I disagree with now, not block them or delete them or mock them. That is the main problem with leftwing social media - it becomes a self-reflecting echo chamber. That's why we were all so shocked when Milliband got blasted and Labour got fucked out of the equation. So we need to try and get people to think, really think, about the implications of voting for selfishness and greed. Babies are not born with hate; why the fuck should we teach them that the world is necessarily and irrevocably bad? I don't believe we do. That might be an epiphany. I'm hoping I can do more and be better in 2016 too.

Gary Stubbs: Get a life - Debatable. But I have done a few things this year that might be considered reasonable like writing a lot and doing a new book and some other stuff. So... I dunno.

Karen Timms: Age by one year within the space of 365 days - Without tempting fate as I'm writing this on December 31, I think I've nailed this one.

Kerrie Farrar: Do a random act of kindness every day/week/month - I have done some bits n bobs I think but the nature of it is that it's not something done to shout about isn't it?

Louisa Shooman: Make a slow cooker curry more often - I LOVE my slow cooker so this was a pleasure

no. 1: 
Pakistani lamb & morcilla curry
One lamb chop
One small morcilla, chopped
Parsnip, sweet potato, carrot
2x red birds eye chillis
Pakistani curry powder (from Birmingham, not sure of blend)
Almond powder
Coconut cream shavings
Lime leaves
2x cups water
Cook for six hours. Eat. Hot but delicious.


Mad hot North Indian Curry
4x small chicken drumsticks, skin removed
1/4 swede
3 small onions
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
2x red bird's eye chillis
4 tsp North Indian curry powder (from Birmingham, unsure of blend)
2 tsp almond powder
1 inch shaving of coconut cream block
1 tin tomatoes
6 lime leaves

Skin chicken but leave on bone.
Chop onions and swede; lay on bottom of pan.
Add everything else aside from chicken and stir.
Sit chicken on top. After 30 mins stir chicken into sauce.
Cook on high for 5 hours and on low for a further hour.
Lovely with bread.


Bacon, chickpea and cabbage curry
1x bacon steak / blob from Lidl cooking bacon pack (turns out it was unsmoked)
1x tin chickpeas
1/4 of a red cabbage
1x chopped onion
4x cloves garlic
5 tsp North Indian Curry Powder
5 tsp curry powder (generic)
3 tsp pink peppercorns
1 cup water

Mix the whole lot together and whack it in the slow cooker for 5 hours.
Didn't know what to expect but it turned out bloody lovely to be fair to it. Not salty at all, which was the main worry with such a big bit of bacon from one of those cheapo packs.
Usually I'd add tomatoes to something like this but I didn't and it's all the better for it.

No. 4

Jerk-style slow-cooked oxtail curry

2x oxtail pieces
Tin of tomatoes
Tin of butter beans
2x medium potatoes
2x carrots
1/4 swede
2x medium onions
4x garlic cloves
1x red chilli (medium heat)
1x green chilli (medium heat)
splash of rum
4x tbsp jerk spice (I used Rajah)
Handful of fresh sage leaves (it's traditional to use thyme but I didn't have any and it actually worked really well)
Salt and pepper to taste

Seal the oxtails in a pan on high heat. Deglaze the pan with splash of rum. Add to all other ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for eight hours.

It's ready when you can easily slide the meat off the bone with a spoon. The marrowbone is a treat on this one too.

Hell of a nice on it.

For ultra best results cook on high for eight hours then leave overnight with lid on and power off and reheat on low for an hour the next day.
You could add coconut milk and ginger to this but I decided not to this time.

No. 5

Pakistani lamb shank stew


1x small lamb shank
2x onions
4x cloves garlic
2 inch cube ginger
2x red bird's eye chillis
2x large green chillis (from Tesco I think)
handful of garden parsley
1 large parsnip
Pakistani curry spices wot Daniel got me from Birmingham. Kind of Madras-ish heat. About 6 teaspoons (the end of the pack.)
Tin of tomatoes
Tin of coconut milk
Half a pot of natural yoghurt
Salt, pepper and that.

I couldn't be arsed sealing the meat so I just lobbed it all in on day 1, with the exception of the coconut milk. The mistake I made was putting the yoghourt in at the same time, cos it split and went a bit sour. But the coconut milk kind of rescued it. Next time I'll leave the yoghourt out until just before serving and stir it in I think.
Cooked for 5 hours on high, day 1, then left with lid on overnight with power off. Second cooking was for 5 hours on slow on day 2. The meat practically dissolves in your gob. A pretty decent effort.

Another thing I could/should have done if I could have been arsed was to puree the ginger, garlic, chillis, cooked onions and cooked parsnips. That would have thickened the gravy up very nicely I reckon. Parsnips are ace in thai green curries for that exact reason - top tip.

No. 6
30/11/2015 (for eating on 1/12/15)
Pork cheek & vegetable sort-of Balti

3x pork cheeks
1 carrot
2x parsnips
1/4 of a swede
2x red onions
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
approx 1 tbsp ginger paste
3 tsp balti powder (Rajah I think)
1 tsp harissa paste
1 tin tomatoes

Cut the veg and onions and that up and add pork cheek and dry ingredients then wet ingredients. Slow cook for 6+ hours until pork is ultra-tender. Leave overnight with lid on. Re-heat slowly. Eat. Hooray!

Margaret Shooman: Be happy and eat the tomato (see video below) - I reckon in general I've been happy. It's a non-comparative metric isn't it. 

Mark Pruney Jones: Eat a fish finger at least once every 23 days – on average - this was quite easy cause I love fish finger sandwiches. Usual recipe is 2x slices of white bread; butter/spread; thinly sliced cheese (cheddar or similar); mayonnaise; hot sauce (optional) and 4x fish fingers. Food of the gods. Who says British scran is shitty? Pfft. I deserve a Michelin star for this one. And if you eat enough, you will look like the Michelin man too.

9-3-2015 - 115 days' worth done

16-3-2015 - another 115 days' worth done

1-4-2015 - another 115 days' worth

7-5-15 - DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthew Livzy Shooman: Eat a whole tomato without barfing - 24-1-2015 - I have eaten more raw tomatoes than I ever have before I think. My trick is to cover them in shitloads of salt and eat them first before tackling the rest of the scran.

Nick Bicko Redfern: See Bangor City win at home - 10-1-2015 - City had a very excellent run of form in the latter part of the season with some great new signings: Connor Roberts, the best keeper we've had for years; Calum Morris, a brilliant goalscoring midfielder who subsequently went to Connah's Quay for three times the cash we could pay him; Lee Healey, an annoying, buzzing, hard-fighting striker who scored a couple of times but definitely kept defenders busy so others could score. Best of all, he was Cefn Druids' top scorer at the time. So even though he wasn't prolific for us, he wasn't scoring for them either and they got relegated. A great bit of business. He got into a spot of bother off the pitch and left the club as soon as we were safe. The new season started in typically inconsistent style and whilst we're not in the relegation spots right now, top six looks out of reach too. Sometimes I'm glad I moved away - I can't take the anxiety like I used to. And yes I do miss it.

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