No politics! Instead, the happy subject of Joy Divison!

Ah, do we remember 2003?

It has been a long time coming, but finally, the Senate Intelligence Committee speaks:

  • Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
  • Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
  • Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
  • Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
  • The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
  • The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

currently playing: Saint Etienne – People Get Real

We Call It...Blanguage


This would never have happened if Strom Thurmond was President.

currently playing: The Brunettes – B-A-B-Y

Is It June 3rd Already?

Just under six months ago, I was saying how the Democratic primary would be wrapped up quickly and the Republicans would be dragged into St. Paul tearing themselves apart trying to find a candidate that wouldn’t cause half of the party to stay at home in November. Clinton would obviously wrap up the nomination fairly quickly.

Then Obama won Iowa. Since then, the Democratic campaign seems to have stolen Gallifreyan technology and sent the start of the electoral cycle back into prehistory; a primary stretching out to infinity. Or so it felt at times.

But after the settling of the Michigan and Florida delegates at the weekend, the end has been in sight. Strictly speaking, the end has been in sight ever since Super Tuesday, but it’s taken this long for the Clinton camp to notice. Today is the last day of voting. South Dakota and Montana. Every state got a say. The superdelegates are beginning to make their final move to push Obama over the top, Clinton’s disingenuous talk of winning the popular vote notwithstanding. At long last, the three-way race is whittled down to two.

There is talk of a GOP implosion this November. Having lost three safe seats this year already, Elizabeth Dole is looking shaky in North Carolina, Ted Stevens in Alaska may be rueing the day that he described the Internet as ‘a series of tubes’, and Al Franken may replace Norm Coleman as Senator for Minnesota.

This all bodes well. But never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to screw it all up…

currently playing: Johnny Foreigner – DJ’s Get Doubts

Hang In There, Peppermint Patty

“We Black Kids believe in brevity…although some might say that’s because we’ve only got five songs…“

D-D-D-Data Ghost!

Oh yes. My biggest fear? That he’ll go the same way as RTD when he has to run the show, but in Series 1,2, and 3, he wrote the best episodes, and he’s got the best of 4 right now. Long live Moffat!

currently playing: The Long Blondes – Giddy Statospheres

It Begins.

It begins.

currently playing: Special AKA – Guns Of Navarone

Thought For The Day: The Least, And Yet Most Crucial.

currently playing: The Mighty Wah! – Story of the Blues, Pts. 1 & 2

Anybody Got A Spare £7.5bn?

The US Department of Defence would like to hear from you.

currently playing: Sébastien Tellier – Divine

Foodscience!: It's a Sickness

So, 3 a.m. , Saturday morning, and it came to me; instead of putting cheese slices on your hamburger, why not put a slice of barbeque sauce on top instead?

I know.

In my defence, a bit of searching on Saturday morning showed me that at least one other person has thought of this before. So I’m not completely crazy. Or I have company in my insanity. Anyway, I had two choices: methocel or agar. Methocel would set as the sauce was heated and liquify as it cooled, so you’d have to make and use it straightaway. Agar would set hard, but it would melt if it was placed on something hot…just like a cheese slice! So agar it was. I stole the idea of the swiss holes from Playing With Fire And Water, and soon I had created bbq slices. FEAR ME!

Barbeque Slices

After that, I decided I wanted to recreate Sam Mason’s soft chocolate. It’s a ganache that is set with gelling agents (either carrageen or agar & gelatin; I used the latter combination) and refrigerated. When it comes out of the fridge, it keeps its shape, yet tastes like, well, soft molten chocolate. It’s pretty simple to make too: just make the ganache as usual, pour in a boiled sugar/corn syrup/agar mixture and a little gelatin, and finally put it in a mould and leave to set. The chocolate soil also worked out pretty well, though I think that I might add some nutella powder in next time too.

Soft Chocolate With Chocolate Soil

That was Saturday. Today?

Garam masala marshmallows. Pimm’s and strawberry gummies. The marshmallows are based on the classic recipe for chocolate ones, but with garam masala switched for the cocoa powder. After whipping and leaving to set for nine hours, I coated the top of the mallow block with chocolate and cut into pieces with a pizza cutter coated with icing sugar. That was probably a mistake; I should have cut them into blocks first and then brushed chocolate onto the tops. The way I did it meant that the chocolate got coated with icing sugar while I was sealing the sides.


Garam Masala Marshmallow!

I made the gummies in two different ways because I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out. I was surprised that the gelatin/agar combination was the least successful; for some reason the underside of the gelatin just wouldn’t set (possibly interference from the Pimm’s agar layer?). Next time, I’ll try gelatin/gelatin. However, I made more of the gelatin solution than I needed, so I used the overflow to make sour gummy strips (dredging them in citric acid and granulated sugar). These are really good, and need to be made again in large quantities. Oh yes. The agar/agar batch set fine, but I forgot that the taste of agar gummies is a bit bizarre. Oh well.

Pimm's and Sour Gummies

Tomorrow? Absolutely nothing. I think I need a rest. Though I’ve just remembered the rice puree / egg white cracker idea from chadzilla…

currently playing: Santogold – Creator