Friday, 26 June 2009

The fridge of death



Yesterday, our new cooker (to replace the oven which I may or may not have told you had died) arrived. A nice bloke called Tim brought it round, as he is moving to Belgium. It cost us £100 and is well worth the money for a double-oven cooker with a good hob, which is approx 18 months old (well used, but thats not a problem).


I had to remove our old integrated hob and fridge, open up the worktop a bit, then wire in and put into place the new cooker. This sounds quite easy.

This would be quite easy.

If when you lift the hob, you don't see this:

Suffice to say, once I finally managed to extract the fridge, I didn't plug it back in. Back to the classifieds to look for a fridge/freezer, methinks!

Friday, 19 June 2009

It's "Follow Friday" - not "List of names Friday"!

OK. So, I've blogged about #followfriday (Follow Friday) before. I'm just going to follow that up (ha ha), in light of a recent trend.

It seems to have become 'vogue' over the last 2-3 weeks, to simply tweet a big list of names. Or lots of big lists of names.

Frankly, that just annoys people. I'm not going to follow @rod @jane @freddy @tom @dick and @harry just because you spewed out 40 names and they were in there!

Why not tweet 2-3 names, one at a time, and give a good reason?

Here were mine for today (copied from twhirl):

First.. @GoodAndBadPR - because some of the examples they point out are just brilliant (brought to us by @10Yetis) #followfriday

Second.. @Oolamoola because of their great posts about the things you can achieve on a budget (plus they're up for a challenge) #followf ...

And finally @mestiere, because his tweets are a great way to find new crafts! (see also @ukcrafts) #followfriday

So there we go - food for thought, and a whinge off my chest. You may all return to your breakfast/lunch/dinner now! ;)

PS: You can follow me here: @mattchedit

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Lard? Aye Carumba!

Looked up a recipe for frijoles (refried beans) in a newish cook book (love charity shops) last night. I know how I make them, but thought I'd get a second opinion.

The recipe listed the ingredients: Black beans (250g), Lard (50g)...

Wait. Hang on. Thats the first time in bloody ages I've seen a recipe actually come out, bold as brass, and say "LARD"!! Something we normally joke about!

In the end, I used approx 250g of beans (soaked overnight, washed, simmered for an hour) - frying in a pan with lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, sweet paprika (pimenton dulce), coriander (powered, as ran out of fresh - doh) and a good splash of milk to help loosen them up and turn them into a nice squishy beany mess.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

8mb Broadband in Jersey? Surely not!

Well, apparently yes - in August.

Although we will have to wait and see how much it's going to cost!

Kabaretki - brought to you by Biscuitgate!

After several discussions about biscuits (tagged #biscuitgate) have popped up on Twitter, largely at the initiation of my twitter buddy Ed Stivala, I decided to photograph todays biccie and post a picture.

So, I give you... Kabaretki!

Um. Or in english, "sort of quite long chocolatey waftery biscuity things".

Standby Saver - get rid of the red lights!

OK. So. Electricity prices went up 25% here, at the start of this year. Thats quite painful. Add to that that one of my pet hates is wastefulness in general, and you've got a bit of a challenge.

How much can I reduce our electricity bill over the course of the year, and how much will it cost me to do it? We already mostly use energy saving bulbs (will post separately on that), so the first obvious port of call was devices which sit on standby.

First, a quick bit of maths. The telly is target #1, as it gets quite warm, and in the lounge, the Wii, TV and DVD player are all on standby (so is the Sky+ box, but that doesn't work properly if you keep turning it off - because it doesn't store Anytime programs - very irritating).

A quick bit of guesstimated maths. An "energy saving recommended" LCD TV must use no more than 1.5 Watts of power in standby mode, so lets take a midline figure - 1W. Lets round that off, and call it 9kWh a year for arguments sake. Thats about £1.20. Oh. Thats pretty crap for a saving in a year. I carried on in the same vein, looking at the Wii (expensive if the little yellow light is on, which ours was), which we'll call approx £12, plus the DVD player - another £1.80ish.

So far, thats £15 a year. Not good.

We got a standby saver (as seen on Dragons Den) - - which claims on the box that we could save upto £43 a year. Not right in our case, however, if we had a few more devices plugged in, you can see how it could easily add up - we have no hi-fi in there, for a start. But we only paid £21.95 for the gadget at Lakeland, so we should be quids in within 18 months. Not to mention the environmental benefits. Imagine if everyone did this!

In pure product terms, it was very easy to set up, has a little infrared detector which allows it to operate off the TV remote, and frankly you don't notice that its there. Two sockets with independant switches are provided, excluded from the saving functionality (i.e. for Sky+).

Fab. Highly recommended. If you have another console, VCR (??), Hi-Fi, etc also plugged in, you could save all the cash well within the first year.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Avocado and Leek soup (chilled)

A nice summery one for you now (or, in the case of my OH, something you can eat after having a wisdom tooth removed).

3x leeks (white part only), finely chopped
1x small (sweet - ideally red) onion - finely chopped
2x very soft, squidgy avocados
1x clove of garlic, halved
750ml chicken stock

Chuck the leeks and onion into a saucepan and soften them with some olive oil (lid on). When done, splash in a little white wine vinegar to deglaze and mix in the stock.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 mins.

Allow to cool (until warm/tepid).

Chuck into a blender with the avocado and utterly blitz to hell and back a few times.

Allow to cool completely and chill.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche - a lovely summery treat!

Optionally add some fresh peas with the stock! :)