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one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths

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(no subject) [May. 15th, 2008|12:34 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
I have discovered amazon. I have ordered one book, tentatively. it turned up in a box causing much excitement on my part.
I then ordered 5 more books.
I have an enormous 'wish list'.
Amazon is amazing. what has taken me so long to use it!?
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(no subject) [Oct. 10th, 2007|04:45 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
I promise not to use LJ as my recipe archive.... but i have to cut and paste this:


Nigella: "On days when I want the warmth of the hearth rather than the hurly burly of the city streets I stay in and read cookery books, and this recipe comes from just the sort of book that gives most succour, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. The cake itself (which was the pudding I made for last New Year's Eve dinner) is as richly, rewardingly sustaining: a melting, dark flourless chocolate base, the sort that sinks damply on cooling; the fallen centre is then cloudily filled with softly whipped cream, and sprinkled with cocoa powder. As Richard Sax says 'intensity, then relief, in each bite'."


250g dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids
125g unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated
175g caster sugar: 75g in the cake, 100g in whites
2 tbspns Cointreau (optional)
grated zest of an orange (optional)
23cm springform cake tin
Cream topping:

500ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbspn Cointreau (optional)
half tsp unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

Line the bottom of a 23cm Springform cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in it's tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here. Whip the cream until soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.

Serves 8-12

You can make this into an Easter Nest Cake by folding 200g melted chocolate into the cream topping and dotting with the sugar-coated eggs instead of the cocoa. Leave the Cointreau out of both the cake and the cream.
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marmalade [Oct. 10th, 2007|12:55 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
The grapefruit tree at the house has given us two grapefruit so far, but on the weekend i noticed there to be multiple flours blooming - so there is hope yet! if there are lots, i might try making marmalade. This looks like a simple recipe:

Grapefruit or Lemons (not Meyer) or Bitter Oranges or Limes or kumquats (or a combination)

1. Prepare the fruit by slicing it finely. You can process in a food processor, but I prefer to slice.
2. Place in a non-metallic bowl and cover with 3 x the amount of water to fruit by weight. So if you use 1 kg of fruit you will use 3 litres (3kgs) of water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave over night.
3. Next day tip into a preserving pan or other very large saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil it steadily but not furiously until the fruit has become transparent.
4. Measure the mixture and add 1 cup sugar for every cup of pulp.
5. Simmer to a fast boil and boil until it gives a set. Pour into hot dry jars and seal when cold.

Cooks Tips
For a firmer marmalade use 2 x the weight of water to fruit.
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Big List - 101 - 200 [Sep. 11th, 2007|03:21 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
Some of these are repeat authors, so I won't rave about Terry Pratchett etc again :-)

continued list of recommendations:

104 (you have to read the classics! plus, this is short), 118 (again, classic, but it's oscar wilde and he's brilliant! plus this is a ... visual book), 120 (it makes weeding an overgrown garden interesting), 122 (again, great characters, drink lots of tea and curl up on the couch one sunday, or many sundays), 123 (or at least one of the books. it is actually quite a saga), 128 (who dunnits are great), 129 (a bit dense at times but i read it again and again), 138 (a bit religious at some point i think? can't qutie recall, but little thriller that's worth it), 142 (i think i went to an art class with her!), 143 (maybe not this book, but 'how to be good' is quite entertaining and easy quick etc to read), 178 (a bit repetitive and disturbing but it is a commonly referred to book and name), 184 (or one of her books at any rate, and she wrote detective novels!), 187 (teh accents are a bit tough to read silently, but interesting nonetheless), 194 (fun!), 198 (i enjoyed this, and it was helpful to have read before studying a paper on king arthur and all that lot), 199 (i loved this book when i was a kid!),a nd roald dahl is mentioned a lot and he is great and you should read him if you haven't.

101 to 200
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. LawrenceLife of Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
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Squibble's Big Read [Sep. 11th, 2007|03:13 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
My reply to the posted Big Read is too big to go in a comment. So I am posting, plus that way i can look at this list again and again!

You asked for what people recommend from this fabulous list. so i think:
Number 3 (great and lovely to read), 11 (funny at times), 12 (read in winter on a stormy night for true atmosphere), 19 (greece? i think it's there), 29 (a bit of an odd ending and a bit depressing, but so well written), 32 (i've read another of his books and it was beautiful - the characters and where it's set...), 43 (loved it!), 51 (really you should read this), 54 (it's impressive, adn the characters! there are so many of them and they are great. don't let the size of the book put you off), 57 (oh! favourites! a read that's not too intense and quite dreamy), 65 (come on, terry pratchett, you've got to read him!), 90 (modern classic, read it when travelling! and also read his wife's book 'on the road' for an alternative and not so positive view).

1.The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
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newspaper article [Sep. 4th, 2007|05:21 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
There will be no spaghetti, fettuccine or penne in Italy when the country goes on its first-ever pasta strike.

Italians are giving up on their favourite food on September 13 because of a 30 per cent price increase in pasta.

Other staples such as coffee, mozzarella and bread are also rising in cost - leading to the average household paying an extra $1700 on their yearly shopping bill, Telegraph.co.uk reported

"Giving up pasta for the day will be a symbolic gesture," a consumer group spokesman said.

"Italians should not buy any pasta on that day, and try their best not to eat it at home."
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(no subject) [Aug. 9th, 2007|04:21 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths

has a gripping video on pizza base making and pizza making in general. and apparenlty, according ot recently-emigrated workmate: "If nothing else, Al Volo pizza alone is reason to come back to Auckland."
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yet more orange cake [Jul. 6th, 2007|08:49 am]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
Gâteau à l'Orange et au Gingembre
- 3 small oranges or 2 large oranges (preferably organic)
- 6 eggs
- 250 g (1 C + 1 Tbsp) sugar
- 250 g (2 1/3 C) almond powder (a.k.a. powdered almonds or almond meal)
- a thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger
- 1/4 C candied ginger
- half a packet (1 tsp) of baking powder
For the frosting :
- the zest and juice of a lemon
- 60 g thick sugar crystals, the type used as a topping for chouquettes or brioches. Substitute old-fashioned lumps of sugar (like sucre Candi or La Perruche) or ordinary lumps of sugar, crushed.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease a 24 cm (8-inch) springform cake pan.
Clean and scrub the oranges well. Put them in a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Put the saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for two hours, adding a little hot water when the level gets too low (note : you may, like me, find the smell of whole oranges boiling very unpleasant, but it has nothing to do with the smell or taste of the finished product). Drain, and let cool. Cut in quarters and puree in the food processor.

Peel and chop the fresh ginger. Cut the candied ginger in small dice. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the orange puree, the sugar, the almonds, the baking powder, the fresh ginger, until well blended. Fold in the bits of candied ginger.

Pour the batter in the cake pan, and bake for about an hour, until puffy and golden. Let cool for a few minutes on a rack, while you prepare the frosting. Run a knife around the cake to loosen it, and remove the sides of the pan.

Put the sugar crystals in a small bowl with the lemon juice and zest. Spoon this mixture evenly onto the top of the cake. Let cool completely before serving. It can be made a day ahead, wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.


Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake
Inspired by both Claudia Roden & Nigella Lawson

Unpeeled oranges (or other orangey citrus) to the weight of approx 375g
6 eggs
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
50g Dutch cocoa

200g dark chocolate
200ml cream

-Put the whole, unpeeled oranges in a saucepan with cold water to cover and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours or until soft. -Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in quarters and remove any big pips.
Place everything - peel, pith and all - in a food processor.
-Cool the fruit before proceeding with the next step. Often it's best to complete the cooking of the fruit the day before.
-Preheat oven to 180C and line a 20cm springform (or standard) tin. Lining it is very important, if you want to remove your cake later; a double layer of paper is a good idea.
-Add the eggs, baking powder, bicarb, almonds, sugar and cocoa to the oranges in the food processor. Process until you have what looks like a cake mixture with a few knobbly bits of pureed orange.
-Pour and scrape into the cake tin and bake for an hour, by which time a skewer should emerge fairly clean. Start checking after 45 minutes, as you may have to cover with foil to stop the surface burning. It may take up to 1 1/2 hours to cook through, depending on your oven.
-Leave the cake to cool in its tin and remove when cold.
-To make the ganache, heat the cream in a heavy saucepan and add the chocolate off the heat. Mix until combined, then whisk until the mixture cools and becomes thick and glossy, ~5-10 minutes, and apply with a spatula or cake knife. Decorate with pieces of orange peel if you so desire.


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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2007|08:45 am]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
Turkish Orange Cake

2 large oranges
6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups ground almonds
icing sugar

Put the unpeeled oranges into a suacepan. Cover with water and simmer for 1 hour. Drain and leave until oranges are thoroughly cold (several hours).

Cut into quarters, remove the pips, place ina food processor and process until pulverised. Add the eggs, sugar and lemon juice and process for 1 minute.

Add the baking powder and ground almonds and pulse only to mix. Be careful not to over process.

Pour into a well-greased and lined 23cm cake tin. Bake at 180C in the middle of the oven for 50-60mins until golden and an inserted cake skewer comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cake rack to cool.

Dust with a thick layer of icing sugar. heat 2-3 metal skewers over a gas flame and when red hot, drag them through the icing sugar to make toffee stripes or a diagonal pattern.

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(no subject) [Jul. 5th, 2007|05:44 pm]
one searcher of purple fish in the murky depths
Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern Orange Cake

2 large oranges, washed
6 eggs, beaten
250 g. ground almonds
250 g. sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Boil oranges in a little water in a covered saucepan for 2 hours. Allow to cool, then cut open, remove pips and chop roughly.

Preheat oven to 190ºC and butter and flour a springform tin.

Blend oranges and remaining ingredients thoroughly in a food processor. Pour batter into prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour. If cake is still very wet, cook a little longer. Cool in tin before gently turning out.

Both recipes from Stephanie Alexander’s ‘The Cook’s Companion’
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