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Pavel will never join mensa, but that’s part of what makes him so loveable. Like when we took great offence at a piece of paper that interfered with his game of catch-the-earbuds.

Teriyaki chicken, teriyaki salmon, prawns, spicy tuna, omelette, cucumber. All sorts of tasty goodies.

Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons mirin

Rinse the rice only 3-5 times. The water does NOT have to run clear. Place rice to drain in a strainer. Drain for one hourin the winter, 30 min in the summer.

While rice is draining, combine vinegar,sugar, salt and mirin together in a bowl and mix well.

Add rice to the pot. Bring quickly to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and DON’T touch it until the end, NO PEEKING.

Cook for 15 minutes before removing the pot from the heat but keep the lid Closed. Let rice rest for 10 min and then remove the cover.

Place in a glass dish to cool and lightly fan the rice while adding the vinegar mixture. Mix rice gently, careful not to break it.

Sushi rice is best used at body temperature.

Tamago Yaki (Sushi Omelette)

4 large eggs
4 tablespoons dashi stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mirin
1⁄2 teaspoon soy sauce

Beat the eggs VERY well, being sure to get them as smooth as possible.

Pour about 1/4 of the mixture into a well-oiled tamago pan and spread as if you are making a crepe.

As the mixture cooks, bubbles and sets, roll it and move it to the back of the pan. Add more oil to the pan and some more of the mixture, making sure to get some under the roll.

As it cooks, roll the old roll back to the front of the pan, then again to the back.

Repeat until you are out of mixture.

Remove roll from the pan and roll as you would a sushi roll, squeezinng out excess liquid.

You can roll it into either a round or rectangular shape and slice it when it has cooled.

Can be served as is, or as nigiri, atop a mound of rice wrapped in a thin sheet of nori.

Should I be worried that 2 rounds of G&Ts for Katy and I have killed 2/3rds of the bottle of gin? Think my measures might be a bit over-generous?

… during the usual daily meeting, I mention that I want to get something out of my hair, and all of a sudden everyone starts to laugh.

You know you’re in a painful phone call, and you know you work with brilliant people, when a colleague leaves the meeting and brings you back a beer (*).

Some people have the amazing talent of taking a one-sentence statement and talking about it for 10 minutes – without actually saying anything constructive. Impressive.

(*) which, obviously, remained unopened and untouched, because it would be wrong to drink at work.

Bean tried out his new (-ish) sled. Kind of. He doesn’t like going fast.

Makes 10 – 14

450g strong white flour, sifted
150gr strong brown flour, sifted
1 packet fast acting yeast
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
375ml warm water

For the bicarb solution:
75gr bicarbonate of soda
1 litre of water

Mix the two flours, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry mix. Mix the oil into the water in a measuring jug, and add in the well. Mix well to form a ball of dough. Add more water or flour where necessary to ensure it’s not too dry or sticky. Knead for 10 minutes, place the dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise to double, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celcius. Punch back the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface and then divide it into 10 – 14 balls, each weighing about 100gr. Line a baking tray with parchment. Roll each ball into a sausage shape the thickness of a pencil and then roll it into a pretzel shape. Allow to rise for a further 20 minutes.

Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan and dissolve the bicarb in it. Leave it on a simmer and add each pretzel, no more than 3 at a time, to poach for 30 seconds each side. Remove and place on the baking trays. Sprinkle with rock salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, cooling them on wire racks. Alternatively, bake them plain and then brush with butter melted with sugar, honey and cinnamon.

Need to update some paperwork. Go to DMV. Wait 5 minutes. Your supporting evidence is out of date. Call this number, they’ll sort it out. Call. Click. Done. It’s in the wrong name. Fill in this form. Scribble. Done. I need your residency permit. Crap, it’s at home. Drive. Search. Find. Drive. Wait 5 minutes. The code on the supporting evidence is wrong for the form you filled in. Call this number, they’ll sort it out. Call. Click. Done. Tap, tap, tap, computer says yes. You’ll get a 45 chf bill in the post. Have a nice day.

I don’t know if I’m impressed with the efficiency of the bureaucracy, or annoyed that we had to go to the all the rigmarole just to change one line on a sheet of paper.

So, a rabbit, a cat and a polar bear are sleeping on a couch…