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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 696093 times)
elay2433
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« Reply #600 on: September 27, 2008, 07:35:37 PM »

Lately my weekends are devoted to prop-building. Completed a 12' scarecrow last weekend. This weekend is tombstones.

-elay
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Jerry Enni lives in a small house in the center of the San Joaquin Valley with his beautiful family. By day he makes signs and by night he writes stories. To learn more about him, check out Clear Perspective, Blurry Lens
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« Reply #601 on: September 28, 2008, 06:53:25 PM »

That sounds like way more fun than building a damn shed. Are you building the props purely as a halloween celebration, Jerry, or are you making a low budget movie, or something? That'd be cool.
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« Reply #602 on: September 29, 2008, 12:34:19 PM »

It's all just decoration for Halloween.  Tons of fun once it all comes together. Right now I've got far too many half-finished projects. I move on  and start a new project when I get frustrated with one, or it becomes too much work. Kind of like I do with my stories.  smiley

Here's a link to one I finished last year.

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Jerry Enni lives in a small house in the center of the San Joaquin Valley with his beautiful family. By day he makes signs and by night he writes stories. To learn more about him, check out Clear Perspective, Blurry Lens
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« Reply #603 on: September 29, 2008, 01:14:00 PM »

Hah - I really ought to do something like that for my kids while they're still young enough to appreciate it. Good stuff.  Thanks for the link afro
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #604 on: September 29, 2008, 03:41:09 PM »

Sounds hectic huh So, what's the costume -  Trekkie, Barbarella, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, The Clangers? huh
something dead;) i think a zombie pirate--though one year I was a priestess of wild e coyote
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« Reply #605 on: September 29, 2008, 04:26:04 PM »

Ah - cool afro
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« Reply #606 on: September 30, 2008, 01:17:36 PM »

Saffron, pound for pound is worth more than gold and maybe even diamonds. I planned to make a chicken and mushroom risotto for dinner tonight, because my wife had to go to a funeral today, which left me to fend for myself and the kids, and I thought it's be nice for her to come home to. So I looked up a recipe on the internet, went to Morrison's, bought the ingredients and set about making it. I started at 4pm and it took until 5. One of the last things to go in was a quarter teaspoonful of saffron, finely chopped. With the risotto pretty much finished, I tasted it, to see if it needed any seasoning. Yak! It tasted/smelt like it had been contaminated with chlorine, or something. It was horrible. Vile.

So I poured some wine into it to try and mask the flavour. To no avail. I added a stock cube, then another. More wine. No good - it tasted and smelt awful. I thought maybe it was just me, so I got my kids to try some, but they hated it too. In the end I had to concede defeat and throw the whole lot away. Luckily I had decided to cook the chicken separately - cut into small slices and lightly fried in olive oil, with finely chopped chives, sage, parsley, a spinkling of sea salt and black pepper, a touch of paprika and some thickly sliced chestnut mushrooms. I served it mixed with some Uncle Ben's microwavable rice, and the kids wolfed it down.

I was still left with the mystery of what had caused the risotto to taste so bad. I sniffed the mushrooms ad wondered it it might be them. Even wondered about the fat grained rice for a moment. Then I remembered the chicken stock I had bought contained 'ground basil leaves', and that seemed most likely to have been the problem, but on a whim I thought I'd check if the saffron had a scent or flavour - I'd always assumed it was just a colouring, but if it had a taste I would expect it to taste something like cinnamon. That was it - it stinks. Less than a quarter teaspoonful had tainted the whole dish. Hideous stuff.

Why on earth does it command such a high price? huh Who would want it?
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #607 on: September 30, 2008, 06:35:57 PM »

That's exactly how I feel about caviar.
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #608 on: October 01, 2008, 03:55:44 AM »

Your recipe was rubbish.

Saffron is a fantastic seasoning. You need to take just a few strands (not a quarter teaspoon - that's far too much) and steep them in a little hot milk or water for half an hour or so before adding to the risotto. I usually grind them up a bit in a pestle and mortar first to extract maximum flavour and colour. The spice is delicate and sweet, and is what makes a paella such a fantastic improvement on risotto. You could also try making a saffron cake. Yummy!

Btw, always buy saffron strands, not powder, as the powder could be adulterated with any nasty yellow stuff. That was a hanging offence in the middle ages.
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #609 on: October 01, 2008, 06:09:40 AM »

You've inspired me (Cathy, not Ed) to grab some saffron sticks to try in my own vegan risotto meals.

Thanks to both for showing me what not to do, and vice versa.  bleh

Geoff
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« Reply #610 on: October 01, 2008, 12:57:41 PM »

See, I always remember having bright yellow Easter Biscuits when I was a kid, and loving them for their flavour and that sprinkling of sugar on the top - and they get their colouring and probably their flavour from saffron. I wonder if the pot I bought had been contaminated, or something. How does it smell, Delph? If you stick your nose in the pot and sniff, does it smell offensive? This stuff does. I couldn't believe how such a small amount could completely ruin a meal.

When I looked up the taste of saffron online, I find peoples' perceptions of it vary, but for the most part people describe it as tasting and smelling like slightly bitter honey. Ours smells and tastes like chlorine and old wooden cupboards rolleyes
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #611 on: October 01, 2008, 05:13:26 PM »

I'd say it smells a bit like fragrant honey; certainly not like an offensively chlorinated wardrobe. Sounds like you bought a duff batch.
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Ed
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« Reply #612 on: October 01, 2008, 05:27:53 PM »

Hmm - I think I'll take it back and see if I can get another type, because this stuff really does smell awful. Difficult to describe just how bad it smells. It's earthy - smells of damp, old wood, and chlorine. It's very strange. My wife smelled it again, earlier tonight, and when she smelt it she remembered having a paella on holiday somewhere that she couldn't eat because it tasted earthy, like this smells. Perhaps it it just the quantity. Too much of a good thing. Some things are like that, aren't they? Perhaps three or four strands would smell lovely, whereas too much becomes kinda toxic. I don't know scratch
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« Reply #613 on: October 01, 2008, 06:00:19 PM »

From a writer's perspective your confusion means you can't say something has the aroma of saffron, though mostly it is used as a description of colour.

Earthy and musty smells in cooking ingredients usually means a bacteria is happily multiplying within.

Next time I'm in the deli I'll insist on a sniff test.

Geoff
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« Reply #614 on: October 01, 2008, 06:38:19 PM »

There doesn't look to be enough of anything there for bacteria to consume, or even hide behind, Geoff, but there's a definite boskyness to the stuff. I still can't believe just how little of it you get for your money. It's a standard sized herb/spice pot that it's in, but no doubt aware of just how stingy it would look to put the actual contents loose in said pot, they've put a skinny little clear plastic envelope containing a few strands of withered things in the pot. Half a gramme for £3.85 whoah
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