More Musings on Tea

Loading

Back in 1946, while England was still recovering from the deprivations of WWII and under rationing, the prolific George Orwell wrote his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” with his eleven-step instructions for making what he considered the perfect cuppa.* But do they still stand today? Certainly, his notion of what makes a “strong” tea would be considered very strong by standards today. As the BBC noted in an article that debunked many of Orwell’s notions about making tea almost 60 years later, “The great … click below for more ↓

Musings on Making Bread and Chili, No. 1

Loading

Longtime readers here know that before my surgery last summer, along with my pasta making I was an avid, if not always entirely competent, baker. I mostly made bread from “scratch” but sometimes for convenience used an electric bread maker. I made all sorts of bread in previous years, including soda (“quick”) breads, as well as the occasional scone, tea biscuit, and muffin. I’ve always looked upon my baking (and cooking in general) as a sort of living chemistry experiment. I play with recipes, tweak … click below for more ↓

Musings on Making Pasta, No. 4

Loading

I made another batch of pasta this weekend to test my new mafaldine cutter, but it proved problematic . The dough jammed in it against the blades, so I had to switch to my lasagne ricce cutter, which worked perfectly. Because it got so deeply stuck, I had to remove the blade piece on the new cutter and spend some time fishing tiny bits of dough from the teeth. I will have to contact the seller and manufacturer to see if there is something I … click below for more ↓

The Godzilla Soundtracks

Loading

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDeU42u2s2Y Akira Ifukube. If you’re not an aficionado of Japanese film or a follower of Japanese symphonic music, his name won’t be familiar. But for millions of kaiju fans around the world, he is a legend. He composed the music and soundtracks for many of the Godzilla films, as well as many scifi and other films produced by the Toho film corporation. He has been ranked among the world’s great film composers along with people like John Williams, Ennio Morricone, and Nino Rota.* I spent … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 25

Loading

It was with a strong sense of trepidation that I went to my latest meeting with the urologist, earlier this month. Although it was still rather too early to make a fulsome diagnosis, I was anxious about what my latest blood test might show. My biggest worry was that I would need further treatment, including chemotherapy. I have to admit that on the drive to Barrie, I was frankly asking myself if it would be worth it to do more. Although I was a couple … click below for more ↓

Musings on Making Pasta, No.3

Loading

How thick should any particular type of pasta be? Seems like a simple question that could be answered by a basic chart or spreadsheet. But if it has been, I’ll be damned if I can find one online. In my numerous books on pasta, only a few actually give recommended thicknesses for making your own. Anything that deals with dried, store-bought pasta simply deals with the type of noodle and recommended cooking times, not its thickness. I’ve scoured my many books and the internet looking … click below for more ↓

Musing on Making Pasta No. 2

Loading

In its most basic form, pasta can be made from only two ingredients: flour and water. But while true, it’s deceptively simple, and far from the tastiest or most expressive pasta you can make.  (see part 1 of this essay if you missed it) Flour is delightfully complicated; there is some interesting chemistry at work within flour and it’s fun to experiment. Wheat is classified into several categories: spring and winter (by the planting season), colour (red or white), hard or soft (high or low … click below for more ↓

Musings on Making Pasta No. 1

Loading

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”16″ exclusions=”302,303,304,305,306,298,297,296,294,290,289,288,287″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ number_of_columns=”5″ order_by=”imagedate”]  Long-time readers here may recall that I used to post about making my own pasta and bread quite frequently some years back. Last spring when I was diagnosed with cancer and then went through surgery and then radiation, I stopped doing both. This week, I finally got back to my pasta-making— not quite as adroitly as I had in the past, mind you; the old skills were a mite rusty — and expect to get back to … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 24

Loading

My final week of radiation treatment is here. I should have felt elated that I would no longer be required to drive every day for an hour or more each way as I have for the past six weeks. Everyone told me it would go by in a flash, but it seems to have dragged on and on. I felt curiously empty when the new week dawned and the end was in sight. It’s been a difficult time — almost a year since my PSA … click below for more ↓

Musings of a B-Film Junkie

Loading

I put a DVD of the 1939 film, The Gorilla, into the player and sat back to watch. Bela Lugosi (above, centre) starred beside the Ritz Brothers (trio above), a popular American comedy trio contemporary with the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and the Marx Brothers. This would be the last year the Ritz Brothers worked for Fox; they stopped making films entirely in 1943. It’s the first full film of theirs I’ve seen, but am not impressed. Lugosi is best known for his starring … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 23

Loading

I started the New Year with another welcome three days off, with the final third of my radiation treatment ahead in the next few weeks. I can’t say I’ve ever been quite as happy to see a year pass as I have with 2020. As if the widening pandemic, lockdowns, Trump’s madness and treason, the nail-biting US elections, the stupid and selfishanti-maskers and anti-vaxxers, the QAnon idiocy spreading among the gullible, Brexit, Jason Kenney and the UCP destroying Canadian unity as well as Alberta, the … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 22

Loading

Three days off over Xmas from the daily drive felt like a longer holiday, although it wasn’t enough time for my bowels to heal properly. So far an irritable bowel, reduced urine stream, and my hot “flashes” (or surges) are the only side effects I’ve noticed. They are, however, enough to make me less than comfortable at times. I was warned I might feel fatigued, too; not just the normal state of being tired from too little sleep (what with pets and hot “flashes”), but … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 21

Loading

Hot flashes are becoming more frequent, but I was warned they would be thus in the latter part of the treatment. I’m about halfway through the first stage of the hormone therapy process. My next hormone treatment (Lupron shot) will be given in about six weeks, shortly after my next blood test. I won’t know if I need more treatment (like chemotherapy or more hormones), however, for several more months after that. I’m not sure why they’re called hot “flashes” as if they were lightning … click below for more ↓

The Cancer Diaries, Part 20

Loading

A weekend off from the long, daily drive and the treatment certainly seems like a treat these days. On weekends, I get to have an easy morning, leisurely cups of tea, do some writing, play some computer games, take a long walk with Susan and Bella (weather permitting), then enjoy a quiet afternoon of reading, more tea, and maybe some online gaming with a friend. The prospect of spending another five or more weeks driving back and forth, suffering increasing side effects while missing my … click below for more ↓

Back to Top