Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Where have all the good puns gone?!

I've been having a quick look at the blog and some of the old posts, particularly last year at about this time, and I can't believe that I've gotten so BORING since then.

Sheesh! my imagination was in full swing back then, interjecting to and fro and mixing life and chillies with gusto and panache!

And now, I'm just a bored, bored man...

...not bored enough not to laugh at France's predicament, though.

As I sit here at work and read the fifa.com website's second by second action of France's last match of the group stages, I can only laugh (or cry) at their situation. They should have solved all of this years ago...but that's what you get when you have a coach who decides starting lineups based on the zodiac!


I only chose the Panini albums...

...or tea leaves.

Went to Jamie's Italian in Liverpool two weeks ago as a pre-opening. Took Almapaprika for a treat. We started the experience in not the best of manners (Waitress, there's an unnecessary apostrophe in the word starter's), followed by a lovely meal in which, for the first time in my life whilst eating or attempting to cook a Jamie Oliver dish, there were no BP Deep Water Horizon sized amounts of olive oil drenching it (Jamie, if you read this blog, please, give it a rest. Olive oil is not the 'universal lubricant' and no, my coffee would not be better with a 'little drizzle of Olive oil.) Although I'm pretty sure the chefs managed to sneak in a gallon or two of the stuff into my little pot of 'Basil Tar tare Sauce' for my fried fish which was so utterly rich I had to leave most of it.

While it was an entertaining afternoon, we both left the restaurant feeling Jamie's vision of 'good honest food' was a bit of a sham and a facade for the man wanting to make some serious cash (and who can blame him). Case in point: we ordered some CRUNCHY STUFFED ASCOLANA OLIVES, which were £4.25 for a plate of five olives, not knowing they were the same delicious ones we had ordered on our last night in Rome in a little pizzeria in the Trastevere neighbourhood.

But we got the same fantastic olives, at 10 of them for 4 Euros.

You can say 'But this is the UK' all you want, that is still against your ethos in my book, Mr. Oliver.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Well, as is to be expected, this is the time of the year when pods are starting to show up on the plants.

The Orange Habanero is full of them. So is the Chocolate Habanero.

One of the two Royal Gold Habaneros is being quite prolific. The other is still growing and not flowering (though there are plenty of buds).

The Madame Jeannette has about 10 pods of varying sizes.

The Aji Umba Red has one pod, and though it is supposed to be quasi-related to the MJ, the pods show completely different characteristics. It will be interesting to see the pods fully mature.

Both Black Nagas are producing buds, but no flowers have opened as of yet.

One Fatalii has started flowering. The other is about to.

Both Jamaican Red Hots are flowering, but no pods seem to be forming :-(

The one overwintered Naga Morich has produced four pods so far, and is flowering heavily.

The Datil has produced two pods.

The Ring of Fire Cayenne has about a dozen pods.

The Barrackpore 7 pod has a lot of flowers, but no pods yet.

The Trinidad Scorpion is the same.

The Thai Dragon is growing, and growing, and growing...but not a single bug so far!

The supposed 'Red Squash' has finally produced pods, and they are looking true to form. But the flowers are definitely C. annuun.

The Brazilian Starfish looks about to flower.

The Rocoto Rojo continues to irritate me with its lovely green growth and zero flowers/pods.

The Roselle has flowered lots now, but no good sized flowers (tiny ones), so I may have to overwinter this one.

The Maiz Morado has finally produced on tassel, or male inflorescence. Now I just have to wait for the female ones.

Whew! Long update.

Candied (crystallized) Orange Habanero experiment is still going quite well. I might shorten the number of days from 7 to 5, since it is a very small batch. I will wait until the liquid in the pod segments has been completely replaced by sugar, though. But the syrup so far tastes delicious!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Candy-Candy @ The World Cup

Couple of quick things, since updates have been few and far in between:

1. I have recently purchased a new website domain, which I will soon be turning into a snazzy new website. But until I do, stay tuned to this channel.

2. New experiment: I am in the process of candying Orange Habaneros.


You heard correctly.


Turning Orange Habanero slices into candy by an osmotic process whereupon a sugar solution replaces the liquid inside the pod walls. The new 'sugarpods' are then dried to produce the candying effect, and the yummy and extremely hot syrup left over shall be utilised for a variety of things.

3. First few days of the World Cup have left me with some interesting one liners:

a) England are not as bad as their first match; nor are they as good as everyone hypes them up to be. Lay off Robert Green. Lay off Fabio Capello. The English media have the uncanny ability to punish coaches who don't take risks and coaches who DO take risks. Whinge-whinge-whinge-whinge! let the players play and shut it!

b) Raymon Domenech should change his name to Raymond D'Oh!menech. I actually fell asleep watching France-Uruguay.

c) Germany are contenders IF and ONLY IF Mezut Ozil is running the strings at midfield, and he's already shown flashes of Rooney-esque petulance in the first game. Knock him out of the game, and it's curtains for Deutschland.

d) Ghana look strong. Serbia look like a wounded animal, and Australia look like someone just told them it's not Aussie Rules.

e)South Africa are playing with spirit. Mexico are tricky. Uruguay are deceptively good. France are only to blame for their ineptitude.

f) Argentina are using a midfielder at wingback. Do they not have such a player among their 23 man squad? Jonas Gutierres will be prematurely aged (into retirement) by the industrious Koreans.

g) Greece look more like the 1998 team than the one that won the European Championships.

h) Could the Panini album predictions be.....WRONG?!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Goodness Me!

Crikey! My computer seems to be working at the dial-up speeds of old! (kiddies, go grab your parents, yank them away from the TV and ask them what Dial-up means. It's from the by-gone era of Windows 3.1, Dot Matrix printers and Netscape Navigator). I still have no idea why SKY is charging me an arm and a leg for 'bigger, faster, stronger, better broadband' when it feels like I have the same download speed as back in 1998!

I also say Goodness Me! because it has been a while since I posted anything. He estado muy ocupado, what with trying to get used to the married thing and finally being able to go on our delayed honeymoon.

The plants, it would seem, enjoyed my absence.

The Maize Morado is almost at the roof of the windowsill!

The rest of the windowsills are a sight to behold!





Both the Chocolate Habanero and the Orange Habanero have about 15 pods each on them now, and even the Naga Morich as joined in the fun with four pods.


Joy of Joys! I am looking forward to that one!

The Cayenne Ring of Fire is doing it's job, and has about a dozen pods on it.

And groovy baby! the Madame Jeannette plant has two pods at the mo!

Even the Roselle has joined in and given two flowers!

And look! The first ripe harvested pods of the Orange Habanero:

So far, so good. I watered all of the plants with the Epsom Salt solution yesterday, so that takes care of this month's dose.

Very, Very Happy!