Archive for February 2007

Fish Risotto the easy way

Posted by on February 25th 2007 in Dehydrating

Who says that microwave meals are crap? This is a really good recipe for healthy, tasty and filling food - it’s easy to prepare, quick to cook, dries well and rehydrates fast. It’s one that I’ve adapted from the BBC Good Food magazine, just thought that I would mention that before Aunty Beeb and her publishers come knocking on the door brandishing writs! Anyway, ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stock cube (veg or fish)
  • 850ml / 1.5 pints boiling water
  • 250g / 9 oz risotto rice (risotto, arborio and carnaroli are best, long-grain will do at a push but the results aren’t as good, any other rice just doesn’t work)
  • 250g / 9 oz smoked fish, skinned and cut into chunks (cod or haddock are recommended, but I’ve tried pollack and mackerel and they work too, I’ve yet to try a mix of fish but that’s on the cards)
  • 1 large cupful of frozen peas
  • large knob of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt (optional)
  • Some freshly-ground black pepper (optional)

Nuke it as follows:

Put the onion and the garlic in a large microwaveable bowl, add the stock cube and ½ a pint of boiling water. Stir it up, cover it (cling-film is OK for this, or use a casserole dish with a lid) then microwave it on High for 3 minutes.

Stir in the rice and another ½ a pint of boiling water, cover it again then microwave it on High for another 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Stir in the fish, the frozen peas and the last ½ pint of boiling water, cover it again then microwave it on High for another 4 minutes.

Check that the rice is cooked (nice and soft), if it isn’t, another 1 minute of cooking should sort it out.

Leave the bowl to stand for 1-2 minutes for the liquid to be absorbed, then stir in the butter. Add the salt and pepper if desired, and stir it all up.

You should dehydrate it immediately to prevent bacterial growth in the rice. Drying usually takes about 8 hours. After you’ve bagged it, freeze it.

According to the blurb, this lot makes 4 servings as a standard meal. I divvy it up to make 3 x 125g bagged meals.

Approximate dietary content for the whole lot:

1292 kcalories, 80g protein, carbs 224g, fat 16g, satfat 8g, fibre 12g, salt 12.4g.


An interesting week

Posted by on February 21st 2007 in Rambling on...

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been six days since my last blog entry...

OK, where to start?

The weekend was spent multi-tasking, mainly destructively DIYing the bathroom and chastising the kids into doing their holiday homework. Sadly there were no Six Nations games to distract from proceedings 🙁

Monday - the kids went back to school, so I could do some bathroom reconstruction. First up was the bricking-up of an unused vent, which went well. Next was the replacement of a patch of bad plaster in the top corner of the room. When I started to scrape the duff stuff off, the whole area collapsed into the cavity - the previous owner had bodged a bit of plasterboard into the hole, then plastered over it. Peering into the hole, I noticed that the bricks on the far side (outside wall) were missing, he had done the same trick but using mortar instead of plaster, but he left a big gap allowing any rain to run down inside the cavity. No wonder the plasterwork in there needs replacing! After swearing a lot, I bunged up the holes with plastic bags and went off in a huff to watch The Hunt for Red October on DVD. One good thing about Monday was that my Thornthwaite Crag piccy eventually got approved for the OM Gallery. Most readers will know the one. The other good thing was that my youngest got through her Brownie Guide Promise ceremony without a hitch - I was so proud of her.

Tuesday - used my last 3 internal bricks to fill the inner hole, then went outside to get the ladders to go up and fix the outer hole. Guess what - no ladders. Grrrr. Came back to the laptop to get prices for new ladder, only to find that the lappy was infected with some virusy shite. Double Grrrr. This took all day and most of the evening to fix, so that was a wasted day. Many thanks to all who helped me to fix it, I couldn't have done it without you.

Today - got a good deal on some ladders at B&Q, they were more than I planned to spend but my neighbour flashed his OAP-card and got 15% off, so that dulled the pain a bit. Anyway, the outside hole's gone now, so I'm back on the web, looking for new blogs (Hi, Maverickapollo!) and stirring things on OM as usual 🙂

Tonight I'll be cooking for the dehydrator again, Turkey Casserole and Fish Risotto are on the to-do list, I'll blog the details later.


Rab VR Climb Jacket

Posted by on February 13th 2007 in My reviews

This is what Rab say about it:

The Polartec® Classic 100 lining in the Vapour-rise Climb Jacket makes this the warmest garment in the Vapour-rise range. The Vapour-rise Climb Jacket is worn over a base layer as an effective 'soft shell' in all but the very worst of mountain weather. By balancing wind resistance, warmth and breathability the jacket creates a comfortable operating environment through a wide range of temperatures and activities and excels for mountain walking and mountaineering. Weight: 570g

  • Pertex Equilibrium® with Polartec® Classic 100 lining.
  • Shield water resistant treatment.
  • Three zipped chest pockets.
  • Drawcord hem and venting Velcro cuffs.
  • Full length 2 way zip.
  • Stretch Pertex Equilibrium® shoulder and arm panels.
  • Wired peak hood zips into collar.

This is what I say about it:

It fits me well as a baselayer or, if it's sub-zero, over one. I've worn it in some good and some fairly foul weather, it has resisted driven rain and snow but at no time have I either overheated or chilled. It doesn't ride up at all even when at full arm-stretch, and it doesn't slide about under a pack. Others have commented on the length of the arms, and yes, they are longer than expected, but the Velcro closures at the wrists are gusseted, so you can form comfy thumb-loops with them or you can roll them up. The lined zip-away wired hood is surprisingly good and easy to deploy without taking off the jacket. The fabric is durable, the only weak point that I can see is the stitch-work - everything is single-stitched, which means that a pulled thread could result in a gaping seam (double-stitching would have been better and wouldn't have upped the weight by much). I like the pocket arrangement - very pack-friendly.






A busy week

Posted by on February 8th 2007 in Rambling on...

Wahey, I've actually started gutting the bathroom in preparation for the refurb. A couple of days of destructive DIY have resulted in all of the old tiles being hacked off, only to reveal that the plaster underneath is in a bad state and needs replacing before the re-tiling can commence. Oh, what joy, more plastering, I just love plastering. NOT!

Had a telephone chat with Weird Darren yesterday about blagging tickets for the OS Outdoors Show. I had to decline his kind offer of some potentially free tickets, as I've already got ours printed out and sitting on the mantleshelf. He let slip that Podcast Bob might be pointing his mike and videocam in my direction (he's checking out the Blogger Scene, man!) so I might have to go in disguise (maybe I'll wear a false beard, lol).

Anyway, it snowed today, so lots of the local schools were affected. Typically, the junior school was open and the high school was closed, so my attention had to be split between walking Annabelle to school (see * below), attending to Elanor during her day off, chipping away at the bathroom and keeping everything quietish while SWMBO worked from home (the roads were too bad for her to drive to work, plus this weather isn't good for her asthma).

(* - just to clarify, it went like this... walk to school, take her in, get told that she needed a swimming kit, walk back home, get kit, get suckered into walking Ella to her friend's house after dropping off the kit, walk home, work a bit, tidy up, walk back to school, pick up Anna, walk back home. Turns out that it adds up to over 7 miles. There's a certain irony about the situation - I've been known to drive hundreds of miles and camp out in ridiculous conditions for whole weekends in order to walk 7 miles in the snow... maybe I've been doing it wrong all along, eh?)