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Week 39: Turkey and Chickpea Meatloaf

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /


  • 340g turkey mince

  • 1 medium onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained

  • 1 small egg

  • generous teaspoon of marmite

  • pinch of dried herbs

  • pinch of dried chilli

  • 100g diced mozzarella


Finely chop the onion and garlic, and fry until soft. Mash the chick peas (or use a food processor). Mix all the ingredients together, apart from the cheese.

Put half of the mixture in a small loaf tin, then scatter a layer of diced mozzarella, followed by the rest of the mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven, gas mark 6, for about an hour.

Turkey and Chickpea Meatloaf

Curb your Vituperativeness

Story location: Home / Blog / news /

I was reading a story on the BBC News website about parents trying to force schools to ban certain books.

The article features a quote from an author who wrote a series of books entirely in text-speak:

"It is so revealing to me the vituperativeness they address me with. They are angry,"

I could make a decent guess on the meaning of vituperativeness but I decided to google it to confirm my suspicions. Out of the first 20 hits on Google, all but one were dictionaries or similar word-related sites, most of them containing the same definition (harshly abusive censure). Google only found 3870 results, suggesting it isn't a word which normal people use in everyday conversation. I suspect the author, Lauren Myracle, said it to prove she knows longer words than those used in text-speak.

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Yellow Raspberries

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /

I had some Waitrose vouchers to spend so this afternoon we went to Kenilworth to have a look around the shop. The idea was to get there in time to get some good bargains as food was marked down before they closed. Most of the food we bought was merely on special offer, such as the yellow raspberries. They looked novel so we bought a punnet.

They tasted ok but the flavour was a bit mild and they didn't have the sour flavour which raspberries sometimes have. While we were in the shop we also bought some redcurrants. I've never eaten them before and they were also on offer. They were quite sour eaten on their own but worked well stuffed inside the raspberries. Eaten together, it brought out more raspberry flavour and the sourness of the redcurrants was much reduced.

Week 38: Sweet potato brownie

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /

This recipe was based on another from Channel 4 which contained turkish delight. As usual we adjusted the recipe according to what we had in our kitchen.

Yesterday I roasted 500g of sweet potatoes for around 1 hour at gas mark 5, until the insides had gone soft and the skins had gone crispy. I scraped the insides out of the skins and put them in a tub in the fridge until we were ready to start the recipe.

The new ingredients were as follows:

  • 500g sweet potato

  • 15 quail eggs (equivalent to 3 medium eggs)

  • 140g light brown sugar

  • 60g dark muscavado sugar

  • 175g dark chocolate

  • 25g ground almonds and 75g ground peanuts

  • 2 tablespoons millet flour

  • 70g fat reduced cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • no turkish delight

The method was the same as the channel 4 version but we stirred the mixture instead of folding in the ingredients because the mixture was a bit too dry to start with.

Sweet potato brownie

Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine

Story location: Home / Blog /

Some photos from the Llywernog Lead Mine near Aberystwyth. There are two parts to the tour: a self-guided part where you walk around reading the information boards, and a guided tour underground. The underground part was very wet but very intersting.


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No electricity = no wifi

Story location: Home / Blog / house /

I was using my computer at home this morning when the Internet stopped working. I noticed the wifi icon on the computer was flashing so I thought the router had briefly dropped the connection. Emma pointed out that the electric clock had gone off, so for some reason our power was out. I then noticed that all the neighbouring wifi networks had disappeared from the wifi menu, and I could also hear some nearby alarms going off, so it then became clear that the power had gone down for the nearby area and not just our house.

It's an automatic response to switch on the room lights when we get up, which I immediately did, then suddenly realised how stupid that was.

Our oven has mains-powered electric ignition so I had to light it by hand to bake the baguette for my sandwich. We don't have any long matches or special long lighters for lighting cookers, so I had to reach to the back of the oven with an ordinary cigarette lighter, while carefully turning the gas on. The gas makes a fairly loud 'whooshing' noise, which made lighting it a little scary but I managed without losing too many arm hairs (unlike Emma last week when she lit the grill, and the automatic lighter didn't seem to want to work at the time).

Week 37: Chicken, courgette and lemon pasta bake.

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /

This weeks recipe came from the channel 4. We made a few small changes such as using dried chilli instead of black pepper, using mature cheddar instead of parmesan, and using whole eggs instead of an egg yolk.

The recipe claims to be a pasta bake but didn't seem to involve any baking so after mixing everything together we poured it into a pyrex dish, sprinkled some mixed seeds and half of the grated cheese on top, and baked it at gas mark 5 for about 15 minutes until the cheese had melted.

pasta bake

Week 36: Bulgar Wheat Risotto

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /

This was a normal risotto but made using bulgar wheat instead of rice. I started by frying some diced chicken for a few minutes then adding stock and poaching gently for about an hour. I normally wouldn't cook the chicken for this long if it was going to be cooked further in a risotto but it had gone a couple of days past its best-before date so we decided to play it safe.

After removing the chicken and pouring the stock into a jug to reserve it, I fried some finely diced pepper and onion, before adding some finely chopped garlic and a few flakes of dried chilli. I added the bulgar wheat (I can't remember the exact amount - around 75g per person or whatever it said on the packet) and some of the chicken stock. I reduced the pan to a low simmer.

I kept adding small amounts of stock until the bulgar wheat was cooked. Just before serving, I added a pinch of sea salt and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Reading 2010

Story location: Home / Blog /

It was the London Champs small animal show again, held at the Rivermead Leisure Centre. Like last year, I went for a walk along the river towards the town centre.


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Week 35: Some Assorted Sandwiches

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No proper new recipes this week but we had a couple of new sandwiches.

The first was an ostrich and halloumi muffin. It consisted of a toasted muffin containing thinly sliced ostrich steak and slices of fried halloumi.

The next was Emma's attempt at making a version of the KFC Double Down. It consisted of 2 Marks & Spencers breaded chicken fillets with a few slices of cheese in the middle. I had a chicken and black pudding sandwich instead. The same cheese and chicken but in a mini-baguette with a slice of black pudding added.