Monday, 20 July 2009

Cost of connectivity

Hi there. Due to the exorbitant costs of connectivity in South Africa, I will only be able to blog in August again. I have used up my bundle for the month. I am going to kill someone at Vodakak!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Computer Generated Café de Paris Sauce for Steak

One of my favourites at a local restaurant is steak with Café de Paris butter. Now according to Wikipedia a vast difference exists between Café de Paris butter and Café de Paris sauce. Café de Paris butter is the most wonderfully savoury, deeply satisfying sauce you can possibly have with steak. It does not overpower the taste of the steak, it greatly enhances it. So when I checked on the net, there were too many recipes all claiming to be the authentic Café de Paris sauce (but meaning butter). I downloaded loads of these recipes and put the lists of ingredients into an Excel Spreadsheet. I then ran it all through a Pivot Table, which gave me the amount of times a specific ingredient featured in my collection of recipes. I decided on a arbitrary cut-off point and only used the ingredients featured in a certain percentage of recipes. I read through the original recipes to get a feel for amounts and method of preparation. The result was staggeringly delicious and unspeakably good. It was delightfully first class and just so satisfactorily mouth-wateringly tasty! I have made it many times since and always makes extra to keep in the freezer. So when Lamb and Image visited Grandma last week this was definitely on one evening’s menu for one. I bought a nice juicy piece of rib-eye steak which I sizzled in a griddle pan. It was a large piece of steak and I was not in the mood for starch, so I only had steamed broccoli with a lime-coriander dressing with my Café de Paris steak. Lamb had the camera with her, so the photo below is not my own – got it from the web. When one looks at the list of ingredients, one would think that this cannot possibly taste good. It’ll certainly spoil the taste of the steak, but look at amounts and method and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Hey it is me, J. Hardspear de la Azotea, will I ever post a recipe which is not good? I ask you?
Here is my computer generated recipe then:
Filet Café de Paris 250 g Butter (Soft) 4 tbsp (in total combined) Fresh Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Sage (At least 5 of the above) Try to get as much fresh as possible and use dried only for those you cannot get fresh. The Tarragon and Sage is very important, so use dried if you must. 2 Cloves Garlic 2 Lemons (Juice and Zest) 1 Chopped Shallot or red onion 1 tsp Curry Powder 8 Anchovy Fillets 1 Small glass Madeira/Sherry/Port Season with salt & Pepper Finely chop shallot and sweat till soft in a little oil. Add Madeira/Sherry/Port and cook till evaporated. Add anchovies and stir till dissolved into the mixture and add the curry powder. Remove from the heat and let cool. Chop the fresh herbs as finely as possible. Mince the garlic, grate some zest off of the lemons and squeeze the juice out. Thoroughly mix everything with the soft butter. Can be prepared well in advance and kept in refrigerator or freezer. Coat whole fillet with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Cook on Weber using indirect method – hot fire for 35-40 min. Put Café de Paris butter in a cast iron saucepan and pan on the grill. Whilst on the grill, cut into steaks and flash each piece directly over the hot coals and then into the Café de Paris butter. Serve straight away. Works also for steaks grilled directly over coals or steak fried in a griddle pan on the stove.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Father, you know that I don’t like to pray in front of other people, for it makes me feel vulnerable. Please understand then how much I need You today. I thought that I’ve bared my soul to my online friends many times before, but I know that I have not really done so. As I was passing the Christian bookshop today, You made me go in. A place I’ve never felt comfortable in. Suddenly in there I needed to find something which is going to make everything right again. You know that when I watched that Fireproof movie a while back, I thought that it was a good story, but just a tad to preachy for my liking. Yet, I walked out of that shop with a copy of the Love Dare book from that movie. I gather You want me to start with my marriage. I don’t think that that is the biggest problem in my life right now, but I’ll trust You on this. You know I have the attention span of a gnat. Still I am going to do this 40 day dare with sincerity and vigour. You know that You are going to have to help, however. You have put me on this track, and I commit with all my heart, but I am going to need You very close. Why couldn’t You have kept me close all the while? Why must I drift away during good times and why must I hit a low before You pull me back? You know that I consider myself to be blessed with a child-like faith in You, even when I am far from You. You know that I never ever doubt that You are the true and only God. But You also know that I have ADD and that I have MAJOR problems with authority, even Yours. I HATE to be told what to do (and not to do). You made me and therefore You know that I will very easily do the opposite of what being told. You also know of the subsequent regret, remorse and guilt I experience. I know You gave me the ability to choose, but You also know how self-deterministic I am and that I consider ME to be the one who makes decisions about me and my life. YOU KNOW THAT! I KNOW THAT! I’VE JUST NEVER ADMITTED IT TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE! I’ve admitted it now though and with all humility I come before You and I tell you that I will listen and I will do. I am not bargaining with You but I will ask this... Can’t you try a different tack with me like a father or mother would try something different with a wayward child? Because You know that is what I am. Today I am not asking for a new job or anything, the things I ask is that inner joy and peace [sob] of which You speak of and that You help me with this Love Dare and that I be totally unselfish with my motives in doing it. Do You know that people perceive Christians as dull and grey and ineffectual and weak and as wimps and hypocritical and sanctimonious and judgemental? I don’t want to be seen like that! I want to be seen as a man of courage! Surely Moses and David and Caleb and Joseph and Peter and Paul were no wimps? Some of them died for You! Please make me a modern day Christian with strength and integrity! Since I was little and I’ve asked You to come and live in my heart, this is the most honest and sincere prayer I’ve ever prayed. Please listen to my heart today. May Your Holy Spirit help me please and I ask for forgiveness for all my wrongdoings. Forgive me also for not thanking You, for yet another miracle You’ve affected in the life of my sister. In Jesus’ Name Amen.

A first time for everything

For the first time ever I've deleted a post. I apologise for having been blasphemous. I know I swear like a trooper and it doesn't bother me much, but I hardly ever use the Lord's name in vain. As I am one for facing up to one's actions I am not going to blame it on too much wine (what was I thinking drinking semi-sweet wine anyway?). I am not going to blame it on still not having a new job. I did it, I feel bad, I've repented. There is no way of getting pass the fact that I am a bit depressed about the job situation however. I've had two unsuccessful interviews and no matter how much I told myself those positions were not meant for me and that there is something better waiting out there. But Momcat & Angel, thank you, today it is chin-up again and me and CareerJunction have a date yet again.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Where am I?

I, J. Hardspear de la Azotea have a SEVERE and PROLONGED bout of Blogger's Block. Also been preoccupied with other stuff (in my mind and in the real world). As soon as it breaks, I'll become a prolific poster again and you won't be able to keep up with the torrents of new and interesting posts. It is 2.5 cm cold in V-Town at the moment. I think both my brains are frozen.