Saturday, 18 December 2010

Lady Gaga Beefsteak, lychee and sheep’s milk cheese salad with green mango achar and lime dressing

J'veux ton amour
Et je veux ton revenge

You cannot possibly imagine how good this is. I do not have Nigella’s vocabulary, but I’ll try.

So, I have decided to take better food photos. And yes, not perfect, but much better than previous attempts:

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that blood-rare beefsteak salad is my favourite ‘alone’ food. It is quick, easy and really very... VERY good. I make a different variation every time.
Due to the lots of rain we had Angel had to postpone her birthday party and Lamb and I couldn’t make the new date. Lamb & Image went to visit grandma, so I was home alone.

Part of Angel’s gift would have been the most delicious sheep’s milk cheese I picked up in Smithfield in the Southern Free State. The Smithfield farmer who produces these cheeses is a woman and she won loads of prizes for this cheese. It is called Ovis Angelica – heavenly sheep’s milk cheeses. As Angel’s Angelical Sheep’s Milk Cheese went into my salad – alas, only the inedible part of her birthday gift survived.

So here’s what went into J. Hardspear de la Azotea’s Man Salad for 1 hungry man. *I’m a free BASTARD baby!*

1 large thick cut rump steak. We South Africans love our rump steak. It may not be as tender as rib-eye (The Americans like this one), or fillet (tenderloin), but it definitely s’got loads more flavour and if you do not overcook it, it is tender enough. The Brits & Jamie Oliver agree with me on this one

grated rind & juice of 1 lime
half a teaspoon grated fresh ginger
crushed clove of garlic
sprinkling of Thai Seven Spice
1 table spoon of soy sauce
1 table spoon of sunflower oil

Marinade the steak in this for 15 mins. Take out and pat dry with kitchen towels. Heat cast iron griddle pan till very hot (the air should start making waves above the pan). Sear the steak for about a minute or two on each side and put in a clean plate to rest.

THE SALAD (Oh boy you’ve left me speechless!)
I used a bag of mixed leaves containing a mix of mild- and strong flavoured schtuff – butter lettuce, radiccio, rocket etc.
skinned and pitted fresh lychees
carrot shavings
spring onion

THE CHEESE (Retro Dance Freak)
Ovis Angelica’s Labneh cheese. Labneh is a Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese. It is formed into small balls and preserved in bottles filled with oil. It has a soft crumbly texture and tastes very creamy and ever so slightly acidic.

THE DRESSING (In your brown eyes)
The juice of 1 – 2 limes
1 table spoon of green mango atchar + extra little bit of the oil from the atchar. (In South Africa we call Indian Pickles – Atchar)
1 table spoon of soy sauce
Mix well

Assemble the salad in a large flat serving dish, carve the meat in thin slivers, add the juices which collected in the plate to the dressing and drizzle dressing over. The combination of crunchy leaves, tender, near raw strips of meat, the delicate fragrant translucent white flesh of the lychees, the creamy cheese and the piquant, astringency & sourness of the dressing, makes for a most satisfying experience of tastes, textures, flavours and aromas.

I had a bottle of Jacobsdal Pinotage during the preparation and consumption of this salad. This salad is best eaten with your body sprawled on the couch with the serving dish on your chest, fork in one hand, glass of wine in the other and your big toe operating the DVD remote on the coffee table. Preferably a lekker Action or SciFi movie playing. I watched Inception and thought it to be a really good movie.

“En soos Tibbie sê: “Hierie wyn is Goddelik!”

Alehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhandro! Do you know you love me boy, hot - just like Mexico!

I am decidedly drunk now, so with dick in hand I salute you! [Telephone – Lady Gaga & Beyonce together is enough to make me come in my Hemishphere cut-off jeans.] My chest (and tummy) may be too big for Truworths man but my waist ain’t not!!

Friday, 17 December 2010


I am still contemplating coriander.  Will do a proper post soon, there is many in my head, but I can't seem to find the time to pen it down.

Friday, 3 December 2010

ADD, Instant Gratification & Gardening #2

[wtf, wtf, wtf!!!  Blogger KEEP on publishing only half of my posts - here's the rest which should have been part of the post below]

So why do us ADDers seek INSTANT gratification all the time??? – The simple answer is to either stop the noise or to stop the boredom. Angel put me on this track with her recent post on the same topic. Angel discusses also the fact that ADDers are not motivated by long term rewards nor deterred by long term consequences. But what is interesting is this… It is not that we cannot see the reward of sometimes having to wait for something (or consequences of doing something very satisfying THIS VERY INSTANT), it is just that we couldn’t be bothered. Even feeling regret soooooo many times for missing out on a reward as a result of not having done something/not putting an effort in/not having waited is enough motivation for next time round (Unless the missed-out reward was whoppingly massive or the punishment cripplingly severe.)

To you this may seem like stubbornness and bad attitude, but it is not. It is not impossible for us to make the right decision, put in the required effort or wait for a reasonable amount of time to achieve something or gain a reward, it is just very, very difficult at times. This frustrate people close to ADDers, but it the effect is much worse on us. It discourages us, depresses us and frustration does not even start to describe the aggravation we feel. And that is why they say the ADDer’s behaviour is self limiting.

With your encouragement we can get out of the cycle of course.

Now today I need encouragement. Here’s the story of the need for instant gratification is stealing my joy:

Recently I started to put much more effort and time into our garden. And yes, I feel good when I have don hard manual labour in the garden, I feel at peace when I have planted schtuff and cleared out weeds, but that is not always rewarding enough for me to continue. I must also mention that there is a VERY big difference between negative consequences and discouragement. A big negative consequence may not deter us, but a little insignificant thing can discourage us real bad.

As I then have commented on dbawiw’s blog – something is eating my lovely chilli plants. What on God’s earth eats chilli plants (except us of course)? So, already not being able to wait for the little plants to bear shiny green & red chillis, something now cause further delays, or even NO reward at all! I know it is not rational, but if I plant a lemon tree and water it once, I expect it to be in full bloom the very next day and the day after it must be laden with heavy, fat, juicy fruit. So here the cycle starts… At first I take it as a personal affront that something would eat MY chilli plants, which I have put time in energy into. Then I feel that they can eat the whole bloody thing for all I care and I won’t plant another green thing for as long as I live. But wait, here the Ritalin kicks in, as well as what I have learned from reading about ADD, therapy etc etc. Don’t give up. I then go into over-do mode. I want whatever is eating my precious chillis DEAD now. Surely a little undiluted insect poison would not do any harm (yes I know the bottle says to mix 1 drop poison with a kiloliter of water, but it sounds a bit weak to me). I administer some vile smelling schtuff to my chillis. When I rush out tomorrow to check for new growth and masses of upturned insect carapaces, I’ve found that the chilli’s leaves turned yellow. Over-doing can produce either spectacular or disastrous results; you can never know which…

In the meanwhile, the dogs have wrecked my coriander and the harvester ants are having a feeding frenzy at the expense of my soft, luxurious green front-lawn. The very thought makes me want to jump in the car to go and buy an i-Phone 4 or eat 6 curry mince vetkoeke or harass Lamb for some nooky or drive to Durban. Barbara Streisand Barbara Streisand Barbara Streisand Barbara Streisand Barbara Streisand BAR-BA-RAAAA STREEEEIIIIIIISAND!

Con-tem-PLATE coriander, J. Hardspear de la Azotea, contemplate coriander…

ADD, Instant Gratification & Gardening

Let me just start off first with my rant of the day… I HAVE ADD AND I FIND IT VERY D I F F I C U L T TO FOLLOW AN INSTRUCTION OR PERFORM A REQUEST IF YOU WON’T GIVE ME THE REASON FOR DOING IT!!! Sommer is nie ‘n rede nie – skilpad het nie vere nie! “Just because”, “Because I asked you”, “Because I SAID so” and “Just do it!” does not WORK for me. I cope with enough distractions without having to figure out WHY I have to do what you asked/instructed/commanded me to do! For FUCK sakes man, is it so HARD to give my just a one liner reason? YOU try to get a day’s work done with Duck Sauce’s “Barbara Streisand” playing loudly in your head for 4 consecutive confounded days. Over and over again – it is the last thing I hear before I go to sleep and the very first thing I hear when I wake up. I hear it when I work, I hear whilst you talk to me (and I need to concentrate because you are in the background) I even here it when I’m in the kakhuis. It is not that I do not WANT to do schtuff, just remember your MOTIVATED wish is my command. I know it is frustrating to always give a reason for everything, but I am TRYING on my end – so do not make it HARDER for me still…

OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Bridging the Kindle Digital Divide in South Africa – My third Afrikaans Post

Intro = English
Content = Afrikaans

As I tell everyone I know about my Amazon Kindle, a few people have approached me for more information before acquiring their own Kindles. Mostly it is some of my IRL friends, who are not very IT or WEB savvy. I have written them the simple instructions below, indicating how I optimised My Kindle Experience so that I can  - in South Africa - have the same benefits as someone in the USA and NOT PAY MORE (Kindle books are more expensive here in SA), but if you follow these steps below, you can save a lot of money and read a much wider selection than what is available in the Amazon store. Example – George Bush’s new book cost $21 if your Kindle is registered to a SA address and $9 (NOT that I want it for FREE) if registered to an address in the USA. (How are we ever going to bridge the digital fucking divide if companies schnaai us Africans like this!?). Prolly the Publishers fault and NOT Amazon's...  So here goes:

Ek het redelik die storie nagevors voor ek myne gekoop het, en my grootste bekommernis was dat ek net Amazon e-boeke op dit sal kan lees, en dat ek ook weens Uitgewers regte nie alle Amazon boeke in Suid-Afrika kan aflaai nie. Ek het die volgende raad gevolg en dit het baie goed gewerk. (Daar is steeds baie baie baie beskikbaar op Amazon, maar as jy soos ek is, wil ‘n mens nie ingeperk voel nie.)

1. In die proses om jou Kindle se unieke reeksnommer op jou naam te registreer op Amazon se webtuiste – gebruik ‘n adres in die VSA. Ek het sommer vir $10 (STANDARD OPTION) vir myself ‘n adres in Amerika gekoop by ‘n aanlyn-inkopiediens (MyUS) wat dit doen vir mense wat buite Amerika woon, maar goed vandaar wil bestel (veral ondat ons op plekkie soos hier in SA nie ons eie posdiens kan vertrou nie). Ek het die adres gebruik en toe my Kindle met die adres geregistreer. Onthou as jy dan ‘n soektog doen met die rekenaar op Amazon, om die land in die linker boonste hoek se aftreklys-hokkie te verander vanaf Africa na ‘USA’. Die voordeel dan is dat jy uit meer boeke kan kies op die Amazon webtuiste en dat hulle boonop beduidend goedkoper is EN dat jy toegang dan tot hulle gratis boeke ook het. As jy op jou rekenaar hierdie proses gevolg het, is jy dan in staat om direk van jou Kindle af boeke te koop op Amazon se webtuiste.

2. Indien jy direk vanaf jou Kindle wil boeke op Amazon koop moet jy ook jou kredietkaart details op Amazon registreer. Dit is ‘n aparte registrasie proses, en daar kan jy jou plaaslike SA adres gebruik.

3. Die Amazon Kindle gebruik hulle eie unieke eienskap e-boek formate. Soos ‘n Word dokument eindig met .doc en excel met .xls en Adobe met .pdf eindig Amazon s’n met oa. .mobi. Plekke soos Kalahari se e-boeke is weer ‘n ander formaat bv. .EPUB. As jy boeke op ‘n ander plek as Amazon wil koop (of gratis aflaai) kan jy dit nie direk op jou Kindle doen nie. Jy moet dit eers op jou rekenaar laai, die formaat verander en dan die Kindle se kabel gebruik om dit aan jou rekenaar to konnekteer en van die rekenaar na die Kindle oor te laai. (Dis in elke geval hoe al die ander e-boek lesers soos SONY s’n werk) Daar is ‘n programmetjie wat jy van die internet moet aflaai wat enige e-boek formaat na enige ander e-boek formaat kan omskakel – Calibre

Die Calibre programmetjie werk regtig baie goed en het selfs ‘n grootmaat omskakelings funksie. Ek het ‘n ruk terug 1000 wetenskapsfiksie e-boeke op ‘n data geheuestokkie by ‘n vriend gekry en op ‘n Saterdag middag die hele spul deur Calibre gejaag (of gedrentel, want dit het die hele middag geneem op my super-stadige skootrekenaar. Maar enkel boeke vat darem net ‘n paar minute). Die proses stel ‘n mens dan in staat om selfs Afrikaanse boeke by te koop, om te skakel en dan op jou Kindle te lees.

Onthou ook om Amazon se Kindle for PC af te laai. Dit skep dan outomaties ‘n “my kindle content” leêr binne jou “my documents” leêr op jou rekenaar waarin al die boeke wat op jou Kindle toestel is, ook op jou rekenaar gestoor word. Jy hoef dit nie eers oor te kopieër nie, maak net die Kindle for PC oop en kliek op ‘Archived Items’ en jy sal ‘n lys kry met al die boeke wat jy reeds op Amazon gekoop het. As op die individuele boeke kliek sal dit op jou rekenaar aflaai, jy kan dit op jou rekenaar lees en dit word in genoemde leêr gestoor. Ek lees nie graag boeke op die rekenaar nie – maar dit kom nuttig te pas as jy nie die Kindle toestel by jou het nie en jy wil net gou iets check.

Nou ja, ek weet die meeste bloggers is vaardig op die web en met allerhande tegniese foefies soos e-lesers, maar ek hoop hierdie post help iemand wat nie is nie, en wat ook die maksimum gebruik uit hulle kindle wil kry.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Hardspear stats

According to Blogger’s (newish) stats application, this is what people are reading most on my blog.  After Google and other search engines, I get the most referrals from Angel & Tamara’s blogs – thanks you two beauties for having me on you link lists!  Brigit is my best Twitter referrer.

25 Sep 2007, 11 comments 1,006 Pageviews

16 Sep 2009, 5 comments 490 Pageviews

10 Mar 2009, 3 comments 306 Pageviews

23 Mar 2009, 5 comments 288 Pageviews

30 Apr 2009, 5 comments 276 Pageviews

18 Sep 2007, 1 comment 179 Pageviews

17 Sep 2010, 3 comments 101 Pageviews

18 Mar 2010, 8 comments 93 Pageviews

16 Jul 2009, 4 comments 71 Pageviews

11 Nov 2010, 4 comments 66 Pageviews

Keywords which bring most people (apart from regular readers) to my blog are:

“I hate ADD”, “Afrikaans Swear Words”, “Swearing in Afrikaans”, “Cursing in Afrikaans”, “Afrikaans Insults”, Swearing in Africaan”(sic), “Afrikaans Swar Word”(sic), “Bad tasting Arginine”, “Greek Lamb”, “Roast Leg of Lamb”, “Leg of Lamb in the Weber”, “Peppermint Crisp Tart Recipe”, “Raspberry Charlotte”, “Charlotte aux Framboises”, “Cafe de Paris Sauce recipe”, “Sosaties Recipe”, “Kitch Paintings”

“Braai Day”, “Braai for Heritage” – I got loads of hits for this during September.  It peaked on Heritage Day, the 24th and steeply tapered off ever since.

I get quite a number of hits on picture searches.  The highest picture hits I get on one of my own pictures (and NOT on those which I in turn copied from the web) is the one for Indian Butter Chicken.

My Afrigator stats indicate that for some reason I get a lot of hits on my blog’s archive tag for March 2010.  I wonder why, maybe it is because of the Kindle posts during that period?

Alexa adds “Bread”, “Sourdough” and “Star Trek” to the above.

The most hits I received in a short time was on the “Vodacom Complaint Letter” right after I posted a complaint on Vodacom’s facebook page.

etc, etc, etc, [maybe I am al little obsessed with my blog’s stats..]

Do you check your stats?  What does it say?